Words of Wisdom for moms from moms!
I walked into my parent’s house recently and what I saw stopped me in my tracks…
There was my mother, lying on the couch, reading a book at 16h30 on a Saturday afternoon. I couldn’t help but stand and watch her. She looked so happy, normal and content. She had nothing else she needed to do or anywhere else she needed to be.
And slowly I realized, that one day, life WILL go back to normal. And I too will be able to someday lie on the couch and read a book without any interruption or feeling of guilt about all the other things I should be doing as a mother.
I then began to wonder…. what else does she know that I don’t? What parenting secret has she already discovered that I am still to learn? What mistakes has she made, that I am still to make?
The older generation of Mothers are all around us, yet we feel the need to never ask for help or pick their brain. I decided it was time….
I asked a group of mothers, who have all been through their parenting journey, the same 3 questions. These women are my family, my friends, my mentors. They come from completely different backgrounds, lived completely different lives and have all numbers of children. Their responses were eye opening, informative and well worth receiving.
I am so grateful for their honesty, their humility, their humour and their wisdom!
For us younger moms, the question now is….. will we listen??
What do you wish you had done differently?
I wish I had involved my children more in the daily chores around the house. I always felt bad about the amount of homework they had to complete, that I tended to never involve them as much as I probably should have. Now I understand the importance of ensuring children have a sound understanding of general house chores ~ Diane, mother of 2.
(This is my mother…. And I knew this would be her answer. Turns out I’m a much better Clamber teacher, than cook!)
I would have installed a greater sense of religion in my children from an early age. No matter your beliefs, these principles are taught at home first, also by example ~ Rose, mother of 4
I wish I could have been better informed so I could make better choices. I was very bound by routine and discipline, but I realise now that it was more to show others at I was a good mother, that I had control. Today I would just appreciate the moments, understand that each child is unique and different and parent in a manner that I loved and cared for ~ Trudy, mother of 4
I would have not worried so much and relaxed more. Not that I did this all the time… However, every moment is precious and remembering to enjoy all the little things that make motherhood so wonderfully rewarding is probably what I would keep reminding myself if I had to do it over again. Be present when you are with your children, really enjoy their company and allow yourself to have fun together ~ Liz, Mother of 2 and our Clamber Club Creator
I would have gone without the help of a domestic worker. I would have rather got my children involves with household chores and tasks. It would have taught them time management and how to cope better with everyday tasks. ~ Christine, Mother of 3
If I could have told myself then what I know now, I would have said – Stop! Just take a breath! You do not have to worry about every detail. Life is GOING to get easier. Lighten up, stop worrying and go put on some music and dance! ~ Linda, Mother of 2
I wish I had not raised my voice so often and said ‘No’ far less ~ Emily, Mother of 2
I wish I had simply Done More! Gone for more walks and visit more places. As moms it is rather daunting and overwhelming to venture out of the house, especially with smaller children, but honestly… be brave and just do it!! ~ Cathy, mother of 3
What are you glad you did in raising your kids?
I’m glad we ate every night around the table, as a family. It was often the only time we got to all be together, to touch base and check in! ~ Diane
I was very particular about their cleanliness, showing kindness to others and having good manners. Sure, they don’t always tick these boxes, but they do MOST of the time and it fills my heart with joy! ~ Rose
I am glad I could be a stay-at-home mom. We were not well off by any means, but having the time with them was more valuable than gold. ~ Trudy
I’m glad that we always sat at the table together for mealtimes, that we played board games, that we encouraged a healthy outdoor lifestyle and that we celebrated and still do, the small things in life.~ Liz
My kids were taught to persevere – complete what they have started and never give up; be responsible for your actions and the consequence that follows; treat others the way you want to be treated; always be a good and loyal friend. ~ Christine
I’m so glad I didn’t have computers and cellphones to constantly distract me. I actually got to LIVE IN THE MOMENT. I am so, so grateful for that. Mommies…. Put your phones down and be with your little ones – just think how much precious time you are wasting! ~ Linda
I am so glad I would randomly put music on and dance with my children. This would often evolve into games of hide-and-seek, laughing and playing – the BEST for building the relationships! ~ Emily
I am VERY glad that I read to all my children, and then taught them all to read and have a rich love for books. What a gift to open the world of books to them for life! ~ Cathy
What secret tip would you give the next generation of moms?
It all goes by so quickly…. Don’t forget to simply have fun and enjoy the ride! Model, don’t manipulate; lead them, don’t intimidate; support them, don’t shame; encourage them, don’t threaten; guide them, don’t punish; listen to them, don’t always lecture! ~ Diane
Don’t mother according to what others expect or want you to be. Be the mother that’s right for your child. Listen to the stories, take the advice, but only apply what works for you and your children ~ Rose
Lead by example!! You truly do mould your little ones into who they will become and so often this is done more by them watching your every move. Teach them to be kind, by you being kind. Teach them to be patient, by you being patient with them! ~ Trudy
Trust that everything will be okay… because it really will be. At the end of the day, all we can do as parents, is our best! ~ Liz
Be cruel to be kind – It’s a tough world out there. By shielding them too much, you are not helping them to stand strong against the storms of life. ~ Christine
Don’t sweat the small stuff! They WILL learn to read, write, sleep in their own bed, lose the dummy, ect, whatever it is, in their own time and still be wonderful, exceptional and highly successful adults ~Linda
Take every opportunity to teach your children. Don’t just go to the park, show them the flowers while you there. Don’t just drive, talk about the weather that day while you do so. Be in charge and interested in enriching your children’s lives with every opportunity you get. ~ Emily
There is no one perfect way to be a good mother! Every situation is unique, each mother has different challenges, different skills and abilities and certainly, different children! ~ Cathy
Contributed by Michelle Littlejohns of Durbanville Babies Clamber Club
Tel: 078 267 5356