The phenomenal mothers at REACH share some thoughts on their experiences as mothers.
I feel very lucky to have had flexible jobs while raising my kids. The key to balancing professional demands with family demands, for me, has been setting good expectations on both sides: my kids know when they get home from school, I’ll be around and we’ll spend some time together, but then I get back to work; and by the same token, my employer knows that if I take 3:00-5:00 to spend time with my kids, I’ll come back after dinner to finish up anything that needs to be done. It’s never easy to balance everything, but communication and expectation setting goes a long way to making everyone feel like they’re getting what they need!
I have had the great fortune of raising two amazing “kids” into adulthood and I consider both to be among my dearest friends and greatest heroes. What’s really fun is actively witnessing my daughter parent her two children. She is experiencing very similar joys, stresses and challenges that I experienced so many years ago, allowing me the opportunity to be her “go to” mommy support system. Such an honor.
When you become a mom you have this vision in your mind of how things are going to play out. Things like, ‘my kids will never have ipads at restaurants’ or ‘I’ll never feed my kids chicken nuggets every night for dinner’. From the moment you go into labor you’ll quickly learn that all your planning goes out the window! What I mean is, learn to be flexible and show yourself grace. What matters most is that your children are happy and healthy and the journey along the way is going to change more than you can imagine. As moms we tend to be hard on ourselves when life throws a curveball we weren’t expecting. Go easy on yourself and remember that you’re doing your best and your kids are lucky to have you.
When my kids are happy, so am I – even when they are grown adults! They amaze me every day with who they are as people and love that they provide unique perspectives and opinions. They have taught me patience, compassion and connection – values I appreciate and practice with gratitude.
My one piece of advice for new mothers would be- listen to YOUR gut. You can read the books, get advice from other parents, hear how family and friends have raised their children, but every kid is unique. Every kid needs something different, and what works for one very likely won’t work exactly the same for another. Parent isn’t easy, but if you take it day by day and follow your instincts on your kids needs, it becomes a lot easier!
Greatest part about being a mom? Watching your child find a passion and exceed all expectations in their pursuit of it, whether it’s music, band, writing, or something else! Seeing my daughter with a healthy self awareness and confidence yet still the vulnerability of a young teen. She stands up for herself, is willing to go against the flow and removes herself from petty drama. So proud of the young lady she’s becoming.