Dear younger mom self…
Recently, I asked a group of moms, “What would tell your younger mom self ?” This was left to the interpretation of the woman writing the response. This article is a compilation of responses from these wonderful women.
I would tell myself to not put too much pressure on myself to do everything perfect because they will love me no matter what! Relax a little more and don’t stress the small stuff!
Listen Up Younger Mom Self
- I would tell my younger mom self…..1. Don’t be so worried about everything being perfect. 2. Just spend all the time you can with your kids and love them and hug them and squeeze them tight. Always tell them you love them. (I did all of this ). And I am so glad I did. My boys knew I loved them and would do anything for them.
- The first thing I would tell my younger self is don’t sweat the small stuff. The little things that you feel are so important actually aren’t and are the things you won’t remember anyway. If the milk gets spilled in the middle of dinner while the baby is crying, who cares! Just clean it up, turn off dinner and order a pizza while rocking the baby! The second thing would be enjoy all the moments you can even if they don’t go as planned. Don’t waste time planning and waiting for those plans to happen. Just go with the flow and enjoy things as they happen. Planning is good but it’s not everything. I’ve wasted time upset when things didn’t go as I planned and when I look back, I wasted fun moments. Time is fleeting and should be enjoyed!
I hope this helps. I enjoy reading your blog and look forward to this topic! I hope it helps someone somewhere! Enjoy your evening!
- Ask for help and accept it! Don’t feel guilty about a little “me” time every now and then. It doesn’t make you a bad mom….it makes you a better mom.
Freezer meals for the crock pot = not having to come up with a grocery list, no prep time, and little to clean up. Winning!! Just enjoy your baby…every minute, everyday.
- Probably the first thing I would tell my younger mom self is to take a deep breathe and remember I can handle it. When a temper tantrum happens, it’s not personal and what that child needs is my understanding that life is hard when you can’t say say what’s wrong, you just need momma or daddy to fix it and hug you anyway. Most importantly, I would tell my young mommy self not sweat the small stuff. It’s ok if your kid eats dirt, or their clothes don’t match. Just enjoy the mess of parenthood. It’s fun and it’s funny. As parents we have to cheer each other on in the mess and not judge or criticize, because tomorrow it will be your kid that takes a tumble in the mud just before church, or knocks out a neighbor’s window, or gets a tattoo when she’s 18 against your wishes. Regardless, never, never put them to bed without telling them you love them, even when you want to strangle them.
- I would tell, my younger mom self that I didn’t need to try so hard to be perfect. It is not about making Bento box themed lunches, complete with roses, or coming up with the fanciest costumes. It is not about Pinterest perfect birthday parties, or perfectly matched hair bows. It is about spending time with my kids, letting them know that they are loved, and THAT is what makes me the perfect mom- to them! I would also tell my younger mom self not to compete with other moms. Don’t worry if your child isn’t walking at eleven months, or signing at six months. It shouldn’t matter if you are bottle feeding, or co-sleeping. Doing what is best for your family, and realizing that your child is unique and special, that is enough!
- Okay, so I have always thought of myself as being the mom that would make all the baby food homemade and I would limit the sugar and candy they get. Now I say, “let it go” fighting with my toddler or infant about finishing food or eating certain things isn’t worth it. Eventually, they will become curious and try new things. As long as they are healthy and growing, I am at peace with what they eat.
- The other advice I would give is to cherish every still moment they are in your arms and sound asleep. Study those cute little ears, fingers, and cheeks because they change so quickly.
- While they sleep I like to whisper little secrets in their ears and pray over them at that time. It makes me feel like they will grow to know God and accept Jesus into their heart even before they can speak and pray themselves. Journal every moment that seems priceless.
Dear Younger Mom Self
- Be more patient. They are little and get distracted very easily. Sometimes they don’t move as fast as you would like 1 because they have tiny legs and they honestly stop and notice the smaller things in life. Whether it’s the bug crawling on the door or how the air smells like rain or orange blossoms. You see he can’t simply walk and smell he has to stop to smell the air 😊
- For sure, the laundry can wait, dishes, phone calls, sending pictures and updates to everyone. Hold that baby as much as you want and rock. It seems there are just too many things on what we “need” to be a good mom and we don’t! I should have relaxed a little more and not worried how my house looked as much when people came over. Asked for more help when I had the twins and actually held people to it. Enjoyed and written down the little things so I could remember. I never expected to have three children that are so insanely different, but it’s OK. When I usde to look at moms and think to myself oh my kids won’t ever do that. Lol, well they do and worse. One thing I have definitely learned from them being so different is to take note/notice of the small beautiful things like the birds flying, cloud watching and stars at night. I needed to then and still now just lay with them and watch the clouds go by, give time to listen and just take in the moments. Everyone says it flies by too fast but like everyone you never listen till your in it.
- Organized kids sports, art lessons, amped up birthday parties, play dates, etc., etc. will come and go. What your children will remember most is that you prayed with them, ate dinner as a family, read bedtime stories, and kissed them good night. Those are the most important things to make time for.
- Never stop taking pictures even when your kids get older. They grow up too fast. Write a diary of your children’s lives and their stories as they grow. I remember things now that happened years ago and I share with my kids. They are like I never heard that before. The memories are endless with tears and laughter of the things they have done. Never clean the crayon markings off the walls. Mark your kids growing marks on a wall.
- I know you love your children more than you ever thought possible, but don’t forget about your spouse. And trust me, it’s an easy thing to do. Make you and your husband a priority! Not only is it important for your marriage, but it’s important for your children to see. Happy marriages are a minority…your boys need to see what that looks like. And just because kids have come along doesn’t mean your marriage still doesn’t take work. It does! Don’t be afraid to “neglect” the boys so that you can work on your marriage.
- Just let them sleep in your bed. There will come a time, very soon, where they aren’t going to want you to hold them. They aren’t going to want to sleep in your bed. They won’t want you to brush their hair. No, you won’t sleep much and yes, they get heavy and no you won’t have time to brush your own hair AND theirs…..but enjoy it while you can! They won’t go to college sleeping with you. As Trace Adkins song says, “Your gonna miss this….”
- Spend more time playing and less time worrying about what my house looks like. You can’t get that lost time back. I would spend every second possible doing things he wanted to do and not as much time doing the things I thought at the time were necessary. You can’t tell your child how much you love and appreciate them too often. They can never hear it too much😊
- Your kids will always come first but remember to take a little bit of time for yourself. You’ll be less cranky. 2. Anytime you have an extra $5 bill or even $1 bill, put it aside. At the end of the year, treat your kids to a special day to make memories.
- Grant yourself grace. I worried so much that I was not doing everything as well as I could, from buying the right baby toys (her current favorite is an empty water bottle) to buying the non-organic food on sale (she didn’t die or immediately break out in a rash, lol). However, I came to realize that as long as I’m doing the best I can as a mom, it is enough. She knows I love her. Seriously, you can’t leave them on a bed. Scariest moment of my life-the first time she rolled it was right off the bed approximately 30 seconds after I set her down to pee. Also, it happens all the time according to the nice nurse who soothed me when I called in hysterics.
- RELAX and be IN the moment with my children. As a young mother, I was so wrapped up in being super woman that I missed those moments that mattered at the end of the day…like playing dolls and dancing in the rain. Next, I would share how important it is to not sweat the small stuff. At the end of the day is the really going to end of their room is messy? **is the world going to end over a messy room or mismatched outfit!
- Pray and do what’s best for your child and family. You’ll be bombarded with parenting advice and opinions about decisions you make, but in the end it’s all about doing what glorifies God. It’s hard to enjoy feeding a baby every 2-3 hours when you are sleep deprived, but someday you’ll miss those snuggles when they start to sleep through the night. Savor those little moments!
- One thing I would tell my younger mom self is that you were right to not sweat the small stuff, despite how others tried to make you feel. You were right not to camp out in front of the preschool director’s office the night before registration just to ensure a place for the girls at the most “popular” preschool. Your time was much better spent sharing in bath time, stories, and bedtime snuggles that evening. The girls turned out just fine going to the smaller preschool around the corner. Another thing…take more pictures of the second child. Sibling pictures are adorable, but there will be times when you will want a picture of kid number 2 without kid number 1’s mug in the shot too.
- Slow down and enjoy the simple things in life, like playing outside, riding bikes, and playing dolls. It’s okay to put Mommy first. Take time to go out with the girls, go for walk, etc.
Quick Read List For The Younger Mom Self
- Make as many memories as possible, put down the phone while the kids are awake and make them the center of your world.
- Listen to Godly counsel.
- Make sure to write down all the little things they say and do. Take lots of pictures – don’t forget to write the date and age.
- Slow down and enjoy every moment. The simple days of blowing bubbles, pushing a swing, and riding bikes go by way too fast.
- Don’t stress the little things….
- Tell them you love them and kiss them everyday….
- You are not wonder woman and cannot do it all. Let your husband know what he needs to be responsible for. Divide and conquer.
- Labor and delivery is not like The Baby Story on TLC.
- Take a step back. Count to ten. Remember they are still learning.
- Write more down. It’s worth the time and energy. You think you’ll never forget, but you do. So much happens!
- Let go and to trust that all will be as it should be. Embrace the hectic and crazy days as the new normal! ..lighten up…don’t rush the joy that is childhood
- Devote energy to creating positive experiences and happy memories. Time passes quickly, so cherish every moment.
- Life is too short to stress about the lack of things I do not have.
- Work HARD, but Play HARDER!
- Love your baby with all your heart, mind and soul. Listen to your baby with an open heart and mind. Last but not least share Gods love to them always.
- Spend every moment you can with her!
- Respect her and love her.
Thank you to everyone who shared their thoughts.
If you enjoyed this post, check out I Am Humbled by Dena at http://laurasjourneyofhope.com/2016/05/04/iamhumbled/
What would you tell your younger self? I would love to hear from you.