Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms, mother figures, and caregivers out there! This past year was a doozy (to put it mildly) and moms did more than their share. We don’t know where we’d be without you, but we know life is better because of you every single day.
To kick off our month-of-mom celebration, we sat down with a few of our own Life360 moms to chat through all things motherhood.
How has motherhood changed you? Was anything surprising?
Ariana: My son was born March 18, which was right at the beginning of the pandemic. And while I was in the hospital, California went into lockdown. When the world was blurry and uncertain, having a child created this very clear focus that made me see that the most important thing was right there, and that’s all I needed to care about. Everything else fell to the wayside. All that matters is, is he OK?
Andrea: Motherhood is a lot harder than I thought it would be. It’s made me a much more patient and empathic person. Both of those are surprises.
Victoria: Motherhood has changed every ounce of me. I always wanted to be a mom and thought I had it all figured out. I like to say, “I was the best mom out there until I had my first child.”
Becoming a mother, I realized that I knew nothing and all my “experience” taught me very little about actual motherhood. I threw all my rules and expectations out the window and started from scratch. Then once I thought I was figuring it out again, my second son was born and all the strategies no longer applied. I needed to figure out how to parent three very different children. They respond so very differently to each scenario and helping them to become the best men they can be will look different as we encourage the best parts of them to shine.
What do you think is the most important part of the job?
Ariana: Because he’s only a year old, it’s just keeping him alive! Like, making sure he doesn’t put random weird stuff in his mouth and making sure he has a soft landing when he inevitably falls. And in that same vein, my job right now is to create an environment he can thrive in. I’m so aware of my emotions and my stress now more than ever. I try not to bring anxiety and stress to him and I try to create a clutter-free home as much as I can so the space is safe and happy.
Andrea: I tell my kids continually that my job is to make them decent humans (they roll their eyes every time). My goal is to show them kindness, patience, and generosity so that is their nature.
Victoria: Keeping the kids safe and not being too hard on myself.
As moms, we can be very critical of ourselves and I find I can beat myself up regularly for decisions that have been made. Like the extra screen time the kids are getting, when I have an emotional outburst, or when they don’t treat each other well. Being okay with making mistakes and apologizing to my kids when I snap at them has helped our relationship. It gives them a good example of how to deal with and recover from an overwhelming situation.
How have the mother figures in your life influenced your parenting style? And… Are you becoming your mom?
Ariana: My mom is a very funny and chill person. She loves to dance and have fun. I have fond memories of waking up on Saturday mornings with Latin music blaring in the background. My parents are from El Salvador so I grew up with a lot of Latin music in the household. What she taught me was to fit fun into the smallest moments in life, even if it’s just doing chores around the house. Finding fun in the mundane and that attitude of being joyful is something that I have brought to my parenting style. And I think about my maternal grandma who was always such a good listener. As a little kid, she always made me feel like my feelings were valid. She never made me feel little, if that makes sense. Always met you eye-to-eye. So I always get down to Luca’s level so I can see him eye-to-eye.
My partner is from Colombia and we’re trying to be a bilingual household. We speak to Luca in Spanish. But when I speak Spanish to Luca, I hear my mom’s voice. It’s almost like it’s not really Spanish I’m speaking, but rather a collection of my mom’s favorite sayings.
Andrea: I am constantly watching others and trying to learn from them. And I read a lot of articles and books on parenting. I think they are all subtly changing my parenting style.
My mom and I have very different approaches to parenting. My mom is a tough love kind of person, and I’m more of a hugger.
Victoria: I grew up with many strong mother figures in my life. My mother was and is always very nurturing and a great source of comfort. My grandmother was the matriarch of the family and she showed me the strength it takes to keep a family together. My aunt has shown me that women can succeed in a career of their choosing.
There are ways I am like my mother (and grandmother), but many ways I am not. I often hear myself say something and hear my mother’s voice. I have tried to take the best pieces of them and learn from the areas they struggled.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given? And/or what advice would you give to new moms?
Ariana: I think the best advice is, “you know your kid more than anyone else so you do what’s right for your kid.” Nothing you read and nothing anyone tells you will be better than your instincts once you meet your child and listen to them. If you listen to your kids and yourself, I think you will find that you already know what to do. The hard part is in finding the confidence in knowing your own strength and knowledge. But I’d tell all new moms out there ‒ while it may feel like you don’t know what you are doing, trust me, you do.
Andrea: Never threaten anything you’re not willing to actually do.
Victoria: No one is perfect and being a mom is the hardest job out there. Find a network of moms you can lean on and rant to. We all need a support system to get through this.
Thanks to our Life360 family for sharing their mom-life experiences, as well as some great advice! There’s no one-size-fits-all manual for parenting (which keeps things exciting, right?!). Let’s celebrate all the ways moms choose to nurture and support their kids’ growth. Moms, you’re doing great. Happy Mother’s Day!