The Three “F” Words That Will Change the Way You Mother

The Three "F" Words That Will Change the Way you Mother | Houston Moms Blog

I know. I know. Sometimes the only “F” word you wanna say in the midst of all the chaos we call mommin’…is the big kahuna. I get it. Been there, done that, and oh does it feel so good getting it out. I mean, not in the presence of our innocent ones {of course}, but behind closed doors or driving down the road while beating on your steering wheel in a moment of losing your mind…sure! 

As a mother of 5 children {dang, that’s a lot of kids}, you may assume on first meeting me that I’d be totally comfortable dishing out parenting advice. Well, you’d assume incorrectly. I actually cringe at the thought of telling other mamas “how to” mother. I’m more of a DIY kinda lady in this area. I’ve done this {child-rearing} gig for awhile…and one thing I know for sure is that a mother’s love and devotion to her children surpasses all understanding. One cannot simply assume they know the best way to mother another woman’s offspring based on a handful of interactions. However, I do believe in “guidelines”. Like, we have to feed the people at least a few times a day, right? Also, baths are important. 

Let’s look at these “F” words as guidelines, instead of an exact “How-To”::


Not to toot my own horn, but {honk,honk}. This is the only one that comes so naturally to me. It wasn’t until my kids started hitting the teenage years that I started to struggle a little bit more in this area. I mean, they are so dang adorable when they can talk you out of being upset with them…in a perfectly intelligible conversation. It’s hard to hang on and stand your ground, but don’t get twisted. I stand my ground.

The idea of the follow-through is simple :: doing what you say you are going to do. Most of us very easily follow through on the “fun” stuff. We tell them we are going to the zoo in one hour, BAM there we are, feeding the giraffes and plugging our nose as we walk by the elephants while squealing in delight with our toddlers in tow. Obviously, this is so important. High-five mama for killing that half of the concept. It’s an easy trust builder AND…it gets you out of the house!

The other half is a bit harder. The follow-through with discipline. Again, I know. I. KNOW. It’s so tough to give 43 time outs in a row for the same behavior. It is a bit easier to say “no no”, but then not really do anything about it when they hit their playmate in the face {again}, because all you wanna do is enjoy time without a major meltdown or even worse, cause a bigger scene. They are so little and, and, and…{STOP}. No really, stop cycling into excuses on reasons why NOT to hold your children accountable. You are better off completely ignoring the behavior than threatening a consequence and not following through.

Remember all that amazing incredible fun follow-through stuff you did with your kid and the trust you built? That becomes shaky and gives a sense of entitlement at best, if you don’t fill in this other half.  Children thrive off of trust. It gives them a sense of security, be it the fun filled version of taking them on an adventure or the not as fun {but, just as important} accountability version for their choices and behavior. 


You know the sternness I filled you up with in that last “F” word? Uhm, yeah. Let’s back it up. It is literally impossible to do ALL the things ALL the time. It’s exhausting being the accountability coach 24/7 365, especially to people who don’t even speak your same language. Sometimes you have to be able to change it up, change your mind and teach your children that not everything is 100% set in stone. People grow, we change, the circumstances aren’t what they initially appeared. There is always room to head a different direction in an activity promised, discipline laid out or even in a conversation. 

I recently learned how important flexibility is. I was trying to mother the heck out of my daughter. She is about as sweet as they come, but we had {and we all know we will have more} a period of time that she just didn’t seem to care for me too much. It didn’t last long, but it was a bit painful as a mom. I watched my child, my only daughter, have this feeling of complete disregard for me as a person. She said some pretty hurtful things to me one evening. I handled it well, much better than you’d expect. I knew this moment would be a critical point in our relationship if not taken with care. However, I walked away from that conversation feeling defeated, confused and licking my wounds. 

I immediately did what most of us moms do in any dramatic encounter with our children :: I called one of my besties. This particular one doesn’t have a daughter, but I knew she would make me feel better about myself so I spilled it all when she answered her phone. As I spoke with her about what happened and I lamented on different points of :: “The conversation is over, I can’t go back and talk to her again, it would be like beating a dead horse {and who wants to do that}, I’ve already said my piece”…blah blah blah. She stopped me mid-sentence and she asked me “Why?”. Why can’t you go back and tell her how you feel? Why can’t you go back and tell her your expectations? Why can’t you go back and let her see you upset about the words she spoke to you?

Go back? Who in the heck wants to go back? It was dangerous back there!

Actually, that moment was a mothering miracle for me. From one mom to another. The idea of going back in any part of my life, isn’t pleasant…but, dang-it, I’m the mom. I can go back if I want. I can have hard conversations again and again and guide them in a different direction. 

You are allowed, because you are the mom…to take those littles straight to their bed for a nap instead of to the toy store without the guilt. You are allowed to go back and revisit conversations and change your perspective your feelings and your mind. Don’t be so set in and stuck on your own vision and goals for the day and offer yourself no room for flexibility. You can turn around and take a different way.

Forgiveness {the biggest F word in the history of F words}::

It’s a beautiful one. It’s the hardest one. As moms we can forgive almost anyone over and over again. Except when it comes to ourselves. We can forgive the kids and the man and the dog for living in our space and breathing our air and eating all the food and leaving the house a disaster… We can forgive our friends, our families and even our MIL for misunderstandings. We can forgive associates at work and even our enemies at play.

When do we take that forgiving heart and grant it to ourselves? When does that mercy come into action-at the end of a long day-for us? When are we okay with saying “you did awesome today” {period} as we look in the mirror while putting ourselves up for the evening? When do we intentionally remember to leave out ALL the ways we sucked, and pointedly decide to encourage ourselves in the exact moments we were SPOT on?

Many of us have experienced the joy that forgiveness brings. Mostly, the way that forgiveness heals the one who is doing the forgiving. Allow yourself grace. Taking a hold onto mercy for you, every single day, is imperative to how you allow yourself to mother your best. This is the only instance in our lives that we can be the giver and receiver of forgiveness simultaneously. Let it be :: the mistakes, the mess ups, the times you didn’t follow-through or have enough energy to care to turn around and try again. Find your strength in allowing yourself to forgive you, and start again.

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Sunny is a midwestern city girl from Kansas, who loves the *idea* of living on a big plot of flat land somewhere in the middle of nowhere...but, actually has no interest in maintaining that land, or milking her own cows, or raising her own food. So basically, that’s out. The only crop she’s ever grown is that of her own children, five of them to be exact:: Kenny {2004}, Matthew {2006}, Belle {2007}, Lukas {2011}, and Otis {2012}. She is married to her {sometimes} best friend, Matt. Sixteen+ years into the nonsense and she has decided to stick it out. Writing has always been her safe space, but she has also learned that medication, a good therapist and rage shopping help soothe the rough spots. She speaks her truth even when it’s hard, and has a deep desire to help other women find their own beauty in the chaos. She loves Houston and its diversity of music, sports, art, history and people. However, if she ever wins the lottery she would seriously think about living right on the beach in Maui, at least part-time. For more ridiculous mothering ideas, humor or to waste some time, follow her on Facebook @grabamoment, Instagram @becomingthemom or on


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