I feel like motherhood has changed so much since I was a child and it probably will continue to change and evolve by the time I’m a grandmother.
Everyone has their own beliefs and approaches when it comes to childrearing. Some are from lessons instilled in us growing up, and some we discover all on our own.
My mother was the over-indulgent type. I never wanted or needed for anything growing up. She didn’t require me to perform chores to earn anything, but she taught me respect and self-pride.
She was a hugger (still is) - very affectionate. My mother put notes in my lunchboxes, squeezed me tightly before I left the house and read me books before bed. For my mother, children came first and that was that - no conversation and no debate. Once you became a mother your life we dedicated to sacrafice.
I embody many of my mother’s same traits.
I am definitely over-indulgent of my son, but I am aware of it. I try hard to teach him the value of a dollar and to work for what he wants. He has a chore sheet on the refrigerator that he fills out each week. The money he earns goes into his piggy bank. If he doesn’t do his chores, he doesn’t get paid. When he wonders why he doesn’t have enough money for that video game or remote control car, I remind him that he didn’t earn it.
Working for what you want in life is a huge lesson that I think any child should learn at a young age, especially a boy.
I am very affectionate with my son. We love to snuggle, give kisses and squeeze each other until “our heads pop off.” The words “I love you” fly around our home on the regular. My son knows he’s loved - love is all he knows.
In many ways I feel that I’m a pretty laidback mother. My girlfriends were very conscious of germs when their babies were young. Some pureed their own baby food, read every organic baby formula guide out there and used only natural bathing products.
My one friend carried sanitary wipes everywhere she went, constantly wiping her child’s hands if he touched anything containing the slightest hint of dirt.
I was the kind of mother who put my son’s pacifier back in his mouth after it dropped on the ground. I wiped it on my shirt to remove any “germs,” that’s enough, right?
I perpetually forgot to wash his hands after playing outside. I didn’t check labels for all-natural ingredients. Some people might view this as careless, I saw it as realistic. And my son has always been a very healthy kid.
I respect the fact that every mother has their own approach to parenting.
Some mothers limit their children’s TV time, while others don’t mind. Sports are important to some moms - they feel their kids should be involved from a young age and stick with it, no matter what. Other moms are from the school of thought that playing outside is enough physical activity and you should try many things before deciding on just one.
I think the main component when discussing different parenting styles is respect. It’s important to respect the feelings and practices of different mothers. We were all raised differently and that has a lot to do with how we raise our own children.
So I don’t judge the mothers that make choices different from my own. I raise my son the way my mother raised me, but with some slight adjustments. The main values my mother instilled in me are still present and will live on in my son. But I also learned some things not to do when I look back on my childhood.
Motherhood is in constant change as the world around us changes too. So let’s stick together moms, and navigate this exciting and challenging world together.