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35 Tips to Celebrate Mother’s Day All Year Long

Mother's Day has come and gone, but the new Mighty Mommy has 35 easy tips on how to make each and every day a Happy Mother’s Day!

By
Cheryl Butler,
May 15, 2012
Episode #180

One of the biggest dreams I had in life was to become a mother. Six years of infertility, 3 miscarriages, 1 beautiful adoption, and 7 trips to the delivery room later, my dream was fulfilled 8 times over.

During all those years of waiting, I’ll never forget how desperately I wanted to be able to celebrate Mother’s Day as someone’s mother. Some of the most painful days I ever spent were on those Mother’s Day Sundays where family and friends all around me were getting showered with special cards and gifts because they had the privilege to be called “Mom.”  

Because of that very difficult time, I vowed that once I did become a mother, I was going to find a way to treasure motherhood all year long, not just on the second Sunday during the month of May.

I’m not going to lie to you, I did stray from that promise. There were so many moments when I felt totally overwhelmed, exhausted, and even disappointed that motherhood was proving to be a lot of hard work. It wasn’t just about oohing and aahing over a cuddly, precious baby. It was about sleepless nights, changing dirty diapers, being cooped up in the house for long periods of time, losing contact with many of my friends, forgetting who I was as a person, and feeling like I was on a treadmill to nowhere for many, many weeks of the year.

Mighty Mommy, Cheryl Butler, with 4 of her 8 children!

Thankfully, I finally realized that despite how many jars of baby peaches were thrown at me, or how unglamorous my coveted role as a Mom truly was, I had been blessed with the honor and responsibility of raising children with the unconditional love I had prayed to be able to give for so long.  Motherhood was my calling and I wasn’t going to waste any more time worrying about what I wasn’t doing, couldn’t do, or should be doing. My family was counting on me, and I wasn’t going to let those babies down.

I’ve been a mother for nearly 19 years now, and I’ve learned a lot. Here are 35 things that I wish I had known from day one:

  1. When hugging your kids, no matter what age, don’t be the first to let go.

  2. Always make time for yourself, even if it’s just taking a shower and styling your hair or putting on a nice outfit.

  3. Say “get to” instead of “have to.” For example: “You and your sister get to have your teeth cleaned today!” It makes a difference in their response.

  4. Create an Idea Jar where everyone in the family contributes ideas for ways to spend time as a family. These ideas can include anything from one-on-one time or a whole family event. This gives everyone’s voice a chance to be heard. Just don’t forget to put your own in, too!

  5. Don’t wish for what they will be able to do tomorrow or you’ll miss what they’re doing today.

  6. Let them make mistakes—it’s the only way they’ll learn and be prepared for real life.

  7. Listen when they want to talk. If you try to do a lot of the talking yourself, you’re going to miss what they’re really trying to tell you.

  8. Make eye contact when you’re praising them, telling them you love them, or simply acknowledging them when they come into the room. 

  9. Find your own hobby and practice it on a regular basis. You need to be fulfilled to be the best you can be for your family, so always pursue your own interests, even if it’s only for a short period of time.

  10. Always remember—kindergartners tell their teachers everything!

  11. Teach them responsibility with age-appropriate chores.

  12. When your children embarrass you in public, just remember that someday, you will laugh about it.

  13. Record their voices when they are infants, toddlers, and youngsters—it goes by so fast!

  14. OK if you don’t accomplish all your errands and housekeeping. Your kids will only be kids for a short, borrowed bit of time. You can catch up on the dusting another day; you can’t catch up on their childhood once it’s gone.

  15. You don’t live in a museum. Don’t kill yourself to have a pristine home. You want your kids to remember their childhood as a place where they could play, explore, and make messes. 

  16. Model appropriate behavior. Kids learn and imitate what they see. 

  17. Never put your spouse down in front of the kids.

  18. Follow the 80-20 rule: 80 percent of your interactions with your kids should be positive and only 20 percent negative.

  19. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

  20. Don’t isolate yourself. Make sure you have at least one or two other moms or girlfriends who you can count on and trust. They can make the biggest difference for you when you’re going through a tough time.

  21. Help your kids build a special relationship with their grandparents (if they’re around).

  22. Teach them financial responsibility at an early age.

  23. Cherish the simple things, like when your 3-year-old picks you a bunch of dandelions.

  24. Foster their creativity, even if you think it’s something crazy.

  25. When they begin to read, be enthusiastic and encourage them to have a love affair with books.

  26. When they’re little, physically get down on their level to play and interact with them—you’ll see things from a whole new point of view.

  27. Tell your children that you love them each and every day.

  28. Catch them doing something good instead of pointing out something they did wrong.

  29. Keep a journal for each child, even if you only record a few things every 6 months—these memories will be priceless in years to come.

  30. If your child has special needs, be his biggest cheerleader!

  31. Love and take care of yourself. When your kids see you taking the time to do this, it teaches them to take care of themselves as well.

  32. It’s OK to have a good cry.

  33. Be sure and give yourself “Mommy Time-Outs” on a regular basis. Even if it’s locking yourself in the bathroom with a magazine for 10 minutes—it can do wonders to refresh you.

  34. Remember that there will be many, many difficult days in your journey as a mother, but “they will pass. And after all, it’s part of the job.

  35. Our kids are not our property. We have been entrusted with their lives for a very short period of time. We have to teach them, encourage them, let them fall down, believe in them, love them, and then…proudly let them go.

On behalf of this Mighty Mommy, I wish all of you wonderful mommies out there an amazing Mother’s Day.

If you have a question regarding anything you’ve just read, or have a suggestion for a future Mighty Mommy episode, e-mail me at mommy@quickanddirtytips.com or post it on the Mighty Mommy Facebook wall. You can also follow me on Twitter @MightyMommy.

Good luck and happy parenting!

Photo of Mighty Mommy, Cheryl Butler, and 4 of her 8 children.

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