I had lots of people tell me, “Oh you just wait until YOU have kids.” It was in that moment, that I smiled, but I really wanted to punch them in the face. After all, I knew everything. And, really, how hard could having kids be?
Oh ye, of little faith. They were right.
The last few
weeks, months, make that years, of parenthood, I’ve learned a trick or two and whole lot of lessons the hard way. I just thought I’d share a few of those “hard ways” with you.
TOP TEN: LESSONS LEARNED THE HARD WAY
1. Don’t ask for permission to start, or stop, doing something. Gather information, make up your mind and then garner support. Otherwise, it’s just a cop out and you’ll be left feeling guilty. Everyone has an opinion about when to start solids, when to get rid of the binky, when to stop breastfeeding, when to potty train…sometimes it can be exhausting!
2. Don’t discipline your kids in public. Save the stern words for home. Praise in public. There’s nothing that makes someone more uncomfortable than seeing a parent berate their child in public. Never underestimate the power of “the stare” that will likely tell your children that they are in deep you-know-what when they get home.
3. Refrain from being someone else’s mom. You’ve got your own kids to parent, stick with them. You never fully know somebody else’s situation.
4. Never say something to a friend about one of your children that you wouldn’t say in your child’s presence. You’d be surprised what little ears can hear.
5. Give yourself a timeout from time to time. Trust me, you need it.
6. Hang with, and seek the support of, moms you admire. My mom always used to tell me to ski with people that were better than me, it was the only way I’d learn and improve. Mothering is the same gig. Aim high.
7. Choose a pediatrician you love. No matter what.
8. Don’t trust your kids when they tell you they’ve emptied their jean pockets. The washing machine doesn’t lie.
9. If you love the mom, but your kids don’t get along, it’s best to put the playdates on a back burner until the kids are older. Just know that you and your friend will get to enjoy some margaritas sans kids until everyone can play nice.
10. Own the following facts: You will never sleep the same, ever, ever again. Your “nice” shirts should be stuck in the back of your closet until your kids are like 16. An evening out with your husband takes planning – and a lot of it. Going out and partying like you did in college is not smart anymore. Oxiclean does’t get out every stain. And, all your disposable income now goes to your children 🙂