BabySitting Vs. Mothering
Babysitting and Mothering... Yikes!
Listen, It is NOT the same.
I was a first time mom and I identified with being a single mom as well. So I had no clue what I was doing.😳
I knew how to babysit though because I did it with my nephew. So I knew how to put something in front of him to entertain him, feed him, diaper change, take naps and give them back to his mother lol.
Yet, this time I had a WHOLE baby and she was mine. It took me a while to recognize what God had gifted me with, being a MOTHER.
When Amara was 2 years old she called me Audrey. She did this because we lived at my parent’s house and she was taught what she heard. At first it became something cute. But she kept saying it and even though I corrected her she still called me "Audrey".
It wasn’t until my Aunt shared something that I didn’t think would be so powerful until now.
I am her mother and I should let her know that calling me mommy creates a relationship and a bond between her and me. How I got Amara to finally call me Mommy is by showing her how happy I got when she said it. I told her no one else could call me Mommy but you my daughter.
Needless to say, she hasn’t stop since.❤️💜
Then God begin to teach me what it means to be a Mother. It's a powerful role that I do not take lightly. So here are something’s that helped me to differentiate Babysitting & Being a Mother.
➡️ Listen to understand.
Sometimes we will say our children talk too much or ignore them. But I have found that Amara and me have developed good communication with me listening to her and replying to her with what she said. I even show her emotions in my conversation so she can know that I care. Now, I have developed this healthy habit in our communication. Amara now shares with me things. Listening is even taking a step further as I am watching her body language. I am noticing her triggers and when I need to comfort her, talk to her so she can understand or discipline her.
➡️ Being Apart of her Schooling.
I Show up to conferences, preparing her for picture day, spirit week, showing up to field trips and bringing home what she is working on in school. She is only in Pre-k but reading a book to help her hear words, going over letters and making moments a teaching moment helps. The goal is to challenge my child, watch her grow and see how it reflects in her everyday routine. Thanks to watching Shanicka VailHouse TransParent MOMents.
➡️ Activities, Attention and Boundaries.
ACTIVITIES. Amara has been in Mini Hip Hop dance and she learned a lot about community. She was also challenged around 6 year olds to learn dance moves at the age of 3. This semester we took it up a notch with Gymnastics. I saw how well she caught on to routines and how she was not shy to be in front of a crowd. I don’t know if this is her calling but right now exploring the arts. The goal is allow her to have as much fun and be a child while learning what she loves to do. She also hangs out with some of my friend’s children, which is fun to see.
GIVING HER ATTENTION. One on one attention is also something I ensure to do. So we go bike riding, maybe out to eat, coloring, watch a movie, or cook breakfast. No phone or tablet! I pick a day to do it. Friday Nights are our Girl Nights. Saturday is her Day Gymnastics and Park or bike riding. What ever she wants to do. Then Sunday is Mommy Day. Which leads me into the next part about...
SETTING BOUNDARIES! It is necessary. One Saturday I gave her a project. I am really big on purging toys and things that clutter her space. So I told her to go through her toy bin and put them in two piles. The toys she doesn't want anymore and the ones she wants to keep. This allows her to also understand that as Christmas is coming around the corner it’s time for us to give back just as much as we may receive.
I still know that as she gets older I will learn so much more!! So right now I’m excited about our relationship and how being a mom is not a job or a burden, she is not responsible for mom’s choices or the consequences that came from my choices. She is the beauty that God sent in the mist of all that went wrong. She was the part that was right. He loved me that much that he sent this gift to me to remind me of his love for me. I hope that today you see your child as a gift and not the consequence of your choices. ❤️