5 Things You Probably Didn’t Understand until You Became a Mom

BY: - 8 May '14 | Parenting

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I honestly can’t imagine my life without my babies. I remember years ago (probably when I was still in high school) a good friend of mine asked me what would be three wishes I would want to happen if I was only given a year left to live. And although it sounds selfish, I knew back then just how deep my desire was to be a mother, and having a child was at the top of my list. And there are just some things you can be told until you’re blue in your face, but you will never understand until you become a mom.

Here are a just a few things I’ve learned:

Motherhood is a gift not to be taken for granted.

I know so many women who have either suffered multiple miscarriages or have not been blessed with the ability to have children of their own. Although my first pregnancy ended in miscarriage, I was very blessed to have been able to get pregnant easily and bring three healthy and beautiful children into the world. Unfortunately, everyone doesn’t get to receive the same blessing. So never for one minute do I take my children for granted because I know they are a gift that have been entrusted to me.

Sometimes you will cry for no reason.

Honestly, I did this before I became a mom. So motherhood brought it to a new level. As a mom, there’s not a lot of time to be tired, sick, frustrated, hurt, angry or anything else. We have to bounce back quicker than anyone else because this job doesn’t give us sick leave or vacation. Sometimes it’s just the overwhelming joy of being a mother, and sometimes it’s the fear of being a mother that brings the tears (the world is not what it was when we were growing up). And a lot of times, you’ll cry when you see other people’s children being hurt or mistreated because you couldn’t imagine that happening to your own child. But it’s okay because we were given these tears to used as needed. So I use mine on demand.

Motherhood makes you tough.

Before I became a mom, I was definitely a “softie” in some ways (hence the crying for no reason), always wanting to “keep the peace”. But when I became a mom, I definitely grew a level of tough skin I didn’t know was possible. There is nothing that I will hold my tongue about when it comes to my children. I may shed tears for no reason at times, but mess with my kids and it’s on and poppin’. But I’ve also realized that motherhood has propelled me to do the things that I fear because I want to set a good example for my kids.

Time is more precious than you thought.

All the money and time in the world could never replace the bond a mother has with her children. The saying “time flies” is so cliché, but so accurate when describing motherhood in general. I was just looking at photos from my first baby shower and remember every bit of it, and now my son is almost seven. My four-year-old has such a beautiful spirit and makes me laugh hysterically, and my two-year-old is having full conversations. I’m blown away every day by these little people and sometimes I wish I could just pause the time, press rewind and watch it all over again like a TV show.

Motherhood shines a new light on being “grateful for the little things”.

Evening prayer time with my little ones is always my favorite part of the day. Every night, my kids remind me of how blessed we truly are and how much we may take for granted without even realizing it. We take turns sharing what we’re thankful for that day and my two-year-old usually takes the longest. She thanks God for everything from the carpets, lights, bathrooms, dresses, shoes, her toothbrush and everything in between. Trust me, she doesn’t leave anything out. It’s a great reminder to me for all the things that I have to be grateful for.

This Mother’s Day, I couldn’t be more grateful to be celebrating with three of the most amazing children. And I wish the very best to all moms (biological or not.)

BMWK: What other things didn’t you know or understand until you became a mom?

About the author

Christine St. Vil wrote 153 articles on this blog.

Christine St.Vil is co-author of the Whose Shoes Are Your Wearing: 12 Steps to Uncovering the Woman You Really Want to Be. A happy wife to an amazing hubby of 8 years, and homeschooling mother of three, she teaches moms how to FLY (First Love Yourself). She uses her corporate background to work with women who are ready to start a new business, accelerate their career growth & design a life they love. She's on a mission to help moms to battle the mom guilt epidemic, so they can begin to put themselves first on their never-ending list of priorities.

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My Co-Parenting Journey; Raising a Son When Dad Isn’t There

BY: - 13 May '14 | Parenting

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I am a divorcee and my son lives with me. Thankfully, Dad has been very involved in raising him over the years. I shared some of our marital journey and ultimately the end of our marriage my first book “It’s My Life and I Live Here: One Woman’s Story“. Our son is now a pre-teen, and so the challenges have become more interesting.

What has reassured me is the fact that I know that one day, this season of parenting will come to an end. Children do grow up and become adults. I am also thankful that even with tumultuous moments, my son knows that I love him dearly and want nothing but the best for him.

So how do I handle the challenge of raising a boy when Dad does not live with us?

1. We communicate regularly. We stay in contact mainly via text messaging – thank God for technology! If there is an emergency, or if I need to fill him in quickly on something that is happening with our son, a quick text will keep him abreast. He usually responds quickly. If he doesn’t, I know he will when possible. If it warrants a phone call, I will call, or he will call.

2. We share similar parenting values. We agree on most things regarding our son. He is very bright, and tends to do what many children do, where they attempt to turn one parent against another or go to the other parent to get their way. We stopped that very early as we realized that raising him well in two households meant we needed to become one solid force. The message is the same from house to house. What I say is reinforced (even more!) when he is not with me.

3. We attend meetings in person or virtually on behalf of our son. The school knows Dad. Teachers have met him and know his thoughts on his son’s performance in school. When he is unable to attend meetings in person, we dial him in to participate. These actions send a clear message that our son has two very active parents in his life who love him and want what is best for him.

4. We take him to church. Our son knows when he is with either parent he will be in church. He is loved everywhere he goes, so he is always missed when he is in another location. I think that is one of the good things about 2 households. There are more people to love you!

5. We reinforce respect for the other parent. We never speak in a derogatory manner about each other to our son. He is reprimanded by either of us if he says anything about the other parent that is not appropriate, and his father reinforces the fact that he needs to help me as the “man of the house”. He has been teaching him some of what that looks like (such as helping to take out garbage, or helping to shovel snow, etc.).

I am very thankful for the way that our co-parenting story has evolved for us. I know that everyone does not share this story, but this has not been an easy journey. Prayer, patience, healing and forgiveness turned an ugly and bitter situation into something that is working well.

Do you have any co-parenting stories you would like to share with BMWK?

About the author

Michelle Cameron wrote 24 articles on this blog.

Michelle Cameron is an avid writer since the age of 15 and released her first book, “It’s My Life and I Live Here: One Woman’s Story” in 2011. Her second book, "I'm Single. Now What? 13 Steps on How to Live Single and Free" was released on September 12, 2014. As a former Toastmaster, Michelle is honing the art of public speaking to inspire and uplift men and women. She is a licensed minister and leads the Singles Ministry at Cathedral International in Perth Amboy, New Jersey. Michelle is the mother of one son.

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