Dinner with the girls. Actually, not girls any longer. We are women, deep in our thirties, forties, and fifties. Sitting around the table are lifelong friends, friends of a friend, and some just met for the first time. If you were looking on you would’ve never known. There was a feeling of camaraderie at the table. That’s what happens when everyone present is genuine. We are Christians each at our own level of Christianity but Christian nonetheless. That was the common thread that bound us and led way to a beautiful conversation.
Most of us at the table are mothers, mothers at different stages of our mothering. Our children ranged from age two to thirty and one is an honorary mother as she has her hand on many children. Me being the oldest mother was so surprised at what these young mothers experience and instinctively wanted to share some wisdom. One mother was concerned about her two-year-old and how he only knew one way to communicate, screaming. My response was, he’s two. I wanted her to know what she’s experiencing is normal. As she went on to tell her screaming story my heart ached for her. It was clear to me there was pressure to stop the screaming. Not just her own internal pressure but pressure from outside forces. My response remained, he’s two that’s what two-year-olds do. The good news is they grow up. My screamer is 30 and from time to time he still screams.
There was another lady that was taken back by the fact that my children are grown, roommates, and they like each other. She repeated it three times. I read between the lines and discerned her boys’ fight. If I remember correctly she has three, four if you count her “Jersey Boy” husband. Sweet lady. That night I didn’t get a chance to tell her my children fought and fought so much that years went by without them speaking. It broke my heart but I preached unconditional love and family first. Those words pulled them through two major breakdowns. Today they are stronger than ever, friends, and brothers that have each other’s back.
There was another woman who was a little further on with her child-rearing. She has two daughters. The days of screaming and terrible twos are far removed. She has a twelve-year-old and one who will be college-bound soon. She shared good stories about her children which were refreshing since many pre-teen and teenage girls are annoying and full of attitude.
Last week I wrote about loving on your own terms. The same holds true for raising your children. Make your own rules don’t let society tell you what’s right, wrong, or what level your child should be on for their age. Choose what’s right for you. Mothers, give your children a little space and time to connect the dots. Don’t compare your baby to their siblings or other babies. Each child is an individual and uniquely made. They will each progress in their own time. I’m not suggesting you ignore signs of true disabilities but don’t drive yourself nuts. Remember, two-year-olds scream, your children will fight, as a matter of fact, older children fight and teenagers have attitudes and think they know everything. Peace and harmony take patience, practice, and time. Even with that, the peace is disrupted from time to time. Dads, are you getting this? This is for you too. (Insert Fatherhood where it reads Motherhood)
My Aunt provided this golden nugget as I was raising my very young hyper children, “Traci, in raising children you will have to pay either in the beginning or in the end, but pay you will. It’s cheaper in the beginning, so put the work and time in”. The best advice I received as a single mother. Always remember at the core your children must know that you love them unconditionally and want what’s best for them. Once they know that they will overcome and be productive members of society.