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The Divine Secrets of Experienced Motherhood

fairy dust from the elders

Remember how in Cinderella, after the step sisters leave for the party, Cinderella is left there, in her dirtied clothes, crying on the stairs, longing for a life she doesn’t seem to have?

And then poof, her fairy godmother shows up and makes everything better.

Yet in the end, nothing was truly changed; the pumpkin was still a pumpkin, the mice still mice and her dress still stained.

All the fairy godmother did was show her shine when Cinderella couldn’t see it herself.

Motherhood is hard; confusing and complex, loaded with triggers every hour of every day that tear you apart.

But it is also magic. And older moms have all the fairy dust.  

So I give to you what my fairy godmothers gave to me, to help me rub dirt clear from my eyes; so I can see that what appears tattered, stained and full of holes, is actually holy, not holey.

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“The one thing motherhood has taught me is that no matter how tired, angry and tired of being a mom I was at the moment, seeing my children’s sweet faces erased all of it and I was back in a matter of seconds!

It taught me how deep my love for them was from the start.

What I had always wished, after my children were older, is that, regardless of being a young single mother, I wish I had been more in the moment while they were growing up and not so concerned with dating or how I looked.”

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“Messy hair, sweatshirts, dirty feet, fingerprints on the door, cereal for dinner, skipping a bath, losing your shit, feeling isolated, exhausted and under appreciated is normal.

However don’t stress it or feel guilty.

Sometimes you will have to white knuckle it, hold on for dear life and pray. No one stage lasts forever.

Each come with so much joy, love, fear and even pain.

Ride it out. Keep your sea legs and have fun. After all, it’s all one wild ass ride and you are not alone!

And if something works and feels right for you, your kid and your family, f*ck what everyone else says.”

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“When you first come home from the hospital-Don’t be afraid. They don’t break.

Take time for yourself. Self-care is super important

Don’t forget your relationship with your partner. Get out together, even if it is for a cup of tea.

Discipline your child. Set boundaries. Say no. Don’t allow whining or yelling as the norm. Children want to please you and need direction.

Let food be thy medicine. Wish I knew more about nutrition when I was younger. Juicy Juice is not healthy. Processed food is crap!

Love is always the answer. Give hugs and kisses. Say, I love you. When your child, is upset give them space, but be the shoulder they can cry on.

Don’t get caught up in housework. A clean house is not as important as spending time with your child.

There is no perfect. They don’t come with instructions. Don’t beat yourself up.

You’re doing the best you can. Play and have fun. It goes by in a blink.”

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“If I were to give advice to my former self, I would encourage myself to de-escalate the anxiety quotient. I was so afraid of doing everything wrong and ruining my children for life that I sometimes forgot to embrace the daily joys.

I know that now as I relish the time with my granddaughter. I am so calm with her. We sing and laugh, and make up stories.

As a new mom, I was so concerned with the “work” of mothering. Not good. I was also resentful of losing my personal time. Foolish, considering that there will be lots of time for that in the future.

It is more than a truism that children grow up fast…and then they move on.”

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“Teach less, enjoy more, laugh more.

As a trained educator, I was fascinated by each stage of development. I spent a lot of time “teaching” my children, rather than enjoying the stage of development they were in.

I wish I had lived more in the moment with my children; enjoying what they enjoyed; laughing with them.”

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“I’d definitely tell myself not to bother with decorating the baby’s room.

And, DO NOT listen to anybody that tells you to Ferber-ize your baby. Follow your heart when deciding how much to hug and love and keep all of your people close.

Life is too short to do a SHOULD that’s been dictated by someone else.

My pediatrician told me to use the Ferber method for my first child. (Place baby in the crib and allow baby to cry for increasing lengths of time to teach the baby to fall asleep on its own). This was heart wrenching. It did work for a short period of time, but I have never forgotten it. After that, My husband and I hugged and cuddled all five of our children to help them get to sleep.

The kids are all grown now but sometimes when they visit we still get a chance to hug and cuddle.”

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“Treat your kids the way you’d like to be treated. Before you LAY DOWN THE LAW.

Do a self check. Ask yourself how you’d respond if someone imposed that on you.”(This one’s from a dad!)

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“Keep a strong connection to nature. Have the opportunity to be “unplugged” in all kinds of weather. Moving among the flora and fauna of natural surroundings keeps us centered and healthy.

Try to read to your children as much and as long into childhood as possible. The time spent together is important.

I would try my best to praise a child less for their appearance or clothing or hairstyle, and more for their accomplishments such as kindness, bravery, endurance, helpfulness, self-control and personal achievement.

All people deserve to be treated with fairness and kindness. If we, as parents, attempt to treat others, including our children, with fairness and kindness, then our children will learn to do that, too. In all things, we have to remember actions speak louder than words.”

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“ASK lots of questions and LISTEN to the answers.

Be the best example you can be of unconditional love, acceptance, and grace.

Make FUN a priority.

Have spontaneous skip days, they are good for the whole family.”

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“Children need to feel important. So when they are trying to talk to you, give them your undivided attention to what they are saying . If you are in the middle of something and can’t, stop set a time when you can.

When children take a nap, you take a nap.

I would take more time teaching them to do things that make them more independent. Cooking, cleaning, especially fixing things. Let them make some decisions , make their own choices.”

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I once had a dream of a baby trying to crawl across a speeding highway.  It was a nightmare.  Every day i feel like I’m driving a million miles an hour trying to get everything done.  A life lived without magic is not a life I want to live. Children are filled with their own special, unique magic. Just because our society runs things over fast, doesn’t mean we have to.

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