I really love the new SMA advert. Not because it’s about babies and all their cuteness, but because it is about giving the mums a shout out and that line ‘you are doing a great job’ is a very clever piece of advertising!
I have 5 precious kids and although they have all come from the two same parents they are all entirely different. They may all have similar looks, but their little (or big!) personalities and how they have navigated life thus far is completely different.
They were different as babies – some sucked a dummy, some sucked their thumb, one doesn’t do either, some breast fed for days, some weeks and another months, some potty trained early, others potty trained late, they all shared my bed for months but some slept all night at a few weeks old, others took months (one took almost a year!), some of them eat everything put down in front of them, some don’t, some eat fruit, one doesn’t, some sit on the time out step, some break their hearts at the mention of it, some went to pre pre school, others didn’t, some crawled at 7 months, others 9 months, some didn’t crawl at all, some walked at 10 months, some 16 months. They were all born into the same family with the same parents, same way of being brought up and they were all loved with the same measure of love but they are just like us – all different! Praise God that he in His infinite wisdom He made them all different. How boring would it be if they were all alike!
I am not a big fan of comparing my child with the next one, in fact in some instances I can get quite cross at parents comparing what ‘yours’ is doing with what ‘mine’ is doing. I try my hardest to avoid these sorts of conversations and try hard to not get sucked into them, unless of course it is helpful for the person I am talking to and my motives are pure for sharing such information! What I am a big fan of is chatting with the mums – encouraging each other, loving each other, praying for each other (and our kids), listening to each other, understanding each other, helping each other, and reminding each other this too will pass and there is going to be a whole other set of worries when they hit puberty (ahhhhh).
As mums we need to be for each other at every turn, knowing and understanding all the time our children are all different and we need to give ourselves a big fat break when it comes to the little things that can consume our thoughts. I love that in our church we have ladies who are real treasures to me, that have sat when I have asked the ‘when should I remove the dummy’ conversation and they have reminded me that they probably more than likely won’t go to school sucking a dummy, they will eventually eat you out of house and home, they will most certainly turn into teenagers and then they WILL sleep in past 7.30am ( or 5.30/ 6.30/ add your own time in here) I remember one of them saying to me ‘ don’t sweat the little things’. Talking to these women for me was like breathing in a massive breath of fresh air!
As a still relatively new mum I know that the big stuff is yet to come and I know and understand the importance of good and healthy boundaries and setting in place good foundations when it comes to discipline and family traditions.
I want to focus on the important stuff like learning to love, care for one another, sharing your possessions, not comparing, being nice and making friends with the person who everyone else is ignoring. I want to teach my kids the importance of family and church and I want to be having conversations with my friends on how to do this well – not to be sweating the little things.
I have realised now with baby Seth (5th child) that all the other stuff passes away. He won’t be ‘ruined’ because I lie watching him go to sleep holding his hand, he will eventually sleep the whole night through and if I don’t care about getting up, why should anyone else when I tell them ‘he is still not sleeping through’! He will maybe go on to bottles or maybe he won’t, he will be weaned eventually and the odd jar of baby food won’t ruin his appetite for my food.
I also have a group of beautiful friends who I want to tell you about who all are different to me when it comes to being a mum (praise God) some of us have one child, some have two, others three, some have four and others five and so forth… for some they chose how many they had, others couldn’t, others didn’t. For some of us we chose to work because we want to, some because we have to, some live in a way because they don’t want to. Some of us mums breast fed, others couldn’t, and others didn’t. The list goes on but we are all different and we respect each other and love each other because of the differences and plus side you are never stuck if you are looking for advice!
I have a another group of friends about to become first time mums and I want to be the friend in their life who is for them and with them at this next stage of their journey of bringing a little one into the world. I want to give them freedom to know their precious bundle will grow up (too fast) and they can enjoy every moment. To laugh at the moments where they have covered themselves in lipstick, or brought the hamster to the table, or the clever (naughty) little things they say. I want to be that friend who instead of sharing when mine eventually slept all night I stick the kettle on make them an espresso and tell them to lie down while I look after their little one. I want to tell them ‘not to sweat the small stuff’.
I have never done anything more precious in my life than be a mum to these 5 beautiful humans and I am thankful that God chose me to do it. Teddy Roosevelt once said ‘Comparison is the thief of joy’ and at this stage of my life that I have hung on tightly to those 6 words.
The new SMA advert is great advertising, it didn’t make me rush out to buy the milk but what it did make me want to do was to text all my friends in my phone book and say ‘you’re doing a great job!’