THE MOTHERS IN MY FAMILY
A year ago I hosted a baby shower at my home with my craft group for one of our daughters Megan. Since we are all mothers and have raised twenty seven children collectively, I thought it would be fun to have each mother bring some words of wisdom to share with the new mother to be.
Each mother provided photographs (that I made into a mobile that hung above the table) and words of wisdom that we read aloud at a sit down dinner. Needless to say, it was a very personal and touching evening. These were my words of wisdom.
From One Mother To Another
No one can prepare you for the deep love that you will feel as you hold your precious child in your arms. It is truly a defining moment and one that will change you for the rest of your life.
When a child comes in to the world, they are like sponges. What you do, the words you say and the gestures you make will be the template for how they move through life.
When I look back on my life at many of the things my mother taught me, they were the things I taught my son.
Live by example.
Treat your spouse with love and respect. Remember that a happy marriage makes for a happy family.
Trust your gut and if it turns out you are wrong don’t be afraid to fess up. You children will respect you for it.
Teach your child to live honestly and truthfully.
Be open to answering questions about love, sex and life without making your child feel uncomfortable.
Teach your child the value of money and the art of shopping.
Teach your child the value of friendship.
Teach your child to be generous, loving and kind. My mother always encouraged this. She said it would always come back to me. She was right.
Encourage your child to be complimentary of others even perfect strangers.
Encourage your child to make their own choices and be responsible for the choices they make. This is a tough one to stick to since it is hard to see your child struggle.
Teach your child the importance of forgiveness. No one’s perfect and everyone deserves a second chance.
Encourage your child to see the world and to be open and respectful of other cultures and traditions.
The world is a big place, explore it together as a family.
Break bread and eventually share wine together. Beautiful things happen at the dinner table.
There are so many more things I have learned over the years (I still consider myself a mother in training) I wish there had been a manual to help me along the way because nothing can truly prepare you for the ultimate joys and heartaches associated with motherhood. I do know that it is the hardest job I have ever had, but continues to be the greatest gift of my life.
Nili Stevens- Mother of one.