So this morning, my brain was percolating with all kinds of random ideas for posting and obsessing about "Where the hell are all of my guest bloggers who are the ones who will REALLY make this idea survive?" (hint, hint) and so I just started browsing around blogtown like I tend to do these days and I found an idea I like. And I'm stealing it. Or borrowing it. Or expanding on it. Or whatever you want to call it. Is this allowed? I mean, I'm gonna give credit where credit is due. Damn straight.
Mommy in Pink is a loyal MWOB follower (from what I can tell) and I like to check out what's going on with her. She's a new mom with an itty-bitty girl in pink (like almost 4 months old) and she seems to have time to exercise and blog. Good for you Mommy in Pink. So today on Mommy in Pink (have I plugged her enough yet?), she has a nice little rundown called "The Mommy Manual - For Beginners." You should definitely head over there to check it out.
So I read Mommy in Pink's manual. And all this morning, as I've been trying to find the time to sit down and write something, for God's sake, her little manual kept popping into my head. So I thought - this is it. It was thought-provoking and that's what this writing crap is all about. Getting those thoughts going and maybe throw in some feelings as well if you're lucky and then you're in good shape. So thanks Mommy in Pink for the inspiration.
So now for the ripping off part - I've decided to add my own "Mommy Manual - For Beginners to Semi-Intermediate Moms." Things I have decided to be of utmost value as I continue treading water in this current pool of deep, deep motherhood I am in. Here it goes ( in no particular order):
1) Don't be afraid to be the boss. Kids don't need wishy-washy parents who are uncertain of where to draw the boundaries. Kids are screaming to be shown the way each and every day. They are begging for boundaries 'cause they don't know the rules and it's my job to teach them.
2) Talk to your kids. Oh yeah, that's so cliche. Isn't there a "Don't do Drugs" commercial that uses this novel idea? Well, it's a good one. Talk to them when you don't think they hear you. Talk to them when they are newborn. Talk to them like they understand every single thing you're saying. 'Cause they do.
3) Listen to your kids. The second half of the equation. Listen to every story, every revelation, every complaint, even if it is nearly killing you to listen for one more friggin' second. I'm a firm believer that MOST things can be handled through that beautiful thing called communication. And talking and listening really help with communication. Is that obvious?
4) Preserve traditions (or start some). I consider myself a grounded person. And I partially attribute that to the fact that my Polish parents (calm down, now) practiced quite a few Polish traditions in our home growing up. Kids love traditions. They love knowing what to expect and I really think it helps ground kids to their place in the world. It doesn't have to be big or fancy (God knows, my family is far from fancy) (and what a word fancy is!), it just has to be yours.
5) Tuck your kids in at night. Almost nothing makes me feel better than tucking my little hellions in for the night under a big cozy comfy colorful comforter. Ending the day this way I think gives my kids the ultimate feeling of safety. And making your kids feel safe is what it's all about.
6) Teach manners. It makes me crazy when kids don't have basic manners. Rude kids simply piss me off. In our home, I make my kids say "please" and "thank you" and "may I be excused?" and I remind them to use manners when they go anywhere. Not saying it always works but we're trying.
7) Smother your kids with affection. There is one thing that will ALWAYS put me in a good mood even after the crappiest day ever. And that is hugging on and kissing on my kiddies. And they love it. Rolling around on a lazy Saturday morning giggling and hugging with the kids on "mama's bed" is where. it's. at. Period.
8) Give them faith. I was raised Catholic. And without getting into a huge discussion about the pros and cons of organized religion, I am so thankful that my parents gave me the gift of faith. And it's mine to keep or throw away as I journey through life. It doesn't have to be so structured as Catholicism but to plant in your kids the belief that there is a higher power at work, something that transcends our life on this earth, is a gift.
9) Keep your kids clean. (Or cleanliness is next to godliness.) I know, really? But bathing your kids daily (or almost), keeping their clothes clean, their faces clean and fresh, their hair combed, their teeth brushed, and all that jazz shows a real respect for your kids. Dirty kids with dirty snotty faces really make me crazy.
10) Admit it when you're wrong. Oh yeah, I'm a pro at this one. CR's kindergarten teacher had a phrase "Mistakes mean you're learning." CR says this to The Love Fairy when she's getting crazy frustrated that she can't draw as well as CR. And I now say this to my kids when I'm wrong. And that is often. I'm human, I'm struggling, and I seldom know how to behave like a good mommy should and I admit that to my kids. I mean, we're all in this together, aren't we?
So that's my top 10 for today. If you're gonna rip off this idea and do your own post, let us know below and we'll all head over your way to check it out. OR if you want to share one of your Mommy Manual Musts, let us know below as well. As you know, we all LOVE that comment section.