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


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.


  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.


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