I was inspired recently by Jill over at the Mom Blog, and her post about 11 things that ARE okay for a new mom. Let’s face it, no one knows exactly what to do when they have their first child, and friends of mine who are on their sixth child have said that each one brings new lessons. My mom famously commented that when asked how she would be raising her children, she whacked her fanny and said “by the seat of my pants!” It’s true, and no matter how you prepare, life always throws you a curveball, doesn’t it!? Jill’s post got me thinking about a few of the truisms I could write about parenting. Feel free to add any you like in the comments.
Just when you think you have her figured out, she will change everything on you. (This is actually Charlie’s but it’s so true!)
When something isn’t working it’s okay to change the deal and try a new approach.
Don’t be afraid to teach your child how to use the DVD player. Or the remote. Or the iPhone. Children are smart and need to know these basics now. If the DVD breaks, it’s not the end of the world.
A piece of candy before dinner isn’t going to spoil her appetite, but several pieces will. Anything left a month after Halloween should go straight in the trash (when she’s not looking).
Listen to her music and sing along. Know some of your own songs that she might like and teach them to her. All music doesn’t have to be muppets or cartoon characters singing.
Adapt some of your songs to help in teaching situations. We adapted Weezer’s Can’t Stop Partying to a potty song.
Watch her shows with her and even if it hurts, tell her how happy you are that Dora found the Woozy Wuzzle.
Instead of extreme baby proofing, try just teaching your child the boundaries. For example, we did not remove our wine rack, we just taught her not to touch it. She still doesn’t. A baby proofing book advised we should have removed that item.
That brings me to baby advice books. They are not always correct. Take the advice and apply it to your situation as best as you can and throw out the stuff that doesn’t make sense for you. Don’t feel guilty about not following those books to the letter! Even Dr. Spock has admitted that not all children are created the same.
Ask your mother! Even if you disagree with some of the things your own parents did raising you, they have been through it, second guessed themselves, and come out the other side.
The first time she says “I don’t love you!” in a terrible three temper tantrum, it will hurt as if she stabbed you in the heart. It’s okay to let it show that she hurt your feelings. Children are learning appropriate behavior and we are their teachers.
You don’t have to play with her every second of the day. Independent play is healthy and encourages creativity. You also don’t need to have every moment scheduled with an activity. We all need down time, even rambunctious and energetic kids.
Even if you child is potty trained, you should be prepared to help them clean up after the potty until they are about five years old. Flushable wipes will be your best friend.
We all know on some level that these days are short and pass all too quickly, so cherish the moments with your little ones. Before we know it, they will be all grown up and writing their own blogs!