Monday, May 20, 2013

7 Things My Daughter Taught Me

Celebrating another Mother's Day a week ago reminded me again of the precious gift I've been given...the gift of motherhood!!! The past 20 months as a mommy have taught me so much, but I have no doubt that I will learn far more in the next 20 years! As I thought about this journey, there are 7 things in particular that I am learning as a mother.

1. Live in the Moment.  There's always a list of things that need to be done, projects I want to complete and places I need to go, but Hadassah will only be little once! I try to remind myself of that when she wants me to read her a story or take her to see the horses. This moment will pass; be all there!!

2. Encourage Learning. My mom was an excellent teacher, and did such a good job of allowing us children to work alongside her, washing dishes and hanging up clothes on a short little line. Hadassah is such a good worker {at this stage!} and loves to "help" clean. When I wash dishes, she wants to be right beside me, and makes such a mess!! It's rather frustrating and sometimes I wish she'd just play, but she is learning in spite of the messes she makes!

3. Be Consistent. This one has honestly been so hard for me! When Hadassah is misbehaving and needs some discipline, but I'm too busy {or just don't feel like dealing with the storm that follows} it's easy to just ignore the situation. But I've been challenged that the patterns I establish now will be much harder to break in the future.  That has motivated me like nothing else!  

4. Praise frequently. Since words of affirmation are one of my love languages, this probably comes more easily for me! Regardless, I believe it is important to recognize and praise your child for their achievements. There is nothing quite like a positive word to motivate good habits.

5. Trust your instincts. As a newbie in this role, it's easy to second-guess myself...whether it's determining how soon to wean her from her bottle, how long to let her cry or knowing when to discipline. I so much appreciate getting advice from other moms, but sometimes you just have to trust your intuition. No one else knows your child like you do!

6. Accept help. Moment of confession: this is NOT easy for me to do! I mean, I should be able to do this on my own, right?! Yes, it's my job and most days I can and should be in charge of my child, but there are times we all need a break! If a friend or family member offers to give you one, take it. {I shall do my best to remember this when #2 joins the family! ha}

7. Pray daily. There have been so many moments when I seriously had no clue what to do next as a mom, and I just cried out to God for wisdom. And I can say that He's been faithful in giving it! I hear parents say that it will only get more difficult as they grow older, so why not get in the habit of depending on Him now?!

So there you have it: my top 7! But I know there are far more you might add: what are you learning/have you learned as a parent? I'd love to hear!!