Some bad news, there is no school for motherhood. Some good news, you have built in mentors in your mother and mother-in-love (mother-in-law) Learn from these amazing women. They have been waiting years to help with this!
Trust your own instincts. What other moms do with their kids is their business. You know your kids best.
Embrace night-time feedings and colic. This is God’s way of giving you the opportunity to bond without interruptions.
It is hard to be patient with stubborn toddlers. Don’t have guilt over making a few mistakes. If you need a break, call grandma. Let both your toddler and grandma know they are loved.
Let them have a dog.
Hours in the car are a golden opportunity to get to know your children. If you listen closely, you might find out what’s really going on in their heads.
Insist that they do homework in a central location….. like the kitchen table.
Family recipes are sacred. Don’t mess with tradition. Stay away from the temptation to follow trendy food rules (low fat turned out to be a myth). Set an example to enjoy food in moderation and don’t make a big deal out of eating a lot or a little.
Encourage your kids to cook with you – your patience will pay off. I know, sometimes you just want to get dinner on the table quickly and cleaned up easily. Your future adult children, yes both the boys and girls, all have amazing cooking skills and they love using them to entertain.
Your family dinner hour priority is spot on. Stay with it. Tell family stories about your childhood and their grandparents’ childhoods. Family history is best passed on in these ways. Keep offering good food in variety and let them help. Don’t stress about ordering take out food – especially if it means you can eat together.
Take them on family dates to formal restaurants. Teach them by example how to enjoy dinning in a slow relaxed manner.
Let them taste the wine.
They still remember the first time they ate crab claws and drank cocktails (Shirley Temples) in a formal restaurant.
Keep calling a babysitter and going on dates with your husband. Even a coffee date can do wonders for your relationship and the kids will sense your happiness.
Your bedtime reading routine is special and the fact that you are keeping it up through the middle school years is really cool. They secretly love it (but will never admit it).
They are going talk about that kitchen chalkboard chore chart fondly when they are adults! They clearly despise those chores right now, but don’t worry.
Teach them to clean with you while playing your favorite music LOUD. Oldest son will enjoy Andrew Lloyd Webber in when he is in grad school.
When you lose your patience, you are not a bad mother. It is ok. Be honest and tell them your patience is running low. They need to know that they need limits and that your patience has limits too.
Stay up late with your teenagers and watch their favorite movies.
I love how you have shown them that their Dad will always be your boyfriend and your number one favorite person in the world. They are absorbing all your philosophies.
You will not always have the ideal ‘TV show’ family relationship. That’s ok.
You will get past potty training and soon enough you will be teaching them how to drive. Slow down and find some good in every day, then talk about it at dinner.
They are going to move away.
You are going to miss them terribly.
your future self