Tuesday, January 7, 2014

4 Keys to Being a Happy Teen Mom

Yesterday we talked about the fact that motherhood isn't always giggles and cuddles.  It's hard work and sometimes it's not at all that we expected it to be.

Motherhood is also a wonderful journey.  Two of my four are grown now and the other two are pretty close to leaving the nest.  So, I can tell you from experience that being a mama is the most rewarding thing you can do with your life- your time, your love and your energy.  In order to make the most of every mommy moment, there are some things you should keep in mind.

  • Ask for and accept help.  It has been said that "it takes a village to raise a child".  This is a true statement.  Whether you get help from your parents, your grandparents, a mentor, a teacher or a friend; it is important to surround yourself with people that want the best for you and your baby.  Being a young mom and trying to finish school or work or both is stressful and you are much more likely to be able to balance all those roles if you have supportive people in your corner.
  • Get enough rest.  When you have a new baby in the house, the concept of a full nights sleep isn't realistic.  The best advice I received as a new mom was to sleep when the baby sleeps.  Those first few months can be a exhausting blur so sneak in your cat naps when you can.  As your child gets older, set a bedtime and stick to it. It is nice to have a quiet time in the evening to unwind {or catch up on homework}.  Resist the temptation to stay up all night so you can get more things done because you will be one cranky mama and more likely to get sick. 
  • Cultivate a happy home.  I put a lot of pressure on myself when my kids were smaller to give them the "perfect" childhood {and let me burst your bubble- there is NO such thing!} My childhood was chaotic and my brothers and I spent time in foster care.  As a young girl I vowed that things would be different for my kids.  But, what I didn't realize back then is that it's not the clothes I buy my kids or the latest toys and trinkets that create a happy home.  It is the stuff you can't buy and provide that will leave your child feeling safe and secure.  It's snuggling on the couch reading stories before bed. It's singing "Itsy Bitsy Spider" 347,295 times in a row.  Don't stress yourself out buying and decorating and manufacturing memories for your child.  Commit to being present in the moment with your child and even if you can only afford rice and beans for dinner every night, they will grow up with positive memories of their childhood!
  • Focus on what you are doing right.  There will be plenty of times that you will feel like a failure as a parent.  That is not just because you had your child at a young age. It is a feeling that comes with the title "mom". Try to take a moment every once in a while to look at your child- what have they learned, how have they grown and consider the part you played in those accomplishments.  Babies don't feed themselves! If your baby is chunky, kiss those little rolls and be proud that you are providing them nourishment.  Be aware and open to working on areas of your parenting that need improvement, but don't let the good that you do go unnoticed.
"When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say,
    and she always says it kindly.
She keeps an eye on everyone in her household,
    and keeps them all busy and productive.
Her children respect and bless her.." Proverbs 31:26-27

What brings you joy as a mom?

Till Tomorrow,

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