Puberty starts in the cradle
...too bad I didn’t realize that earlier

An open letter to mamas of littles. The one I wish I had read
before my little one was born.

The evening is shaping up perfectly for a bit of me-time. They’re asleep. I take one last look at my two sleeping princesses before I switch off the nightlight. They’ve both kicked off their covers. Today was a real scorcher.

My thoughts keep turning back to our outing earlier. Talking with my little girl. Her telling me, “You were like that witch in Sleeping Beauty, you know, the one who turned into a dragon? You scared me sometimes.”

“Really?” I stalled, swallowing hard. That was the best I could do right then. All our little scenes flashed before my eyes as I tried to keep it together. Crying in public is not my best look. She sensed how I was feeling: “It’s okay; I know you’re not really an evil witch. Let’s go play animals, what do you want to be?

Mama wants what’s best for you. So please follow the rules!

This train of thought has seriously derailed my evening plans. And things were looking so promising until just now. Could we just talk for a minute, mama? I want to write you a letter. It’s the story of another mama who always tries very hard. I think of her as ‘conscientious’.

You know the type. She just wants to be the very best mother for her children. She wants them to be happy and healthy. To have all they need for their development. Not to hurt them in any way. But for heaven’s sake, not to spoil them either, so they’ll be able to face the real world. Not to feed them that processed junk from the store. And not to let them scarf down those cheapo soy hot dogs at their cousins’ house that they don’t get at home. Not to raise them by the book, but to trust her instincts. But also to find the right information in books or online when instincts just don’t cut it any more. Not to make a parenting mistake. But to teach them to listen, for crying out loud, when it’s important. There have to be some rules in place, after all.

If this isn’t ringing any bells for you, not even a little, if you have no burning questions because at your house everything works fine, then congratulations! You are winning at life. But then I have to ask myself, what are you actually doing here? What search terms brought you to this page and what kept you here, reading articles, maybe even leaving a comment or two? Don’t get me wrong, thanks for reading, it’s just – I’ve been there. It’s OK. I’ve surfed the net looking for answers, too.

Happy mamas not looking to change anything: This is not for you. Good night :)

So if you’re a calm, collected mama of calm, collected children, good night! Go to bed, take your well-deserved rest, because you have no reason to keep reading right now. Unless maybe you feel a bit like our conscientious mama from time to time, too. Because she has had it up to here some days. I’m going to give it to you straight, okay? You in?

Go on to part 2