"P" is for Moms are PACK Leaders
If you are a mom, you are the leader of your pack.
Once we become a mom, we instantly (and instinctively) become a light to someone’s path. We become the leader of our Pack. Our decisions from that moment on are no longer about our previous existence. They are about our future and our Littles future. It becomes about survival and safety and nurturing and motherhood and strength and we suddenly realize that all of those responsibilities lie in our own hands.
From day one we start showering them with love. We hear and answer their cries, even crying with them at times. I once cut my newborns thumb instead of his thumb nail and we both wailed together until his dad came home. A month ago, I had to crank my daughter’s jaw expander for the first time while she laid there mouth wide-open knowing how much it was going to hurt. They hurt = we hurt. Our love is endless and unconditional, meaning that we never want them to hurt. As they walk with us, we want to show them not only how to survive, but how to thrive.
They have our love and our respect. We let them know that we are there when they need us. We allow them to make their own choices, like picking out their own juice box flavor at the grocery store or by asking them to pick out a head of cauliflower. We let them know that their thoughts count, their decisions are smart, their school work is worthy and their talents are impressive. We show them again and again that they matter, they matter, they matter.
We teach them to respect us. We are the leader of the pack. Think ducklings, wolf pups and cats. We are momma’s that put our Littles in place when they literally get out of line. We do it to teach them. We do it for their safety. So that weeks and months and years into the future, they will still be safe and still be making wise choices. Our Littles need a strong leader who won’t falter when they do.
Many of us don’t spank our kids, but mommahood still requires a firm hand. When we put them in a time out, we aren’t protecting them from their bad decision today, we are protecting them from their bad decisions in 8, 10, and 12 years, and when they make the big mistakes, when they hurt our feelings, when they do wrong, we become more unearthed with a stronger desire to help them through it, to help them fix it and to help them right it. We want to tell them that’s not who they are, that they’re better than that, and we point them back in the right direction. Our love adheres to their little souls like glue.
My son had a little friend years ago when he was about four. His friend was into everything, while my son knew his friends' choices weren’t the same as his own. He’d watch his little friend get into trouble again and again. He’d watch the mom’s response to see what she would do. The mom would make lots of noise but no action followed, so the boy would always go past the boundaries. After weeks of playdates, my son decided that his friend was having more fun than he was so he started to act out with him. At the playground one day, the little boy ran up to the exit gate, smiling and watching his mom’s reaction as he opened it to go out. She yelled out at him, but he went anyway. It took one quick backward glance and my son was right behind him. In a matter of moments, I was at the gate gathering them back into the playground. With one event, my son found it wouldn’t work with me and his walk on the dark side ended. He didn’t get a bite from me, but he got a “no, you’re not allowed.”
There are lots of places for “soft” when you’re a mom; cuddles, laughter, tickles, snuggles, bedtime and fun. But we can’t go soft when it comes to discipline. When we ask something of our Littles, whether it be to get back in line, or to put something down or to listen better, and they don’t, we can’t go soft. If we go soft, they watch it happen. They notice that we let it go. So they decide in that moment that what we had asked of them must not have been that important. Each time after that when we bark at them to get back in line, they know that it’s not that important, and not because they disrespect us, but because we taught them that it wasn’t that important. They learn from us.
Moms are brave, strong, powerful, nurturing, loving and at times intense pack leaders, and it all comes from one place; love, unearthed by our vision of their future and the path that they will follow.
Survive, Littles, so that we can love you long and hard and one day stand back and watch you when you unearth your own love. Our job as pack leaders is hard but the love we carry in our hearts because of you, and the emotions that we feel when we watch your smile form at the corners of your mouth is proof that love is eternal and it’s our driving force. We walk in front of you because we light up the path. We force you to walk in the light over and over again so that you don’t ever have to walk in the dark.
So let us be your pack leader. We won’t do you wrong. We protect you from it. When we put you to sleep each night, whether you are 17 months or 17 years, we come back when you are sleeping. We stare at your innocence and drop our tears as we stare and count our blessings in your freckles and eyelashes. And then we turn away and close the door because we know in this darkness you are safe.
Katherine is doing an ABC Blog Series for #BetterChoices2016 in order to make 2016 your best year yet. Follow her blog at www.backtobeingawoman.com or get the blogs as soon as they are sent out by signing up for her newsletters.
Find previous ABC Blogs here.
"A" is for accepting your present existence
"B" is for be you
"C" is for create
"D" is for do
"E" is for eating and exercising
"F" is for free to choose
"G" is for grit
"H" is for higher
"I" is for intelligence preservation
"J" is for just dance
"K" is for kick crap to the curb
"L" is for look for the lesson
"M" is for Making Memories Last
"A" - "M" to Better Choices
"N" is for Nurture
"O" is for Optimum
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