When my husband and I first started talking about expanding our little family, there was one question that kept springing to my mind. How do I become a Mom, without my Mom here with me?
It probably seems like a silly question to anyone who still had their mother around when they started their family. “You grew up with your Mom your whole life, of course you know how to do it.” But, I never thought to ask child rearing questions to my Mom while she was alive, we just talked about life. While I do have a Mother-In-Law that I could potentially ask questions, we just don’t have that close of a relationship, and it has really been my decision to keep her at arms length so that I never feel as though I am trying to replace the relationship that I lost when my Mom passed away 6 and a half years ago.
“You could always ask you Dad, he probably would know the answer,” you might think to yourself, and you are probably right. But how comfortable would you be talking to your father about lightning crotch? Or discussing your miscarriages when he doesn’t even know you were trying to have a baby. These are all things that I would have discussed with Mom at length, and if she were still around I may have discussed them with him as well. However, after her death our relationship suffered greatly and unfortunately, it has never fully recovered.
So that brings us back to my original question, how do I become a Mom, without my own? I had 3 years of trying to conceive and pregnancy to figure it out, and I still don’t have a clear answer. What I did do was watch. I watched all of the other parents around me, how did they parent their kids? I took mental notes of all the good, the bad, and the ugly moments.
Now let me say this, I try my hardest not to pass judgement on ANYONE else and their parenting, especially since becoming a Mom myself. No one wants to feel as if the world thinks they are doing it wrong. THERE IS NO WRONG WAY TO RAISE YOUR KIDS (unless you are abusing them, obviously) That being said, not everything works for everybody. I also took mental notes of the things I didn’t think we would do with our own children and notes of the things that seemed to work really well with other children. I also took note of the things that reminded me of how I was raised. I watched lots of parenting vlogs, I read other blogs, but much to my surprise not many of them seemed to talk about parenting without the presence of their own parents around. (Something I will probably discuss at least a few times here)
Now, here’s my main piece of advice for anyone else that may be asking themselves the same question. How do I become a Mom, without my own Mom around? You just do it. (I know, completely not helpful) But here’s the thing, most of the questions you have about pregnancy, babies, what is or isn’t normal is usually available online. If not that’s what your doctor is there for. And when the time comes that you finally have that little human in your arms, you are overcome with so much love and absolutely nothing else matters in the entire world. As far as I know, no kid has ever come out back-talking or getting into trouble, so the whole parenting thing starts off very simple. Feeding, diapering, cleaning, and sleeping, those are the basics and everything else comes along gradually. As your baby grows, so do your own skills and instincts as a mother. Hang in there, and you will make it through.