To older moms and younger moms and moms who are in between...

Monday, May 1, 2017

I read recently that preschoolers ask an average of three hundred questions a day.

Well, I have two preschoolers. You do the math.

This one isn't talking yet, but really has no problem telling me what he wants. Or doesn't want.

But, really, how did parents do it before google came along? I mean, I already make up a quarter of the answers I give them already...

Which makes bring me to another thing.

I feel like almost weekly, I hear someone (usually at church) say something like, "I don't know how young moms do it today. I couldn't! The world is such a crazy place right now, it must be tough." There seems to be this yearning for a simpler and different time.

And every time I hear someone say that, I think two things:

1. Dear older mom-- you COULD have done it! You would have done it! You wouldn't have had any other choice! Why do you feel like you need to sell yourself short like that? You are way stronger than you think. You're a mom, anyway. That's already amazing.

|| On an unrelated, but sort of related note-- the other day I was at a birthday party with my son for his five-year-old classmate. The topic of superheroes came up, and one little boy raised and waved his hand wildly and declared, "My mom's Wonderwoman! She really is." I LOVED that. I thought, "Now  THERE'S a little boy who loves, values, respects, and looks up his mom. I bet he doesn't even remember all the times she screws up!" And, "I bet that mom loves herself. She knows she's not perfect, but knows she's wonder woman anyway." ||

2. Don't feel bad for us "young moms." Really, don't! It's an amazing time to be a mother! Let me tell you just a few reasons why!

- Technology. (Don't worry, I'm not going to go all Napoleon Dynamite here.) But, if you're like me, and live half a world away from family, you don't get the luxury of seeing family all the time. Because of the technology we have today, I can easily call my parents in Hong Kong, and my kids can sing them the latest song they heard or show them how they can read.

- Thanks to social media (which I knows gets a bad rap a LOT) it's so easy for mothers to connect to other mothers all over the world. We all walk different paths in life, but motherhood is something that can connect women in such a deep way. I don't know how often I've shared a knowing look, a hug, and a laugh with perfect strangers. Motherhood can be very lonely, isolating, and if it weren't for social media, I wouldn't have made so many of the amazing relationships I enjoy today. 

- Our kids are growing up being told they can be whatever they want to be. I can look at my daughter and tell her if she wants to open up an art store that is also a bakery, she can do that!

- Our sons are learning that its okay to have emotions. And to express those. And that they can paint their nails if they want to. And that they can dress up as firefighting princesses. And that they won't be shamed for crying. I know I wouldn't want to raise my sons any other way.

- Moms are getting help for mental health issues in ways that just weren't around a generation ago. Things like postpartum depression and anxiety aren't taboo to talk about anymore. I remember feeling like it was silly when the doctor asked me if I was having depressing feelings after Sof was born. I thought, "How could I? I just gave birth to the most amazing person on earth!" But, by the time that I was pregnant with Oscar, I understood so much more. I was so grateful that the doctos asked about my mental health at one of my early doctor appointments. I had told them about how I struggled with early prenatal depression, and it was something they would keep checking back with me on. 

So, listen. I get it. I am not blind to the news and what is going on in the world. I have my worries just like the next person. Do I choose to ignore them and keep my kids in their own little bubble? Absolutely not. That's not doing anyone any favors. So what do we do? We talk to our kids about what's happening in a way that they understand. We try to pick out the good in our days. We encourage them to love and to be brave. If we can start in our homes, my hope is we can "throw kindness around like confetti." Make that difference. 

Someday I will look back and think, "Those were the best days." And I have no intention of letting fear ruin that.

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