I am honored to be sharing with you all at Productive Parenting today!
My name is Rachel, and I share my three loves over at my blog, SunScholars.com. I love children, I love to create, and I love to teach. These have been very important parts of my life from a very young age. Today, I am a mother of three wonderful (wild) children who are an inspiration for most everything that I do. For me, my blog is a wonderful way for me to connect with others, and share the things I am passionate about!
When do you feel like you're doing your best job as a mom?
Any time I feel like I have come up with a way to create harmony in our home, I feel like I’m on the right track. When the kids are fighting, whining, and throwing tantrums over one thing or another, I can usually pinpoint exactly “WHAT I DID WRONG” that lead to that point. Not that I take full responsibility for whining or tantrums… but usually these things can be avoided. It is managing things well enough that our home is peaceful is when I feel I’ve done my best.
You knew this one was coming... when do you feel like you're doing your worst job?
When the fighting, whining, and throwing tantrums over-rules the day! I see this as a sign that I need to set whatever it is that I’m doing aside and give my full attention to my kids. A little quality time together, and suddenly the chaos disappears.
What surprised you the most about motherhood?
Gosh, I thought I was SO PREPARED to be a mom! I had been caring for OTHER people’s children all my life. But I think that was the problem. They were OTHER people’s children.
When my first, adorable, high-maintenance, cry for three solid hours a day, don’t put me down, no I’m not sleeping in my crib, child was born, I realized that my life was no longer mine! Now, 8 years and three children later, I’m slowly gaining some of that back.
How could I not have realized what a HUGE deal this was?! I think it took me 9 months alone to get over the shock. Beyond that shock, I am still amazed with how different each one of my children is from the other. How each child has different needs, challenges, passions, personality traits that allows you love them each in their own special way.
I also didn’t expect being a mom would be such an ongoing challenge. You always worry if you are making the best decisions for your children, or that you aren’t doing a good enough job in one way or another. At least, I think any “good parent” feels that way at some point.
What is your go-to activity when you know a meltdown is coming?
Visit the adoption agency?? Ok, no, seriously… haha. Though I have considered that from time to time. I have found that with my children a little quiet, focused alone time has always helped to tame a meltdown.
For my oldest child the SesameStreet.org site was a GODSEND! A book, a puzzle, or even a little story time with mom, always seems to do the trick.
What have your children taught you?
That every child is different, and no one can tell you “this is the way it’s done”. Over all of the years of struggles with one thing or another between my three children and listening to advice from others, I have learned that each child… each parent… each circumstance is unique. You may be lucky enough to find something that works, but that doesn’t mean it will work for the family next door.
You have to trust yourself as a parent, and know that what you try today might not work today… but perhaps it will next week. Be willing to try something different if it feels right. Most of all… I have learned that it really is the simple things in life that matter most.
What will you miss the most about these years with young children?
Having them crawl into bed with me in the middle of the night, and the times we sit and snuggle on the couch together. That, and those cute little speech impediments that they all seem to lose by the time they are 4.
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Being a mom is definitely the hardest job in the world, but it can also be the most rewarding. As a new mom I reflected often on my own childhood, deciding what kind of mom I wanted to be, and what things I valued about my experience… what things I wanted to do differently.
I love that there are so many resources available to moms today with the internet right at our finger tips! There is always someone else out there going through a similar situation, and I love that we have the opportunity to find those people and connect when those before us didn’t. There is so much support out there for parents, which I find such a blessing!
You can follow Rachel and her family at her blog: http://sunscholars.blogspot.com.