Written by Trina
“Kids are like sponges”
“Babies can learn to swim before they learn to walk”
“A child is born with the ability to learn any language in the world”
Sports, academics & music oh my! The stresses and pressures of being a parent can be overwhelming to say the least. Becoming a mom has heightened my neurotic over-thinking, over researching, over analyzing tendencies to the Nth degree. After our daughter Ella was born, I took all the studies and statistics and comparisons very seriously, every decision seemed like life or death.
When she was 5 we welcomed our first foster child into our home, and I wanted to treat him no differently. For some reason, the month that he came, our schedule was full of random weekend plans (like a wine bottling get together that was combined with my dog’s 10th birthday party). The guilty feeling that we hadn’t been doing anything special for this little guy yet was eating me up. The odd part was that the social workers and teachers kept telling us “you are doing a great job” and “how remarkable his changes were” and “whatever you guys are doing, keep up the good work”.
I was unable to receive the compliments and after several weeks of this, I decided to ask the social worker if they just tell all new foster parents these things so they keep on keepin’ on and feel appreciated. I went on to explain that we hadn’t “done” anything fun with him, and sheepishly admitted we hadn’t even been to the beach. She was shocked and laughed shaking her head at me. And this is where I then received an amazing gift as a mother. She told me this, “He knows what to expect when he wakes up in the morning and when he goes to bed. He knows that he’s going to get a bath and eat and that you will be there to pick him up from school. Your family shows him love and respect and consistency… and these things are life changing for a child”.
I always cry when I tell this story because it was so powerful. I had it all wrong. And if those simple things were life changing to him, then they were all we needed to do for our daughter as well. I eased up on my expectations and started to enjoy the beauty of being together more. Don’t get me wrong, we still do a lot of amazing things for fun and enrichment but I refuse to feel obligated or guilty or fall into the trap of comparing my kids or myself to others. I love my children fiercely, and that is life-changing. In fact, it just might change the world.
“What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family”- Mother Teresa
Image by Sarah Hudson Photography
How a Mother’s Love Changes a Child’s Brain
CHILL OUT MOMS. And read this.