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What I Learned About Motherhood from the Best Mom

Every post I write or recipe I create, I have one goal; to help my readers live a better life through sharing what I know.
Today, I have two goals. The usual sharing of my personal experience and life lessons, but primarily, it’s a love letter to my mom, Altaf.
Can I get through this post without crying? I seriously doubt it. Too late, the tears are flowing already. I must admit, I do cry easily, and in this, I take after my mom.
You know how most people think their mom is the best in the world? They can’t all be right? Well, my mom is the best mom in the world. Don’t take my word for it. Just ask my friends, my cousins, my in-laws, my school teachers, her clients, and anyone that has come in contact with her…the list is endless. She has more love and compassion in her than anyone I have ever come across.
I wish I can be half the mom she has been to me, to us, as my siblings will surely agree.
Here are the 7 lessons I have learned from the best mom in the world:

Unconditional Love

When your child makes a mistake and you are upset with them, always remind them that you love them no matter what. My mother would always say “I love Arwa, I don’t love Arwa’s behavior.” She would make sure we knew that we are loved despite making mistakes. Why is that important?
  • It teaches your child that they deserve to be loved NO MATTER WHAT. They don’t need to be perfect to deserve love.
  • It’s normal to make mistakes in life, and as they get older, the mistakes actually become bigger, and they need to forgive and love themselves nevertheless.
  • It’s more likely they will learn from their mistakes if they are in a supportive and loving environment.

Doing the Right Thing

If you are doing the right thing, what other people think is irrelevant. Your child needs to know that doing the right thing is more important than whatever pressures they may face in life. Not cheating on an exam is more important than the A, telling the truth is more important than the fear of getting in trouble, and being kind is more important than being popular. When they are teenagers they are less likely to succumb to peer pressure if you have instilled in them this virtue.

Quality Time, Not Quantity

Taking care of your kids by feeding them, cleaning them (or after them!) or helping them do their homework is important. But if making all that effort takes away from really spending quality time with your kids, then you need to reevaluate your priorities. Your child needs a mom, not a maid. Play with them, really really listen to them, and really be present when you are spending time with them.

Take Care of Yourself First

And that includes your time with your husband. Your emotional well-being and the health of your marriage is vitally important for your child. Therefore, don’t feel guilty for leaving your kids with your parent’s so you can go away for a weekend to spend quality time with your husband, or for leaving them with the nanny or your mom so you can go to the gym. This also relates to the previous point, as when you take care of yourself you are more able to be present when you are with your child and spend quality time with them.

Balance How Much You Give

Your child will always want more. Sometimes it’s clear that it’s not in their best interest, like another slice of cake, or more time on their iPad. Other times the distinction isn’t so clear. If it’s taking away from taking care of yourself so you can be a better mom in the long-run, then be confident about saying no. For example, you are spending the day at a theme park. You’ve been there since 10 am, it’s now 5 pm and you are so tired and hungry because you’re not going to eat theme park food right? Of course, your kids want to stay longer. You are more likely to be in a good mood until bedtime if you leave at 5 pm. Your kids need that more than an extra hour at a theme park. So go home! What’s the point of giving them what they want if they are going to get a cranky parent when they go home?

Don’t Undermine Their Feelings, Acknowledge Them

When your child is showing signs of fear, worry, or anxiety, don’t tell them they are being silly. Rather, ask them questions such as:
Why are you afraid of the dark? Why are you worried about the first day of school? What is it about swimming that makes you nervous? Use their answers to ask them more questions…
What can we do to ease the darkness at bedtime? What ideas do you have to make the first day of school easier? How do you feel about just observing a swimming class and meeting the coach? Help them discover solutions and feel empowered and heard. With time they will realize that it’s not as bad as they imagined.

Never Compare Your Child to Others

I’m leaving the best to last! My mom never compared me to anyone else, whether family or friends. I was always shocked when a friend’s parent would say to their daughter in front of me “when will you get good grades like Arwa?” Or “when will you lose weight and be slim like Arwa?”…at that moment I want the ground to swallow me. I would feel even worse than my friend would! My mom would never have said that. My Dad said it once to me, and it was about not earring the same higher salary as my cousin. Thankfully at the time I was older and more confident and it didn’t affect me, but it still hurt. So imagine if I was being compared to others around me at an earlier more sensitive age?

Thank you, Mama!

All that is good in me, is because you were my mom.

To those of you who are not moms yet, who haven’t had that chance, I want you to know that WE APPRECIATE YOU! To all the aunts out there (Asoola I love you!) and girlfriends, we couldn’t have done it without your support. You make it easier to be moms.
Fertility Boosting Meal Plan
And to those who have been struggling to get pregnant, I wish I can reach out and hug you! To let you know I feel your pain. I know your struggle. I can’t write these words without tears flowing. It’s difficult to understand why you are on this journey, but trust that God has something special in store for you. It may become clear to you with time, and it may not. Just don’t go through this alone. If it’s difficult to speak and share with loved ones, then find a support group online that you can join to get you through this time. Furthermore, if you haven’t considered a natural approach to pregnancy, then consider my Fertility Boosting Meal Plan as a starting point.
Share below your love letter to your mom, wherever she might be. Then take a screenshot and send it to her or post it on Instagram or Facebook. And finally, share with me in the comments below the best lesson you learned from your mom. Let’s help each other.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the women of the world! God bless you and keep you healthy for your loved ones

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