Friday 27 June 2014

"Mom" Skills

I feel like I should take a time out to explain what I mean by “Mum Skills.” When I was pregnant, I found myself constantly thinking about what I would need to know as a mum. As I said, these weren’t the REALLY important things, like how to change a diaper (which I had also never done before.) These were the skills that I felt, in my pregnancy brain, were crucial to being a successful mum.  Really, they’re not crucial, but I hope that whatever I can learn will help me make my son’s childhood positive and memorable. I think that they came from my own experiences growing up.  In reality, the word Mum could be replaced by dad, grandmother, grandfather, auntie, cousin, friend, etc. 

I was lucky enough to grow up with a stay-at-home mum. My mum made all of my Halloween costumes and always had fun things to make and do around the house. She also volunteered at my school and was always very present in my life. In my mind, those are all mum skills.  My dad was always a hands-on parent too though. We’d go skating, to the beach to fly kites, and he did a lot of cooking too. He made delicious bread and treats and was always available to explain things to me – whether it was the importance of drinking water or how a piece of machinery works.  In my mind, these are also mum skills. The baking I did with one grandmother, and seeing the beautiful sewing created by the other grandmother helped me add to my mum skills list. Thinking back to the beachcombing and exploring I did with various family members also helped add to my list. 

I use the term “Mum Skills” because I’m a mum, but feel free to expand the definition to include anyone who helps raise a child. With my pregnancy brain, I think I wanted to learn EVERYTHING in order to be the best mum I could be, but with my now 8-months post-pregnancy brain, I know that I can’t be everything to my son, and really shouldn’t be. There are lots of people in a child’s life and they all add something unique to their lives. The mum (or dad!) doesn’t have to have ALL of the traits that help make a child’s childhood special. After all, that’s why I believe in the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.”

That being said, I still want to learn as much as I can. I can be a bit of an overachiever at times and want to acquire as many mom skills as possible, so my quest continues!

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