Monday, March 19, 2012

What my sister knows about being a mom...

Recently, I shared a reflection my brother had on his time with my littles. 
So I thought it was only fair to share something my sister has written lately.
She blogs, more of a family and friends blog. 
So I am not comfortable linking directly to it from here.
However, she did give me permission to share her latest post here.
I LOVE when she blogs and I know she is a busy mama of two right now and doesn't have as much time as she would like for the hobby. 
But when she does blog. 
It makes me smile.

This post had sooooo many wise thoughts.  Do enjoy.

This is written by my sister Raina.

Things I've learned.....Things that are important to remember as a mom...

1.  Spend more/Spend LessSpend less time with electronics.  The kids know. They just do. Texting, calling, face timing, internet browsing, watching the news, checking the weather, perusing Facebook or reading blogs-they know.  And they act up.  They want the attention.  Spend less time in the candy aisle at the grocery store around holiday time (Valentines day and Easter candy is so yummy).  The festive candy will get you-every-single-time.  Spend more time on the floor.  Get involved with the toys that you want your child to play with and then slowly remove yourself.  Don't tell them to pull out the trains.  Pull them out yourself.  "Play" with them the best you can, remind them that you played and even some have recommended setting a timer to show them you spent 20 minutes playing with them.  Spend more time in the shower.  When you're a new mom, the silence, and quiet of a shower is bliss.  If you have an extra 5 minutes-take it.  Right there in the shower-take it and love it.  I do every time I can.
2.  Eliminate:  Take away choices for a 2.5 year old.  I find that if I offer Eli 3-5  different things for lunch it doesn't work.  If I give him 2 choices, I might (MIGHT) be successful.  But if I just make his lunch and sit him in front of it-I can't fail.  Also if I ask Eli if he wants to do something he'll almost always say no.  No matter what-he'll say no, and then he'll change his mind.  Eliminate that option. 
3.  Plan:   Plan ahead.  Plan activities if you are a do-it-with-your-child type of person.  Plan ahead if you are trying to get out the door at a certain time.  Plan your meals during the weekend and make your shopping list.  Make the meal ahead if you can.  But plan if you can.  Fly with it other times.

4.  Share and AcceptShare what is going on with you and your "littles" with other moms.  Describe your situation.  Maybe just venting will help relieve your stress.  Accept the advice given to you by other mom's.  Even if it's something you've tried before-listen.  All good moms are striving to make things work and hearing what works for other moms can be frustrating when it's all things that you have tried-and may or may not have worked.  Oh-and try things again.  Don't swear off something because it didn't work the 1st or even 2nd time.

5.  ServeServe fruits and vegetables.  Offer variety, different styles of preparation and frequently.  These foods are important to your child's health and can prevent diseases.   Don't let your children "run" the dinner table-serve what is healthy and they will eat when they are hungry. 

6. Dream:    Dream of a vacation in years to come.  I hope to spend a few days away in a few years with just Andy.  We will have to have someone we can trust come watch the kiddos and if you didn't see this-check it out.  I need to reserve my bro to come and hang out with the boys-he has a lot of ideas. 

7. SurrenderSurrender to waking time.  This one is hard for me and I have to repeat it in my head for the first 15 minutes in the morning.  Something to remember-one can NOT control what time his/her child wakes.  You can play around with bed time and naps, but you cannot control what time your kiddos will wake up.  They wake-they do!  And usually it's when they want and not when you want.  I realized, it was sort of my ah-ha moment-you cannot spend the first 2 hours of your day being angry or mad or holding a grudge about wake up time.  Surrender to the time and start your day.  Do what you have to in order to move on from being angry that it is an hour before you planned (desired).

8.  Put on earrings and make up, or don't!  Everyone is different.  As a mom who is at home on maternity leave, when Andy comes home from work and I'm still in my pajamas with breast milk, spit up and baby poop dried all over me with no make up on...and then I ask him to take a picture of me so that I can be IN a picture-I just feel so unattractive.  Every picture is me smiling so fake/hard to look good but my hair is greasy and I'm wearing the same milk-stained shirt in every picture.  I feel better when I actually shower (see #1) and put myself together.  However, if it's 4 pm and I'm just finally getting my shower-then it's pointless to put on make up or earrings-instead I know to just put on a new, fresh pair of pajamas.
9.  Celebrate and keep expectations lowish every single day.  But my expectations for Eli to listen, behave, be or act a certain way is low (doesn't meant I am not still frustrated).  That way I don't get angry over something that is very, very, very minor in the whole scheme of life.  It is easy to get angry, explode or lose my cool over the little things.  I continue to remind myself that he is 2.5 years old and that is how he is acting.  He is not doing it to make me furious and he doesn't understand how irritated or upset I am.  No matter how I attempt to communicate my frustrations-he doesn't get it.  But! I will celebrate when he DOES listen the first time or remembers his manners. 

10.  Share: Just because you are the woman and you push that 5-10 lb baby out of you and then if (IF) you decide to take on the duty of breast feeding-does NOT mean that you are responsible for every fussy time or every waking hour at night.  I find that I feel guilty if Andy has to wake at night.  But there are things he can do on nights when the baby wakes more often, or is more fussy.  If you have a child who breast feeds or even bottle feeds very well-quick, efficient and goes back to sleep easily-then there may not be a reason to wake the dad.  But-if you have a baby who nurses or eats for a longer period of time, needs 1-2 diaper changes, needs to burp, needs to be swaddled, needs to be rocked-there may not be time for you to fall asleep and re-wake to do it all again.  The dad is a parent too-they can help.  They got away without gaining 20+ extra pounds, without giving up alcohol or restricting activity etc.  They didn't physically go through labor or deal with all the physical post-partum aspects.  They CAN help int he middle of the night without making you feel guilty. And I remind myself of this every time I ask Andy for any help. 

What have you learned? What are things you want ME to know?

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