Have you ever looked over your shoulder, in hopes that the mother of the toddler screaming on the floor in front of you will magically appear? Only to realize that YOU are the kid’s mother… for a minute you teeter between hysterically crying or laughing. Parenting is part intuition and part like driving blindfolded against traffic during rush hour. I have finally learned the secrets to parenting happiness, and I am sharing them with you today!
[bctt tweet=”Don’t miss these secrets to #Parenting #Happiness – from a mother of four! “]
- Don’t sweat the small stuff! Mis-matched clothes and past due haircuts happen to all of us! There WILL be bigger things to panic about! Like the time one of our boys decided to “hatch” an egg-shaped rock in the bath tub. Of course the rock “disappeared” up where no rock should ever go, because hatching a rock is just asking for trouble. I quickly had to fetch the rock from my son’s insides. Thankfully the rock-ectomy was successful! There was NO WAY I was taking a kid to the ER with a rock “up there!”
- Wait until they are ready! “Forcing”/ rushing or otherwise strongly encouraging any milestone will only turn into a prolonged tug-of-war, or a battle of strong wills, leading to frustration on both sides.
- You don’t need to win every battle. Heck, you don’t even have to take on every battle!
- So he wants the blue cup – just give him the darn blue cup already, even if you have to dig it out from under the couch, scrape out fermented milk and wash all the sippy cup pieces by hand – quickly!
- He will NOT become a manipulative teenager overnight because you “caved” on this particular issue.
- You will have plenty of other opportunities to screw him up later in life – not engaging in every tantrum is actually good for both of you.
- Pick your battles wisely – no one is keeping score, not even your MIL (although it may seem like it at times!)
- You don’t have to be their source of entertainment 24/7. You are not a conga-line director on a 55+ cruise ship!
- A little alone time and even straight up boredom does a growing mind good. You can still quietly supervise from a distance, but you don’t need to constantly entertain and interfere.
- My mother always told me: “Intelligent people are never bored!” – that stopped me from ever telling her that I was bored – real quick!
- Milestones are referenced in brackets of time for a reason!
- Of course your MIL’s hairdresser’s daughter could speak complete sentences at five months and she ran a half marathon at 14 months.
- People will always tell you those stories and your standard reaction should be: “that’s great for them!” – and then move on…
- If you have a concern about your child see your pediatrician, NOT Facebook or your MIL, neither will give you an accurate reflection of the truth.
- Everyone has an opinion about anything from:
- Baby wearing
- Baby food
- Sleep arrangements
- Don’t listen to the person who yells the loudest, types the fastest or googles the most.
- Follow your motherly intuition and recommendations given by a trained professional who knows your child – like your pediatrician.
- Most importantly… breathe… You are in this parenting gig for the long haul. If you have a less than perfect day (and most days will seem like that), don’t worry – tomorrow is a new opportunity to yell less, shower more and maybe even shave your legs. If not, well then there is always a mommy friend to share stories with and yoga pants to hide the leg fur!
You’ve got this!
You are enough!
Take life one nap at a time!
Be where you are!
What is your secret to parenting happiness? – Let’s learn from each other!