DEAREST NEW MAMAS, you are holding a miracle in your hands! While the laundry piles up, you feel less than beautiful, and the house comes undone at the seams…you are still holding a miracle in your hands. The time with this littlest one will go fast. I’m sure you’ve read some beautiful sentiments about taking it easy, enjoying the moment and not rushing through this season. I agree completely. Can I share with you a few tips from a longer-term perspective from a Mama who’s been where you are a few times?
Eat real meals, together. If I were to write a book for moms, it would have a chapter titled “What We Learn Around the Table!” It is remarkable how many things are naturally learned around the dinner table. Things like proper manners, serving each other, listening (or in the case of a large family, talking louder!), sharing, laughter and wonderful family jokes, great food choices, appreciation, proper cutlery skills and so much more. People stop us frequently in restaurants to compliment our kids on their excellent table manners when we are out. The kids all try new things, and are adventurous in their tastes. Increase your expectations for what meal times can be. Aim to be consistent and sit down together. Eat real food. Talk.
Live Naturally. With my first baby, I was on antibiotics during labour, and later with mastitis a few times. I had no idea about the strain that was on my body. I never knew about the importance of probiotics and taking care of my gut following antibiotics. This contributed to my postpartum depression. We have since adopted a much more natural lifestyle which cares more carefully for all of our bodies. We clean naturally with essential oils and household items (vinegar & baking soda!!!), we use a natural shampoo and other body care products. And we use essential oils to support our health. I’m so excited to teach the kids the value of plants and their uses in our lives! It’s been a beautiful journey, and we are far healthier and happier for it. I love the legacy I’m leaving for my family. I currently work teaching other Moms about the value of natural health care and natural homes. If you’re interested in more info you can find me here and I can share with you some fabulous resources for natural homes! I wish I had learned about this earlier, let me share my journey!
Teach your children as you go about life. YOU ARE already doing this, so pat yourself on the back! Mothering takes time, it takes conversations and listening. It takes creativity. Be one step ahead of your kids and spark their learning and interests. Listen to your heart’s leading. YOU know your kids the best! Does the baby light up at your Mommy & Me baby class when the drums come out? Then pull out the pots and pans and spoons and make a joyful noise while you cook dinner! Does your child like to pretend to cook? Why not fill the sink with soapy bubbles and let them mix and pour in the kitchen with you! Is your toddler into throwing things…why not go to the beach and throw stones into the water! Think about the development stage they are in, and creatively problem-solve ways to nurture that interest in them. You’ve got what it takes mama!
Choose confidence. As our family grew, I found my confidence grew. That first baby though – yikes! It can really do something for the insecure! I remember looking everywhere thinking I was making a disaster of this new baby! Then along came baby number two, and I realized I could grow a baby to a toddler of almost 2 years reasonably well…and, so grew my confidence. With each child, I’ve seen a relaxing in my heart and mind. These days, I am choosing to rejoice in the culture that is unique to our home. Instead of comparing, I desire to pursue more of the habits, memories and special things that make our family a wonderful place to grow up in. You can also! Your family is a wonderful place – so own it! Create a culture that you love to live in! An added benefit to owning your confidence is that you will teach your kids to be confident in who they are. I really think small children are like bears…they smell fear! And, if you’re not feeling very confident, remember YOU are holding a miracle in your hands. You were a part of that miracle (in whatever form this child has come to you!). So please Mama, hold your head high. You are the best Mama for this child, and this child needs you to know that – so they too, can grow up and be confident.