Being "Mom's Helper" Prepared Me For Motherhood
I was a mom before I even gave birth. Although I didn't know it then, I now know the lessons I learned as a big sister, caring for a younger sibling, prepped me for raising my own son.
Prior to becoming a mother some of us were in-training for the job and didn't realize it. We helped with younger brothers and sisters. We helped change diapers and even with feedings. While mom, dad or both, worked, it was us older kids going for walks, taking them to the park and keeping an eye on them.
I watched my now 11-year old brother Noah, while my mother Cindy worked overnight. I made sure he took his bath, went to bed on time and woke up in time for school. I'd have his breakfast ready for him and sent him off to school each day. While there were days that it annoyed me to postpone outings with friends or cancel dates, I knew the responsibility and that my mom needed my help.
While I didn't like the sick days or when he decided to be diobedient, there were also days for which I loved being present. One example was going to the parent teacher conferences. My mom worked and someone had to go and hear how well he was doing, so why not it be me? I watched him march in the Halloween parade, and when we moved, I saw him as he learned to make new friends and play with the children in the neighborhood.
Back then I couldn't see that what I was doing benefited my family. Back then I wasn't thinking about motherhood or children. During that point in my life it seemed like more of a burden instead of a chance to learn. Some days it seemed that there was never any appreciation for the time and sacrifices made while watching my brother. There were many days where I had yearned to be like the children I see at St. Louis Mills Mall, or the kids playing so freely at Musick Park. I wanted to hang out and walk around with friends, but it's only in hindsight I'm able to see valuable lessons were learned and the gratitude that my mom did show me.
Now that I have a child of my own, my 6-month old son Jacob, the roles are reversed. While I work my mother watches my son. I know that he's in good care, grandma's care and I am more thankful than she could ever realize. There's so much that I am equipped and prepared to endure with my son, and that is because I've been there before with my brother, so it makes my job that much more endurable.
Mothers remember what you have learned from watching other people's children and to thank those who help with yours as a single mom, I couldn't do the job without those special people in my life.