Posted by: suzan | January 21, 2011

A Mother’s Advice

I never imagined being a mom can be both difficult and fun at the same time and it’s all because of a little boy – my little boy to be exact. Sure, I was a “mom” to many animals before but pets don’t talk back to you or give you opinions you didn’t know they had.

But I truly enjoy being a mom and it’s mostly because I’m learning and growing along with my son. Sometimes we’re a little silly, sometimes we’re a little strange, sometimes we’re trying to be serious, and sometimes we’re just crazy fools. And yet sometimes, I wonder if what I’m doing is the right way or the wrong way. It’s not easy being a mom, or even a child I suppose, and I often look in wonder and awe at the moms out there who have three, five, or even more kids. My mom has four kids, all of whom have their own kids, including yours truly. So whenever we go visit my parents, I glean a little bit of motherly advice from my mom.

On our previous visits to my parents house, my mom told me candidly that I should mother with patience and humility. Young children are like carbon paper – they will copy everything you do and say – so I should lead by example. At first I had thought that was a pretty tall order to make, but then as time go by and I watch my son and how we interact, I realized that this bubbly, energetic, and curious little boy does emulate me and I certainly need to be a good leader for him. When I get angry, I should be  calm and cool which in turn teaches him to handle stressful situations in a healthy manner. And on the other end, when I’m super excited about something, I shouldn’t act like a complete fool just because of something that’s overjoyed: we must learn not to go overboard.

My mom is a good leader by example. After all, she has had many years of experience as a mom and a grandmother and I still wonder how she maintains such patience and grace. I’ve learned from her (although through my own mistakes) that kids will inherently drive you crazy at the time when you need them to be good and that they’re really just curious and growing up – they’re not really trying to make you crazy. So at the times when I see her interact with my son, I realize that although his inquisitive nature makes him impatient at times, it’s when he’s talking or doing something with my mom that her calm and patient attitude towards him guides him to be a better listener. So maybe my mom is right after all – lead by example to your children and they’ll eventually outgrow whatever they need to outgrow. And when you look at it that way – this should be applied to adults as well and not only children. However, teaching adults to have patience is a different topic altogether.

I’m not patient by nature rather I’m patient by nurture (and there goes the nature by nurture theory). And you would think after all the years working at a preschool has really ripened by maturity status. But being patient and calm with other people’s children is very much different than with your own. Or maybe it’s not so different? As I reflect back to my preschool-teacher days, I realize that kids really are just kids after all. They don’t know what’s going on – they’re just following their intrinsic nature – and that is to learn and grow and absorb all they can around them. My nephews and nieces all go through their own stages just like every other child including my own and if I want to have a peace of mind, then I need to learn to embrace the bad behavior with the good. I think every parent raise their children with gritted teeth one time or another but we eventually learn from our own lessons as a parent. And hopefully one day I will teach my son the same advice that my mom has taught me.

The reason why I write this is because I have family members, friends, and collegues who are all parents and who I have all admired at one point or another. My brother has 4 kids but since he works all the time, the kids are pretty much raised by my sister-in-law and each time I wonder how she does it all. And she’s full of advice on how to raise children. It’s not easy being a mom but it becomes easier if you learn from your mistakes.

I am truly proud of my son who is super intelligent, sensitive, and inquisitive. After all, if he wasn’t so intelligent, sensitive, and inquisitive, I probably won’t be learning as much as a person and as a mom. His natural instincts to want to learn and observe has made me want to learn more as well. He marvels at every little thing that to a grownup may not be as exciting, yet when I look through his eyes, I can understand why he finds such amusement at the most unassuming things. I suppose pretty much every mom feels that way about their kids – that when their children glow with amazement at the simplest things, it’s what makes being a mom most worthwhile.

So sometimes I take my own mistakes with a grain of salt but if I want to learn from my mom and lead by example, then patience and humility really should go hand and hand. And hopefully one day, my son will dole out his own fatherly advice to his children and they’ll learn from his advice as well.

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