Sep 24, 2011

Why I Didn't Sing Lullabies to My Children

By Bonnie Harris

My mom recently shared this article with me and my sisters. It came about because I was feeling like I wasn't doing enough in any aspect of my life, more especially for my little one. It sure made me feel better about what I have been doing and helped me realize that I'm doing OK. I figured it might help others also. I hope you enjoy it! :)

Why I Didn’t Sing Lullabies to My Children

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At a baby shower recently the guests, who were “experienced” mothers, were invited to offer advice about rearing children to the mother-to-be. Each of the twenty-four of us present shared helpful tips, but it was Ginny’s suggestion, particularly, that triggered a lively discussion among the group.

She offered, “Don’t try to be all things to your children. Just do what you do best and don’t worry if your neighbor spends days designing and sewing Halloween costumes for her children and you just grab something out of the dress-up box for your kids.”

Her comment caught my interest and caused me to reflect on my singing— I can change keys four times during “Happy Birthday”, so I’ve done my children a favor over the years by not singing to them. But I have read lots of stories to them.

Sue must have also felt some vindication because she jumped in and laughed as she said, “I’ve never made a thing from scratch. In fact, you would be hard pressed to find a recipe in my house. But between Rob and me, we’ve taught our children how to paint and lay tile and how to fix about anything that breaks.”

“Speaking of husbands,” JoAnn added, “Larry isn’t one to play ‘rough and tumble’ with the children, but almost every evening he spends at least twenty minutes reading to each of our four children individually.”

Brittany, relieved by these disclosures, admitted, “I’m not the athletic type so I don’t take my children swimming and hiking, but I love to have my children cook with me. We have lots of fun in the kitchen.”

Allison was the next one to comment, “My friend, Lindsay, who is the practical rather than the artistic type, has put lots of time and effort into compiling a binder filled with emergency information and recipes using food storage items. She recently presented copies to her married daughters with the comment, ‘These are in lieu of the scrapbooks I didn’t make for you.’”

Linda, a single, working mom, added, “I can’t afford to take my children on vacations and trips but we do enjoy local events together such as parades, firework displays, festivals, and rodeos. Once we sat on the sidewalk and watched as the Olympic torch passed by. My boys still talk about that.”

The ideas poured in. It was evident that the notion of building upon our strengths was winning the day. Mothers need not worry about, and waste their energy on, what they cannot do with their children. Rather, it is better for mothers to spend time doing what they can to nurture them and connect with them.

So now you know why I never sang lullabies to my children.


  1. Ah, this was good for me to read today. Thanks, Bonnie.

  2. Very nice, Bonnie. I always to to remember, too, that out of the choices he had, my child chose me to be his mother. Thanks for the great reminder that we are all doing the best we can with what we have...and that is all we are asked to do!

  3. The kitchen countertops should be sturdy, durable, stain resistant, quiet, hygienic, heat resistant and easy to maintain. However, none of the materials are known to feature all the above mentioned features.

  4. I remember my mom hated to cook. So meals were skimpy and usually out of a can. But she read to us all the time. On Sundays (pre Mormon days) we would all walk to the library, get a book, walk home, set out sandwiches, chips, dip and soda and spend the entire afternoon reading and snacking. It is still one of my treasured memories.

  5. Thank you for sharing it is comforting.


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