Here are two very cute little girlies who helped train me to be a mother. Their names are Emma (in front) and Makayla (looking sleepy). They are Jennifer’s kids. I babysat once a week for these girls while Patrick and Jennifer went out on dates. I did this for several years during college. It was invaluable for me to get experience with wee ones and to watch Patrick and Jennifer’s marriage and parenting. They would let me hang around and chat for awhile after they returned home and I got to know their whole family well. I got to know little Abby for her short 10 months and had the chance to spend nights with the girls while their parents were in the hospital with their sister. Seeing what goes on in the daily life of a young mother was so helpful for me and helped make it less of a shock to my system when I had kids of my own. All of this to say, volunteer your time helping out a young mother. She will be encouraged by it and so will you.
As for things I wish I had done, but didn’t…. I wish I had asked more questions of Jennifer about why she did what she did as a mom. I don’t remember having those types of conversations too much. I also wish I had just hung around to help Jennifer while she was working in her home to sort of observe what she did on a daily basis. Since I was there at night, I got the bedtime routine down pat, but I didn’t learn those all-day-long things as well.