Sometimes I stop and wonder how awesome the mothering of the 19th century was, even though I bet it had its challenges, I find it very exemplary. Why? Because it was not like today, everything women knew about mothering was from the advice passed from a previous generation, from involved grandparents, and sometimes even great-grandparents. During those years the affectionate marriages and loving, sentimental relations with children became important in the family life.
In the present-day parenting advice can be found, to name some, in hundreds of books, audio books, YouTube videos, thousands of online articles, and revised researches. Just a few of them come from innate instincts, or from family.
Even though we have all these tools to succeed, and be the best mother or the best fathers ever, we just can’t get this parenting gig. Modern parenting is full of anxiety, busy lives, and many distractions as entertainment, long hours at work, broken marriages, illnesses, and many others.
As a mother of two little humans -one 13-years-old and a six-year-old- I encounter failures in my parenting skills. Having the kids at home has made me realize that I need to stop dreaming about the perfect 19th century way of parenting and focus in what I can do to refine my parenting style.
Today I want to share with my readers, what personal quality I plan to improve in my personal life to become a better mother; that is self-control. Being a mother brings a challenge to me daily, simply because I get caught in expecting so much of me as a mother, I feel many expect me to be successful in that area since my kids are with me most of the time. Therefore, if the kids are not behaving the way I would like to, I lose control.
By losing control I mean not being able to control my emotions and impulses, I can get irritated very fast, when I should not. In the 1800s women were expected to draw into motherhood by their inner instincts, that would help their children’s healthy grow and development. It is rare to see that nowadays, but it is a good example for me.
By having self-control, I can stop before approaching my kid’s behavior, comments, and attitudes, I should be able to understand where they are coming from before raging into an unnecessary discussion.
Why am I thinking about this now? Well, I have a teenager at home, and that self-control is going to help me and my husband to better guide him, and to let him keep on opening about his concerns and doubts in his teenage years. At the same time, I want to be able to preserve the sweetness and kindness of my six-year-old, by embracing my motherhood while embracing both of our femininity.
I must keep on reminding myself that I am an imperfect woman, and mother, raising imperfect kids, in a world that tends to take them away with technology and bad associations. But little changes on my persona can make a difference.
Parenthood is a journey that is lived differently by every person, I admire the single mothers that are successful mothers without any help, the step-mom that cares, loves and welcomes the kids of her beloved, those step-dads that raise and love children as if they were his, and those families that adopt and cherish every moment with their new kids. It is an adventure that should never end, even if the kids leave the house.
The style of parenting of centuries ago leaves us with insight that we can implement to better the quality of education we give our children, share what you know, what has worked for you, because there is always a parent looking for advice.
As for now, I have to go and work on my self-control since the kids decided to make a fort out of the living room while mama was writing this blog.
What qualities could you improve to make your parenting more successful??
Here are some points about what was being accomplished in the 1800’s in the parenting isle.
- Infant boys and girls were dressed very much alike in gowns. This allowed the same garment to be passed from one sibling to the next without concern for gender
- Motherhood was equated with femininity. It was considered the most beautiful and the most natural profession for the woman.
- Kids one-year-old were entrusted with handling porcelain cups.
FASS, P. S. (n.d.). How Americans Raise Their Children: Generational Relations from the Revolution to the Global World. Retrieved July 17, 2017, from https://amphilsoc.org/sites/default/files/proceedings/Fass.pdf
Lindblad, A. (2013, April 29). Mothering in the 19th Century. Retrieved July 18, 2017, from https://www.osv.org/sites/default/files/MassMoms.com%204%2029%2013%20Mothering%20in%20the%2019th%20century.pdf
From the Old Sturbridge Village- An 1830s New England Living History Museum Graphic Database.