Time passes faster than I realize. It seems like just yesterday that Sam was my little sickly RSV baby who we had in and out of the hospital so many times. Fast forward 18 years and he is still so fun and fiery. I look back and wondered, "What happened? Where did time go?" When you get busy in the trenches of motherhood there does not seem to be much time for reflection because there is so much to do. Now that I look back, I have a couple of pointers for other moms.
1. Be present! So many moments in my motherhood were spent wishing for tomorrow and a time when I could be by myself. I wish that I had taken more time to be in the moment and enjoy it more. This is a rare opportunity that I will never have again. I need to keep that thought in the front of my mind so that I can maximize memories and minimize regrets.
2. Laugh more! I worried that if I was not the hard nosed mom, then things would get crazy or people would think I was a bad mother. The truth is that motherhood is crazy no matter what you do. It is a very fly by the seat of your pants thing. Laugh when things fall apart. Laugh when you could cry. Laugh when it seems so crazy. Not only is it good for you (releases great hormones in your body), but it really can help change the situation. Plus, it is a great example to your kids.
3. Be flexible! The mother who is rigid will break. A flexible mom is happier and healthier. Your family is always changing and growing. We need to adapt with that. Right when I think I have it all figured out, my kid changes and I am starting from ground zero again. Give yourself permission to be flexible and change as your family changes moment by moment.
4. Hug them more! I spent time running so hard, that I stopped taking time to hold them and rock them. I love when my old mom rocks me and I am a grownup. You might ask, "Even teenagers?" I say, "Yes, especially teenagers!" Not only is the rocking motion very beneficial and soothing, but the close contact can help you connect. When a baby is born, we encourage the mom to put the baby skin to skin. When mom and baby are close like that, the mom can regulate the baby's heart rate, temp, and blood pressure. Another interesting fact is the dad can only help regulate the temperature when he is skin to skin with baby. I propose that the same effect happens all their life when mom pulls her kids close. It grounds them and lets them know they are safe and loved. Keep hugging them their whole life. That memory will last forever.
I know that I tried the best that I could as a mom. You are doing a great job as well. I hope that some of my reflections will help you enjoy your time as a mom as well.