A Month of Moms

Welcome to Moms’ Month on Dr. Stephanie! This month I will be featuring guest posts from some awesome moms around the country.  They will be sharing tips, tricks, and funny stories about motherhood.  This will be a fun celebration – thanks for joining us!

I am kicking off Moms’ Month with my own tip for moms of young kids.  In addition to being a clinical psychologist in Colorado, I am also a mom of three kiddos.  A most humbling, challenging, and agonizing experience, becoming a mom has also been the most fun journey of my life.  Here goes:

No generation of moms is perfect.  We all love our kids, but we all make mistakes.  Some of the mistakes, we KNOW are mistakes at the time.  For example, when I recently told my daughter that I didn’t care if she ever did homework, I pretty much knew it was a mistake as soon as it came out of my mouth.  Other mistakes take years, or even decades to recognize.  I’m thinking of Mad Men-era moms who drank and smoked while pregnant, and 70’s moms who drove their kids around untethered in the backs of their station wagons.  These moms loved their kids just as we do, but just didn’t have the same information we have today.

So, what will our generation’s big mistake be?  Here’s my best guess: our incessant cell phone, laptop, and i-pad use.  Not so much the overuse of these gadgets, but the way many of us use them when we really should be paying attention to our kids.  For example, at the dinner table, when we pick them up from school, during school performances, during bedtimes, etc.  It’s alarming that many of us (me included) put off or outright ignore our kids so that we can catch up on Facebook.  This is a great way to ensure that our kids will be complaining to a psychologist in a couple of decades that they were never heard, not appreciated, and thus don’t know how to really love.  Ok, I’m exaggerating – but it’s a possibility for sure.

So my advice to moms is this: Put the electronics down and listen, play with, and engage with your kids.  Days might go by slowly, but years go by fast, and pretty soon the kids will be off doing their own thing, and we will pine for the days they couldn’t wait to share the intricacies of their days.  Facebook can wait, and so can email.  Our kids can’t.