I wrote a blog on “Mommy Do’s” some blogs ago about some things that have been working well for us as parents. Accessories and gear that we’ve enjoyed and general philosophies that we’ve implemented and found to be successful.
Writing that blog put me in a reflective mindset. I couldn’t help but recall moments and things that we’ve observed and ways we’ve behaved that were…not so helpful.
SO without further adieu, here are some mommy do nots:
1- Do not, at least try really hard not to, lose your temper and say things you’ll regret. I’ve made a pretty strong effort to keep my cool. Because I figure this kid is going to upset me way worse when he can actually use his words and knows he’s being defiant. If I can practice dealing with my frustration in a constructive way now, I’ll be better off later when he’s all, “MOM, don’t tell me what to do!.”
2- Sacrifice your relationship with your spouse for your baby. Gosh, I had such a hard time with this. I felt like I was the only one who could love Olson how he needed to be loved. And I felt sick to my stomach when I was away from him. A nurse told me how resilient babies are. That was maybe the most helpful thing anyone told me after Olson was born. They will be fine if they spend some time away from you. Your spouse, however, that partner of yours that has needs and longings, needs your time. The best thing you can do for your baby sometimes is to love your spouse. At all costs.
Okay, gonna be honest. These last three are more girl to girl, mom to mom, parent to parent. A lot of times the things we do that aren’t so smart as parents are the things we do to each other, not to our children. SO here’s to saying what needs to be said…
3-Make excuses for your kid. “Sorry he’s being terrible, it’s nap time.” Doesn’t it seem like it’s always nap time with some kids. You’re like, okay fine your kid seems sleepy, but maybe little Joe needs a spanking. (Did I just type that out loud?) I get it. I don’t want people to think Olson is terrible so on many occasions I have made excuses for him. “He’s not waving because he’s had a long day.” “He’s not smiling because he’s sleepy.” “He’s whiny because he’s hungry.” And so on and so forth. Most people you talk to have been around kids or are parents themselves and understand that kids get grouchy. And if they haven’t been around kids, they aren’t going to understand no matter what you tell them. And we all know when you have a spoiled child versus a kid who is having a hard day. You’re fooling no one. One of my favorite excuses I’ve heard was from a dear friend whose daughter was screaming over the fact that she didn’t want to wear matching shoes. My friend sighed and looked up at me, “I’m sorry. She’s a kid.” Thank you. Cause sometimes that’s all it is.
4- Give uninvited advice. I’m sure all of you have broken down and made the difficult decision to be candid with another mom, only to find out that they just want to tell you how to do everything. Like, actually I think that’s nice that you want to help, but I just need some empathy. Don’t be that mom! I have found myself wanting to do this to other new moms and it comes from a place of excitement, and a desire to help them avoid mistakes you made. But it comes across insensitive and bossy. A complaint is not an invitation to correct. Which brings me to my next point…
5- Be a “know-it-all.” Every mama is very attached to the way she does things. It’s a very sensitive area to question a mama on how she has decided to raise the living being that she pushed out of her hoo-ha. While I feel very passionate about the way we birthed Olson and the parenting tactics that we’ve implemented, I have to be aware that there are a lot of ways to do things. Science changes like, every day. And while one minute, research may say that you should nurse all the time every minute of the day, a book will be published 7 minutes later saying a schedule is more important. Let’s all relax and just keep learning and encouraging each other. And stop making other mamas feel bad because you’ve read a few research articles.
I’m proud of you mamas and daddies. This parenting thing is harder than the books make it seem. And it’s not always as entertaining and hilarious as the movies make it seem. But it is better than words could possibly express. 🙂