I was surprised when my daughter asked if I wanted to be present at the birth of her first child. I told her yes,, of course. I did not want to presume.
She’s her own woman now. Times and customs of birth have changed in recent years.
Yet, I would like to tell her this:
Be like Mary & ponder these things in your heart.
Take time to write about the details of this child’s birth. All children seem to enjoy stories surrounding their own birth.
Yet, there are things for you as mom to hold on to also. The look on the father’s face as he holds his child. Silly or strange things the nurses say. The joke the doctor tells right as he asks you to push. The range of emotions that flow one after another.
Ponder the miracle of this new life. Think over the new calling on your life. Hold these things in your heart. It will get you through the teen years.
Trust your instincts
Everybody and their second cousin will offer advice. Each book you pick up suggests different methods to raise a heathy, happy child. Trying to follow all this is confusing and laced with poisonous guilt trips.
Trust that you know what is best for this child. Compare suggestions and choose what rings true in your heart. You will do fine.
Enjoy the good stuff & let the rest go.
Your child is a gift, a unique individual that will take a lifetime to get to know.
Take time to be grateful. When the sleepless nights occur, try to concentrate on the smiles of yesterday and the first steps coming up.
May you never have to hold your crying child in the backseat while your spouse drives to the emergency room. But if you do, pay attention to the trust in your child’s eyes mixed with the fear.
Write in your cookbooks or take a picture when you make cookies together. Write down the changes to the recipe and the delightful thing your child says. Store it up for the time when conversation is brief or non-existent.
Learn from your child & keep growing yourself
Children are amazing learning creatures. Everything about life is new to them and they soak up learning like parched earth needs the rain. Learn along with them.
Delight in the shape of clouds in the sky. Take time to smell the dandelions before you curse what they are doing to your lawn. Make mud pies and sit awkwardly at tea parties with dolls. Listen to the multiple ways your child connects new things.
As they grow, you will learn new words or additional definitions to words you thought you knew. Ask curiosity questions to get to know their world, especially in teen and young adult years. Their music and tastes in art and entertainment can open up wonderful experiences.
Try to withhold judgment. I know this is very hard to do, but when I managed it, relationships with my children grew.
Always listen to your mother
I can see you rolling your eyes as I type these words. That means you’re still paying attention even while being annoyed with me. That’s okay..
I didn’t listen to my own mother either. She wanted me to stay in the hospital longer, worried that breast milk wasn’t giving enough nutrition, and fussed about me taking the baby out in cold weather.
You can be sure that when I feel cold, I will think your child needs more clothing. I’ll ask stupid questions about when you’ll introduce solid foods.
Please listen politely and do whatever you think is best.
Did your mother pass on wisdom before your first child was born? Did you accept or reject the advise? What words would you pass on to a new mother?
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