3 tips for succeeding as a mom of little kids

Last week a group of ladies I'm lucky enough to rub shoulders with was asked by a friend of ours who blogs at  Chocolate on My Cranium for our opinion/advice about those early mom years, with lots of little ones around.  This group of ladies are such experts - every one of them stellar moms of large families.  I'm probably the most amateur of the bunch, but I still threw in my little ideas from my experience as a young mom.  I love those years, and treasure them, but they were sure hard and trying and stretched me in so many ways.  I'm glad I learned a thing or two...at least I hope I did, or those years wouldn't be worth quite as much.  I treasure that time - it was beautiful and simple and oh so very intensely hard.

our little family - Jan. 2008

Here's what I had to say -

my top 3 tips for succeeding as a mom of young children - 

1 - Involve your children is what you are doing.  If it's laundry, have them help load the machine and turn it on, or carry the folded clothes and put them away.  If it's cooking, bring them into the kitchen with you.  Babies love to play on the floor with utensils, toddlers and preschoolers are old enough to help add ingredients or "wash" dishes, and school-age kids can chop and help cook.

2 - When they are little, be flexible an let your life meet the shape of theirs.  They have very few wants, but some absolute needs, and this is a special time to give of yourself.  Pay attention to their hunger, sleepiness, and need for attention, and give them what they need when they need it.  Not only does this help them feel content and important, it helps you avoid unnecessary fits and tantrums.

3 - Bring them close to you.  We all have moments when we feel burnt out or overwhelmed.  If you try to push them away and get your space that way, they feel it and become more needy.  Just when you feel like pushing them away, pull them close to you - literally bring them into your arms, focus on your love for them, and show them that love.  Your capacity to give and to love is not finite - as you do this, it will grow.

I also completely recommend getting the perspectives of these other great moms.  We all have our own parenting styles and experiences, and everything has something great to offer.  You can read them here.

I'd also love to know what tips you've learned - if you got to give someone advice about being a mom of young kids, what would it be?


Martie said...

I agree on all points, but especially number 3. Chances are, if they are clamoring for attention, they need it! And tried and true for me is this: What you give them in the young years they will give back later. If you want strong relationships with your adult children, nurture, nurture, nurture when they are young. And one more thing. Get off the computer, the TV, or whatever is distracting you and listen. Bond. Interact. Give them your 100 percent sometimes. Look at them when they speak to you. Listen when they say your name. And don't forget to love their daddies!!!!

Love this, sister.

Martie said...

And by the way, I love the photo!!!

Katie Richins said...

I completely agree with you on all counts. You're a great mom! I wish you had done your 3 tips!!

Martie said...

You're a great mom too. We're never perfect, always growing, always learning. But we get up each day and we try and we have determination, and we put one foot in front of the other. There is something to say for that.