12 pieces of advice for new parents
To my daughter
You are on the brink of the most important experience of your life. Nothing you have done before will compare to it and this event will impact everything you do from here on after. Since I always feel like I want to pave your way, impart some pearls of wisdom to make your life easier, I put together this list of 12 things that sum up a lot of my opinion on making parenthood a little smoother! Of course, there are way more than 12, but I'll just leave those for another hub! So...in no particular order....I give you this:
“What it's like to be a parent: It's one of the hardest things you'll ever do but in exchange it teaches you the meaning of unconditional love.” ~Nicholas Sparks-The Wedding
1) Unconditional love
From the moment you knew that baby existed, you loved it. With all your heart and then some. You will always love your child, unconditionally. Conversely, don't let that love keep you from doing what's right for your baby.
2) Don't wish their lives away
What I mean is, don't hurry. Parents tend to run from one milestone to the next. Go slowly, savor. Enjoy the ride. It all goes by way too fast. If you try to rush it too much, you'll miss all the good things that are happening. Next thing you know, it'll be 20 years later and you'll be typing an advice article for YOUR kid.
3) Pick your battles
There will be many things you won't see eye-to-eye on. Try not to get too crazy about every little thing. Is it really that big a deal if he falls asleep before his bath or if her shoes don't match? Compared to some of the bigger things, these should be the least of your worries!
4) Don't sweat the small stuff
Just like in picking your battles, there are going to be lots and lots of little things from the learning to differentiate their cry to comparing milestones to choosing battles. Try not to get yourself too crazy! Your Savta used to love saying. "Don't worry! They won't still do it at their wedding!" She was right!
5) Don't make promises you don't have every intention of keeping
Even with the best of intentions, you may not be able to keep a promise so be certain that you only make promises that you are able to keep. Don't promise the moon unless you are planning to climb up there and get it yourself!
6) Don't be afraid to say "I don't know"
There is a wealth of opportunity to teach your child starting with: it is ok to NOT have all the answers and to teach them how to find them.Imagine the burden you will lift from their shoulders?
7) Don't feel guilty if you are a working mom
Just don't. It is what it is. Just make sure your time is quality time!
8) Don't feel guilty if you are a stay at home mom
Enjoy it. Don't squander it. Just make sure your time is quality time!
9) Make sure that the punishment fits the crime
Try to keep it in perspective. If they didn't do a homework assignment because they were watching too much TV, cut back on or stop the TV watching. You don't have to ground them for a week!
10) And while we are on the subject of punishment
Remember that puinishment once given, has to be followed through with! That being said, make sure that the punishment/threats you make are enforcable to you, as well. In other words, don't tell them if they don't clean their rooms, they can't spend the weekend at Grandmas. Who is really being punished here if they don't clean their rooms?!
Read lots and lots of books. Spark their curiosity. Sing, dance, laugh! Tell stories!
12) Be your child's best advocate!
Be their biggest fan, greatest admirer, staunchest supporter and peppiest cheerleader! You have, after all, given birth to the best kid in the world! Make sure they know it! There is nothing that child can do that will make you love it less. Be their protector in every sense of the word. Be fierce, if you must be, but never let them think that they are anything less than perfect!
This song sums it all up!
My wish for you is that you will have even half the pleasure from you children that you have brought to me. And of course, you already know this, but I hope you dance.
I already know that there are more things that I forgot to tell you but I'm not worried, I'll just write another one or two of these!
I love you!
One more thing....be prepared!
Make sure to have a good camera. You won't want to miss a thing!