Remembering Your Life BEFORE Mom – A Guest Post

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– A Guest Post from Janna –

Do you remember life before motherhood?

As a child, I spent my allowance buying accessories for my Real Baby, and as a teenager, I saved for clothes that said Guess. Nowadays, I get giddy over the purchase of an energy efficient appliance. The Book of Me has many different chapters, but are they worth remembering?

Recording the stories of my youth has been a recent project of mine. I’ve swished the pages of The Book of Me back to the beginning chapters of care-free play, and simple pleas to stay up half an hour later to watch “The Cosby Show.” The more I write my stories, the more I realize “Yes!” there is great value in recalling my youth.

Remembering my youth makes me a better mother.

My initial reaction for a meltdown over a broken birthday pencil is, “Get over it. It’s only a pencil.” However, when I remember my youth, I see Miss Day’s apple mug of shiny birthday pencils. Every day I hoped there would still be a purple one left on my birthday. Finally, the purple pencil was mine, only to discover later it had snapped in two in the bottom of my backpack.

Children cannot always articulate why something makes them sad, angry or happy. However, if I can recall what hurt me as a child, I can have better insight into my daughter’s feelings. It wasn’t a pencil that broke – it was a long awaited hope that burst.

Remembering my youth makes me a historian.

Hundreds of items from my growing up years are simply obsolete, and will never be experienced by my daughter. Does anyone remember rotary telephones, walkmans, or the Commodore 64? Were you the girl with a spiral perm, peg legged jeans, and layered scrunch socks? We have history to share.

Remembering my youth shows me God’s Hand

Writing about my youth reveals God’s hand in my life. For example, in fourth grade I was homeschooled because we could not afford private school. During that year, I spent at least one day a week with my father. My fifth grade year, my father died suddenly of a heart attack. God gave me that year of homeschooling to make cherished memories with my father. My heavenly Father makes my story worth telling.

How would telling your story make you a better mother? What personal history could you share with your children? How has God shown Himself in your story?

— Janna Antenorcruz is the founding editor of Mommy’s Piggy Tales: Record Your Youth. Inspired by her grandmother’s stories of growing up, she created a blog where mothers can have friendly accountability and encouragement to record the memories of their youth in 14 posts. Participation is free and Session 2 will begin October 7, 2010. Need more convincing to get involved? Read the Mommy’s Piggy Tales
testimonials page.

About Jessica Fisher

I believe you can get great meals on the table -- and still keep that pretty smile on your face.

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  1. I’m participating in this current round of Record Your Youth and it has been amazing! Some of the stuff I’ve remembered has made me laugh (and cry).

  2. Just this past weekend I started organizing a binder with things from my life prior to getting married. I’ve only been married a year and think that I will do the same thing for our marriage.

    There are so many things that I know I will forget if I don’t put them down on paper!

  3. I think you could turn the “being a better mom” point into an entire post by itself. I try to always remember what I felt like as a kid when certain things happened and temper my response appropriately. How awful did I feel when I was messing around at the dinner table and spilled my food, but then my father overreacted by shoving my chair back and yelling at me and making me go in time out? Sure, I deserved some punishment — it was my fault — but not such anger. And my kids don’t deserve anger either when they’re just being kids — only a quiet word about making a better choice next time and helping clean up the mess. There are so many more examples, but I find that really remembering how I felt and what was important to me helps me to be more sensitive to where my kids are now. We really do forget because we have a different perspective. But theirs is just as important, just different. 🙂

  4. I love this in relation to empathizing with our children. It’s easy to dismiss childish sadness until you think back to when you experienced that intense, poignant sadness over something “small.”

  5. I can’t say much that hasn’t already been said, but I know participating in the project has helped me remember to be patient with my own children.

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