Did you prepare for labor and delivery feverishly only to have motherhood completely confuse and perplex you? Trust me, sweet mom, you are not alone. In fact, I guarantee you there are many moms who feel or felt just like you! And that is what I want you to seriously consider the woman that every mom should seek guidance from.
As soon as I found out I was pregnant, I began devouring every single book and magazine written about labor, delivery and babies. I spent hours dreaming, thinking and dreading labor and delivery. I concentrated so much on those aspects that when the nurse laid my first baby in my arms I was still soaking this “I’m a mom” thing in. Then, I was suppose to start breast-feeding — whaaat? How does THAT work?
After a few months of being a mom, I still didn’t have this mom thing down. And when I would chat with other moms, I realized they too were struggling in the very same areas. Sometimes we would just look at each other and you could almost see these gigantic question marks looming above our heads as we spoke about the frustrations of a colicky baby. But most of the time, not a one of us young moms considered asking that woman in our life that we really should seek guidance from. But, really it’s not just one woman — it’s a group of women.
Who are these women? It’s the same women that struggled with your motherhood issues 30,40,50 and 60 years ago. It’s your mom, your aunt, your grandmother, the sweet lady at church, your elderly neighbor, the grandmother in the grocery store. Yes, all those women have jewels of parenting knowledge that they would love to share with you — if you would only take a few minutes to listen.
Unfortunately, my generation of moms tend to think that our grandmothers and moms has it all wrong. Why? Because they didn’t know about the dangers of Sids, that eating your child’s placenta was healthy, (Ummm…that’s just not for me) or that babies should start listening to Beethoven from three months in the womb and onward. Yeah, those moms missed out on a lot of the knowledge we have today and just don’t get it. Or, do they?
When I was seven months pregnant, I was working in the nursery of our church. I loved being in there and tending to the babies and toddlers because my journey of motherhood was just around the corner! Even though that was 14 years ago, I can still remember the advice that a mom in her 80s gave me.
“You know why these babies are so fussy, Alison?” the sweet lady leaned over and whispered to me.
I shook my head because I was a complete novice at this baby evaluation thing.
“It’s because they’re not on routines or schedules,” she matter-of-factly stated.
Unfortunately, I didn’t heed her nugget of super-wise advice until my second child. Sigh. But, looking back after six kids, I can say that sweet grandmother was spot-on with her advice.
Now, think about you struggles and questions as a mom now. Do you think that an older mom or grandmother just might have the solution to your problems?
Let me share another older mom to younger mom story that drastically changed our family’s life — for the better.
I was searching for wisdom and racking my brain for answers. My youngest son was constantly breaking out with a rash on his face. He also had a lot of recurring congestion in his chest. I took him to our family doctor, but no reason was given for the congestion. After voicing my frustration to an older mother, she very kindly asked me if I had considered changing his formula to a soy-based formula. She suggested that it could be a milk allergy. I sat there dumbfounded. Why didn’t I think of this before? I took her wise suggestion, switched my son’s formula, and my son’s rash and congestion disappeared. His skin was beautiful and he could finally breathe normally and sleep through the night. I am so glad I shelved my pride and listened to the veteran mother. She was only trying to help me and my son. I wasn’t the least bit offended by her offering much-needed advice to an overwhelmed mom like me.
You know what that same woman that every young mom should see guidance from is the same generation that tells moms to “Enjoy them while they’re little. They grow up so fast.” Ah! I am still considered a young mom by some, but I can honestly say my kids are growing up way too fast — and I already miss those baby and toddler days!
Dear young mom, don’t turn a deaf ear to a wiser, more experienced, older mother. Yes, I know that some of those moms will indeed give bad advice, however you can still learn something from them!
Not only do older ladies have experiences of their own to share, but they also have witnessed their children and grandchildren make mistakes. They have also rejoiced in a clever-thinking strategy a mom executed in a parenting dilemma. The senior citizens who have lived through colic, breast-feeding problems, sleepless nights, toddler tantrums, childhood diseases, etc., can offer their golden, seasoned and expert advice. Countless ones have some intriguing stories to tell that would be quite beneficial to a listening ear. In the archives of their memory, an event may be recalled with a completely different perspective on the parenting dilemma you are presently facing. With a well-rounded knowledge, you will be more equipped to make the most productive parenting decisions.
In years past, the hoary head used to be revered as wise and knowledgeable. Now, many young parents consider them outdated, unadvised and ignorant. Within multitudes of golden girls of this era lies a deep well of love, concern and knowledge. Seek out the older mom who can give you guidance and pull up a chair, prepare to listen, learn and laugh!