Motherhood. It is a word that can bring lots of images and thoughts to mind. It is a beautiful experience and one that softens a women in a way nothing else can. The cry of a baby, so tugs at the mother’s heart that she must respond. The beauty is so real and raw, the stress and sacrifice also as consuming to a new mother. As a Teen Mom I really lacked patience. I was pretty selfish still, totally normal for a sixteen year old girl who’s only previous responsibilities failed in comparison to caring for a newborn. I also lacked parenting skills in general. We all have instinct as moms, it is a great thing. But the question I have to address is more about influence than instinct, more to do with lies than truth.
Why Do We As Moms Become Harsh and Impatient With Our Children? What Causes Us to Lose our Loving Nature and Become Annoyed With the Responsibility and Demands of Motherhood?
Now I know I am going to have to explain my way through this, but bear with me, I have a valid case. I was a short-tempered, stressed out Teen Mom. It was a common place occurrence in my younger parenting years. I actually developed this insane idea. I had a son and his father was never involved. I told myself I had to be both a stern disciplinary and a mother. If I did not raise my son harshly as a man would, I thought in my young ways, I would be failing him as a boy/man. It makes me shake my head just thinking about it, but this was the reality of an inexperienced mind. I know from my own situation that I was uneducated on parenting stragegies and outcomes. Most of my ideas had come from other people’s opinions which were also ignorant.
A child should be seen and not heard
A child should listen the first time they are Instructed to complete a task
If a child misbehaves, they must be punished
A child should have manners
A child should not run or be a nuisance in public
Certain places, like restaurants and movie theaters, should ban children because they are unwanted by adults trying to relax
There are so many false mindsets in society. I know that rules and discipline are important, but let’s call this training. Training a child is a lifelong commitment. It takes lots of love and endurance to see it through to adulthood. Let’s replace these former ideas with some truth.
We were all children at one time
Children are pure and innocent, unaware and in need of guidance
Children are sponges, soaking up everything new in a beautiful world
Ages 0-5 are the most influential years of a human being’s life
Children thrive in loving environments where they are respected and educated
I am all for a world of sweet, well-mannered children. To have well-behaved children, someone has to invest in them. Someone has to provide the skill sets needed to walk in obedience and respect. Children must be shown the way to go, not simply told. This takes time and hard work, which brings me to my next question:
Where do our expectations for our own parenting experiences come from?
Are we all caught up in images? Is it the fairy tale dream? Happy family, all dressed in coordinating outfits, smiling and healthy? (I love those kind of pics, don’t get me wrong) Do we only see the fun, the bliss and not the hours of hard work needed to be invested in parenting?
I couldn’t really prepare for the amount of hard work I was facing because I had no prior experience. Becoming a teen mom was scary for me. I was dealing with an internal war, one of survival. It was hard to focus on being a good mother, especially a single mom. I was in the dark, grasping for what I could to do my best. Of course I wanted to be a good parent for my son. Does anyone give birth and want to do wrong by their child? Young moms try to embrace your time with your child. Always yield to love, whenever you can. Know that discipline is something you teach your children only through a commitment and passion to see them succeed. Ignore the cold glances and criticism that tell you to toughen up on your little ones. Ignore the sarcasm you hear from other moms that tell you to be impatient with your child’s neediness and how burdensome it is.
I have done some research over the past ten years and have made a point to ask older women I come into contact with in the community, “What is your best piece of advice for a younger mom like me?” Hands down it is always the same answer,
“Enjoy your time with your children, it goes by too fast.”
Never once has a kind old lady who came to coo at one of my babies over the years said, “Hire a babysitter more” or “make sure you discipline them with punishments” or “Make sure you get enough you time”. It just doesn’t happen. They have all encouraged me to embrace motherhood, to give it my all, to ENJOY IT! Stay in love, you were made for this role teen mom. #PleasingAbba