My son turns two very soon. Although if you ask him, he has been two for the last eight months. Terrible two’s started very early. In honor of his second birthday I decided to share what I have learned over the last two years of being a parent. I know I have many years ahead of me, in fact my whole life. I do wish I had a TARDIS to go back in time and tell myself what I have learned and not to freak out. Here goes nothing with my lessons learned.
- There is only two ways the baby can come out. It got in there and it will come out. As much as at the very end when you are pushing you want to yell “I CAN’T DO THIS”, the only way all those pains are going to stop is if you breath and push. It is very very very worth it when you see the human you have been caring for and creating.
- Studies come out all the time that say “oh this is safe to do during pregnancy” or “avoid that” but do you want your kid to be the guinea pig? Use your common sense. You have become a parent the moment you see those two pink lines.
- When your baby naps, you nap. Laundry, Facebook, cleaning, and phone calls can wait. You need to be well rested as well.
- You can read every parenting book, blog, magazine, etc but none of them will prepare you for your child. None of those authors have met your child. You know your child the best. What works for ten children might not work for yours. Reading does give you an idea but nothing can prepare you for that moment they enter the world.
- Pardon my french but shit happens. There is no avoiding it ever. And be prepared it can and will go everywhere.
- Don’t expect to be the perfect mother. Perfect doesn’t work. You are going to make mistakes and lots of them. Accept that you are not the world’s greatest mom. Just let June Cleaver keep that title. You aren’t a Stepford Wife. Don’t try to be one.
- You cannot be a good parent without a good mental health team. I have an amazing mental health team and I honestly don’t think I could make it as a parent without them. Whether it is your therapist, your partner, your mother, or your best friend, make sure someone is watching out for your mental health.
- Postpartum depression happens. You are not a bad parent for realizing you have it and need to take something for it. In fact it makes you a better parent for recognizing that you need the help.
- Your social life is gone. No more late nights at the bar drinking till your heart’s content. No more trips to the store by yourself. Your social life is literally gone. Now will you still have friends and get to see them? Yes but not as much as you use to. The movie Friends With Kids illustrates it beautifully. It really does. Well at least the beginning of it.
- Mommy time outs are the best thing ever. When you are about to lose your temper and do something you will regret, walk away. Take five minutes. Tell your kid you are taking a time out and lock yourself in the bathroom if need be. It’s the time for you to take a breather and be able to deal with a screaming toddler a lot better.
- Facebook can be a lie and make you feel horrid. You might see your best friend post pictures of the cookies her and her kids made that day and you are still sitting in your pj’s with your kids doing nothing all day. Facebook highlights people’s high points. Would you really want a picture of you unshowered, in your fat clothes, with no make up on their? No you don’t. Just remember when you post the picture of your awesome adventure to Florida, your friend might be having the same day you did when she made the cookies.
- This is the last one for this post and one I have learned from my sister. Make the effort. She hasn’t met her niece and nephew yet but she puts forth a great effort to be apart of their lives. My son knows who Auntie Jay Jay is. He knows she is my sister and every major holiday he gets something from her. Valentine’s Day he got a Valentine from her in the mail and it didn’t leave his sight for a week. He would hide it under his crib so he always knew where it was. I’m anxiously awaiting the day she has kids because I can’t wait to be the awesome aunt she is already. She has set the bar very high.
Well that is a handful of what I have picked up over two years. To all those parents out their, it is hard, days are long, cherish the good, remember the bad, and know that you are the best parent to your children that you can be. But I’m sure if you are a parent you already know everything I just wrote.