Guest Post from Tiffany Beveridge, The Would-Be Writers Guild
If it takes a village to raise a child, then it takes the Village People to raise a mom. Okay, that wasn’t the best metaphor, but bear with me.
Let’s face it—motherhood is on-the-job training. You can read a lot of books about motherhood, but you won’t really understand the precious chaos of it all until you’ve extracted a fruit snack from your child’s nostril or locked yourself in the bathroom for a blissful twenty seconds of privacy while you tinkle.
Over the years, I’ve gleaned some pearls of wisdom from the women in my life. I’ve watched them navigate the sometimes murky, sometimes hilarious roads of motherhood and I’ve furiously taken notes along the way. (Often during those blissful twenty seconds in the bathroom.)
Alison taught me to buy a beautiful pair of pajamas to wear in the hospital after giving birth. (Make sure they’re roomy!) It’s important to feel comfortable and pretty while you’re welcoming visitors and having your photo snapped.
Rita taught me that life and children rarely turn out as planned. Don’t fight against what should have been. Accept your reality and make the most of it.
Leslie taught me that the cure for your little one’s inappropriate language is a few drops of Tabasco sauce on the tongue. (Works for naughty dogs, too.)
April showed me that it’s important to fill your child’s world with lots of books and space to play.
Becky taught me that home-baked chocolate chip cookies are the best way to get a parent-child conversation started.
Kathy taught me that you’re better off realizing in the beginning that you can’t do it all. So just do what you can.
Anne once told me that you carry your child’s heart inside your own and that you never feel happier than your saddest child.
Heidi taught me that it’s possible to raise teenagers and like them at the same time. (I’m t-minus 13 months from finding out if it’s true.)
Andrea taught me to shop the clearance racks and stock up for next year at 75% off. You’ll thank yourself again and again.
Janet taught me that you have to be your child’s strongest advocate. Especially in health care and education, you can’t wait for the system to make things right. You have to demand it.
Rhonda taught me that eating a large quantity of bean burritos during pregnancy results in brown-eyed children. (We’re still waiting for science to back this one up.)
Deanna taught me to let go, slow down, and enjoy the moment. Moments turn into years and lifetimes if you let them pass by.
And finally, Susan taught me that it’s fun to stay at the YMCA. Wait—no—I’m wrong. That wasn’t Susan; that actually was the Village People. Maybe they do know something about motherhood after all.