Dear Young Momma Bears,
Nobody can prepare you mentally, emotionally, or physically for the journey you are beginning. It is the most amazing job that you will ever have and the hardest job you will ever have. I am enjoying watching your babies grow in my news feed. I enjoy that you get to share their firsts with me on Facebook. The smiles, giggles, cooing, and raspberries melt my heart. As an older mom and teacher, there are a couple things I want you to remember.
1. You will feel every emotion 100 times more. Embrace it.
Joy, love, fear, etc. will occur within the first hour you are awake every morning. Your heart is now walking around in this world. This feeling is exciting and scary all at the same time. Relax. The days are long, but the years are short. Turn off the news and cuddle your babies. You do not have to put them out in the world today. Today, you can protect them and love them in the biggest ways. Do that. The rest can wait.
2. More is caught than taught.
Be the example always. The “do as I say, not as I do” doesn’t work. As a teacher, when we meet parents, we understand where the child is coming from because the child will act JUST like their parents. This can be a good thing or a bad thing. Think about how you want your child to turn out as a person and be that person. Kindness, love, respect, and work ethic are modeled by parents. Children see and understand more than we think. Be wise in this endeavor. This does not mean you have to be perfect. Actually, when you mess up, admit it and ask for forgiveness. This models more to your kids than you can possibly imagine.
3. Read, read, read to your child.
Readers are made on the laps of their parents. It is never too early and never too late. I read to my children as soon as they were born and found that they fell in love with books. When they were crying, I could get them to calm down by reading books. That is a win.
4. Child development is not a race.
At graduation, you can never tell which kids walked first, talked first, read first, or peed on the potty first. It doesn’t matter. Let them develop at their own pace. Celebrate growth and maturity always.
5.Turn off the screen.
A child is not smart if they know how to download an app. I hear parents tell me this all of the time. Your child’s brain will be in much better shape if they are not given a cell phone or ipad. Trust me on this. Limit screen time. Their brains are very fragile and growing much. They need development of large motor skills and fine motor skills to develop their brains. Attention spans are trained by screens, too. Let them dig in dirt, play outside, and create things with their little hands.
6. Pray for your child.
Pray for your children. I pray for my children every day. I pray for their safety, their growth, and their futures. I pray for their friends, their teachers, and their coaches.
The firsts in your child’s life will come and go. The lasts will come and go, too. The last day of kindergarten, the last time you can carry them on your hip, the last time they call you “mommy” and shorten it to “mom”. Enjoy the little things as much as the big things. The little things are what build a life. Congratulations. I will love watching you grow as a mom, too. It is going to be a great adventure!!