Nor will it ever. What does that mean? It simply means that when you experience motherhood for the first time, there are some things that will likely not be really clear. Things that are obvious include the necessity of diapering, feeding, and clothing. Maybe you’re prepared to wake every few hours at night to feed and change, and maybe you have all the necessities like a car seat, a baby monitor, and a crib.
… will arm you with the intent to care for your child, the desire to do well and the intense want for all the best in the world for your child. What it will not give you is how to do that. Many younger, new moms have a strong urge to do the opposite of what their moms did because they still have a kid mentality. Becoming a mom at a young age (teen to mid-twenty-ish) does not instantly mature you or give you an instant understanding of why your mother did things the way she did. And, in fact, it’s possible that you are still doing the opposite of what your parents taught you and sometimes this includes intending to raise your child “better than” you were raised.
I know everyone’s circumstances are different and I won’t pretend that most parenting styles in the world couldn’t use some tweaking. Maybe you are the product of one of those parenting styles. That said, as a new mother, take my advice and take some time to think about why your mother did what she did. Nobody’s perfect, but most mothers have a reason for why they do what they do. Your mother’s instinct will only get you as far as wanting better for your child than you had. The rest of it, you will need to learn.
How Can You Learn To Be A Parent?
Other than the unfortunate two cents everyone wants to contribute, there will not be a whole lot of information you’ll come across without making an effort. Instinctively, you’ll know how to love your child, and you’ll want to protect him/her from all the bad in the world. But let me warn you; if you lead your parenting style with only those things, you will likely end up asking yourself what did I do wrong? And the answer will not be clear.
Since two cents from everyone you encounter during your first pregnancy simply will not cut it, you’ll need to get serious about learning how to be a parent. If you were raised in a well-structured environment by proactive parents, you are likely better prepared for motherhood than most. If you are the oldest of at least a few siblings, you may have seen this magic at work. If you are the youngest, you may be the product of said magic. Lucky you.
The World Is A Great Example
Look around. The world is full of people influenced by parents who believed they did not need any guidance, parents who thought the best way to parent was to just wing it. Of course, before you have children you have no way of knowing that you will not already know how to be a parent when you finally are one. You won’t yet understand how lack of proper guidance will influence the finished product that is your adult child 20 years from now.
Once you have a child, your number 1 job is being a parent. From the moment your child is born, all of your actions will affect all of the outcomes. Understanding this theory as a given will keep you on the right path.
Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. What goes up must come down. Something that is down was already up and something that is up was already down. Yin and Yang. This is how life works. Remember if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. And in the world of parenting, something that is super easy now will be super hard later, hence every reason to keep things neutral, if not work hard now and it will be easy later. Conversely, take the easy road now and it will be hard later.
You Don’t Already Know It All
Don’t be a fool. Assuming you already know it all is the most foolish thing parents can do. Even if you are the oldest of 10 children, while it’s likely you know a lot, there will still be some things you don’t know about being a mom.
Seek Out The Masters
Be humble. Listen. Observe. And Ask Questions.
We all learn from experience. But there is something to be said for learning from others’ experiences as well. You will do most of your learning as a mom from your own trial and error. Not everybody will parent the same and what works for one mom may not work for you. But take as much as you can into consideration. Listen to those who clearly know what they are talking about. Keep an open mind.
Advice From Parents Of Bratty Children IS JUNK
This is almost common sense. I say almost because while it continues to blow my mind, I have seen new moms take the advice of the parent of the super-brat. There seems to be an assumption that if you are a mother, you must know all the secrets. Again, I don’t understand this because the proof is right there. Duh.
When you are pregnant, as I mentioned above, you can reasonably expect to receive unsolicited advice from co-workers, acquaintances and even strangers who have experienced motherhood. If you don’t know how their kids turned out, I would seek out a second opinion.
Moms living in a kid-run-house have no business giving out parenting advice. How do you know if this is the case? It’s usually pretty easy to spot. Just look at who is running the show. Temper-tantrum throwing kids who are immediately coddled or consoled in some way are running the show. Mouthy kids who don’t listen or obey parents are running the show. Look for well-behaved children as a lead for where you can find good parenting advice.
Obviously, you can’t tell someone, your kids are brats, so thanks but no thanks. But you can and should take mental notes of where advice is coming from. And most importantly, you have nine months to look around you and find out where you should be getting advice based on how you would like your child to turn out.
Learn From The Inconvenient Truths Of Motherhood
There are so many inconvenient truths of motherhood and the fact that parenting does not come naturally is just one of them.
It’s quite inconvenient that not all moms are qualified to give parenting advice. It’s unfortunate that parenting does not come naturally and that as women, pregnancy does not make us know-it-alls. What a pain in the butt that doing a few seemingly motherly things can cause you to wind up living in a kid-run-house and that everything you do as a mother will lead to something else, often unexpected, and sometimes even to the absolute most ridiculous situation you can imagine, one you didn’t even know was possible.
It’s Most Inconvenient
…that most new moms will likely approach this experience with the same attitude they had with their own mothers in their teen years. Remember knowing everything, always being right? Remember thinking you knew better than those with actual experience? Remember thinking nobody could relate to what you were going through? Don’t make that mistake now.
I address these inconvenient truths because of how common they are. Most everyone falls victim in some way to the inconvenient truths.
Work hard now to provide your child with the best environment to grow up in. Give life, love, and opportunity. Show empathy and understanding in a structured environment where there are consequences for bad decisions. This will not be easy. If it is, you’re not doing it right.
When you love a child in the way a mother does, it is not easy to parent them in the way they need to be parented.
There is a reason I call these truths The Real Inconvenient Truths of Motherhood.