5 Things I Learned About Myself Through Motherhood

This year marks my 6th year celebrating Mother’s Day as a mother. Reflecting back to my 1st Mother’s Day, Ellie was just a little over 2 months old at the time. Although sleep deprived, I was brimming with excitement over this new andcrazy amazing world I just entered. During these years, I’ve learned a great deal about being the chief caregiver, referee, and boo-boo fixer (just to name a few titles). Aside from learning tasks at hand, I’ve learned immensely about myself. Here are 5 notable things:

1. I’m not that laid-back

I’d like to think that I’m not neurotic about how things are done. That kids will be kids and that we should just take a step back and let them be. I know I can be controlling on certain levels. By now, do parents allow their 6 year-old to grab their own snacks or drinks without asking for permission? Lately, I notice Ellie asking me permission for a lot of things. I appreciate her doing so but I wonder how much of it has to do with me requiring her to ask permission for everything.

2. I have more patience than I thought

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know how kids really test our patience. Not only do they test it, they do jumping jacks on it, all the while with a sneer on their faces. Although there are days when the kids are cranky and uncooperative, I always try to maintain my composure. There’s no such thing as “throwing in the towel” when it comes to your kids. I don’t necessarily think I’m more patient because I consciously remind myself that patience is key. Rather, I think being patient is my coping mechanism in dealing with beings that are still too young to be fully reasonable.

3. I don’t instill fear

I don’t think my kids will ever fear me. I’ve come to terms with that fact. While I don’t let them get away with murder, I don’t have it in me to reprimand them sternly for poor behavior. I have completely adopted my mom’s way of parenting. While the lady would hurt a fly (or NYC cockroach), she will definitely not hurt anything or anyone else. So while I expect my kids to ask permission before doing a lot of things, there is little consequence when they don’t do what they are supposed to do. My worst punishment is either taking away their after-dinner dessert or cancelling their movie night for the week. No wonder I’m not that scary. Truth be told, I rather them do the right thing out of respect for me rather than out of fear. Let’s see how this plays out in their teenage years!

4. I do set limitations

Sometimes kids ask us to give them the moon. Sure, we’d love to and in the process, grab the stars for them. But we can’t. I can’t. There are limitations in life. While I would love nothing more than to give and do everything for my kids, I know better. I have my limits. And if that means, they have to return those ring pops to the check-out aisle, they will have to do it. I can’t have my kids expect that everything they want will be handed to them. Dollar or not.

5. I should replace “I understand” with “I can only imagine”

As a mother/a parent, nothing is more accurate than not knowing what someone’s feeling or going through unless you’ve stepped into their shoes. My life completely changed when I became a mom and I imagine it’s a never-ending process of change and growth. Part of this growth is being more understanding of others and their personal situations. Someone cancels on your party because their child is running a fever/was throwing up all night, you just “deal.” You understand. Someone tells you they spent the last 3 hours consoling their child waking up from “night terrors,” you say, “I can only imagine.” You can’t know or fully understand unless you’ve gone through the same situation. And those 2 situations aren’t even close to what people go through as parents. What a big takeaway this has been through my 6 years as a mother. Mothers of the world: You are strong and resilient!

Motherhood has been one big, continuous learning process. I’m glad I’ve gotten to know myself even more through this journey. I wonder how much more I’ll learn in the next 6 years. Truthfully, I’m not rushing to find out just yet. I’m enjoying things as they are right now. :)

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