YOU ASKED FOR IT

Josh_and_cindy_in_muir_woodsThat’s me with my older son, Josh, in Muir Woods outside San Francisco  — pretty many years ago.  I don’t know if you can tell but I’m pregnant with his brother.  Happy to join the virtual shower although despite my adoration of and respect for both Liz and Catherine, I’m from the generation that put their babies to sleep on their stomachs and so may sound a little old-fashioned.

1. Don’t do anything that doesn’t feel right no matter whose advice it is. 2. Trust yourself. 3. Remember that everybody makes mistakes and anyway a child is not a product, she is a person. You’ve heard that kids are resilient. They are. Do your best with love and if you don’t dwell on your mistakes neither will they. 4. You can’t turn a child into someone. You can only help them become the best somebody they already are. 5. Don’t be afraid to say no. Parents who don’t set limits and help their kids learn self-discipline are selfish. It’s easier but it’s not right. 6. No experience is wasted on a child. Maybe they’re too young to remember, but if it happened, it had an impact. So share as much of what you love as you can – music, museums, trips to Timbuktu or Target — poetry, cooking, washing the car. 7. No child ever went to college in diapers. 8. Listen to experienced people you respect, preschool teachers, friends, even, God forbid, your mother.  Experience really is a great teacher.  Then, though, think it through and then do what you think is right. 9. Everything is not equally important. Pick your fights and win them. 10. Leave time to just be. Lessons are great but quiet time is where imagination and a sense of self emerges. 10. LISTEN to your kids. They are smart and interesting and wise and if you respect them you have a far better chance of having them respect you. 11. Did I say trust yourself?

With love, admiration and the joy that comes from knowing all you wonderful, poetic and caring, committed and in one case, very new mothers on the occasion of this lovely virtual baby shower.

7 thoughts on “YOU ASKED FOR IT”

  1. This is absolutely thoughtful, kind and so so so astute. Thank you so much Cynthia. There is something to be said for advice from those older (just a little) and wiser (a lot) in the childrearing department.

  2. Wonderful, wonderful advice, all of it.
    (And? For the record? Wonderbaby slept on her stomach, once she was out of her swaddle. It was the only way that she would sleep, so we rolled with it.)

  3. I was in labor during the virtual baby shower and had good intentions of trying to read all the advice at some point. Now that Myles is not quite so needy, I’m actually getting an opportunity.
    Thanks so much for the great advice. (and the link to it) Trusting yourself as a mother must be the hardest thing to learn… at least it has been for me thus far.

  4. I don’t think you ever learn to trust yourself altogether. That’w why it has to be written down and passed on – to remind each of us of our own best instincts. Mothers support each other – the trust is reinforced by the tribe. That’s one reason we love BlogHer. I know it’s corny to bring up the quilting bee or birthing tent or, if you’ve read it, Red Tent – but we are blessed with the gift of one another.
    By the way, Myles is a lucky little one!

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