It is said that parenthood should come with a guide. Consider that one of the most important jobs has no job description—in guiding, teaching, and shaping tomorrow’s leaders, we are left to wing it! Since entering motherhood in 1992, I’ve utilized a blend of lessons learned along the parenting journey to guide me. These lessons came from personal experience, family and friends (shoutout to Mom), intuition, common sense, resourcefulness, and love; but some of the biggest takeaways also came from desperation, accidental discovery, failure, and loss. I realized some of the best lessons are sitting and waiting in the most ordinary situations and in the crevices of life’s rockiest terrain. Google wasn’t a thing in the 1990s, so we were forced to find other resources through which to make informed decisions that would benefit our children. Fast forward to today: As a mother and stepmother to five children ages 6 to 25, I’ve grown from young mom to old(er!) mom and realize that both of these mothers come with their own gifts. Raising children today with my husband and partner, with the retrospective knowledge that comes from having already raised children, is an opportunity that presents some interesting insights. I’m privileged to share these insights as they translate to effective parenting tricks and philosophies, many of which center around mindfulness. It’s my hope to help guide others to feel more “in control at the mast” in their own uncharted parenting journeys. It isn’t a perfect ride, ever, but it can be a profoundly rewarding experience when you let it take you where it will.
- Doing our best with thought and care leaves no place for guilt or regret (this forgiving philosophy applies to everything in life; not just parenting).
- Even if you pay attention, they will grow up quickly, but being in the moment once a day with your child means you’ll never ask when it happened; rather, you’ll have gratefully witnessed the evolution.
- Some of the best gifts we can give children are love, faith, and wings. Teaching children by caring example to love themselves and others, do for themselves and others, learn, work, play, live, and love with passion, and believe in something greater than ourselves—these are some things that can build strong, vibrant, and sustainable wings.