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I’ve been a mom now for close to seven and a half years and while that certainly doesn’t make me an expert I have learned quite a bit along the way. So here are my 7 parenting lessons learned in my 7 years of parenting. This post was actually inspired by a post on a blog I read, called the life of Bon. She’s having a baby and is scared of some things. I get it I was there at one point. To know who I’m talking about you can read her post here.
1. In the worst of times, you have to just remind yourself constantly that it’s just a stage and it will end. When she had colic as a newborn and cried nonstop I thought it would never end but of course, it eventually did. When she went through the phase of wanting to take off her dirty diapers and play with them it was gross and horrible but she eventually stopped doing it. Children are changing every minute and the good and bad phases will be over soon. So even in the hard moments try to enjoy them as much as possible because you will look back on them and wish you had appreciated them a little more.
2. Don’t let people make you question your choices. When I was pregnant I wanted two things to deliver without an epidural and to breastfeed. For some reason, a lot of people felt the need to constantly tell me these things might not work out. I understood that. Some moms try for a drug-free natural delivery and it doesn’t work for them but that’s no reason why I can’t try for one. Same thing for breastfeeding. I made it work for 15 months.
3. Don’t let my last lesson fool you. learning to breastfeed was hard and stressful in the beginning but for me, it was something I wanted to push through and do unless my body didn’t let me. Same thing with my delivery. I had a plan that I wanted to follow. I knew that if at anytime the baby or I was in danger that plan would have to change but I wanted to keep going forward as long as I could. Decide what is important to you as a parent and fight for it as long as it is safe for you and your child.
4. There will be a lot of people who have opinions about you as a parent. From your pregnancy, your delivery, how you care for your baby, toddler, preschooler, child. Most of these opinions suck. Ignore them. These people aren’t you and aren’t raising your child so ignore what they say. Save your sanity. Trust me.
5. To go along with what I just said. Choose carefully the people you do listen to. I choose my daughter’s doctor, dentist, all of her teachers and a couple of carefully selected friends whose opinions I trust and who have actually spent significant time with my child and usually they have either a background in some field of childcare or children of their own. As a mom, especially in the beginning when you are really clueless it’s easy to let people make you feel bad about your parenting. Over the last 7 years, I’ve developed the philosophy that if her doctor and her teacher both think she’s healthy and doing well then who really knows better than them.
6. your kid is unique and what is normal for some kids might not be normal for yours. Bella is a horrible sleeper has been from the day she was born. It was really hard in the beginning because she never slept but it’s easier now. She still has weird sleep patterns but it works for her. She likes to wake up crazy early and go to bed early. I can’t change it. I’ve tried but I’ve decided to accept that as a part of her. She functions well on this schedule and it what it is. You have to take the good with the bad. I wish she slept later but she’s a great eater so I don’t have that battle. You learn to compromise
7. This could be a whole post on its own but having a kid will make you stronger and tougher than you ever imagined. You will be able to stand up for your child in any situation and you will know that you could fight or worse with anyone who threatens your child. When Bella was assaulted by a child in her class last year. I wrote about it here. I fought for her, went to the teacher the vice principal and the principal and would have done anything to get that boy away from her. The thing was that he was a child as well and if he needed help I wanted him to get it, I didn’t want him hurt or punished just away from my daughter. Had an older child or adult done something like that I’d probably be in jail right now. The one thing you can never truly prepare for as a parent is how much you will love your child and how deep those maternal instincts will go and your drive to protect your child at any cost.
So if you’re a parent what is something that you’ve learned? If your not a parent yet what worries you most about becoming one?