A doctor goes to med school, those in business can get their MBA, and a hair stylist attends cosmetology training. So, where do moms go to learn how to be a mom? The answer is nowhere and that has become painfully clear to me these past several weeks. When you have a newborn baby, you may feel clueless, but really you “just” have to feed him, change his diaper and let him sleep. But then you blink and you have a toddler that can run and talk and have opinions and suddenly you find yourself in a predicament – you’re clueless.
I’m hoping it’s not just me but there are several times a day that I feel as if I am the blind leading the blind. My little ones ask questions and look to me for answers and guidance and (don’t tell them), I usually make stuff up.
Son: Mommy, where did the Easter Bunny go?
Me: Back to its rabbit hole with his bunny friends!
Son: Why can’t we have goldfish for breakfast?
Me: Because the only crunchy thing we are allowed to eat for breakfast is cereal.
Son: Mommy, what’s this? (pointing to a very large piece of machinery)
Me: A very large piece of machinery.
And my favorite…
Me: Clean up your playdoh gravel that is ALL over the floor.
The age-old question – how do I get my kids to listen to me? I don’t remember a class about this, even in my education classes in college. I don’t remember reading about this in one of the five “What to Expect…” books I read before having them. And I don’t remember any advice when my friends and family were asked to give it at my shower. Where are we supposed to learn this stuff?
I have no clue how to get him to listen to me. I also have no clue how to get him to eat vegetables other than corn, how to learn to consistently go on the potty or how to get him to stop taking toys from his sister. I’ve read books (well parts of them), articles, chatted with mommy friends and my own mom. My husband and I discuss it and we come up with ideas and a game plan. We do our best. We are learning, just like our kids.
And here’s what I have learned so far, and here is my advice to the other clueless moms. Be confident. AKA fake it ‘til you make it. As a child, I never remember thinking that my mom was clueless. Even as a single mom with a full plate, she had the answers. I felt safe and secure in our life and in her decisions. Looking back though, I am positive she was terrified. And definitely clueless. But her confidence kept that hidden away and made it easier on both of us. So when I talk to my children, I try to be confident and assured in what I am saying. I may be laughing (or crying) on the inside, but I want them to see a mom who stands her ground and can be their guide. This will be my method until they create a new degree in “Mommy,” and even then, I think I’d prefer this real-life experience anyway.