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Spring 2013 -- Offering Mothering Wisdom

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 -- Offering Wisdom to New Moms

From our archives -- The Best Good Deed

From our archives -- Embracing the Wonder of Children

From our archives -- Encouraging children to live their bliss

From our archives

Holiday 2013 -- Embracing the World of Wonder

Winter 2013 -- Recipe for a Happy Thanksgiving

Fall 2013 -- Finding Beauty in the Everyday Tasks

Late Summer 2013 - Taking Our Own Advice

Midsummer 2013 -- Appreciating Nature's Bounty

Early Summer 2013 -- Being Prepared

Late Spring 2013 -- Having Realistic Expectations

Early Spring 2013 -- Being True to Our Nature

Holiday 2012 -- Appreciate the Goodness

Winter 2012 -- Enjoying the Anticipation

Early Fall 2012 -- Looking Back to Appreciate Now

Summer 2012 -- Chinaberry's History & Future

Early Summer 2012 -- My Dad

Late Spring 2012 -- My Satisfying Yet Untraditional Upbringing

Spring 2012 - The Consequences of Our Actions

Early Spring 2012 - Learning From Experience

Winter 2011 - The Small Moments

Holiday 2011 - The Good Deed

Fall 2011 - Gratitude

Late Summer 2011 - Overwhelmed? You're Not Alone.

Midsummer 2011 - Louise's Gallery

Early Summer 2011 - Flying 101: Giving Them Wings

Late Spring 2011 - Letting Them Fail

Spring 2011

Early Spring 2011 - Encouraging Your Kids to Live Their Bliss

Fall 2010 - The Chinaberry Commitment

Late Summer 2010 - In the Blink of an Eye

Midsummer 2010 - It's Her Story

Early Summer 2010 - Weathering the Storm

Gifts From My Mother

Spring 2010 - Enjoy the Ride

Early Spring 2010 - Enter the Land of Dirt and Bugs

Winter 2009 - Less Cleaning, More Meaning

Holiday 2009 - Finding Gratitude Every Day

Fall 2009 - Teaching Children Through Our Actions

Late Summer 2009 - A Spoonful of Sugar

Midsummer 2009 - Give Your Kids the Gift of Boredom this Summer

Early Summer 2009 - Who's the Kid and Who's the Parent?

Late Spring 2009 - Making Connections

Spring 2009 - Fully Engaging With Our Children

Early Spring 2009 - Building Character While Playing Characters

Winter 2008 - Never Underestimate the Value of a Good Hello

Holiday 2008

Fall 2008

Late Summer 2008

Midsummer 2008

Early Summer 2008

Late Spring 2008

Spring 2008

Early Spring 2008

Winter 2007

Holiday 2007

Fall 2007

Late Summer 2007

Midsummer 2007

Early Summer 2007

Late Spring 2007

Spring 2007

Early Spring 2007

Winter 2006

Holiday 2006

Fall 2006

Late Summer 2006

Midsummer 2006

Early Summer 2006

Late Spring 2006

Spring 2006

Early Spring 2006




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