Mothers’ thoughtful expressions: What is the best parenting advice you would offer another mom?

The experience of being a mom can be  challenging, exhausting, rewarding, and inspirational. There are plenty of trained experts and professionals who lend their guidance on ways to navigate through the complex web of motherhood, but oftentimes, the most grounded support comes from those who have been down in the trenches — so to speak: everyday mothers.

Today, we bring you words of advice from mothers who shared with us the wisdom and insight they acquired along the way, on their motherhood path.

What is the best parenting advice you would offer another mom? 

Kassandra Brown: “My best parenting advice is to allow your perspective to broaden, your heart to soften, and your mind to notice how lucky you are to have exactly the children you have. What we believe, we perceive. By believing it, you will see evidence more and more often that proves how true it is that you are lucky to have your children.” 

Lisa Feiertag: “The advice that I would share with other moms is how important it is to remain flexible and to know that everything will change even when you think it is all static. Growth naturally causes things to shift, and it is a lot easier if you are moving in that flow instead of resisting it. Also, try to not take anything personally or to personalize your child’s actions and emotions. When you find yourself feeling upset look into why that is. What is being triggered internally? Parenting is an opportunity to heal all our unmet childhood wounds, which is one of the reasons why it is not an easy job.”

Megan Bell: “Let go of ‘should’ and truly connect with and listen to your children. They are our best teachers. Offer them what they need when they need it, and know they won’t need it forever.” 

Rochelle Kipnis: “Our children grow up so fast, so cherish every moment you get with them. Make memories and know that they grow up too quickly. Hold on to the moments and take it slow. Enjoy every day that you’re blessed to be here on earth with your children.”

Effie Morchi: “Above all, listen to your heart and trust your instincts; they are there for a key reason. When you are faced with a challenging moment, take a deep breath and think, ‘that too shall pass…’ and when you are faced with a blissful moment, take a deep breath, and let it wash over you — it will serve as nourishment for the road ahead.” 

Jillian Amodio: “Honestly, there’s a lot of advice floating around. Five different people will give you 5 different answers. The best advice I can give you is truly none at all. Just follow your heart, it will never lead you wrong. Mamas, you are wiser than you will ever know, more important than you will ever realize, and cherished beyond measure. Hug those little ones and love yourself, because even when you don’t feel like it, I’ll bet that you are doing an AMAZING job.”

Kelly Shealer: “My advice to other moms is to trust your instincts. Trust what feels right for you and your children. You know your child best, so you can give them a unique gife that make them really happy.”

Inga Bohnekamp: “It is a lot about connection and trust. Find ways to over and over again connect with your child — and yourself. Try to see her with fresh, curious eyes every day and try not to make too many preconceived assumptions. She will continue to surprise, to amaze, and to challenge you in her very own unique ways as she grows up and faces the challenges of the world she lives in. Connect with yourself, with your intuition, with your very own inner wisdom. Most of the answers you will ever need are already inside of you, somewhere — you might just need to uncover them and then listen to them, which can be scary. And while, of course, trusted sources of support are always important — repeat after me: We cannot do it all by ourselves! — always remember that every child, every parent, every situation, and every relationship is different and changes from moment to moment, which makes it highly unlikely for a ‘one size fits all’ approach to actually be a good fit.” 

Katelynne Eid: “Trust your gut. With each little one, I’ve learned to trust myself even more. There are endless information and opinions out there, but nothing beats a mother’s intuition. Even if you don’t think you have it, I promise you do!” 

Shoshana Hayman: “Although modern society has devalued the role of mothers, know that your role as a mother is of paramount value in the world. No one can be for your children what you are to them — their primary attachment figure, which gives the optimal context for healthy human development. Teach them lovingly, both your boys and your girls, that the most important roles they will fulfill one day will be to parent their own children. Mothers need to be confident in believing that nurturing their children, throughout the years that they are growing up, helps shape a healthy and peaceful society more than any daycare, school, or educational program ever can.”

————

A Mother’s love is a gift that gives forever and her legacy is life

In gratitude, consider a tribute to a Mother in your life while helping a mother in need of support at the same time.

It’s a gift that that keeps on giving because you help mothers receive much needed information and support.

This is the heart of API.

We invite you to share a gift of love that gives on in her honor.

  Happy Mother’s Day from Attachment Parenting International

————

 

 

You never stop growing up: An interview with Lisa Reagan of Kindred Media

FreeImages.com - agastechegEvery one of us is on a journey through life, and each of us is at a different point on that journey. Some are at the very beginning: expecting their first baby or in the midst of the newborn months. Others, like me, are somewhere in the middle. I have 3 children, the oldest who is 9 years old. I have gone through the newborn and toddler stages 3 times, and I am enjoying the calm of middle childhood. Still others have teenagers or grown children, grandchildren or even great-grandchildren.

Each parent is constantly learning and growing in their role. At any point in our parenting journeys, we can reflect back on our early days as mothers or fathers and glow in the knowledge of how much we have changed since that…first positive pregnancy test…or our oldest child’s birth…or a seemingly endless night of breastfeeding…or our struggle with learning how to do positive discipline…or the first day of school…or our daughter’s first basketball win using her new sneakers we got her online…or our son’s first crush…or our child’s high school graduation…or our daughter’s wedding…or our son’s first child, by the way if you are looking a car for a gift in any of this celebrations you can use this convenient car finder tool if you’re in a hurry.

Did you ever think, before becoming a parent, that you — personally — would change so much by having a child? Before I became a mother, I thought that the basic course of human development went something like this: You are born, you grow and learn, and then you are an adult — a fully developed, done-grown human being.

lisa reaganBut, as API Resource Advisory Council member Lisa Reagan — Executive Editor of Kindred Media and Community and cofounder of Families for Conscious Living — explains in this API interview, we are never done growing and learning. Just as babies and children aim to hit certain milestones in their development, so are parents reaching their own “developmental” milestones.

API: Becoming a parent can be so transformative. How many children do you have, Lisa?

LISA: I just have the one, and he’s 17 now. I was telling some of my friends who would understand what am I saying without any kind of cultural mommy judgment — people who understand attachment and know me — and I said, “You know what? I feel like, it’s over — in a good way, though. I kind of feel like, ‘Oh my gosh, that mommy phase is over, and I have a young man in front of me.'”

[Joseph Chilton] Pearce [author of Magical Child] says you know you’ve done your job when they walk away and don’t look back. And when he [my son] does that to me now as a teenager, I am thrilled. I am, like, great!

I know when you have little ones, it is hard to imagine that this moment will come, but I told some of my friends that, and they said, “You know, you went through your developmental milestones as a mother, too.” So I grew up as well.

API: What a good way to say it.

LISA: And they’re right. Because of following the attachment model, I got my needs met to mother him, and there is nothing hanging on now. I did it. I met my needs to be his mother, and I met his needs, and it’s a completed thing now.

It is kind of a dangerous thing to say in our judgmental culture where people want to bash the heck out of moms for any reason at all, like, “Oh, aren’t I a neurotic clingy mom, especially coming from an attachment background?” The opposite could not be more true.

In fact, as Robin Grille [author of Parenting for a Peaceful World and API teleseminar guest] has shared with me, the helicopter parenting phenomenon is the polar opposite of Attachment Parenting, (AP), which recognizes and respects the child’s developmental needs, not the parent’s need for control and dominance.

I recommend that parents who can’t believe their children are ever going to grow up and leave — and you’re going to be thrilled to watch them fly out of the nest — to read John Breeding’s book Leaving Home. He is dead on right. It is harder for us than it is for them, because their whole job is to grow up and leave, but there is a way for us to meet our own needs in this process because we are growing as well and we are developing. That was a revelation.

API: I love how you say that we, as parents, are growing as well, that we are hitting our own milestones. I think there are so many people — myself included at a point — that think that you grow and then basically you are fully developed, that you are done, and then you become a mother. Really for me and for a lot of AP parents, we figure out that there is a whole lot more to go. That realization is really profound.

LISA: I wasn’t thinking about any of this big picture stuff when I had a child. I wasn’t. I just wanted to be a mom. I loved my baby, and I loved my husband and I was so grateful that I got to delay having a child until I could stay home.

But I, like many parents, began to question and felt there was something not right about a culture that did not support family wellness — going back to what Pearce calls the “bio-cultural conflict,” meaning we are torn between our biological imperatives to make wellness choices for our children, and our cultural imperatives for approval and acceptance.

But when we have context for what is happening within us and around us, when we have some kind of historical context, cultural context, even our own personal context, it is the context — the Big Picture — that can help us to shake off despondency and move toward empowerment and joy. And early on, this is what I saw in myself, a new mother who was unaware that my conscious choices for connection — with myself, my child, my husband, my community and planet — mattered.

Peace coverRead the entire API interview with Lisa Reagan in The Attached Family‘s online “Nurturing Peace” issue.

 

 

 

 

 

 

*First photo courtesy of FreeImages.com/agastecheg

All of this…is motherhood

yvette lambBefore my son arrived, I didn’t really understand or even think about what becoming a mother would mean. I wanted to be one, but I didn’t know that once my child was here, for me there would be no separation between the person I have always been and the one I became. The line between being me and being a mother blurred almost as soon as I met him, and from there, there was no going back.

It wasn’t just about love, either. There’s this unbreakable, unshakeable bond of course. But there are worries, too, plus an achingly overwhelming desire to protect him, and a physical pain when I cannot.

And at times I have felt overwhelmed by this — who was I now? How had my priorities in life changed so hugely? What was left of me?

People are out changing the world while I’m lost in our little one, and I sometimes wondered if this was okay…if I was important enough?

Yes, it is…yes, I am.

There are many ways to define motherhood, to describe it. For me, capturing each and every grain felt important, because being a mother and loving your child can feel so extraordinary…insignificant…tiny…and huge. To me, all of this…is motherhood:

It is early rising and midnight waking. It is wiping noses and kissing bumps. It is the park in all seasons. It is water, sand and crayons. It is traveling heavy and never “nipping out.” It is laughter — so much laughter.

It is a shift in your relationship. It is rare evenings out. It is talking in yawns and gestures. It is discussing diaper rash, weaning and sippy cups — with gusto. It is toys in the living room and a prayer for more sleep. It is different than expected and more than you hoped.

It is making sacrifices. It is rushing home for bedtime. It is another trip to the doctor. It is potty training and battles with medicine. It is making mistakes, then making them again. It is guilt — so much guilt.

It is living all over. It is excitement at planes…and diggers…and dogs. It is hours in the garden. It is a tantrum at the store. It is forgetting half of what you knew. It is learning so much. It is feeling clueless. It is guess work. It is crossing your fingers.

It is milk and laundry — more, more, more. It is overwhelming, amazing, heart filling. It is nursery rhymes and counting. It is please and thank you. It is the same book again, again, again. It is the everyday. It is the mundane. It is the extraordinary.

It is cuddles in the dark and company in the bathroom. It is a smile. It is home. It is discovering strengths and recognizing weaknesses. It is persistence. It is holding your breath. It is victories. It is losses. It is holding on…and letting go.

It is changing priorities, a shift in perspective. It is odd socks, smiles and worry. It is a million photographs. It is crying and screaming. It is giggles and soft snores. It is losing you and searching again — new, old, different, the same.

It is slow walks in the sunshine and splashing in the rain. It is moments of pure happiness…the highest of highs. It is consuming…bewildering. It is making a mess. It is new friendships and resealed bonds. It is finally understanding your parents. It is marks on the walls and stains on the sofa. It is rejected dinners. It is love. It is love.

It is long days and short years. It is exhausting. It is exhilarating. It is everything.

All of this…is motherhood.

Content Protected Using Blog Protector By: PcDrome.

© 2008-2022 Attachment Parenting International All Rights Reserved -- Copyright notice by Blog Copyright