Friday, July 29, 2011

Lessons Learned the Hard Way

I only read two blogs regularly: It's Almost Naptime and Kelly's Korner. The first one is both hilarious and inspirational (and has a great post today) and the second is just sweet, and there's lots of discussion of parenting. Kelly's Korner is having a link up of your best parenting advice and since I love to read other people's, I thought I would share mine. Since I'm a total rookie that just wings it 95% of the time, my advice has nothing to do with discpline/actual child rearing. I'll leave that to someone else.

My all time favorite advice, especially for new moms, is to cut yourself some slack. Your life will NEVER be like it used to be and the sooner you let go of the vision that it will return to normal, the better. My kids are still so young, maybe you regain some of that as they're older, but somehow I doubt it. Your life now revolves around keeping a little person (or three) alive, and you probably want to nurture, feed, and maybe even teach them along the way. That's all consuming and it's irrational to think you could accomplish the things you used to accomplish before you had kids. So just let it go and move on.

The other thing I learned the hard way is not to overschedule the day. It's all about naptime and snacktime and if you try to run "just one more errand" and push those things back, you will regret it. And so will whatever unfortunate store you're in. I think you can plan on doing, in one outing, about 1/4th (or much less) of what you could do without your kids and it will take 3 times as long. That's just how it is. I'm pretty sure that changes as your kids get older, but who knows. By then you have to take them to sports or whatever else, so maybe you just exchange one time drain for another.

Along the same lines as above, learn how to say no. If going to that birthday party/church event/whatever makes you stressed at the thought of scheduling it all, then just say no. I have had to miss plenty of things I'd like to attend but your mental state and your kids' stamina has to dictate the pace of your family life. Our pace is slower than some but that's how it is. It's important for our family to be home most nights of the week and not to have back to back events on the weekends. Really, one thing a weekend is plenty for us. Tom's whole morning on Sunday is church, and naptime takes all afternoon, so our one family day is Saturday. We're not going to spend it shuttling around to numerous different things, regardless of how much I might like to be there.

That's all I have. I'll be reading other people's blogs to see what to do about strong-willed toddlers. And the verse below makes me laugh every time I read it. Clearly, the Lord knew it was the nature of dad's to tease their kids. I have no idea why they do that, but they all do. Harris tells Tom, "Don't poke the bear, Daddy!"

Ephesians 6:4 Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

1 comment:

  1. This advice is so true. Even now with 8 children, under 11, I still forget that I need to cut myself some slack. Thanks!