If I Could Only Offer One Piece of Advice to Young Mothers


What sort of behaviour would you expect if a young child becomes overwhelmed with sensory stimulation, hungry  and exhausted?
 When looked at objectively, the answer is obvious, even to someone who is not a childcare expert. It is quite a different story though when we have our kids in tow and we are determined to finish shopping. Of course our kids become cranky, unreasonable and sometimes experience a complete meltdown. In other words they have a temper tantrum where onlookers assume that they are spoiled rotten.
 As a mother of nine kids, people often ask me, “How on earth did you manage without any help?“
If I had to divulge one secret that I was fortunate enough to discover early in my mothering career, it would be, “Never let them get tired and never let them get hungry.”

There is a universal image stuck in our brains of a screaming toddler throwing a tantrum on the floor of a grocery store. Even the best parent becomes a helpless victim in these situations because nobody is as miserable and disagreeable as a hungry and irritable baby, toddler, or small child. This so-called temper tantrum is really a baby breakdown; they are over-stimulated, under nourished and physically exhausted without any tools to vent their frustration and anger. Think about being in a position of total submission to another person’s control, unable to meet your own needs and the person in charge is not doing his job. When I ignored the warning signs that my kids were reaching their limits of endurance, I created either a clinging, whiny wimp or a screaming monster. Then nothing I did or said seemed to help the situation.

I might have looked like a self-sacrificing mother but I was merely acting out of a sense of self-preservation when I put my kids needs first. No time for resentment because happy and satisfied kids were worth every “sacrifice” I made. The peace was worth any compromise. One niece once told me that many people had given her advice when she became a new mother but the only thing she always remembered and practiced was,

“Never let them get tired and never let them get hungry.”626

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18 thoughts on “If I Could Only Offer One Piece of Advice to Young Mothers

  1. My husband and I have a formula that includes hungry and tired. We call it: HALT (Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired) and it works all the way through Senior Citizen ages. Great post! I’m forwarding it to my daughter.

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  2. Defiantly some good advice there, if you can’t provide the comfort at that moment, sometimes hugs can often help a lot better than a ” stern talking to” also. Some parents just forgot what it was like to be kids I think.

    Like

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