The Sun talked to mothers in the Valley to ask, What has motherhood taught you? If there were one thing you could do differently, what would it be? And, are you becoming your mother?
I’m older as a new mother (15-months), and it’s taken me a year to understand the importance of being a stay-at-home mother. It’s taught me to slow down, to notice the little things – birds, gnats. I gave up my fast life in San Francisco to be back to the basics.
I would definitely ask my husband for more help in the first year. How could he not know what to put in the diaper bag? I wish I’d pushed him to bond with her earlier. They are so close now.
I’m becoming not so much my mother as my grandmother. She pretty much raised me when my mother went back to work. I’m Mexican, and this is what my grandmother taught me about raising children: “they have their whole life to be adults, so baby them while they are babies.”
Motherhood (five children) taught me so much. Probably the most important thing was to take every day as it came. It was wonderful being a mom.
There isn’t anything I’d do differently. I loved the children, I loved raising them. That was my part in life. I just took everything as it came. I loved being a mom.
Motherhood taught me patience, of course! Everyone must say that. And being a mother taught me that each person is different. There is a great variety in personalities and many options for behavior.
I wish I had lived closer to my own family, to have more family around – grandparents, aunts and uncles. The safety and comfort of that. I regret that in our society having family around isn’t more readily available.
I am definitely, unquestionably, becoming my mother. I think about it all the time because I am helping her in this last phase of her life. She still lives alone. She’s a very different person from me, but we share being artistic.
Enjoying the moment! I really want to enjoy him. Time goes by so fast. When you’re holding your baby, you want that moment to stay. Five months has been the blink of an eye.
I’m balancing between the two cultures. My decision to come back to work was such tug-of-war between the traditional ways of a Latina mother and my sense of self as a professional. I want my son to understand the struggles the family had that lie behind where he is as a second-generation child.
There are definitely some tendencies to be like my mother – the good ones, taking care of your children. She gave up her whole life to come to this country and be a stay-at-home mom. Leo’s first language will be Spanish because both of his grandmothers take care of him when I work. And he’s wearing the little red bracelet to protect him from the evil eye – just in case.
What did motherhood teach me? I learned it’s not all about me. You’ve got someone else in your life you’ve got to take care of.
I was so young, I had no idea what I was doing. I wish I’d had more patience. I wish I’d lived more for the moment, taken more time just to be, to be with my child.
Turning into my mother? Oh God yes. She was the ever-patient, always finding the good in everyone. I live on the land where she did. Of course I think about her all the time. And I’m finding I’m becoming more patient, letting myself just sit and see everything around me. There’s a pair of bluebirds I’ve been watching. I’m so blessed. (And you made me cry.)