Thursday, November 15, 2007

Younger Mother/Older Mother

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When I was in my twenties, I was pretty sure that I knew everything there was to know. I had a college degree, after all. I was a professional. I had a classroom full of students who looked to me to answer all their questions.

I would unabashedly advise the parents of my pupils on how to handle their children even though I had no children of my own at the time. I cringe now at how prideful I was and how sure I was that I had much wisdom to offer. I dared not wait for someone to ask my opinion on a matter. I simply offered it up for free wherever I went. Of course, my specialization was children, and the irony that I had none of my own, was lost on me.

In my thirties, when I had two children of my own in diapers, I began to see that there might be a few things that I didn't know. I foolishly turned to my peers who were about my age and in my position of parenting very young children. We scheduled play dates and Mommy luncheons. We discussed our difficulties and offered advice, oh, how we all had advice.

It never occurred to me to seek out a woman who had already been down the path I was on, an older mom who had decent, obedient, respectful, joyful older children. Someone who had already struggled with my same questions and come up with workable answers. I naively thought that I needed someone in exactly my position to help me solve my dilemmas with potty training and pacifiers.

Now that I am in my forties, I am absolutely positive that there are a whole lot of questions that I don't know the answers to. I am not at all sure how I might handle a myriad of issues, from teen rebellion to driver's education. There is one thing that I am sure of, though. There are others who have gone before me, who have made mistakes and learned from those mistakes, who have experienced triumphs because of their diligence and prayer, and who have a wealth of experience from which I can benefit.

Cindy at Dominion Family, who has adult children and some still at home, has been blogging on this very topic for the last few days. Start here. This one was my favorite. She offers some gems in this one, too. This one is on discipline and here she humbly admits her mistakes. Make sure you read the comments. There is some valuable gold there. It is well worth reading, if you have a willingness to learn from women who have reared children to adulthood.

If you are anything like I was, though, wise in your own eyes, don't bother going over there. You'll just come away in a huff!


Brenda said...

oooh. I will have to go check those posts out. Have you ever seen that on a t-shirt? "I knew a whole lot more about kids before I had them." It's so true. I also doled out parenting advice as a teacher. Well, I had to! They asked.

Kara said...

This is great I was just searching for some good advice on childrearing and taa-dah you provided it for me:)

Holly said...

I loved her series! :)

~*~ Jennifer ~*~ said...

Oh THANKS!!! I'm always trying to glean good stuff from others. THANKS so much for sharing!! I think I'd like you in real life... you sound like a gleaner too -- and a sharer... 2 of my favorite kinds of people. Ü

I bookmarked her and will go back some time when I have time to sit and read (preferably with a cup o'joe with caramel creamer!)

JunkMale said...

I am very glad that you have repented of this unsavory practice. One of my/our pet peeves is people volunteering their advice on us...especially people who have no business giving such advice.

Seeing that you used to be one of "those" people gives me hope that there will one day be further converts.

Mommy Cracked said...

Certainly some excellent points. I'm also guilty of this, too. Especially seeking out people MY age who are still navigating their way in parenthood also. Thanks for sharing those links.

stacey said...

i can't wait to go check her out!

- Linz - said...

Just wanted to say I enjoyed reading the posts. Thanks for sharing!

Kysha said...

Going to check it out. thanks for sharing.

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