- You know your child better than anyone else. If you're not a parent yet, even if you have the most amazing parents and in-laws in the whole entire world (like me ;) ) they WILL try to tell you how to do certain things to take care of your child that you won't agree with, and that's okay. You're their parent and it's okay to tell your parents or in-laws that.
- Disclaimer: I do think if your parents or in-laws come to you with a valid concern regarding something that actually affects your child's health or well-being, please at least consider it before you dismiss it.
- Mommy Instinct- You get it the minute you potty on that stick. From small decisions like what color to paint the nursery to big decisions like if and when to vaccinate your children, you're in charge and you HAVE to have confidence to trust yourself. I think it boils down to the fact that no one in the whole entire world could possibly love your child as much as you do, so you're the best person to make the decisions for them. Of course, your relationship with God also plays hugely into this, but I'm not here to preach. So, trust yourself! If your child is sick and a Dr. tells you it's something that will go away on its own, but you just don't feel like that's right and you want to drive an hour away to a different urgent care, DO IT. You might make a trip for no reason, but you also might make a trip that tells you your child is very, very ill and requires admission to the hospital. (Yep! Happened to me!)
- Schedule- Children THRIVE on a schedule. I know I've blogged about it before, so I won't go on and on, but I truly believe that your child needs a schedule, and it has to be based on their routine, not what is convenient for you. For the first year of Manning's life he slept every night from 6:30 PM to 6:30 AM. It killed me that I only got about 45 minutes with him on weekday evenings and that we couldn't go out to a late dinner, but the few times we tried to go against his schedule, it backfired. People might think you're crazy, but when your one year old sleeps 12 hours a night consistently, let them talk.
- Finally, you CANNOT be everything to everyone. As a mom it is SO easy to put everyone in the world ahead of yourself, but there is nothing worse you can do for your parenting skills. I promise if your house is clean, but you're only sleeping four hours a night to make that a reality, you're not being the best parent you can. It would be much better for your house to be messy and you get eight hours of sleep. I still struggle with this myself. I hate leaving Deacon with others. Because I've been a SAHM and never HAD to leave him, I never WANT to leave him, but that's not good for me! Everyone needs a break. Even if it's just a trip to the grocery store alone. You deserve it.
- On that same note, in order for your spouse to be a good parent also, it's important for your marriage to be strong. This means making date nights a priority, and doing what you can to help each other out. Praying for each other. Making each other's lives easier in the small ways. This is something I know all parents could improve on. :)
Well, I think that's all I'll say...I could go on and on with my opinions and advice, but nobody would appreciate that. :)