I remember when I became a new mom and got released from the hospital. I watched my mom help ME mom, so gracefully, so naturally, and so....easily.
She was holding my baby boy in one hand, unloading the dishwasher with the other, making lunch, and calming my barking dog all at the same time. I asked her,
"HOW ARE YOU DOING THIS ALL WITH ONE HAND AND WHY HAVE WE (MOMS) NOT EVOLVED INTO HAVING OCTOPUS ARMS?!'"
To which she replied, "You'll see. You'll be amazed by how much you learn to do with just one hand."
I thought, "There is NO way...How the hell am I going to do this motherhood thing?..."
But now, my toddler is almost 5, and it really is incredible how much you can do with so "little."
Motherhood is amazing, and so are the small (big) things our moms, our grandmothers, our aunts, and other wise women in our lives teach us. Pass down to us. Educate and protect us.
The lessons we've learned from our mamas and women in our lives are priceless. They come from knowledge, traditions, actions, and words. Sweet, supportive words.
I've learned that patience and grace give you hope when you feel like you're going to unravel. I've learned that I can always call my mom at 2 a.m. to ask about a 104 fever and if I need to take my son to the ER or how much Ibuprofen to measure out (she's a nurse). I've learned to remember that being a grandma is never an inconvenience, even when I feel like my son and I are a handful; family is there to support you. I've learned that all the important women in my life are always there as a shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen, and that going through a divorce without them would have been impossible. I've learned that aunties don't have to be via a bloodline, and that holidays are best seen through our children's eyes. I've learned traditions hold value more than any material possession, and I've learned that women are powerful, strong, courageous, and incredible.
Here are other things mamas told us they've learned from other influential women in their lives...
"The most valuable lesson I learned regarding motherhood is (1) mean what you say, no empty threats ever; follow through is KEY and, (2) don't dish out a consequence that actually punishes YOU. Like if you need to go to the grocery store and your toddler doesn't want to put on shoes, DON'T say, "Put on your shoes or we aren't going to the store." DO say something like, "If you don't put on your shoes you won't wear shoes at the store and you'll need to sit in the cart the entire time." - Marissa Vaskike
"One of my dear friends and mentors who raised two girls on her own into amazing humans told me once, 'Nobody gets a user manual, but the good news is you grow as they do...trust the process.'...changed me forever." - Shannon Fable, VP of Fitness Programming, FIT4MOM
"My sister-in-law Maureen Doran (franchise owner at FIT4MOM Severn) wrote in the card she gave me for my baby shower, 'YOU are the expert on your baby.' She encouraged me to trust my instincts and double down on the mama-baby bond, and it has changed my parenting. I now write the same thing on every baby shower card I give. Listen to your little, trust your gut." - Laura Doran, Manager + instructor at FIT4MOM Severn
"The wisest woman in my life is my mom. She has taught me to be present in my life. I remember when I got married, she told me to take some moments to just soak it all in and truly absorb the moment. I have continued to do that through my life." - Lisa Druxman, Founder of FIT4MOM and author of The Empowered Mama
"My mom always has said, 'Always remember that no one ever said at the end of life that they were happier because they worked more - but they always wanted to love more, smile more, and be with their family. Spend time with your family when you can and love them every minute.'
Also, being a mom isn't just another thing to do. It's a privilege. Motherhood is YOUR mission. Make it amazing!" - Jessica Wayman, Assistant to Lisa Druxman