100 Moms – I wish I’d…

She represents silent voices of Moms everywhere.

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Laura, “Enjoy Every Moment You Have.” Tip 7

In Laura’s tip encouraging enjoyment, she generously reflected and shared her many wishes. She provides a cautionary tip to all Moms racing through the years, as she, I, and so many others have done.

Some wishes are, to have played more, enjoyed the younger years, and to have focused more on building confidence and self-esteem. Advice to teach more on friendships, finances, life goals, and not giving up. Hindsight is a trap for Moms. It surfaces largely when the job is done.

As Moms, we work to “enjoy every moment,” while random reminders of mistakes, and future pressures of tomorrow, distract us at every turn. I would bet most Moms could compile a similar list of wishes.

The time is so short and, all too often, consumed by life. How’s a Mom to build confidence, when groceries, laundry, ear infections, play dates, soccer, and homework are demanding attention? Sometimes priorities change when time permits, to find time no longer permits.

Laura’s comments, wishes, and regrets have all really resonated with me.  Gee, this parenting gig – there is so much to know, so much to do, and such little time available. It was as if a tsumani was, continues to, force my life forward.

Laura’s expressed so much of what I’ve heard from other Moms, many declining to participate.  Moms heavy with should haves, could haves, and wishes, were unable to seek for their tips and successes.  I especially appreciate Laura’s honesty around self-doubt, and her willingness to push past it in the interest of shared experience.

One of the things I have in common with Laura is our ability to quickly recognize all we haven’t done, while negating all we have done.  We are both loving women, and devoted Moms, while somehow feeling not quite enough.

In her, I see me.  In some ways, our drive and demeanor make us special; in other ways, it makes us sad.  I know we both work on it.  We also encourage each other to continue that work!  We are quick to see the best in others, yet require a little more time to find it in ourselves.

I can confidently say Laura has done many of the things she is “wishing” to have done. Like myself, and so many Moms, having given it out all, we feel it was not enough.  Sadly, this very belief preventing dozens of Moms from sharing in this project.

I am honored Laura moved through her hesitation and joined this journey.  Many great Moms allowed doubt to stop them.  I’m sure it is our mutual respect that nudged her forward, and maybe some mildly applied pressure from me.

I thought immediate of Maya Angelou when reading Laura’s words, “I wish I had also worked more on some of the things I had no idea were a huge part of being a parent.” Maya Angelou said, “Do the best you can until you know better.  Then when you know better do better.

I too can get caught up in “I should have…” and “Why didn’t I…”  Like Laura, I know I’ve raised a great kid, however, in now knowing better, I see I could have done better.  I unfairly judge my yesterdays on the standards of today.

Today I am better at identifying my judgement.  I ask, how could I have developed things I had “no idea” needed development?  It’s Maslow’s theory.  How could I work on developing self-confidence in my son, when I had none myself!?

How could I focus on developing his mind during times I was worried about diapers, milk for breakfast, or bus fare?  How could I realize the importance of self-esteem when I was preoccupied with expenses, anxiety, loneliness, and sorting through the wreckage of my own past?

I love Laura for her honest, and for her courage to share regrets.  She represents silent voices of Moms everywhere.

I believe we are all doing the best we can, with the information, ability, and capacity we have.  I believe, when we know better we do better.  I believe, we should never judge ourselves on yesterday’s decisions, using our knowledge of today.

It is all of this and more that has inspired this book.  I feel we have an obligation to share with one another our own personal “should haves.”  We can also pass on our best practices, our wishes, and our wisdom. We can help each other build on learning, avoid pitfalls, and can together evolve parenting, even though we are still individually evolving ourselves.

I love what I’ve done right.  All of my “should haves” are more like “would haves.”  I would have, had I known, had I been able, had I had the resources, the money, the time, the peace, the insight.  I would have done better, I had known.

Having known Laura for over 10 years, I’m going out on a limb and speaking for us both, we beat the odds.  We used all we had, and everything we knew.  We poured every ounce of our being into our beautiful little babies!

We, as with all Moms in this book, are investing in sharing a piece of our journey to help others to reach the “know better stage” just a little sooner.

Thanks Laura!

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