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Life Doesn't Come with a Manual, It Comes with a Mom

Sometimes feel as though Mother Nature provides the how-to manual for life. From practicing patience, enduring difficult times, remembering there is a season for everything, to even demonstrating how to parent and do my mom-job well, there is always wisdom.

For the past 6 weeks, our yard has been non-stop National Geographic. To a mama duck who sneakily and progressively laid 13 eggs in our shrubs, to a mama and daddy bird who tirelessly worked to create the most beautiful and perfect nest on our front door wreath (and where mama laid 4 precious eggs), I have stayed in awe of our feathered-friends.

This will blow your mind: when mama duck leaves her nest, she protects her soon to be ducklings by plucking her feathers and completely covering all 13 eggs. Then, when she returns, she removes the feathers and rests on her babies, keeping them safe and warm.

As for the bird's nest and 4 eggs, it was so sweet to observe how attentive the mama bird was to her nest and babies…just as any mama reading this did when you prepared to have your babies. Then, when the eggs hatched and the featherless, alien-like critters emerged, it was rare for her or the daddy to not be around. As the weeks have passed, we now have fully feathered birds who aren’t babies anymore, and what once was a beautiful nest now has it’s perimeter completely covered in bird poop. It’s so disgusting that I can barely look at it, but here’s the crazy thing: as of this week, mama and daddy are rarely around. I’ve watched this nest like a hawk, and when I noticed they hadn’t been around, my first instinct was to feed the babies. However nature’s wisdom hit me squarely between the eyes: mama and daddy are making it uncomfortable for their babies because it’s time for them to fly. This is why they aren’t bringing them food as often, why they aren’t hanging around and giving lots of snuggles, and why mama bird is letting them stay in a nest that is covered in poop. If I were to feed her babies and provide them a level of comfort, I’d be interfering with Mother Nature, the independence-forming, development process, and disrupting the plan, which is for them to fly!

As a mom of an 11 year old and almost 9 year old, this has been an incredible display of tough love, and wisdom that I am aware of (because my parents gave it to me and I’ve observed from so many mom-friends), but holy moly, it is way easier said than done!

And so, on this Mother’s Day weekend (and beyond), I ask you to pause and consider joining me in doing what is likely difficult and uncomfortable (just like the mama bird), which is to put our phones away, ask our children to put their phones/technology away, and spend uninterrupted, undistracted quality time together. Our relationship and our children’s relationship with the Smartphones have clipped our wings and it is affecting our ability to fly and fully engage with one another and in life. Therefore, if you plan to spend time with your mom, ask her to put her phone away, while you do the same. And then, the icing on the cake: take a walk or jog in and around your neighborhood (or wherever is beautiful) without your Smartphone. Then notice, hear, and observe all of the joy, wonder and beauty that surrounds you! I have no doubt that if you are in need of an answer or seeking wisdom–be it motherhood, parenting, relationship, career, or just life in general, the answers are out there and ready to be revealed. The first step is turning off the noise, asking and listening…then, be ready to receive. This is my strategy, it works every time.

Happy Mother's Day to You and Your Mom,



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