It still amazes me on a daily basis how much I am learning from my role as a mother. I remember being pregnant and imagining “how it all would be…” and now realize that plans like that are out the window. There are no textbooks for the world-rocking, life-altering experience of becoming a Mom.
Having my Jack has taught me so much about appreciating the little things in life. Watching him examine a blade of grass with wonder and awe in his eyes as an infant…seeing him (literally) stop to smell the roses as he now runs around…it all reminds me of the pure innocence of childhood. To him, the world isn’t a stressful place where bad things happen, but a beautiful playground ready to be explored! His gentle, sweet smile when I’m having a “bad day” always makes me stop in my often-frazzled tracks, and reminds me that there are people in the world who would love to have my “bad days.” I strive each day to see life through his wondrous eyes.
Motherhood has also incredibly changed my priorities. I spend less time thinking about when I can squeeze in a mani/pedi and more time thinking if I gave my son enough fruits and enough outside playtime each day. It’s the selfless sacrifices that just come naturally with motherhood…from giving up the last bite of a yummy food you’re sharing to knowing you’d risk your life for this beautiful person you made. I’ve never experienced love in such a profound way until I became a mother.
One other thing I’ve learned is that while we moms share a common connection, each of us has a unique experience. Just like our babies, we are all different. When I was pregnant, I remember so many people who told me “how it all would be…” from my delivery, to my sleep routine, to my work choices. But in reality, they didn’t know how my experience would differ from theirs. Since realizing that, I’ve learned not to preach or advise too much to expectant first-time moms.
Motherhood is an everyday learning journey. It teaches us about our children, our world, our lives, and ourselves. I wondered what other mothers have learned throughout their journeys, and what wisdom they wish their younger, pre-children selves knew! So I asked five smart, successful, and all-around cool moms to share what motherhood has taught them. Their responses are amazing and remind me how much mothers do make the world go ’round! I’m so thankful to know these strong, loving women and honored they shared their wisdom with me here.
Happy Mothers Day!
“As a doctor and a mom, I am blown away by how innate temperament is.
Having two kids in a short time gave me the real life lesson on “nature vs. nurture” and was the first hint I got that so much of this “raising of” a child is beyond our control… a tough nut to swallow since I am scientific, methodical, maybe even a little obsessive. So this entire “having a child” and then realizing much of this was not in my control really turned my world upside down.”
— Dena Lacara, DO, Physician and Mother of Two
“I can’t imagine my life without children. Sure life gets hectic – running from work to school after-care to pick up my 3 energetic boys, to racing to sports games, to making dinner, to bath time, and finally to bed…then to start all over again a few short hours later! Whew, I’m exhausted just thinking about it, but honestly I wouldn’t have it any other way! Life is just perfect in all its crazy, imperfect ways.
My three little men have taught me to slow down and be patient, and boy did I need that! They have taught me to always remain positive no matter how many things are stacked against you. To take in all the small wonders around you. To always be kind no matter what someone is spewing at you, as you never know what their life story holds. To love passionately and don’t be afraid to express it. To live carefree and don’t hold back because of what others might think of you. To never judge others as God created us all in our own beautiful way. To pursue your dreams and never sacrifice your beliefs. They have taught me more in their short time on earth than I have taught them! They are our future and we should take time to stop and really listen to what they have to say.”
— Stephanie Ohloff, CFO and Monat Market Partner, and Mother of Three
“I am a big believer in people being set in your path to help you grow, and for my children, I feel the same way. Sometimes they are teaching me more than I feel like I am teaching them. I have learned so much about patience, genuine happiness, and kindness. Especially on the days that I am rushing to make it somewhere on time and pushing them along to hurry, they give me the sense to slow down. Whether through an innocent question or funny remark, I realize that rushing through it all may get me to destinations on time, but will have me yearning for the real moments back with my kids later…that I should have taken the second out to laugh at a comment or just to be in the present moment. So no more beating the clock with them. I learned not to overbook and to take things in stride – and it is okay to be 20 minutes late – sometimes it happens. I want my kids to remember me being the attentive, patient, funny, and present parent, not one tied to a cell phone, shushing and hurrying them along.
Enjoy them. Soak up their wisdom and don’t crush their growing spirits. Encourage them to be confident in who they are, always ALWAYS listen, and remember to button the middle snap first with those onesies.”
— Nicole Rodrigues, Medical Editor and Mother of Two
“I grew up surrounded by extremely strong women. My grandmother journeying from Puerto Rico on her own to create a better life for her daughter and future children, as a single mother. My mother, also a single mother, showed me just who “Wonder Woman” was every day. I often wondered how she did what she did for my sister and me. At 17, I found myself pregnant with a girl, and all I wanted was to show her what I had the privilege of witnessing from my elders. After I had my son, I found myself single. My kids taught me what standards truly are. I couldn’t give them any less than what I have learned from my mother and grandmother. They’ve taught me it’s okay to still dream as a mother, and reach my goals for them. They have taught me it’s okay to be sensitive and to express my feelings, even when I’m trying to display such a strong character for them.”
— Crystal Rodriguez, Paralegal and Vegan Vlogger, and Mother of Two
“I always thought that being a mom would teach me how to be a better multi-tasker, how to juggle more and how to accomplish more things every day. Instead, I find quite the opposite is happening. Being a mom is teaching me to slow down, do less things and be present. Every night I sneak into Marcus’ bedroom to watch him sleep for a little while…his big lashes peacefully closed, the gentle little snore that comes from the back of his throat, the way his chest and belly rise and fall with each breath as his soft arms surround his favorite hippo. I call it Mom Meditation… and it’s truly the best therapy!”