If I have learned anything as a new parent over the last twenty one months, it is to not get too comfortable.
Have a good routine going? Throw in a stomach bug and some new teeth and it is SHOT.
Have a good rotation of toddler meals planned and prepped? Surprise, now they don’t like chicken.
Just as soon as I get comfortable (and okay, maybe overly confident) it all changes and I’m reminded of all the advice we were given when we were expecting. Some of it was good (take some time for yourself every so often), and some wasn’t so good. I’ve got a niece coming this spring and a nephew arriving this summer and I’ve done a lot of reflecting over which advice was actually helpful and worth passing on. Below are some of my favorites:
1. Your baby is your baby. He or she will go at their own pace. (This helped me avoid stressing about all those baby timelines on the internet.)
2. Pack two extra outfits in the diaper bag, not just one. Some days are two explosion kind of days (or three if you’re traveling long distances and just that lucky).
3. You can never have too many burp cloths. Seriously, they are multifunctional life savers.
4. It doesn’t get easier, but you get better AND you get scarier (the perfect mom voice takes time. It comes easier if you’re a teacher).
5. “This too shall pass” is my motto on the rough days (yesterday, for example). The long nights of crying won’t last forever and those sleepless nights will end before you know it.
6. You can do it. That’s all there is to it. You can and you will. You are the best parent for your kiddo, that’s why they’re yours.
What it boils down to, for me, is trying to be realistic in my approach to parenting. Some days we make crafts and color and read books all day and make it to the park and enjoy a healthy lunch. Some days all Sawyer will eat is grapes (not for lack of offering other foods) and listen to the Blippi Tractor song over and over. Every parent will figure out what works best for them and their kiddo.
Just don’t get to comfortable, it could change tomorrow!
Parents, what good (or bad) advice were you given that stuck with you?