When they placed my first-born child, my only daughter, into my arms, 28 and three quarters of a year ago, tears fell from my eyes as I looked into her deep dark eyes. I felt so much adoration and love toward her that it felt like my heart was going to burst. I immediately tried nursing her and held her closely and told her I Ioved her and spent hours just looking into those eyes. Oh my goodness. Such a little 8 pound 14 ounce miracle.
I was never one of those people who oohhed and aaahhed over other people’s babies for hours at a time, and when I was pregnant with my daughter, I wasn’t sure if would know how to talk to my newborn baby when she was born. What would I say? I wondered. My sister had had two kids before I did, and I adored them, but not until I had my very own child did I understand the amazing bond and love between a mom and a baby.
But, when our Sunshine Wildflower Girl arrived, everything changed. All of those God-given instincts kicked into gear. This very sweet baby was mine –my husband and mine-and I was so in love. This sweet gift was ours to love and take care of and adore; to raise up, to teach about God to, to share with, to pray with, to nurture, to read to, to train, to go on adventures with, to love.
I was not one of those people who read a ton of parenting or motherhood books as I recall. I remember I had the classic book, “What to Expect when you’re Expecting,” which was about pregnancy that my mother-in-law gave me, and it did have some information about having a newborn child, and I think I had a few Focus on the Family Dobson books around. There were a few others that I didn’t like that just had no grace and too many have-to’s.
Mostly, if I had a question about how to do something as a mom, my husband I tried to figure it on our own, with basic God-given instincts and with His word. There was no, “hey, Google” or cell phone or Facebook or Internet or “Google search” on, say how to get your child to sleep.
I talked to other moms. I read God’s word. I went to mom groups at church and learned to navigate the parenting journey through a lot of prayer and a lot of love. I gleaned a lot from the stories of others and how my friends and family raised their own sweet littles. I asked my mentor friends, Diane and Cecelia, a lot of questions and listened to Focus on the Family on the radio, sifting through what I wanted to keep.
My husband and I went on of course to have four more children, all boys, including twins in the mix, within the following 13 years, and I have been writing about that journey over the years on my blog and in essays published in a variety of mediums. I love thinking through and musing on parenting and motherhood and family life. Our youngest is a 15–year-old sophomore in high school, we will continue to parent him into college and beyond, as I believe parenting never ends.
Now that my two older children are married with small children, ages 2 and younger, I have been watching them as they navigate their own parenting journey. I absolutely love being a mom and it’s an amazing gift to be able to see my kids have their own kids, to observe how they love them and nurture them.Mo
It’s been making me think about my own parenting philosophy and practices, about “How I Mom.” I’ve often even thought about the question, How would you explain motherhood to someone who knows nothing about motherhood?
With the calendar turning to a new month, I thought it would be fun to do a 30 days in November writing series reflecting on “How I Mom” and encourage others to join along to write about “How You Mom.” I will be penning some of ways directly onto social media platforms, while others will be here on the blog. And, I wanted to write this introductory one, explaining the what and the why behind it.
While I have never had a formula for motherhood as I adjust according to each child’s personality and the situation at hand, but I do have one or two overarching themes of How I Mom, and for me it is “Love” and “Adventure.”
Love. Always love. Make my kids feel they are my world and that they matter and that they are valued above all in my life. Love matters, love feels, love makes a difference, love shows up, love does.
And, Adventure. It is how I approach motherhood and life in general. Adventure. Adventure is something new. Something fun. Something to be discovered. Awe and wonder. The extraordinary ordinary. It’s how children approach life, appreciating the little things. I know it sounds cliché, but it’s true: Life is a gift.
Live the adventure. Live the love.
What about you?
I will be using the hashtags #Howimom and #howyoumom and will have a variety of focuses related to How we Mom and I would love for you to join me!
Follow along on Instagram and Facebook for posts and hopefully some responses from some of you!
For now, how do you mom? Please share in the comments section.
Thanks for joining in.
I'd love to have you join me in the journey of our stories so please keep in touch by adding your email address here.
Ooh, I will be reading. I remember a lot of sifting too. Can’t wait to read more of your adventures in motherhood.
Hi Helen- Thanks so much for coming alongside me on the journey- I’d also love to hear of your sifting in your parenting!
#howimom #howyoumom #theadventureofmotherhood