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Lessons Learned in Motherhood

My kids have taught me plenty over the almost 9 years that I have been a parent and I have spent some time reflecting on these points this week.  I thought today would be a good day to share with you some of my favourite lessons in Motherhood:

1. Oh, the lessons learned with discipline. I know what kind of children I want to raise: loving, compassionate and smart individuals who seek to do good and make the world a better place. Also good spellers.  So when bad things happen, I want the big lessons to be learned.  And yes, sometimes it would be easier to ground them but here's the thing, my kids don't watch TV and don't play video games on a regular basis, therefore I have nothing 'good' to take away from them.  But even bigger than that, I don't want them doing something wrong and then immediately thinking, oh crap, I'm never going to be able to watch Pokémon again (which seriously would be the best. day. ever).  Nope, I want their first reaction to be about the other person.  Who did they hurt, how does that person feel and how can they make it better.  So when Willis did something wrong at school, something terribly wrong, I was almost relieved to see him puke all the way home because he was crying and so upset with himself.    Not because I'm a mean person, but because I knew then that he was upset for the right reasons: because he hurt someone else.  I could have grounded him but instead I wanted him to actually learn a lesson from it- so I had him write an apology letter to the kid in question and man, was he mad at me.  But it gave us a great opportunity to talk through how the other person would have been feeling and how his actions affected that person.  I'm hoping the quality reflection and putting him into someone else's shoes and then having to verbalize his feelings helped him learn something.

2. The necessity of other people doing the same thing as you.  My friends were all moms at the same time as me and I was extremely fortunate to have them right beside me, along for the ride...especially in the early days of the 'vortex' , as Carmen would call it, right after childbirth.  Those vent sessions and random requests made everything better when you have your sisterhood, understanding exactly where you're coming from.  Instagram and Twitter weren't things when Willis was born, but I'm sure that I would have benefitted from virtual friendships as well, so find your sisterhood wherever you can.



3. On organizational skills.  If I wasn't organized before kids, then having them made me Master Puppeteer. There are so many things to keep track of and take care of that a good daily planner and many lists are a must for me. I'm currently using the Erin Condren planner and loving it. My new reader-turned-friend, Jeralyn may have me convinced to get a teacher planner from Erin Condren too for next year.  The thing is, with being a parent you are not only keeping track of your childrens' lives, which becoming increasingly complicated as they age, but you are keeping track of the family life, managing your career and still making time for yourself. So much to do.

4. Different way to love my husband. Like any marriage, I have my moments where sometimes running away to an exotic island and taking up dolphin training seems enticing. However, the kids have taught me to see a different side to my husband. It is hard to stay mad at the man who wrestles them incessantly when he's tired, reads all the stories without skipping pages and is always teaching them random things. More importantly, he's a man who chooses to love me when I'm not at my prettiest- and we know that the mothership makes you look tired, act tired and drink lots of wine.  Let's not even start about the beating your body goes through.

5. Respect to the experienced moms.  I grew up with so many strong women in my life from aunties that I loved spending time with to two amazing Grandmas and a wonderfully optimistic and always organized Mom.  You need role models in your life and it is always good to have someone to offer you perspective and guidance on issues that they have already experienced.  Just recently we had a conversation in our Blended Blog group with  3 of the ladies having their kids graduate this year and all the feels they were experiencing.  I hope they can write that down for us younger ones so that we can learn to embrace the stage we're at and be prepared for what's to come.

We all know that Motherhood is one of those constant rollercoasters of self-doubt and celebration and if we can keep our minds and our hearts open, there is so much learning that can happen not only for the kids, but for the parents too.




Comments

  1. Living on Cloud Nine05 May, 2016 21:39

    Ahhh I sigh and tear up at this wonderful piece. You can bet we are here to guide you as our journey now changes with them flying the nest. I won't lie, its tough, but each stage of parenting has it's challenges. The embrace of it and forging forward with positivity makes all the difference. Happy Mother's Day to one of the most amazing ladies I know!! Lucky kiddos you have!!

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  2. i loved reading this! I agree, lessons learned is more important than grounding and that's what makes our kids grow into amazing adults! Have a wonderful Mother's Day!

    Jill
    Doused In Pink

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  3. Love these lessons too. Number 5 has been a BIG one for me over the past few years. I now understand the love and patience some of those women have and I am baffled then they pour into me and I just feel so thankful and overwhelmed. It is just awesome.

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  4. Nicole Miller05 May, 2016 22:57

    This was beautiful Deena, and so true. The first point in discipline is perfect. And you are SOOO lucky you had friends that had kids at the same time. Having your kids super early (There's only 19 years difference from me and my oldest) I only had family to ask questions to and vent. It's tough- I super envy moms with mom tribes.

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  5. You've got me wondering what Willis did. We had a similar issue with Grady this week but the person that he hurt was his brother. I didn't handle it quite how I should have looking back, so we both learned a lesson.

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  6. discipline is our biggest challenge... Austin is so bad about just looking at the person he hurt and walking away... and I'm like "What is wrong with you????" I try so hard to make him realize that hurting the person is the big offense.. it's a slow process. Any tips on what you say/how you show him this is what he should feel bad about???

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  7. These are such great lessons. We are always trying to get Henry to think about how his actions affect others. He got in trouble at school for something the other day and I was so happy to hear that the next day he apologized to his friend without our prompting.

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  8. And this is why you're an awesome mom and have such amazing kids. There's so much thoughtfulness in your parenting - and I think that's so important. Loved reading this. How lucky to have friends with babies at the same time too! Have a very happy Mother's Day my friend!

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  9. This was beautifully written. You are so blessed to have such an amazing family. Happy Mother's Day!

    Shauna

    www.lipglossandlace.net

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  10. Love how you handled the mishap with Will. Calder told me I looked pregnant yesterday. Sigh. I will be tearing a page from your book next time. We spoke about how it made me feel, but I'm not always sure how much he is hearing when I talk to him. I think he may just tune me out. Written apology it is.

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  11. This is a great post! Being a mom is the toughest job on earth, and it's definitely under appreciated!

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  12. I love the flashback picture of you rocking the bangs!

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  13. This is beautiful friend. Hoping to exit the vortex soon. xx

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  14. Such a sweet post! I love that so many of your friends were also having babies at the same time as you. I'm kind of at that stage in my life right now and don't take it for granted! Thanks for sharing your story!!

    Xox Dana Ivy // www.iadorewhatilove.com

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  15. You are so right when you say that every stage has it's challenges. Love having more experienced moms, like you to look on.

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  16. I completely agree. I wish my Grandmas were around so I could ask them more questions.

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  17. Here's to hoping that's the result!

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  18. Live and learn, on both sides, that's for sure.

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  19. That would be hard...I didn't realize you had her so young! But I also admire the relationship you have with your kiddos!

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  20. Happy Mother's Day to you too!

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  21. YES! I can't handle it when my kids don't apologize or show remorse. That is exactly what we're dealing right now- currently crafting a post on exactly that...how we work through the learning. Give me a couple weeks and I'll have some concrete answers for you.

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  22. We are dealing with empathy and compassion so much right now. My kids are going to be so annoyed with me by the time I'm threw with them :)

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  23. I count them blessings every day!

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  24. Definitely enjoy it, despite the struggles!

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  25. There will be light in that tunnel.

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  26. The hugs and kisses are a nice bonus and the wine.

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  27. What a lovely post. I really like your idea of writing a letter of apology rather than grounding! We are trying to teach out toddler to be sympathetic and think about other's needs and not just his own - it's tricky as he's not even 2 yet, but just getting him involved and asking him what we should try when the baby is upset I hope will help him learn :) He's already good at giving people (mainly the baby!) hugs when they are upset to make them feel better! :)

    Away From The Blue Blog

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  28. Loved it. Especially the written letter. Zaeya has all the Park family emotions so I know as she gets older we will have to find ways to help her understand what she is feeling but also find ways that are appropriate outlets for those emotions. Thanks for sharing what you have learned so far as a Mama. Also going to look into that planner I could use a new one.

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  29. You're a good mommy and what happened with Willis is exactly how to parent well.

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  30. I love how you are raising/handle disciplining your kiddies - good job mom!! :)

    Erica
    http://pumpsandpushups.com/the-busy-moms-guide-to-being-present-in-the-moment/

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  31. 2 is such a hard age but persevere, he will get the message!

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  32. bhahaah- Park emotions??!! What Park emotions....I like it.

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  33. getting email updates is throwing my commenting off. I read the email, comment in my head, and forget to come and ACTUALLY comment.
    You already know I think you're an AMAZING momma and there have already been times where you've helped me as a mom or where I've looked up to you. Your children AND Dan are so very lucky to have such a strong, beautiful and organized lady in their lives who loves them as much as you so obviously do.

    Simply Shaunacey

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  34. I love your overall goal for your children and I have to admit we use the kids currency, tablet/TV time, as a method of getting them to pause and listen. Not my proudest moment but your words ring true and made ME pause and think. I don't want the loss of TV time to become the focus of the lesson, but rather for them to reflect on why they choose to make the decisions they made in the first place. Logan and I will have to think this through together and make some conscious changes. Love this post.

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  35. Yes, I absolutely agree to every word! I love that you are trying to teach your children to be good without rewards or punishments is so important and will really carry them through life successfully.

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  36. What a great lesson you taught W! Parenting can take such creativity! Timothy's home-grown graduation is today and I know I'm going to be a blubbering mess. He's such a great kid and I will miss his affection next year!
    ~Sheila

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