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Riding the Learning Curve

With each new phase comes new parenting lessons

Riding the Learning Curve
October 2013

I don't know about you, but as mom, I feel like I am always learning something new. I used to

think when I first became a mother that eventually there would be a finish line. Fourteen years into motherhood and nothing could be further from the truth. I am constantly humbled and most days feel like I scramble just to keep up.

First, it was the car seat and stroller learning curve – figuring out how to clasp, grasp, snap, (might as well crackle and pop, too) to get my kiddos safely secured into their car seat and stroller. Don't even get me started on the sweat I broke trying to figure out how to install the car seat or the small stroke I had in the grocery store parking lot trying to collapse the stroller to cram it into my trunk the first time.

Then there was the starting school learning curve – training kids to get up early, catch the bus and of course, complete homework. Next came the sports learning curve – keeping up with sports physicals, forms, practice schedules, game schedules, uniforms and team pictures. (Let alone helping my kids learn to play a new sport.)

Thinking about the sign-up sheet learning curve makes me sweat. I am still figuring out that one.

Permission slips, email sign-up sheets, newsletters… all of it seems to constantly change and requires me to constantly change with it.

All of this used to stress me out. I like goals and I like reaching goals, but parenthood felt more like trying to catch water – every time I tried to grasp it – it just ran through my fingers. I knew that the beast I was tangling with was not going to slow down since I had three children, so I had to change my perspective about how to handle it. I had to stop pushing and pulling and thinking I could control the process because that would only exhaust me. If I learned to glide with it, like dancing, I could manage it much easier.

This concept really hit home when I watched a documentary on the History Channel that featured the life of Thomas Jefferson. Happy to be watching something unrelated to Doc McStuffins, I learned that Jefferson always considered himself a student. He constantly sought opportunities to learn new things. The light bulb went off in my head and I realized I had to change my overall thinking about parenthood. I needed look at it more like being a student and view each new milestone as an opportunity to learn. I stopped thinking the finish line was around the corner because in fact, the finish line was a constantly moving target.

So after installing that first infant car seat years ago, I am still learning. Every day is a wonderful opportunity to be a student. I have stopped looking for the finish line. Each moment I am learning something new with my children I consider a touchdown.

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Mary Susan Buhner is a Life Coach for Moms and author of "Mommy Magic: Tricks for Staying Sane in the Midst of Insanity." Visit her Web site at www.Mommy-Magic.com.

Tags: In This Issue, Mommy Magic

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