Motherhood and Why I Don’t Need Self-help Programs – Mother’s Day Contest Entry

GabyMotherhood and Why I Don’t Need Self-help Programs

By Gaby Delo

There are so many self-help books, programs, and speakers, all telling us that we’re capable of more than we think. They encourage us to think outside of the box, to live our dreams, and not to let anything get in the way of what we can do.

Becoming a mother has taught me all of those things, without needing to spend any time at a seminar, listening to audio books, or getting help from a personal counselor. I’m constantly surprised at just how much I’m capable of.

Before becoming a mother, I thought I could multitask. I was able to read books while walking home from school, listen to audios while cooking, or crochet while watching a movie. Now, as a mother, I find myself regularly cooking a meal, cleaning the kitchen, helping one child with homework, while having an important discussion about dating with another daughter—all at the same time.

I’ve also discovered that I really don’t need as long as I thought I did to get things done. Gone are the days when a shower could be taken in long silence, my only concern being if I was using the right shower gel. Now I can handle life crises while in the shower; my children decide that as soon as the door is closed would be a good time to need a solution to a pending problem. I can shower and dress in under five minutes.

Little things no longer get me wound up. I mean things that are little to me now. Before becoming a mother, needing to bake 50 cupcakes in an evening while cleaning out the fridge and preparing the kids’ school lunch for the next day would have taken major planning and preparation. Now it’s rote, not really something I even realize I’m doing. So one of the kids discovers he’s out of note paper on Sunday evening. Big deal. I’m sure I can dig something up in time. Someone broke a glass on the dish rack? (Full of dishes, naturally.) Bring it on. I’m so much more flexible than I was before becoming a mother.

I’ve also learned that life is full of little mistakes and especially as a mother, I have to chill just a bit more. I’d give myself an ulcer if I got bothered every time the bathroom was flooded after one of them has showered. Pants come in with holes, stains, or tears. I buy an item only to find out it’s not the exact one desired and have to return it. My son can come in drenched from head to toe from falling in the river because, “I wanted to make sure it was safe for my friend to cross.” I shake my head and realize there’s no need to even ask why the river had to be crossed at all! Mistakes are a part of life and I make enough of them as a mother to cut my kids some slack as well.

Pain and injury are also a part of life. I’m not talking about the emotional upheaval I experience regularly having two teenage daughters in the house, though that’s pretty painful as well. I wanted to get into nursing before choosing childcare as a profession. The main reason I didn’t continue my nursing plans was because I got squeamish around blood and had a hard time dealing with others’ pain. Thankfully, most of the injuries around here have been minor, but my reaction has also drastically changed. I’ve removed a small stone from my daughter’s head, washed out more cuts and scrapes than I can count, and kissed so many booboos over the course of the last 15 years. So when one comes back with a black and blue finger after bowling, it’s a calm walk down to the hospital, no freaking out or cold sweats, just dealing with it.

I’m sure I could think of many other ways in which motherhood has enriched my life and taught me things I probably wouldn’t have learned any other way, but I gotta rush and sign the half-dozen documents for the school and iron the rather large pile of laundry that’s accumulated on my couch.

About Gaby Delo: A single, part-time-working mother of three. Runs her home on love, faith, coffee, and wine, along with a good dose of friendship. Would rather look at life as a positive and am busy getting out the tequila when the lemons start to come in.

[Like this story on our Facebook page to help the author win Positive Parenting’s Mother’s Day Writing Contest! (You’re welcome to “like” it here too! :)]


About Bonita Jewel

Bonita Jewel is an author and blogger who writes on a variety of themes, including: Literature & poetry Writing Parenting Purpose After living in India from the age of 16 to 28, she returned to California with her husband and three children. She is pursuing a Degree at Fresno State University. Bonita teaches community education at Clovis Adult. Her courses include Blogging Basics, Power Editing, Creative Writing, and Working from Home. She also freelances as an editor, ghostwriter, and writing coach. Her greatest passions are her family, her faith, writing, and reading. Bonita Jewel has been reading since she was 2 ½. Thirty years later, she still loves the magic and mystery of the written word. She is slowly breathing life into roughly 50 novels and nearly as many nonfiction works, depending on which plot or character seizes her interest at any given time. Please connect with Bonita at:

Posted on May 2, 2014, in Life Lessons, Mother's Day, Writing Contest and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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