breakfastinbed1Breakfast in Bed — Mary Cassatt

Hi all– Michelle is having a baby!  She’s an adorable teacher at my school and last week we all got together in our family room to wish her well and add a few gifts to the pile of baby things waiting for little baby Lee to appear.  What joy!

I gave to little talk for Michelle and found out if you google baby quotes, there is no end to people’s baby thoughts, like…

“Babies are such a nice way to start people”  –Don Herald

And the quote I really loved–

“The moment a child is born, the mother is also born.”  –Rajneesh

I’ve been intrepidly “mothering” in different stages for the last 34 years and it’s been an occupation I’ve loved, loved.  So I had a little advice for Michelle:

#1.  Love you child unreservedly– I know that sounds too obvious. But be a student of your child– watch them as they play, as they relate to other people… Love who they are, not just who you want them to be.

#2.  Listen to them.  We read and sang and prayed with our kids at bedtime.  In junior high school years, one of our daughters always had a problem to discuss at the end of the day.  One evening I was making dinner and she came in, “Mom, I have a problem.”  I was busy.  I put her off, “Let’s talk about it at bedtime.”  She thought, and said, “No, I have a different problem for bedtime.”  I had to stop.  And listen.  Let your kids know you’ll always listen so they’ll keep on talking to you.

#3. Read together, every day you can.  It builds a comradery, a family language, those inside jokes…  Start with Brown Bear, Brown Bear for rhythm and rhyme.  School kids love the BFG* for it’s wacky characters and rollicking language.  We read Corrie Ten Boom’s holocaust story as the kids grew, for her bravery and integrity.

#4.  Be true to the values you want your child to learn.  Teach kindness by the way you talk to them, Faith by honoring what you believe.  Teach character by making the unselfish decisions yourself.  And pray with your children.  No one will pray for them like you will.

#5.  Hug them often–real squishy hugs along with encouraging words and sweet surprises– They never get too old for this one.

So here’s a couple more thoughts for moms about to have babies–

“People who say they sleep like a baby, don’t usually have one.”  –Leo Burke

“Children reinvent the world for you.”  –Susan Sarandon

and my favorite–

“Behold, children are a gift of the Lord.”  –Psalm 127:3

IMG_9244God bless you new-mom, Michelle!  Your little bundle of baby girl has almost arrived!  Here’s to all the happy years of ahead of loving this new little person who will call you Mom!

*BFG stands for Big Friendly Giant (Roald Dahl)


6 thoughts on “Mothering

  1. I agree, children are a gift from the Lord, and being a mother is a gift for which I will be eternally grateful. Thank you for sharing your beautiful thoughts.

  2. Thank you for hosting Michelle’s lovely shower and for sharing your quotes and thoughts about motherhood. Your advice is so wonderful and touching. It brought tears to my eyes.

  3. Such sage and beautiful advice – you are a Titus woman, mentoring and guiding the younger. My little guys favorite book was “Brown Bear, Brown Bear”, I still smile at remembering him shout the next color animal, that he had memorized, with the turn of each page. My middle guys favorite was “Goin’ on a Bear Hunt” – I can’t count how many times I read those books. Thanks for making me smile this afternoon.

  4. What a beautiful post straight from your heart Rhonda. I loved pt # 2 from your list. it’s really so important to make the time to listen to your kids. I don’t have any but I’ve been one. All the best to your friend/ colleague Michelle.

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