Getting Real With Shadra Bruce

My mom used to tell me (especially in moments of stress when things were going as wrong as possible between us) that she was doing the best she could – that parenting didn’t come with an instruction manual. She would then wish upon me a child just like me so that I would understand. How mean was that?! Of course, now that I’ve seen three of my kids into their 20s (one just like me) and have two more entering their teen years (both just like me), I understand so much better what she meant. Motherhood doesn’t follow a script, come with a manual, or follow a predicted course.

My mom didn’t have the Internet to turn to, so when something scary happened (like me having a seizure when I was 3, or my sister dislocating her elbow) she couldn’t pop online and discover that she wasn’t the only mom to go through it or find a list of tips to help her through it. While we now have online resources to connect us, giving us the ability to share stories and advice, and letting all of us as moms know that we’re not alone, there’s still the fact that motherhood doesn’t follow a script.

And the truth is, I don’t want it to!

Even with our ability to connect instantaneously with other moms, our own experiences are still unique. I don’t want to lose that uniqueness in motherhood. My experience as a mom is entirely different than anyone else’s, and so is yours. We simply need to celebrate the unique wonder that is each mom’s experience while still finding ways to support each other through the tear-your-hair-out moments. The best advice I can give to new moms is to enjoy every moment. Don’t compare your experience to other moms’ – simply relish in the joy of being a mom and having support a click away when you need it.