In my short 41 years on this Earth, and my mere 13 years of mothering, I have learned a thing or two. Add to that the mix of having also mothered two children that are not my own, and also having to de-mother them at some point, has colored my perspective and deepened my experience greatly. So, here goes a little Kalanitisms with regard to motherhood...
(1) Never underestimate what a glass of red and the back deck can do for ones sanity when the kids are loud, the house is a mess and the husband is watching football.
(2) Hugs go farther than lectures.
(3) What seems like the end of the world to YOU is not the end of the world for your KIDS. Remember how that kind of anxiety feels.
(4) What seems like the end of the world to your KIDS may not be the end of the world for YOU but is the perfect time to tap into how that kind of anxiety feels in order to comfort and calm instead of lecture and escalate.
(5) It is more important to listen to that story your child is telling than to finish the dishes in a timely and organized manner.
(6) Don't forget to jump on the bed with them...or next to them...or hold their hands while they jump.
(7) Don't take it personally.
(8) Find that person you can confide in without being judged and who has mastered the art of listening.
(9) Gentle parenting.
(10) Never forget to embrace the uniqueness that only your child possesses.
(11) Say the Shema every morning and every night with your children.
(12) Admit your mistakes, apologize when you are wrong...lead by example even in your worst moments so that your children learn how to make amends and stand up after falling down.
(13) Remember to smile, laugh and find joy.
(14) Cook together. Often. Forget about the mess it will make or the time it will take.
(15) Take an interest in what makes your child smile -- a book series, music, tv show, game...
(16) Don't be peer pressured to go against your instinct as a mother. Tap into it - trust it - and don't concern yourself with those who can't support you in it.
(17) Stick up for your kids. Take those opportunities to show them that you are on their side.
(18) Model love in your relationship with your spouse/significant other so that your children know what healthy looks like.