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Mom moments – receiving our child’s gifts

by Mary Mazzoni on May 12, 2013

There are marvelous moments when we receive what only our child can give. Gifts that need no pretty paper, and can be stored only in our heart.

Everyday busy-ness distracts us. But these receiving moments are timeless. Mom moments.

They change us. Stretching who we are, shaping our relationship with our child.

How might we open space for these moments?

Being present

As busy, responsible parents – we often perceive life with a “monkey mind”. Our thoughts flit from one responsibility to another – as a monkey might fly between tree branches.

We can practice being present. For just a few moments. Every day.

We can take a little time to be with our child. A particular time to listen – with our whole being. No agenda. No questions. Letting our child be who she is – how she is – in those moments. Enjoying her – receiving her gifts.

He may want to talk, or play, or complain, or cry, or laugh. In those few moments – we can choose to open to him – without distraction or expectations.

And those few moments can begin to influence our presence with our child throughout the day. As being present begins to become a way of being for us.

Being curious and teachable

Home schooling mom Angela Schwindt says that ”while we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.”

If we let them.

Sometimes, we’re so focused on teaching our children well, that our sense of wonder in their miraculous uniqueness begins to fade. Let’s rekindle our desire to see the world through our child’s eyes!

What can you learn from your child today?

Letting go of comparisons

I whole-heartedly agree with Theodore Roosevelt when he said:

“Comparison is the thief of joy” 

Professionals may compare our child’s skills with developmental milestones, or academic standards. We may unconsciously compare our child to others. Let’s be mindful of comparisons.

When we look at our child through the lens of comparison – we can miss the gifts he alone brings to the world.

As author Joan Ryan writes:

“Motherhood is about raising and celebrating the child you have, not the child you thought you would have.

It’s about understanding that he’s exactly the person he is supposed to be.

And that, if you’re lucky, he just might be the teacher who turns you into the person you are supposed to be.”      

Celebrating progress

Sometimes we lose sight of how far our child has come. Progress may be slow. An ultimate goal can seem a long way off. We’re often looking forward to the next big achievement – without pausing to celebrate our child’s progress along the way.

Let’s notice the steps our child is taking toward a goal that matters to him. The journey will be more fun – for us and for our child – when we savor little victories!

Being real

We try so hard. Whatever our parenting ideals may be – we knock ourselves out trying to live up to them. And fall short.

Our child is watching. Can we compassionately accept and forgive our imperfections? Can we breathe deep, laugh, and be real? In those moments – we can genuinely connect with our child. We can create safe space for her to be herself – for him to forgive his own shortcomings. We can be real together. What a difference these moments can make!

Growing together

Before our child’s birth, mothering was an abstract concept. We can even laugh about our naivete back then. There’s nothing abstract about mothering!

Our child is a particular, ever-evolving person. Mothering is a relationship – a life-long journey together. We grow and influence each other along the way.

Precious few words of advice apply in every season of parenting. But, when my 25 year old daughter was born, a nurse gave me two words of wisdom that have returned to me through all the years – reminding me what matters most. She said, simply: “Enjoy her.”

May you and your child enjoy each other as you grow together!

Photo credit – wonderferret at Flickr

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Amie Samba May 13, 2013 at 11:54 am

Hi Mary. Thanks for sharing this post. I am not a parent but I do love the subtle ways kids can teach you.

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Mary Mazzoni May 27, 2013 at 10:31 am

Thanks so much for your comment, Amie! Kids ARE great teachers!

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