I have learned countless lessons since I became a mom, and I’m still learning on a daily basis.
Some of my lessons learned from being a mom came easily and freely, while others were difficult to identify and even harder to accept.
Nevertheless, the woman that I am today is vastly different than the woman that I was before becoming a mother. Certain opinions of mine have been changed completely and others have been reinforced.
Nine Lessons I’ve Learned
Whether you are becoming a mother yourself, in the early stages of motherhood, or a gal who’s been around the block, here are some lessons I’ve learned from being a mom:
1. You are a mother REGARDLESS of the number of children you have.
Being a mom of one child does not make you any less of a mother than those who have multiple children. I have heard from friends who have one child that other moms have made them feel lesser because they “only” had one.
That’s not fair, and it’s really not cool. Don’t be that person.
Don’t ever make another mom feel like less of a mom. She’s in the trenches just the same as you, and I guarantee that she doesn’t have to explain her reasons to anyone.
2. Motherhood is a sisterhood.
We all have pregnancy stories. We all have birth stories or adoption stories. There are bringing baby home stories, poop stories, vomit stories, funny stories, sweet stories, and sad stories.
Stories of motherhood triumph, stories of motherhood failures, and stories of motherhood’s greatest fears.
Connections that you make with other moms can be even more powerful with shared common motherhood ground, so don’t be afraid to share your stories.
On the flip side, make sure that you are an engaged listener. This is important.
3. Sometimes, I don’t need to lose my sh*t.
I am a passionate person, and my blood can run really hot if I let it.
I’ve learned the hard way that screaming at my children helps exactly none of us, and I actually feel worse after I do.
I have learned that I don’t need to feel so easily offended by the other mom informing me of the harm of bribing kids with candy when potty training because that sure worked for me.
Being extra angry about the chewed-up Starburst stuck in my daughter’s hair won’t help to get it out. Keeping calm during instances when I would normally boil over has saved me more times than I can count, with myself and with others.
4. It really does take a village.
I’m a pretty independent type of gal. I would rather do something myself and have it done “right” instead of allowing anyone else to help me (yep, I’m one of THOSE people). Or I would rather take care of my needs myself as opposed to inconveniencing anyone else.
HOWEVER, I have learned that type of thinking is extremely isolating. It’s ok to have a tribe that you lean on and trust to help you with your babes. I would actually encourage it.
I would rather have each of my daughters know that I got help when I needed it, and from people that I trusted to love and protect my children.
This is even more important to me as my daughters grow because I want them to feel comfortable and safe with other trusted adults. It makes me feel like I have a whole tribe invested in the well-being of my child and that’s kind of a big deal.
5. Being judgy is not a cute look.
Newsflash: You are not a perfect mom. You are never going to be. You can always be a good mom, and even a great mom, but you’re not going to be perfect and THAT’S OK.
With this in mind, realize that other moms have more going on than what you see. Whether it be home-life, work-life, or just life-life, there is always more to the bigger picture, and it’s way better to be supportive than judgy.
Have some empathy and a lot of grace for yourself and others.
6. Slow down.
I am the absolute worst at this. Like, THE WORST.
My husband and I both can be constant tornados whizzing through our days and sucking our children into the vortex.
We give them tasks to complete or activities to distract them from our mental absence, though we are physically present. We don’t just sit down on the couch with them to snuggle and enjoy a movie or a show, we take care of chores and work.
We’re teaching them that this is ok.
I had knee surgery in December, and I was forced to slow down, to sit, to snuggle. It was difficult for me to neglect certain activities that I was physically incapable of completing, but it opened me up for so much more attention to be paid to my kids.
Since recovering and having a bit more mobility, I have fallen back into some of my old habits, but I am cognizant of my shortcomings.
I’m working on this and will continue to shift my focus to what my priorities actually are.
7. No, you can’t take too many pictures.
This one is self-explanatory, but I’ll elaborate anyhow.
I often say that time-pressed the fast-forward button as soon as my oldest was born, and I am personally offended by the jump to hyperdrive.
Pictures help to remind me of the smaller hand that I used to hold, and how smiles have changed since the first one I caught on camera.
And I know it’s been said before, but I’ll say it again: Make sure you are in the picture, Mama.
In 20 years, your child will want to see the smile on your face when they’re in your lap or watching their funny naked dance.
If no one else is around, there’s no shame in the selfie game. If you have a significant other, try to let them know just how important this is.
Pay for the extra cloud storage space and snap those pics.
8. I am the guardian of my family.
Well, I am not the *actual* guardian, after all, I’m no Mandalorian. I mean that I am the guardian of the overall health of our family dynamic.
If any of us is struggling with being overwhelmed, sad, extra tired, etc., then I need to recognize that something is not working and take corrective action. I need to check-in with each of us (myself included) and guard our mental health.
If schedules are too chaotic (which is the most frequent offender in our household), then I need to calm it down. If we haven’t made the effort to sit down at the table for dinner in a couple of days, then I need to make sure that it happens.
This isn’t the easiest task, but it is one of the more vital ones.
9. Lead by example.
You are the Greatest Showman. The things that your kids see you doing are the things they are going to do.
If you want them to be readers, then they should see you reading. If you want your kid to be active, then show them what that looks like for you.
Be silly. Act a fool. Take care of yourself. Show them that you’re ok without your makeup or hair done. Let them see you struggle and overcome.
Motherhood is Rewarding
Becoming a mother is one of the greatest rewards that life has ever offered me. It is undoubtedly the most difficult challenge that tests all of the cells in my body every single day.
But the gift of my children far outweighs any daily trial that could come my way.
Do you have any lessons learned from being a mom or wisdom that you could impart that you wish you had known earlier?
Trust me when I say that you would be helping a fellow mom out by sharing. For real.
Jenelle Stathes married her high-school sweetheart and they share their love with their three darling and fierce daughters. She works as the CEO of their small family business and as a group fitness instructor for a local gym. Jenelle was born and raised right here in Reno, Nevada, and is doing her best at living a non-judgy and tribe-loving mom life. She has experience with infertility, weight loss, body positivity, fitness, and most recently, a tummy tuck. You can follow Jenelle to laugh either with her or at her as she traverses through the daily adventures of motherhood.