Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The 8 Most Influential Lessons Motherhood Has Taught Me So Far

Go with the Flow
The moment I begin to grow comfortable with a specific routine, something up and lunges the game plan with the strength of an Olympic discus thrower, therefore teaching me to be more amenable to going with the flow. Might just be on my gravestone someday.

Wendy Paine Miller, the mama who knew how to go with the flow.

Judge Not
At my core I believe most moms truly are doing the best they can with what they’ve been given. I keep this in mind when I’m tempted to judge, then I remember all the times I’ve made whopping awful decisions and have jacked up miserably. It does wonders for infusing me with clarity. I need not judge.

Paging Nurse Paine
I’ve spent the last few nights on call. Sleepless. Rubbing a back hunched over the toilet. Changing sheets. Doing laundry. Caring for my daughter. Caring less what I looked like at preschool drop-off the days following. Conclusion: I’d make a mighty fine nurse. Conclusion #2: I greatly respect moms with the burden of tending to terminally ill children or children dealing with chronic pain. Such respect!

Assess What Matters
I’ve tackled this some with you before. Numbers will come and go, rise and fall. Friendships will find seasons. There will be times demanding flight from us, and other times calling for fight. But no matter what, family remains. I choose to pour into my girls now when they still live in my home, while I can still greet them with a smile in the morning and bedtime kiss at night. I embrace what matters. The lives that matter.

Count My One Thousand Gifts
Voskamp is doing something amazing with her book, isn't she? She's prompting people to pay attention again—to slow down. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve recollected the wisdom in Voskamp’s book while washing dishes, folding laundry (alright, so that doesn’t happen near as much as it should), and while cutting vegetables for dinner. I’m savoring these days because they’ll pass. My children will grow. And I wish to remember them now and give abundantly now.

Sacrifice & Humility
I lost sleep the past few nights. That’s nothing. Try losing pride, losing face, losing your cool, and losing your mind. Pretty sure I manage to do all of those on a daily basis. I’m okay with apologizing to my five-year-old. I like what it teaches me. I like learning from my kids and I hope I’m passing on powerful messages to them as I take on this wild beast called motherhood. Another one for my gravestone:

Wendy Paine Miller—never too old to learn.

Value of Bonding with & Encouraging Other Moms
I adore other moms. My relationships with women in the same diaper changing, naughty step disciplining, breast milk-stained T-shirt wearing boat have been invaluable. I’ll never be able to adequately express my gratitude for what I’ve garnered from other moms on this journey. I’m deeply grateful for the wisdom and even simple encouragement some have given me during times I needed it most.

Let Go
Hardest one, but I’m working on it. Probably can’t write this one on my gravestone yet. But that’s because I’m not dead yet. Life in progress. Motherhood in progress.

What is one of the most influential lessons parenthood has taught you so far? If you’re not a parent, what was a biggie you learned from your folks?


  1. Being a mom taught me to die to myself and to serve others. Not an easy lesson for a girl who wanted the world to revolve around me! But as a parent, I had to put my children before myself, I had to serve them even when I didn't want to or they didn't deserve it. I had to discipline when it would have been easier to let it go and let it go when it would have felt better to discipline. Being a mom has shaped my character and my faith in a way I don't think any other role or situation could have.

  2. Wow, this is very inspiring! I learned so, so much from my own mom. I think I'd definitely go with the family first one. She was so good at that. Missing her this morning as I read this.

  3. Oh my goodness! I completely relate to this post. Especially the go with the flow. It took me about five years to learn that. LOL

  4. One of my most inspiring motherhood lessons is one of possibility. Sharing my life with my daughters has a way of expanding my vision, love, understanding, in such a way that I see how much more is possible in life than what I'd known without them.

  5. I can relate to "Count My One Thousand Gifts." As an Empty Nester, I can vouch for how quickly the years fly by. I'm so glad I was able to stay home with our daughter, volunteer in her classrooms, and play oodles of board games with her as we talked about anything and everything. I could still use help in the "Go With the Flow" arena, though. Just ask my gal. =)

  6. I've learned I'm still a good mom even if I don't do all the "Good Mommy" things like join PTA, bake cookies every other week for the class, show up to grade papers and help in the art room and be the team Mom for every sport I think my child should play. I used to feel inadequate for that. Seriously. But what I found out is, I don't say, "I'm exhausted and need more time. I'm run ragged." like those mommies do and my kids still think I rock (sorta). LOL BTW nothing wrong with mothers who do that, it's just not me. :)

    Another wonderful post, Wendy.

  7. Aw, love this post. I need to read Anne Voskamp's posts more often, too! So hard to do when you're in the middle of child-rearing, but the cliche is so true, "They grow up before you know it. Enjoy it now."

  8. Sacrifice - and it's all worth it!

  9. I'm not a parent (yet), but oh the things my own parents have taught me. The biggest, I think, is sacrificial, unselfish love. They're amazing. If I can be half as awesome as a parent as my Mom and Dad, I'll be happy. :)

  10. Love the go-with-the-flow one. I'm trying to remember that. I think the biggest thing I've learned is that I need to be the best mom I can be - the mom God wants me to be - and not try to be the "best" according to someone else's ideas or abilites.

  11. Oh, yes, Voskamp has taught me to see the beautiful in ugly moments and to be thankful in ugly moments too!

  12. This is a brilliant and wise -- and timely -- post for me. It's so true that sometimes we have to assess. We have to go with the flow. We have to try something different. But we never give up on our kids. They deserve for us to do the best we can with what we know. All we can hope is that they'll be better than we are.

  13. Oh, Wendy...we are SO on the same page these days. The funny thing is, my kids are much older than yours, but I'm still learning (and re-learning) these things!


Taking Time

college applications                 homecoming                            flag football                basketball             SATs   ...