I wish that I could say that parenting and motherhood has come easily to me. In fact, though loving my children has come easily, motherhood has been hard work. I’ve found that every day there are 3 things that I need to offer my children in order to be the type of mother that I want to be. Not only that, but by offering these things to my children, I know that I am helping to meet their emotional needs. Since children can be exhausting as much as they are rewarding, I often have to remind myself of the importance of these 3 mothering requirements on a daily basis.
I was the proud mother of two children under two years old. When I needed to breastfeed my youngest daughter, it would inevitably be the moment that my oldest would poop, would spill her milk, or would start crying for my attention. Many times it was hard to keep my cool. I’m not a perfect mother, and I found that I lost my patience and raised my voice quite often. Staying patient, especially with young children, can often be one of the most difficult tasks for parents. Though patience is a virtue, it isn’t one that comes naturally to all parents. Slowing down, thinking before speaking, and reminding myself that my children are just that–children–has been essential for me in order to be the patient mother that my children deserve.
Children need hugs, cuddles, kisses, and comforting. This isn’t only true of infants. Toddlers struggle with gaining confidence and independence, frustration, and the difficult task of learning to cope with the world around them. Being willing to demonstrate your affection and love for your children with words and actions is essential to helping them feel loved and secure.
It’s said time and time again that children need our presence, not presents. It couldn’t be more true. Parents don’t need to stay home full time in order to show their children that they are there for them. Being around for your children and showing them that they are important in your life can be as simple as eating meals together, reading stories at bedtime, and playing board games or dress up together after dinner. Even divorced parents have opportunities to show their children that they are there for them. Though it’s natural to want time for yourself and to get frustrated at the demands of parenting, remember that your presence is important in shaping your child’s character as they grow up.
Mothering is a full time job for every mother. Showing your children patience, compassion, and presence as often as you can are requirements that come along with the job. Though not always easy, offering these three things to your children is not only important in fueling a healthy relationship with your child, but also in helping them grow up into loving, responsible individuals. At the end of the day, that’s why mothers do what they do.