I do not know what kind of mother I will be in the future. I’m not even pregnant yet but I do know what kind of mother I don’t want to be.
1. Don’t be the mother who plays a lot of online games on the iPad/iPhone.
Farmville, Candy Crush, Plants vs. Zombies are a few games that can be played on Facebook and the iPad. We have an aunt who always answers “Yes” to her kids just so they will stop bothering her while she is playing then get mad once she sees what her kids are doing. WTH?
2. Don’t be the mother who sees her kids as a disturbance while they’re playing/doing something.
Which brings me to this second point. Just because you’re playing a game on your laptop or phone does not mean your kids are disturbing you when they ask you if they can play outside or watch TV. Be glad that they’re asking for your permission because they know they need your approval for them to do something. Also, it hurts to feel like you’re a disturbance to someone, especially your mother.
3. Don’t be the mother who shows her kids that they can boss their father around.
That is not a very good example, obviously. It’s not even “girl power” or something a wife should do. You know what it shows? Bullying. If it starts at home, don’t you think they could do it at school too? And do you think it’ll stop there when they grow up seeing you do it a lot? If that attitude of yours rub in on your daughter and she does the same to her boyfriend or husband, she’ll be lucky if her husband is not abusive. But if he is, what are you going to tell your daughter to make her feel better?
4. Don’t be the mother who gets mad if her kids speak Spanish instead of English.
If Spanish is your nationality, let them speak it. Why do you want your kids to speak English so bad? So it looks good for other people? It reflects beautifully on you who taught them to speak English? It makes them look elite? No. That shouldn’t be the reason for it. Speaking Spanish or your original language does not mean your kid is incompetent. It shows s/he’s bilingual and I think that makes them feel good about themselves.
5. Don’t be the mother who doesn’t talk to her kids or ask if they need help.
BIG NO! Do not let your kids grow up with you not asking how their day was or how they’re feeling. My mother was like this to me. I remember asking for her help in drawing when I was small, she told me I can do it on my own (maybe for you she’s teaching independence, but not to a little kid). I asked her again when I was in school already. She asked my older sister to help me with it. I never asked her again after that. Why? Because I felt like I was disturbing her with her work. Since then I did everything else on my own. Not just my school work but housework. During the times I was learning housework she did not once offered me to teach it to me or if I need help. When I grew up and Brad and I got together, she started to show interest in me, offering me advice on how to handle a boy. As nice of a gesture that was, I thought to myself that I know I can do this on my own without her help, just like before.
6. Don’t be the mother who forces her kids to grow up/mature right away.
They are babies for a reason. You call them baby even if they are already 9 or 13. Why? Because they need time to grow up and mature. And they need guidance while they are growing up. So don’t force them to man up or to handle things on their own right away.
7. Don’t be the mother who doesn’t give a choice and decide on everything.
For your kids to be able to cope later in life, especially when they move out of your home, you need to let them decide on their own. If you decide everything for them and kind of force them to do what you’ve decided on, it’ll be hard for their decision-making later in life. Give them choices. Let them choose. If they end up happily in their choice, congratulate them and explain to them why. If they end up crying or sad with their choice, hug them and explain to them why.
8. Don’t be the mother who does new and special things only when other people are around to see it.
This makes your kids feel that what you’re doing is insincere and that they are not special. My mother only focused her attention to me when I got Brad. I was not at all happy with the attention. Buying me stuff I like, and I mean everything I would mention. Bringing me to a dermatologist about this skin condition I’ve had since I was in the 7th grade. Why do it now? Why not bring me to the dermatologist before when it wasn’t that big of a rash yet? Because I’ve got Brad? Or is it because she thinks Brad will leave me if I don’t get it treated? Or maybe to show Brad and his family that my family and I are well off? Anyway, it’s like she was overdoing it and my other siblings felt a favouritism that was very much unfair. Mind you, I never liked the feeling of offering me to buy everything I look at at the mall.
9. Don’t be the mother who talks about others in front of her kids.
Because it’s not something your kids need to hear and to learn from someone who they look up to. Gossiping about other people in front of your kids and acting nicely when that person is around is such a two-faced move, mom.
10. Don’t be the mother who only hears what she wants to hear and doesn’t listen.
Not just when you’re mad but also when your kids have an idea. When you’re mad, don’t be the close-minded mother who thinks she’s right and her kid is wrong. And that it’s her house and her rules. Listen. Especially when your kids have an idea. If your child wants to build a house made of pizza, ask them why and applaud them. Let them think extraordinarily. Don’t force them to be normal. If they paint the clouds green, let them. Don’t get mad that the clouds aren’t blue or white.
11. Don’t be the mother who laughs at something her kids say when around other people but get mad at the same thing when they’re alone.
Again, it shows insincerity from you and it confuses the child if what s/he is doing or saying is right or wrong. If it’s wrong, explain it to your kid why it’s wrong without embarrassing him/her in front of others.
12. Don’t be the mother (if you’re a single mom) who prioritizes her friends and partying than spending time with her child.
Sure, your mother is there to take care of your child. Sure, your mother knows what to do when you don’t. Sure you’re a human being who needs to let off steam but don’t put letting off steam over your child. This goes especially to young, single mothers. I applaud you for keeping the kid even if your boyfriend left you after finding out you’re pregnant but if you’re going to prioritize your partying or your new boyfriend, leaving your kid with your parents and they provide more than you, you should’ve put him/her for adoption. Maybe that family who could’ve adopted your child would provide better than you.
Mothers, I’m not saying you need to be a superwoman. You’re human who makes mistakes. But a mistake done more than once is already a choice. And having someone, especially a kid, who look up to you, there’s no room for mistakes. If you unknowingly do it out of your temper, make sure to right it and explain to your child how to make it right. Communicate. Listen. Just because you provide for them doesn’t mean that’s enough already. Be there physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually.