At 25, I welcomed my first bundle of joy into this world, and of course I had read everything I could get my hands on and KNEW everything there was to know about being a mom.
At 29, I welcomed my second bundle of joy into this world, and I realized that I really didn’t have it all together the first time, or this time.
Fast forward through a divorce, a decade of being single and finally meeting and marrying the man of my dreams and our parenting adventure started all over again.
At 42, my husband and I adopted a baby boy. We were called about him shortly after he was born and then met him 48 hours later.
At 46, my husband and I adopted another baby boy. We met his birth momma 2 weeks before he was to be born, and he was born the morning after we met his momma.
Bringing a baby home does not require a well-stocked nursery and matching sheets.
At 25 and 29 I had the most amazing nurseries, Classic Winnie the Pooh for the first and Country Noahs’ Ark for the second. And although they were cute, they were not essential. The changing table became a storage bin for diapers and toys and anything else I would shove on it, and that diaper genie really stinks if you don’t empty it. All of the nursery goodies are good, but you can parent without them. You really find out what you need when you are headed out to breakfast and then find out you are going to be a mom in 24 hours. Car Seat, diapers, wipes, formula, pack and play, bottles, blankets, clothes and burp cloths…….and you are covered.
Parenting 2.0 taught me that less is more, and all that stuff isn’t what is important.
Comparing your child to other children wastes your energy.
At 25 and 29, I was obsessed with if my child was turning over when they should, and cooing the right way. If I had a friend whose child did things sooner or better than mine, I would fret all night and doubt myself as a mother. I wasted so much energy and lost so much sleep fretting over things that simply don’t matter.
Parenting 2.0 taught me that every child is different and unique, and comparing them to other children isn’t helpful to them or you.
Discipline and boundaries are different for each child.
Every child is different, so disciplining them is different. At 25, I had a child that laughed at spankings and was a challenge and hated to be confined to his room. At 29, I had a child that feared spankings, and confining him to his room was a gift, he could play for hours upon hours with his toys. At 42, a strong-willed child entered my world and from his first word, it was a challenge. Discipline and boundaries with him have challenged me in every area. Each child requires a discipline that works for them and that changes their behavior.
Parenting 2.0 taught me that finding the right discipline for your child will help you as you parent.
Don’t try to keep up with the other moms.
I compared myself to other moms. Quite often I was a hot mess, and couldn’t tell you the last time I showered. I would see these other moms that had airbrushed make-up and pefect nails and clothes and felt like I was failing. At 25 and 29, I struggled with keeping up with trends and fashions and focused energy on being a certain type of mom that LOOKED like they had it all together. I find myself at 46 laughing at my 25 year old self and how ridiculous that was. I worked outside the home and was in a constant conflict that I was not a good mom since I worked. I was even told by a stay at home momma, that if I loved my kids, I would stay at home with them. At 46, I am confident in who I am and the mother that I AM. Whether you work or stay at home, or nurse, or bottle feed, cloth diaper or disposable, you are a mom and these are choices you get to make. Celebrate that we are different; it is not a competition in mothering.
Parenting 2.0 taught me that being a mom is amazing and not a competition.
Do your best.
At 25 and 29, I failed at many things as a mom. I remember talking to my boys and telling them that I needed to ask them to forgive me for something I had done. We talked and cried and I told them that we all make mistakes and that we need to do our best. At 42 and 46, I fail, but I still try to do my best. There is not a perfect parent, or a perfect mom, you just need to do your best.
Parenting 2.0 taught me to do my best, over and over again.