I was talking with a friend the other day who’s first baby is almost one. She was exhausted and overwhelmed, and wondering why anyone would be crazy enough have more than one child!
I laughed and explained that I had never had only one baby, so I had no idea what I was talking about… but that it does get easier, or perhaps, you just get better at it, after the first time.
And it hit me, slap bang in the face, I am not a ‘new Mum’ any more.
I’ve actually been doing this gig for while now (almost 12 years in fact – holy cow that is a long time!) and I actually have gotten better at it, and I actually do know some tips and tricks and things that make this parenting gig a little easier.
I thought about it as I drove home…
What do I know now that I wish I knew when my kids were small?
Ten Things I Wish I Knew When My Kids Were Small.
- Parenting books do not have all the answers, neither do ‘experts’, you know your child.
- Acorns do bad, bad, things to washing machines. Always check pockets during autumn!
- This too shall pass… really, it will.
- The Sarah-lee method of vomit-proofing a bed – towel, garbage bag, towel, garbage bag, layer, upon layer, upon layer.
- Boys can wee in all kinds of convenient (if somewhat gross) places. Girls can wee down their own legs, and all and over your feet, unless you master the perfect angle.
- Sleeping through the night, walking, and potty training are the great comparison traps of early parenting… DO NOT GO THERE
- Mastering the fine art of a smile and vague nod is essential – for well meaning advice, stupid comments, competitive parents, and when you are just so tired you can’t actually focus on what anyone is saying.
- There is time… don’t be tricked into think you need to rush through your days, besides there is no point because you’ll never actually be on time every again.
- If you and the child(ren) were clean when you left the house, call it a win and move on. No one will notice that baby vomit if you wear a cream shirt anyway.
- You will be tired. More tired than you ever thought possible, and yet you will still function reasonably well. Yep, it is amazing.
Now that I stop and think about it, there are lots of things I know now, that I wish I knew then, but looking back, I am pretty sure if someone had told me all of these things when my twins were babies I would have looked at them like they were nuts.
Some things you just have to live through and work out on your own… and parenting is one of them.
So perhaps the only thing I really wish I’d know back then is this;
You will be the kind of parent you are. You will try your best, feel like a total failure, and generally muddle through, wondering how you got to the end of each day, and that is ok, really, it’ ok.
Oh but do take note of the acorn and vomit-proofing tips – they are gold!
Read the comments or scroll down to add your own:
debbie Hughes says
Thank you for this post it made me laugh. And totally true, I have learnt to deal with mummy guilt as it is always there and you just need to set your own bar. Mine is as long as my kids are happy and clean at one point in a day it is a good day.
Carla and Emma: The Merrymaker Sisters says
Hi Kate! ‘This too shall pass’ is one of our favourite affirmations. xxxx
Ah yes… I still repeat this to myself often! LOL
One piece shirts that button in the groin are designed to be pulled down not over the head to help with nappy explosions. Why did I not learn this until my kids were out of nappies. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrISmbf8LBM
Sandy Perdue says
‘This too shall pass’ works in two ways . . . 1. getting through the days that wear you out and those things you thought your sweet child would never ever do. And 2. It all goes by way, way too fast. My precious little baby boys are now in their 50’s and get “senior discounts” at some stores. I don’t know how this could be possible.
Enjoy your little ones . . . don’t expect perfection from yourself, or from them. Let your eyes light up when your child comes into the room . . let them know you’ve got their back no matter what (they might have to take their punishment, but they don’t have to go through bad times alone ) . . tell them how important they are to you even when they’re at the age to say ‘yuck”. They’ll appreciate knowing how much they’re loved.
Such wise words! Thank you so much for sharing.