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Parenting: Lessons Learned From Motherhood
The Experience of Motherhood
Being a mother is a wonderful and rewarding experience and is probably one of the greatest learning experiences any woman can have. It is like on-the-job training. As you go , you learn.
It is also fraught with challenges; so it makes you strong, yet in a gentle sort of way.
To Love ...
Motherhood Teaches You:
1. Love - One of the first things you acquire as a mother is the capacity to love truly, selflessly and unconditionally. You learn to love that little life which you brought into being with a passion stronger than anything else within you. As your children grow and begin to socialize, you learn to love their friends as well. Through the experience of being a mother, your capacity to love grows to encompass humanity as more and more, you learn to love others; you become a better person.
2. Selflessness - Only as a mother do you discover how easy it is to put someone else before yourself. Without stopping to think about it you give your children the best. You deny yourself so that your children can have the best, education and the best life. You do not need to consider long and hard whether you would donate a kidney to save their life, jump into a rushing river or rush into a burning building to rescue them.
3. Patience- You acquire virtues like patience, understanding, temperance and tolerance as you go through the day to day struggles of raising children. You learn to be patient when they are ill and fretful, understanding when, on occasion, they act out of character, temperate when, for no apparent reason, they decide to act up, tolerant in the teenage years when they become rebellious and defiant and when their friends’ values seem suddenly more important than those which you have tried to instill over the years.
4. Strength/Endurance - You amaze yourself at the sacrifices that you so easily make; the late nights that you work to put the next meal on the table; the challenges which you willingly face and how you will tackle almost anyone or anything in defense of your children. You are their pillar of support.
5. Mentoring - You become a teacher, a mentor and a role model. You are the No.1 problem solver and the voice of wisdom to unravel all complexities. You are always ready to provide a reason why. You get back into learning as you help with homework and projects for you can’t always tell your children that you “don’t know how”. Also, as their primary role model, you have to be the best example that you can be.
6. Nursing - You are the all time nurse, ready to take the day shift and the night shift when your children are ill. You learn to spot symptoms and you familiarize yourself with all the home remedies. You become conscious of labels, expiry dates and the like.
7. Pride – You have never been so proud in your life as when you sit in the audience at your child’s graduation ceremony and applaud loudly as he goes to the platform to receive his award. You have never been a sports fan, but you now go to all the football games and cheer louder than everyone else because your son is the star of the game. And you are really proud when your little girl comes home to announce that she has been elected President of the Students Council.
8. Empathy – You celebrate their successes, rejoice in their joys and hurt when they hurt. When they are ill you are absolutely down and even when their friends are in trouble you are low in spirit too. But worst of all, when they go off to college you feel as though a piece of you has been ripped off and you just don’t know how you are going to make it. Finally, when they are all gone your home feels extremely empty, your very life becomes empty.
9. Forgiveness – Although they may hurt you, even break your heart, your mother’s heart will, by and by, forgive them as only a mother can.
10. Relaxation – You do not think about it, but perhaps if it were not for your children you would never take a break to relax and have fun. You have fun taking them on outings and accompanying them to the park. You get to go bike riding and play ball games and you actually have fun watching cartoons and singing children’s songs.
11. Prayer – Above all, you learn to pray; you experience the power of prayer! Now you are constantly calling on God to help your children pass their exams, help them get a scholarship, help them get out of trouble, help them recover from an accident – “Dear Lord please don’t let my baby die”.
12. Life - Motherhood teaches you to truly live. It is the best gift that any woman can have. You have been chosen to play a part in Creation.
- Permissive/Indulgent Parenting
Parents do not help their children by being too permissive; over indulgence on the part of parents hold the danger of creating young persons who are self centered, undisciplined and irresponsible.
- Dangers of Over-Protective Parenting
Effective parenting is a skill that is acquired over time. Overprotective parenting can cause conflict between parents and their teens which, if not addressed in time, can have disastrous outcomes.
- Tough Love - Mould Children into Responsible Adults
Discipline is an essential element in raising children successfully; however, it can only be effective if administered correctly. That is; through the correct blend of consistency, fairness and love.
- Parenting - Being a Single Mother
Being a single mother is no easy task. One may find oneself a single mother as a result of different circumstances such as having a child out of wedlock, separation, divorce or death of one’s spouse.