17 August 2008

things i must not forget

me and my mama / together one last time before her baby has a baby

i originally wrote the following list in 2007 and just recently happened upon it and realized i never published it. funny how i found it only days away from mamahood. since i'm an obvious amateur, i hope you'll open up and tell me what your mother did that shaped you into all you've become and/or what you do for your children and/or the traditions you hope to build with your kids. i'd love to read what you have to say. and believe me, i am a lady in waiting and seem to have plenty of time for musing over your wise words. merci.

i think about making this list a lot of times. because motherhood is a giant mystery that a lot of us will eventually land in. and i want to remember some things that i'm afraid i'll forget. i know i won't be perfect and i know i'll have a lot to learn when i someday land in motherhoodland. luckily my own mother, my sisters and my friends have all led by amazing example. i am simply documenting it all here so i'll remember what the mothers around me do that i marvel at and hope to someday imitate.

things to remember when i'm a mom.

01. read to them and let them read to me. even if it takes forever.

02. paintbrushes and a bucket of water on a sunny sidewalk creates instant and harmless masterpieces.

03. call the babysitter and tell them how much fun the kids had with them the other night.

04. don't try to do too many things at once. be present in the moments. don't rush the doing.

05. carry snacks. and bubble gum.

06. believe in the power of the bribe.

07. don't assume that every restaurant and/or home is child proof. watch them close.

08. let them make decisions. (but not every decision. remember who's in charge.)

09. make a journal, documenting things they say. it's too easy to forget.

10. take pictures. not just when they are dolled up on sunday mornings but even on the days when they dump rice krispies all over the sofa.

11. eat around the table together more often than not.

12. praise them. say sweet things about them on the phone when they're still in the room.

13. keep dating my husband. try to find more subjects than the kids to chat about. remember to ask him about his life too. even if mine gets super overwhelming. remember what it's like to be thick in a career.

14. make family traditions. even simple ones like kissing them before they get on the bus, cutting their sandwiches in silly shapes or going on sunday evening walks.

15. create cute nicknames for them.

16. write notes and stick them in their lunchboxes. even when they are too old for lunchboxes, leave it on the bottle of orange gatorade in the fridge.

17. volunteer at their schools. be available to bring forgotten homework or to fix their wig for the halloween parade.

18. hang up their artwork. put favorites in frames that descend down the staircase wall.

19. go on trips with and without them. let them see the grand sights of world. but remember to be a person all by myself too.

20. remember what's really important: children wearing hannah montana sneakers, not that important; exercising agency, very important.

21. buy them the book of their choice; let them learn to love to read.

22. sing them each their own lullabye and say prayers every night.

23. be on their level. play with them on the floor. hold them in my lap. ride roller coasters together.

24. tell them all the reasons why they are special. again and again and again.

25. say i love you. because you can never say it enough. yet refrain from yelling it to them from the car window on the first day of junior high.


Senja said...

oh, that is such an awesome list - i am going to keep that.

Anonymous said...

i'm also going to keep that.. and possibly find a wall to hang it on as a reminder. i think i might add "stop. breathe." to the bottom, as it's hard for me to remember to do that sometimes. it sounds like you're going to make a marvelous mama! what a lucky baby... hopefully he'll get your dimples, too!

emilyclare said...

Amen to that! What a beautiful and thoughtful list dear Marta... Many of these things my mother did with me; and I hope that when I get around to having babes of my own I do the same. And never never underestimate the power of reading, story telling, lullabies and nightime prayers, and getting into bed for a cuddle... little things that make you, and your babe feel so loved. Especially when the day has been enormously busy and stressful.. thank you.

shinyruby2 said...

marta - that is beautiful, it brought a huge smile to my face!!

I love the fact that it re-appeared into your life at a time such as now as well! x

shinyruby2 said...

marta - that is beautiful, it brought a huge smile to my face!!

I love the fact that it re-appeared into your life at a time such as now as well! x

Anonymous said...

Anxiously awaiting the blog post that says your son has arrived! :D

Zane + Nichole said...

so, i've been a stalker for some time now... and i'm only 19, and far from having kids, but thought it was about time i commented.

i like how you had reading to them as one of your top things. my mom always made sure to read to us when we were little, and it really helped me to develop a relationship with her. even in the MANY times during my life when i did not like her at all, i could still remember our loving bed time routine from when i was little.

something i would suggest is, and my own family didn't really do it growing up, but what i have observed from babysitting A TON and my past boyfriend's familys etc. is how important it is to have FHE and family scripture/prayer. it was never really a priority in my family growing up, but i have seen how much these things truely bring a family closer. even if FHE is something stupid like we're all going to have a dance party in the living room and eat ice cream. i'm really envious of my peers who have those kinds of memories with their families.

anyways, good luck with the baby. and if you're ever in the byu provo area and need a babysitter, blog me! :)

tracie said...

i think you pretty much covered it all! this is an awesome, awesome list.

i am mom to 4 girls {ages 2-13} and i'd say i try to cover every one of your list items. kudos to you for figuring it out before you even get started! :)

one to add ... if you have a crabby kid, put them in water!

oh! and what is fhe? i'm suddenly feeling very lame!

Casey said...

that's a great list :) I need to remember a few of those

Julia said...

Great list ... make sure to tuck it somewhere where you'll happen upon it to remind yourself!

I'd say, as they get older, make sure you have a ready supply of art supplies (paints, paper, play dough, crayons, etc.), so as you have your time creating they can participate along side you, making their own masterpieces.

Oh, and when you get those overwhelming feelings of love for them, don't hold it in, make sure you tell them, even if it means whispering it in their ear when they are asleep.

S said...

Great list! I'm new here, but look forward to reading about your adventures in parenthood. How exciting!

The elementary school teacher in me has to comment on number 17 though. Awesome to volunteer at school and be available to them. Let them be responsible for the homework though! The most responsible kids that come through my classroom are the ones who understand that homework and remembering things that they've written in their agenda is THEIR JOB. The less responsible ones know that they can call Mom at recess and have her deliver their homework, library books, recess snack, etc. Forgetting your homework one day won't mean you fail the class, but it might help you remember it the next day!

You're going to be great! Congrats in advance and I can't wait to hear all about your new little one!

amy williams said...

What a fantastic post and list. I am planning to print, post and remind myself of the things that matter most..So excited for you to become a mom.


Anonymous said...

There are ton of great things on the list!!! One thing that I absolutely cherish, now that I'm grown up, was family dinners. No matter what the circumstance, my mom and dad always made us sit down at the dinner table and eat together. It is so important for a family and I'm so glad it's on your list! Congratulations in advance on the new baby. :)

House of Milk said...

this list got me a little misty-eyed. it reminded me of my fantastic mom. you're going to be a great mommy! good luck!

The White House said...

Great List. I am printing it now in hopes to follow it when my time comes to be a mom.
My mom always sang to me when i'd go to sleep. My dad would too. This is one of my fondest memories.

The White House said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kh said...

Goodness Marta. This list brought me to tears. I have been feeling so overwhelmed with my life as a mom (I just had my 4th baby) and thought I was lost. Thanks to this wonderful list I realize I am doing most of what you want to remember and that really is all that matters... the little things. Would you mind if I copied this? It saved my day, and I need it as a reminder.

You will be such a fantastic mother. God Speed that little one.


Balou said...

This is so sweet. It brought tears to my eyes. =) Thank you for sharing.

Anonymous said...

hey marta,

sorry for not answering for so long. I've been so busy and the last days, I've just forgotten to write back! First, wow and thanks that you featured me on youre blog! So, right, I don't mind! ;) And second, many many thanks for your lovely and encouraging comment! I really appreciate!!! ;)


Anonymous said...

I'm so excited for you. You're going to be a mother! That is so beautiful :o) I really enjoyed reading your list, because it reminded me of the things I hope to do with my children one day.... I'm not a mom now, nor am I married.... but one day, I hope with all my heart, I will be. From my parents, I treasure my mom's Swedish bedtime prayers and tucking us in. My dad singing us good morning songs to wake us up, so happy to see us. Notes in lunchboxes; sandwiches made every day with love. My dad filming all of our important days, and even regular ones, and sitting around watching them 20 years later, laughing, and learning how wonderful my parents are all over again. Take care & thanks for your beautiful thoughts!

Whatever Dee-Dee wants said...

Good list! My husband and I are always talking about how we will raise our baby, I should write it down to make sure I don't forget.

Tere said...

Very sweet. I think about a lot of these things and try to keep them present in my life with my monkey.

Best wishes as you enter mamahood!

all over the map said...

this was such a beautiful list and it's lovely you have had such great role models in your family and friends and that you acknowledge and see their efforts.
in the end i think giving of yourself, giving time and enjoying the doing and being in the moment all tie together as being present. being there for your kids/family. without being present none of the things on the list would ever happen.
my mum has always been present and still is now that i'm all "growed" up. i love her for that!

katrina lauren said...

i love your list...so sweet.
remember this is your experience, your child, & your family...lead with your heart and you will make the right decisions! you will know this precious baby boy better than anyone else so if something feels right for the both of you...it will be right.

thinking of you in these exciting days ahead...

Anonymous said...

One thing I heard, that I have always remembered was to grant a wish for your child each day... just surprisingly do something they'd want you to do, like a game, or read an extra book when you only said you'd read 1, or surprise them by getting them out of rest time early, let them have 2 Popsicles... just once, etc.

Don't you remember when we were surprisingly checked out of school? That was THE BEST!

Krissy | Paper Schmaper said...

Pure perfection...

Best wishes to you in the coming days :)

Jake said...

A few weeks before we got Jake, I typed up my own "parenting manifesto" on Brad's laptop. For some reason, I have never been able to retrieve it...

I would love to read it now.

Glad yours is documented forever!

love.boxes said...

I wish I was more like my mom. She served dinner on her beautiful wedding china every night. She almost always put flowers on the table (even if they were from our yard). She checked in after the school day was over and really listened.

leigh said...

it sounds like you're going to do a great job. i'm excited for you to see the little guy soon!

i never thought to write a list like this before i had kids but i'm constantly listing things that i want to teach the kids before they go off on their own. i think the biggest thing is that they learn how much Heavenly Father and Jesus love them no matter what and how much they want them to be happy. i also want them to learn how to make good choices based on how they feel and not based on how i might react. just some thoughts. i'm going to have to write down this list that's been flying around in my head since my first guy came 8 years ago. thanks.

Lin said...

What a great and touching list! You have obviously put a lot of thought into this, and i'm sure you will cherish every moment of being a mum. Best wishes for the coming days/weeks.

Ashley said...

Such a great list. I've saved this for future use when I have children. Thanks for sharing!

Buby + Bleu said...

It's a beautiful list. You are so in a good place with all of this... you sound so ready for anything. My first was a boy, and I have to say that BOYS are so much FUN! I have a baby girl now (3 months old), but I'm so glad I had that time with my boy first. I try to always live in the moment with my little ones. If I find myself getting stressed or caught up with other work or freelance projects, I catch myself and realize I need to come back to the moment I'm in and shut down everything else. When I'm putting Gavin to bed at night he says "I had a goood day, Mama." He's almost 3. That makes me feel so special. I always remember that saying "To the world you might just be one person. But to one person you might just be the world." Something like that. Anyway, I remember that anytime life starts to get hairy. Good luck with the delivery!

PS Agree about the artwork and music. These are constants in our house and I feel like they just bring about extra happiness.

Katrine said...

i just came across your blog- and i'm nowhere near motherhood- but i love this list :]

Anonymous said...

oh i love this list...i'm nowhere near becoming a mommy, but i want to store this somewhere until that time comes :) thanks! also, i love your blog lots and lots!

::Sylvia:: said...

What a beautiful list, I did something similar to this with my first child and I love to look back on it often. They are such a joy, one thing I'm very glad I did was keep a journal for each of them starting at the moment I found out I was pregnant. My oldest son who is almost 5 always asks me to read him stories from "his book". It's so nice to remember all those moments that you were sure you wouldn't forget but somehow do. I'm so excited for you! I can't wait to meet the little babe! Please e-mail me offline with your address, I have something I'd like to send you. sahmiam (at) rocketmail (dot) com! Good luck!!

Marla said...

I just loved reading this list...best wished over the next few days!

Freedom Martinez said...

I love that! How sweet and true, and I agree!
Can I "repost" on my blog with a link to yours?

AnneMarie said...

oh- your blog is a new fav!
great list!

Desiree said...

Oh! I really love this post :) Very nice.

Rani said...

this is a lovely post! I must make a concerted effort not to get so wrapped up in work, especially since it's not the best place for me right now, but I have no choice...or maybe I do......anyway, lovely reminders parents can use time and time again!

summer said...

wow. this is such a phenomenal list, marta. and what a great idea. when it comes time for me to be a mom, i will definitely come back to this post for a refresher.
you've thought of so many marvelous things!

Katie said...

I'm so glad you made this list, as I am contemplating being a mom one day.

I love your blog, your shop & your writing. You may not think it, but you are inspiring!

Congrats to your hubby on the phenomenal bike race.He's such a champ!

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