Game Changer Motherhood Advice
During this motherhood journey do you ever think, I wish someone would have just told me… (fill in the blank)? Amazing nuggets of motherhood advice are like gold.
Sure, we absolutely get unsolicited, full of judgement, and even terrible advice at times too. On the other hand, sometimes we get a little dose of info that winds up being a game changer to the way we parent. The way we approach a situation. Even the way we feel.
Welcome to the Woman, Mother, Motherhood Advice feature. Contrary to the rest of the Woman, Mother, [enter a label] series for 2021, this is featuring tips and tricks from The Mom Huddle at large. And I LOVE it!
I solicited advice on everything from engagement with kids to self-care and everything in between. And The Mom Huddle answered.
Enjoy these motherhood advice tips from a team of experts!
First, breastfeeding and leaky boobs (oh yeah, we’re going there):
“Instead of investing in breastfeeding pads — disposable or reusable, both of which are NOT comfortable (preach!!) — all it takes is when you feel your milk start to let down, take a free hand and press firmly against the leaky nipple. The result? It will stop your milk flow and keep you dry.”
Jordan shared this tidbit and said she didn’t learn this until baby #3.
“It was a GAME CHANGER for me! God gives us these amazing things to feed our baby, surely He gives us a way to stop them from flowing.”
Who knew? (not me… I didn’t know this was a thing!)
SAYING NO — EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE CUTE
“As tough as it can feel, kids need to hear a firm “no,” have boundaries, and get in a routine.”
This advice was so spot on but can be one of the hardest when that cute little face looks up at you wanting to break all the rules.
Expert advice from The Mom Huddle though, stand firm momma. You are doing great!
As I read this advice, I was taken back to Bryce being about 4 years old. He would go to sleep in his bed, but inevitably by 3 in the morning, the little ninja would sneak in and curl up next to me. We’ve established this before, but I sleep like the dead. In turn, this wee hour of the morning visit never really bothered me. In fact, half the time I didn’t even know he was there until the morning alarm went off.
It was cute and I loved the snuggles.
However, it became a nightly thing. Then it began to get earlier and earlier. Eventually leading to him not wanting to start the night in his bed. My allowance of letting loose on one boundary turned into months of trouble with bedtime which hadn’t existed before.
Boundaries, routine and “no” in their safe place with us as parents make them understand rules and feel safe in their environment. Even when they may act as though they want to break all the rules. #toughlove
On the other hand, find opportunities to also say YES, YOU CAN, or YOU ARE RIGHT!
This advice came from Dr. Nerissa Bauer and empowering kids.
“Yes, we need to protect our children and set limits and boundaries. But what if occasionally you did say YES? How empowering would that be to a child? Along with this, a rule of thumb if you find yourself constantly saying no, try to find at least 3–5 other ways to say yes. That way kids are hearing more empowering statements than negative ones.”
For the record, this doesn’t mean a yes to something compromising your family values. Create scenarios though in which your child will get a yes.
As an example, signing your pre-teen up for social media may be off the table for your family, but allowing your child to stay up 15 extra minutes to finish watching a show with you doesn’t feel like a deal breaker. In conclusion, pick your battles.
Being present and thinking through where you want to empower your child can support you in setting up situations where you can give them an empowering YES!
(Totally going to be utilizing and thinking through this for the record!!)
Remember our February feature Adenike Makinde?
“We bring stuff into our lives because it’s what we expect. I just always rejected the idea.”
While this statement can be applied to basically everything in life, she was specifically talking about her approach in each phase with her children. Rejecting the idea that teenagers are bad or will always get into trouble, as examples.
While it’s true, there will likely be moments of rebellion as teenagers figure out their new boundaries and grow into themselves, their entire existence cannot be summed up by a few labels. Just like yours can’t.
Her advice is to keep this in mind. Reject the notion to generalize teenagers.
Additionally, talk to them. Keep talking. Even when they don’t want to talk, they are listening. And watching.
Adenike has a very open and honest relationship with her kids. Sharing not only the wins and successes, but also loss and frustration. Obviously, keeping an eye on it being age appropriate, but knowing kids are better off in the long run having open and honest dialogue. Even feeling comfortable knowing they have a sounding board in you as a parent.
KEEPING YOUR IDENTITY
Have you gone through a period where you don’t know who you are any more?
Frankly, I can’t raise both of my hands high enough. As I reflect on this, it seems to coincide with shifts for the kids as well. As an example, from babies to toddlers, from toddlers to starting school, kindergarten to first grade, grade school into middle school… you get the idea. Identity as a mother tied up in what you are doing in the moment for and with your kids.
As this evolves, it can be confusing and even stray away from where we felt a fulfilling purpose.
It’s easy to lose ourselves in the midst of all of the labels we wear, especially the MOM one. Loved these little nuggets to think about from some of our followers.
Jennifer’s motherhood advice:
“Make kids a PART of your world but not the center of it. God chose YOU to be your child’s mother, which means your child needs YOU and all the things that make you unique! Don’t lose yourself in motherhood — rather share yourself with your kids. They will appreciate it much more in the long run!”
Tanya left us with this nugget as well about making time for your marriage. Date nights.
“This year, my husband and I set up a weekly Wednesday date night. Whether it’s a fancy dinner, a bike ride, an escape room adventure, or eating way too much Chinese food on the couch in our pajamas, it’s a scheduled time to connect. I look forward to it every week. I am consistently reminded of why we chose to do life together which brings joy to our marriage, our parenting, and life in general.”
Challenge- Take 10 minutes this week and do something for YOU and only YOU.
Recently the bees have been TERRIBLE at the baseball fields. Everyone is getting stung, including me last week. This prompted a conversation about home remedies for bee stings I thought I would share.
Baking soda paste is actually one of the top suggestions (multiple sources!). Mixing baking soda with water to make a paste and put on the sting can be very effective in alleviating pain and the itching. However, most ball fields don’t have a box of baking soda just sitting around (hmmm, maybe an addition to the first aid kit?!).
Alternatively, making a little mud paste (yes, dirt and water) can be a decent substitute until you can get home to baking soda.
A few other remedies for stings in general? Witch hazel, nail polish remover, ice, an onion sliced, crushed garlic cloves, and even peanut butter.
Obviously, this is for someone not allergic to bee stings, but just for general ease of the swelling and itching.
What other home remedies do you have in your family? Throw them in the comments!
SUMMARY- MOTHERHOOD ADVICE
“Never say never. Ever.”
Mollie leaves us with this nugget having kids ranging from late 20s to 12.
It’s hard to deny this motherhood advice: It’s really best never to say never, because well, you never know! Surprises around every corner are normal in motherhood.
Maybe pre-kids, you said you would NEVER put your child on one of those kid backpack leash things. And then you spend one day at an amusement park with a toddler and realize its genius.
Or maybe you think you will NEVER be one of those parents who raises their voice with their children. Bahahahaha!!! Funny now, right? Your dog never talked back to you.
Point is, every mom is fighting a battle we know nothing about. In turn, give them some grace. Meanwhile, throw up a mirror and give yourself that same grace.
Yes, even when it’s time to admit you broke one of your NEVER statements. Is it really that big of a deal? In fact, it probably makes for a great story now.
Find your joy and focus on your joy.
I hope you enjoyed some of these motherhood advice tips no matter what stage you are in with your kids. Maybe this triggered a memory of a tip you want to share with The Mom Huddle. Feel free to share in the comments other advice you would give for ANY stage of motherhood.
Your most valuable parenting skill is learning to manage yourself first.
- Dr. Laura Markham