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Parenting

When You’re a Mom, You’ll Understand

4 Lessons That Took 20+ Years for Our Mothers to Teach Us

 

How many times did our own mothers say this to us while we were growing up? I feel like my mom said this to me every day, for a different reason. And she was right in every single instance. Motherhood has given me a completely different perspective on EVERYTHING, and now I understand.

Some of these things don’t even really apply to me yet because my babies are still little. I am not yet a mother of teenagers. But I’ll tell you what, I am not really excited for it. When I was a teenager, I truly thought my mom knew nothing and was trying to sabotage my happiness. I know, already, that I will be disappointing my children in a few years but telling them, “When you’re a parent, you’ll understand.”

 

Mom Jeans

I lectured my mom. “Mom, those aren’t cool anymore.” “Mom, people wear low-rise now.” “Mom, not everything comes back in style.”

You know what? Snaps for my mom for not telling me to screw right off!

Mom jeans are a necessary tool of survival. First of all, that little area of your body that used to house another human – there is a good chance that this part of you is permanently stretched out. So pants with tiny waists that hit right below the belly button are likely to make you feel like a muffin shaped pile of poop

Also, there is no sense to buy a super fitted pair of jeans anymore until you are at least one year postpartum on your LAST baby. Until then, prepare to be at least 4 different sizes in between pregnancies. Don’t get cocky after you loose the baby weight and get rid of your bigger jeans. You will be cursing yourself when you have to shell out money to buy the bigger pants once again. This is why you keep the jeans, and why you tell yourself they will come back in style.

Turn the TV Off

In the summer, my mom had a rule that we could watch one hour of TV in the morning, and one hour in the evening. I thought it was stupid and arbitrary. But now I get it. Screen time turns little kids into unimaginative little assholes. Every second of life, especially during childhood, is an opportunity to expand your mind. Screen time does the opposite of that. It limits the stretch of your imagination to what is being presented in front of you.

So, while I do admit that I often resort to screens to entertain my kids while I get things done around the house, shower, or order dinner at a restaurant, I am making a conscious effort to keep it limited and not have it be a default activity in my home.

That’s Not Appropriate

I was raised in a strict Indian and Catholic household. That translated into my sister and I having much different rules than most of our friends. There were SO MANY times that I could not go to a concert, or see a movie, or watch a TV show, or listen to music, because my mother deemed it age-inappropriate. “I hear in on the radio,” I would tell her. Or “You can’t shelter me forever!”

My mom would tell me that she knew that. She knew that I would be exposed to images of violence or depictions of sexual relationships or crappy female role models. She knew that! But when you have your own kids, you come to realize how incredibly short childhood is. It is SO SHORT, you guys. And once it is over, the innocence is gone and the world gets smaller and a little less colorful. My son lives in a crazy, beautiful world that is half reality and half his amazing imagination. He believes the best in everyone and sees the best in everything. I want him to stay there for as long as possible.

The World is a Scary Place

I could never understand what my mom had against some of my friends or their parents. Why could I not spend the night at their house, when everyone else was? Everyone else could just be dropped off at the movies or the mall and picked up later, but I could not. Why? Because that would be equivalent to trusting a total stranger with your whole life’s savings in cash, except worse.

Trusting your baby with just anyone is a little scary. Hell, I even have trouble leaving my kids with their dad, worrying that he is going to care for them the way I do. So how am I supposed to feel sending them off to spend the night at a stranger’s house?! There are some people out there who are not nice people, who expose their kids to all kinds of crap, and might even harm them. How are you supposed to discern who is safe and who is not?

And at what point does that end? 12, 13, 14? At what point are your kids mature enough to be responsible for their own well-being? At what point is their naivete faded enough to protect themselves? Ugh, just thinking about this makes my stomach turn.

Hey Mom, You Were Right

Sometimes I open my mouth and my mother talks. – That’s a sentence I have been using a lot. I don’t think that I am “becoming my mother.” I think that some of those lessons that I was once too young to understand are now incredibly clear now that I am a mom, just like she said they would be.

 

<Feedback Please!>

What rules did you not understand when you were growing up, that you understand now that you are a mom?

Have you had any conversations with your own mothers on this topic?

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