1. Don’t read conventional parenting magazines. After three-year subscriptions to most of the major national magazines, I’ve come to realize that they are largely a waste of time. You can’t learn to be a parent from reading about it. Honestly, to be a good parent to your child, you have to decide to take the time to get to know your children and figure out what works for you. That’s all. And yes, it really is that simple. Or, not really simple. But parenting is not as hard as you would think if you’re knee deep in those parenting magazines that give you advice on everything from how to wipe your toddlers butt to how to get your baby to sleep.
2. Everything in parenting is figure-out-able. I know that figure-out-able is not a word, but it should be. Going along with number one, everything about your child can be figured out if you trust yourself and your abilities as a parent.
3. Pull ups are a waste of time. I don’t why my husband and I were willing to buy Pull-Ups for so long. Oh, wait. I know. I think we thought by doing so, we were indirectly doing the work of potty training our child. Or, gearing up to potty training our child. With my second daughter, we will not buy Pull-Ups! It will be diapers to underwear and that’s it. No in between!
4. Minivans are sexy. I’ve said this before, but I think it bears repeating for any mom or dad out there who is new at this and still convinced that they need an SUV in order to maintain their sexy as parents. It’s not true, I tell you! If you plan to have more than two kids and they are close in age, get a van, and not just any van. Get the kind of van that you can be proud of!
5. Value your work as a parent. I think when I came into parenting, I didn’t really value the work of parenting. And because of that, I was always looking to find or define my value in other ways. What I’ve learned is that when you begin to value your work, you’ll see how powerful you are, your children will respect you more, and you will be happier!
6. Choose your parent friends wisely. Parents are everywhere. They’re online and at parks and…everywhere. I’m learning that as before parenting, not all relationships with adults who happen to have children will work out. When choosing your friends, think about your child, yes. But also think about you and your interests and personality.
What are some lessons you’ve learned in your years of being a parent?