Preparing for Motherhood

Preparing for motherhood, fatherhood, or really, preparation for becoming an adult, ideally begins when we are quite young.

I think possibly most of us think of the sorts of things we need to prepare for parenthood as a list of skills to learn: diaper changing, holding a baby, what to do with a sick baby, how to cook, how to clean, how to cook a meal so everything that is supposed to be hot is hot and everything that is supposed to be cold is cold and all at the same magical moment in time, removing stains from clothes, child development, a few principles about nutrition and health, etc.

But you can know all those skills perfectly and not be prepared for adult life, and especially not for parenthood. Here (in no particular order) are some of the things we need to help our children (and ourselves) learn or develop if we wish to grease the rails of life for them so their train runs more smoothly:

A healthy sense of humour
Flexibility
Humility
Faith
Contentment
diligence
kindness
generosity
prudence
a balanced sense of frugality or economy
Self-denial
that old puritan work ethic approach to getting things done
a capacity for joy in simple things
amenability
magnanimity
courage
self-motivation
mercy
justice
compassion
reason
Self-control
love
knowledge and a desire for knowledge
honesty
tact
industrious
self-management
charity
discretion
wisdom
trustworthy
cheerfulness
habit of prayer
self confidence
healthy curiosity
even tempered

IT’s a long yet still incomplete list, and looked at one way, it could be deeply discouraging. That’s not what I hoped for with this list. A stream can rise no higher than its source, so if we are working with our children- and ourselves- with only the merely practical goals in mind, that’s the most of what we shall attain to. And it’s not enough.

We’re also aiming in the wrong direction. Pick just one of these for yourself and one for your child and work on it diligently for today- make yourself follow through, consciously, conscientiously, no exceptions, and as cheerfully as possibly. Just today- maybe even just the next hour. And then the next one. Tomorrow when you get up, determine all over again to work on that trait, that quality, that attitude just for the morning. You’ll rethink and give yourself a break at lunch time. Only at lunchtime, rethink and determine to continue, just until supper time.

When things get hard, don’t give up, change your scenery. Go outside. Play some fun music. Go scrub something. Go make something. Tell a joke. Laugh at yourself. Wash your face and hands. Tickle the baby. Pray throughout.

And then try again. Little by little, inch by inch- you know the song. It is in small, steady growth that we develop the strongest- the harvest will come. We needn’t be discouraged that we are not successful at all of these- none of us is, and each family has its own unique flavour and purpose in life. Just work on who you are and how to be better at the best parts of that, and sand off the rougher parts, and help your children on to a better harvest for the future.

Begin where you are. It’s not important where that is or why you’re there and not somewhere else. You can’t change the past, you can only change your present, and that is what it will take to change the future.

preparing for motherhood wiggin

Also- you need to train yourself to deal with sleepless nights.=)

This entry was posted in housewifery, Mothering, parenting, Philosophical Ponderings and Ideas. Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.

One Comment

  1. jdavidb
    Posted November 6, 2015 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    And problem solving ability.

    And anger management.

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