6 Mistakes I Made as a Mother & How to Avoid Them
We all make mistakes. Remember the excitement of finding out you are pregnant. Then the morning sickness hit. The excitement comes back before you give birth because your going to have a baby! Then labor starts. Now you are a new mom and now what? The chance that you won’t make any mistakes is slim.
Unfortunately, babies do not come with instruction manuals. I remember when my first born was immediately placed on top of me. I looked at a nurse and the doctor and said what do you want me to do with this? Then they took him away to clear his airway and I desperately asked, “wait where are you taking him!?”
I felt so lost as a new mother and I have made many mistakes. This is your chance to learn my mistakes and how to avoid them.
1. Comparing Kids
I drive myself crazy thinking what maybe this other woman is doing better because her child potty trained so easy. Then I go off on a stressed out tangents thinking “maybe my child has some development issue”. Now let’s set the record straight, your child will not be like any other child on earth! They may develop slow or fast. If your pediatrician is happy, then do not compare your child to others.
This includes thinking “my child is so much smarter then that child”. Again, some children develop slow and some develop fast. There is no comparison. My first born was slower developing but my second son learned everything too fast! Just enjoy your child for who they are and leave other kids out of the equation.
2. Underestimating how hard parenting is
This was a HUGE mistake of mine. When I was pregnant with my first born I was just excited for him to get out of me. (I hated pregnancy, who doesn’t!) I thought anything would be easier then being pregnant. WRONG! Sure, newborns sleep a lot (at the wrong time of the day). Don’t worry they will grow up and then things will get much harder. Parenting is not for the weak!
So, before you go into parenting thinking “I am going to be the best mother, this is going to be wonderful just sunshine and roses all the time”, you need to maybe do some babysitting and take some real perspective. (Babysitting is nothing like the real thing sorry) The best advice I can give you is be prepared. Except this to be hard and learn everything you can before the baby comes.
Now with that said, you need to understand that parenting is very rewarding. Yes, it can be hell. Yes, it will be the hardest thing you will every do. But the love you have for you kids is like nothing you will ever feel anywhere else. It is amazing how much I would and have done for my kids. You will love them, and you will do anything for them. Just be prepared.
3. Trying to avoid the milestones
With my first-born son, I put off many things because they were too hard for me. I didn’t want him to feed himself because he made a mess then I would have to clean up the mess. Then I avoided feeding him veggies because I would fight with him the entire time. I even put off potty training until he was three. (HUGE MISTAKE) Now he is almost four and still not poop trained.
When you avoid things like I did, it will make things harder for you down the road. I have tried to do the opposite with my second son. I let him feed himself (which he loves) with a spoon and he has much better control of a spoon then my first born at his age. Don’t worry I will not put off potty training either!
Sometimes you need to push them and then let them figure things out. No matter what that may cost you. Short term pain for long term gain!
4. Expecting too much
Here is the kicker. Just because everyone says something doesn’t mean it is true. For example, potty training in a weekend… I’m going to call BS on that. Now it may just be my child but well he is still not potty trained. Something I started 7 months ago! This also goes with my mistake of putting off potty training.
Expecting your child will sleep through the night at 4 months, 6 months, maybe even a year. Every child is different. My first born would not sleep through the night until 18 months. My second was around a year and only because I weaned him and made him cry it out.
As parents we tend to expect too much from our first born then we do with our second. My first born is 4 this month. Sometimes I have to remind myself that he is 4. It is not in their nature to sit still, to listen to me, play quietly, or share with his brother. He is learning and it is our job to teach them. If you have not taught them repeatedly until your banging your head on the wall then he probably doesn’t know.
5. Being impatient
This mistake goes hand in hand with expecting too much. I can be very impatient especially with my first born because I expect too much of him. Once we understand that they are kids they are going to misbehave and make their own mistakes. We need to show them how to handle things that frustrate them without yelling. There are major effects to yelling at our children that we need to be aware of.
The best way to maintain your patience is to take a couple of breaths before you respond or remove yourself from them just for a bit to regain your composure. Everything will be okay if you do lose your patience. Then you need to talk to them and admit your mistake, so they know that even you have to say sorry sometimes.
6. Thinking I could do it all
I struggle with this mistake every day! Right now, I expect myself to be able to wake up at 5:00 am teach through VIPKIDS to earn some money, babysit my sister’s kids at 6:30 am until whenever she is done (three kids and getting the 6-year-old to school and then the 5-year-old and my 4-year-old to preschool) That would make 5 kids total. They are all under the age of 6. Cooking, cleaning, working out for at least an hour including a run for 3 miles, working on my blog and I do cub scouts with my church and teach Sunday school for 8-year-olds. Then everything else that goes with being a mother. Sound like a lot? Feels like a lot to me and yet I attempt to do it all.
Please do not be like me. Limit the to do list. Make sure you are not driving yourself crazy. Only do what you have the strength to do. Be patient with yourself. Maybe make a list of certain goal you want to achieve. For example, a cleaning chart. I clean bathrooms on Thursday. Just take it one day at a time.
What you need to do
Relax! No matter what mistakes you have made or will make you will be okay. You are not going to screw up your children forever. The most important thing you can do for your children is to be nice to yourself. Understand that you will make mistakes and it doesn’t make you a terrible mother. Speak to yourself like you speak to children. You are doing great and you are an excellent mother because you love your children.