We were out at the park a few days ago, there were a few other parents there. Three of us were sitting at one of the tables. One of the moms had a little boy, 5 months old, bundled up and super cute. She was talking about the baby and what a challenge it had been to lose sleep, how she she forgot to grab the stroller on the way out a few weeks ago, how she thought the little man had started teething, and went on to how she considered herself the “go to mom.” Her friends and family were all asking her advice on parenting and tips on being a mom. So I thought…..if she has 1 and I have 5 shouldn’t that make me some kind of mommy guru?
Synonyms: spiritual teacher, teacher, tutor, sage, mentor, leader, master– an influential teacher or popular expert.
I have never really thought about it before, but when you break it down, I am a mom, a step mom, and a bonus mom. I do have 5 kids of my own, 2 step children with my husband, 1 from my ex husband and 2 that I call bonus children because they are from my ex husband and his wife after me, but they call me mom and have since they were babies.
We have had ups and downs as a family, but we are all doing well. We have been through late night feedings, teething, potty training, and of course breastfeeding vs bottle feeding, both of which I have done. We are familiar with public school and homeschool, both through the county (FLVS) and the traditional way. I was a very active member of the PTA, a football mom, and a Boy Scout mom. There have been a lot of firsts, tons of pictures, and mornings trying to get everyone out of the house on time. I have been working parent and a stay at home mom. I have been through the challenges of both. The kids have had broken bones and staples, there have been rashes and infections, a decent amount of colds and sickies. We have dealt with loss and we have had a lot of fun with life.
I need to start collecting Parenting Merit Badges. I checked…and there the are —-> Parenting Merit Badges from cooking and photography to entertainment and transportation.
Don’t get me wrong, there are times when I question some of my parenting decisions. There are times when I think I should have done something different, but then I realize how grateful I am to have these kids. They are all good. They listen, well, most of the time. They obviously have moments of insanity, so do I. They volunteer. They have good grades. They speak their minds and stick up for themselves. They are responsible and they are each unique. They have goals and plans for their futures. Overall they are all happy kids.
There surely is no shortage of parenting information out there. Mothers claiming how motherhood is the best, and the worst thing that has ever happened to them. You can easily Google “parenting advice” and get more than 1 million results. 1 million! On top of that, you can mention parenting and get TONS of advice and information from every direction. Mothers, fathers, the ones that are wanting children, those that have adopted, those with one 5 month old baby.
I think about parenting and just hope that I can give my kids some guidance. I let them make their own decisions most of the time and let them deal with the consequences of them, good and bad. Raising children is not easy and there is always something to learn, even for those of us that have 5 + children.
So what does it take to make a mommy guru? What qualifications are needed to be the “go to” mom? Can you be a 20 year old parenting expert? Or should you be mid 40’s and on your way to an empty nest? How many kids should you have or how long should you be a parent before you can consider yourself an expert?