I’ve always wondered, knowing what I know now, what advice would I offer to me as a young mom? As we celebrate Mother’s Day, I thought it might be an appropriate time to write some advice to myself as a younger mom – and just maybe there’s a young mom out there who could benefit:
Your 4-year-old son will not automatically become a convict because he pulled another little boy out of the Cozy Coupe in the nursery at church, or because he said he wanted to shoot baby Jesus in Sunday School five days after his younger sister was born and he was having to share his parents at Christmas.
Quit fretting about your dirty, overcrowded bathroom; it will not always be filled with baby shampoo and bathtub toys, and you will not always have to worry about what that wet spot was that you just stepped in.
You aren’t a bad mom because your 7-year-old got in a fight in the Playland at McDonald’s and you had to leave to avoid the embarrassment in front of the other perfect moms. This is only the first of many.
And remember, the other moms aren’t nearly as perfect as they want to appear on social media. They are all as insecure with motherhood as you are – they are just too fearful to admit it. Give them a wink of reassurance when you see them in Sam’s Club with an unruly mob; they need it.
Don’t pay any attention to those moms who tell you they are losing their baby fat at the rate of five pounds a week just by simply taking the stairs at work. They are taking a pill, I guarantee you.
And don’t believe those moms who say their 1-year-old is potty-trained, their 2-year-old is reading at a fifth-grade level and their eighth-grader is being scouted by John Calipari. The chances are slim to none.
When your son says he hates you, there’s something out of whack in his life and he really loves you and needs you to figure it out with him.
When your son says he loves you, write it down, savor it and remember it when you’re sifting through the crevices of his room only to find moldy dishes, socks filled with pine shavings from three years ago and 27 hats he won’t part with because they are his “favorite.”
When you see your son hold a girl’s hand for the first time, it will feel like you’ve been punched in the gut. Be prepared. The only thing that rival’s this pain is your son’s first broken heart – that will break your heart into a million pieces.
The charm of your sons will never wear off, and the understanding and grace extended by your daughter will astound you.
You will know and clearly see every genuine and manipulative thought and emotion of your daughter. This is both a curse and a blessing, because she knows yours too.
You will never regret reading to your children. Ever.
You will never regret answering the million questions they ask.
You will never regret the time spent watching, applauding and supporting them even though it meant hustling to a game after a full day of work and cooking dinner at 9:30 at night.
Above all, love your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength. And love their dad like he is the only person on Earth left to love. Extend to him the grace you have enjoyed, and then choose to love him some more.
Happy Mother’s Day!
The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of Farm World. Readers with questions or comments for Melissa Hart may write to her in care of this publication.