What I Have Learned Since Becoming a Mom: Guest Post by Erica Barker "We Three Crabs"

I had my son “little Crab” when I was thirty-three years old. I had struggled with infertility and subsequently a divorce. I prayed for five consecutive years for a child and was blessed on August 9, 2010 with a healthy boy. I’ve since learned so much.

I have learned to slow down and not schedule so much in my day.

I’m a doer.

I used to make long lists of lofty goals for myself and not sleep until my list was all marked off. With a baby you just can’t do that. I quickly learned that doing anything at all outside of nursing and changing diapers would be a major feat those first several weeks. As he grew, I learned that getting out of the house would take twice as long, and just when I thought we were good to go, he would poop.

Eventually we made it out of the house. I learned to always carry the diaper bag, even if you are going to the store down the street for one thing. I always wondered how my own mom managed to have everything we could possible need with her at all times. I learned how to pack the bag and how to keep one in the car just in case.

Now that my son is a toddler, every day is like learning something new, for both of us. I used to think it was awful if the kitchen floor was not mopped multiple times a week. I learned that spot cleaning with Lysol in a squirt bottle works just as good.

I’ve recently learned that my son doesn’t care is the gold fish on the floor of the car have been there more than three seconds; he wants to eat them anyway. I struggle with things like that. I’m learning to let that go.

A lesson that I learned recently is that I need to follow through with discipline. My son is testing his boundaries. A lot. I need to follow through with the consequence that I say is going to happen or I will lose my authority. Every time I do follow through, he learns a multitude of lessons about behavior and our relationship. After the punishment is given, we always discuss why and how do to better next time. He is learning to apologize for his wrongs. I apologize as well, mostly for not keeping my cool in the thick of it.

Transitions are still tough for him. Setting a timer five minutes before bedtime to give him a warning has seemed to help the transition to bedtime go smoother.

I'm learning that potty training could be the death of me. After my son looked at me the other day, hand on hip, and said "I don't poop in the potty. I poop in my dump truck." He proceeded to take off his pants and diaper and well, do just that. Oy! Today he actually pooped in the potty, so maybe we are making headway. Let's hope!

I’m learning all the names to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and about Batman as well.

I’m learning that teaching someone how to treat others is one of the most important things you can do. We talk a lot about how not to talk to others and how not to treat other people poorly. He is learning what being kind means and I am learning that it’s hard to teach your child manners when so many people in today’s world do not use theirs.

I know this is only the beginning. I’m glad they start out as babies and we get to learn right along with them! I am excited about learning to the best mom I can be.

"I asked him for this child, and he gave me what I asked for." 1Samuel 1:27 GNB

Erica is a mother, wife, Part-time blogger, Part-time Administrative Assistant, and AdvoCare Distributor. Her “Little Crab” is three years old. Her family is relocating to Juneau, Alaska in a few months to join her husband who is an Alaskan Fisherman. Her blog, "We Three Crabs" is where she shares the stories of their adventures.

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