From our archives -- Offering Wisdom to New Moms

Dear Friends

At a baby shower I recently attended, talk rolled around to what advice seasoned mothers could offer the guest of honor. It made me smile to see that despite our youth-obsessed culture, one that doesn't seem to place an abundance of value on the wisdom of elders, when it comes to the primal act of mothering, some of what has been learned through the ages is still true and still respected. I know that the most valuable mothering wisdom I received was about how to thrive on the good days and muddle through the daunting task of raising a child on the not-so-good days.

The advice given the mother-to-be at this shower took the form of index cards on which we wrote what we felt would be most helpful to her in the upcoming months and years. The advice was all over the map and reflected some of the personal journey each contributor had experienced, the stuff with which she had grappled in her own way and was hard-won wisdom to be shared. The advice each of us came up with wasn't innate knowledge, but things you have to either learn through trial by fire or by being open to the wisdom of those who have traveled the path before you:

* Accept any help that is offered.
* Sleep when the baby sleeps.
* Don't read too many parenting books, trust your instinct, and take it one day at a time.
* Being a mother is the hardest job you will ever have, but it's the most rewarding.
* One minute you'll think you've got it all together and the next minute you'll feel like the worst mom in the world. You're not.
* This little being has his or her own path, and no matter how great a parent you are, there are some things you truly have no control over. Parenting is a huge exercise in learning how to l-e-t g-o.
* Trying to be your child's buddy may feel good in the moment, but there's usually a price to pay down the road. Be a parent first, a loving, caring, responsible parent.
* Always follow through with what you say you're going to do.
* In the grand scheme of things, they're only young for such a short amount of time. Put down your iPad, get off the phone, and BE there for your child. Be sure to replenish yourself as well (a good babysitter is essential!), but when you're spending time with your child, truly engage with them and connect.

Every day people are coming up with new and better ways to do virtually anything you can name, including raising a child. At the same time, some things, like the wisdom of compassion and following your own instinct, just never change -- and that is good.

Other Issues:
From our archives -- Break Away from the Herd

From our archives -- The Art of Imperfection

From our archives -- Saddle Up

From our archives -- Taking Ourselves Off Automatic

Early Summer 2014 -- Embracing our Dormant Times

From our archives -- Taking Time to Listen

Late Spring 2014 -- Seeing More Clearly

Spring 2014 -- Savor What Makes Your Heart Sing

Early Spring 2014 -- The Power of Quotes

From our archives -- Break Away from the Herd

From our archives -- Break Away from the Herd

Holiday 2013 -- Taking the Time to Listen

Holiday 2013 -- Open our Hearts to the Good Around Us

Fall 2013 -- How to Cope in Tough Times

Late Summer 2013 - The Priceless Gift of Friendship

Midsummer 2013 -- My Luck is Pretty Good Luck

Early Summer 2013 -- Slow Down Enough to Smile

Late Spring 2013 -- Recognizing Gifts

Spring 2013 -- Doing the Best We Can

Early Spring 2013 -- Know Where You're Going

Holiday 2012 -- Our Power to Adapt

Fall 2012 -- Gratitude for What We Have

Early Fall 2012 -- See the Beauty in Front of Us

Late Summer 2012 -- Modify So It Works for You

Summer 2012 -- Finding Balance

Early Summer 2012 -- Go Ahead and Take that Risk!

Late Spring 2012 - Trusting Your Gut

Spring 2012 - Living Life to the Fullest

Early Spring 2012 - New Year, No Excuses

Winter 2011 - A Thoughtful Tip

Holiday 2011 - How Did I Get Here?

Fall 2011 - Giving Thanks for What We Already Have

Late Summer 2011 - Taking Ourselves Off Automatic

Midsummer 2011 - Friends Through Thick and Thin

Early Summer 2011 - The Power of Nice

Late Spring 2011 - The Gifts of Spring

Spring 2011 - Worst Case Scenario

Early Spring 2011 - Break Away From the Herd

Winter 2010 - Lessons From Feral Kitty

Holiday 2010 - The Art of Imperfection

Fall 2010 - When the Student is Ready...

Late Summer 2010 - Saddle Up

Midsummer 2010 - Hurry Up and Wait

Early Summer 2010 - Don't Just Stand There. Do Something!

Late Spring 2010 - Gifts From My Mother

Spring 2010 - Taking That First Step

Early Spring 2010 - I Think it's Time

Winter 2009 - Choose Love, Not Fear

Holiday 2009 - Paying it Forward

Fall 2009 - You're Not Alone

Late Summer 2009 - "Searching" for Peace

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