Lessons of Mommyhood

I’ve learned a lot since I became a mom.  Here are some of my hard-won lessons:

  1. The first birthday is an important milestone.  It really is.  However, going overboard for an elaborate party is not that important.  Instead, invest in an individual cake in addition to the regular one, and save those dollars for the fourth or fifth birthday party.  The individual cake is so worth it because your little one can dig right in and make a mess.  On the subject of birthday parties…by the time you have a 5 year old, there are lots of friends to invite and the presents they ask for are lots more expensive.
  2. Take lots of pictures at every age and stage.  Invest in a decent camera and forget the monthly or annual trip to the local photo studio.  Instead, hire a pro to take lifestyle shots at least once every two years.  Be sure your pro offers digital rights and pay for them.  Then, upload your pics to the cloud somewhere because you never know what will happen.  I’ll treasure my pictures for life.
  3. Save every little drawing your little one makes for the first three years of life.  Putting them on a wall at your child’s eye level can do wonders for his or her self-esteem.  Then, pick out your favorite 7 or 8, frame the, and scrap the rest.  There will be more to come as they get older!
  4. Don’t go overboard painting the perfect room to last your child’s entire childhood.  I learned this lesson the hard way when we discovered tons of boogers on Be-Bop’s wall.  Will have to paint again soon!
  5. On the subject of boogers on the wall:  Don’t be too hard on your little one if this happens.  Turns out, Be-Bop just didn’t know how to ask for a tissue.  Since then, we have tissues in all important places in the house!
  6. You can never tell your little one, “I love you,” enough.  Mine never get tired of hearing it and I fear I don’t say it often enough.
  7. On the subject of, “I love you,” dont ever force your little one to say, “I love you,” to someone, especially you.
  8. Hugs are important.  But, remember your own strength.
  9. On feeding an infant:  the natural way or formula-fed, at the end of the day, what is important is that you make sure your child gets the best nutrition you are able to give him or her.  Don’t get bent out of shape if things don’t go the way you plan.
  10. On plans:  Always plan on being an hour early and you might be on time.
  11. Read to your child.  From day one.  Even before he or she is born.
  12. Sing to your child. From day one.  Even before he or she is born. It doesn’t matter what your voice is like; your kids will love your voice.  Be-Bop and Rock Steady each have their own songs that I sing to them, songs that I’ve been singing to them since each of them were born.  Their songs are both from “The Music Man.”  Be-Bop’s is “Being in Love,” and Rock Steady’s is “Lida Rose.”  But I don’t stop there; we sing whatever song they each choose nightly, in addition.
  13. Listen to your instincts about your child’s health.  A doctor will love to tell you, “Yep, you’ve got a healthy one here.”  More often than not, when Be-Bop or Rock Steady has seemed just a little “off,” they’ve been sick, just as I suspected.
  14. Surround yourself and your family with good friends, family, and community and don’t be afraid to lean on them.  It really does take a village to raise a child.


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