When you have your second child, they are one day old and you are shoving that magic quiet-maker into their screaming yaw. When they drop the pacifier on the ground, you pull the foreign hair off and give it to them.
My other sister-in-law chimed in... And when you have your third, they drop their pacifier on the ground and you see that it got jelly on it and you think “yay! They're getting some fruit!” Ha!
At the time, I thought that sounded so crazy, but the silly lesson you learn as a mom is that there are no hard and fast rules. What works like a freakin’ charm for one person wouldn’t make a dent in your child. Thankfully, children are resilient and learn as you learn to parent. I was blessed (riiiiight) with two mightily strong-willed children. (I thought this was normal until my oldest started school and the preschool director pointed out that I surely had my hands full.) If my kids are determined not to budge, there is very little I can do to force their hand. The beauty of this is that I have had to adapt my approach and learn to direct their actions to the goal I set. I’m sure in some language parenting must be a synonym for evolution. Kids aren’t the ones who are constantly learning and growing, it’s us parents. Just as it took me two weeks to be a confident nurser to my daughter, it takes time to learn to be a parent. The love is natural, but there is no one guide or book to lead you.
Being 5,000 miles away from our families for the entirety of our parenthood has turned out to be an enormous blessing for us. Because of the ease of technology, I can call my mom every single day. I often do! I can ask anything I like about my kids, my own upbringing, what worked for my mother’s most obstinate child (two guesses who), when to potty train, anything! I can also ruminate on her advice and move forward with confidence that I am not being graded (not that my sweet mom would ever do that, but you do feel pressure to take advice you are given) or observed. Basically, I have become a supremely confident supermom. I make mistakes, usually every day, but I also mother my children the way I see is best, the way my hub and I discuss, and the way God leads me. I know my limits (though I rarely adhere to them and sometimes burn right out), and I am learning constantly. What better example to give your children than to show them that we must live every day as the best person we can be, help others, show love to our family members, pout in private, and be a part of the family team.
*No actual babies were shoved with pacifiers or given filthy pacifiers in the creation of this story. ;) *
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