So today my baby boy turned 3 years old. This gave me pause to stop and think about the last 13 years of our life. When our oldest was turning 3 years old I had just given birth to our 3rd daughter 10 days earlier. Thinking back to those days of little ones consuming my every energy there are things that I wish I had known then that I know now. We have lots of family and friends who are just beginning this fabulous journey of parenthood. So because I am just that nice I thought I would share a few things I wish I had known to make my life just that much easier……
1. Naptime is so necessary. But it doesn’t have to be at the same time everyday. Knowing your child and learning their cues will save your sanity. Your kid will survive if they don’t lay down for a nap at 11:03 am every time. In fact, it will be much less stressful for you to plan your day if they can adapt.
2. ANY baby can fall asleep in a dark closet in a port-a-crib with a soft blanket. I have not babysat or raised a kid yet that won’t fall asleep under those conditions. I mean let’s be honest if your closet isn’t cluttered you don’t even need a crib in there.
3. Baby food shmaybe food–who wants to eat that stuff other than the peaches and pears. Just feed them what you are eating
4. A two year old is one of the best sources of child labor. Sweeping, unloading/loading the dishwasher, mopping, vacuuming, folding laundry, dusting, cleaning up toys, all of these are jobs they can do and better yet they haven’t learned to whine about it yet.
5. That mom in the store who is watching you as you drag the little ones through the aisles is more often than not missing those days and praying you make it out alive.
6. If you were not tidy before you had kids don’t blame it on them for not being tidy after they come along.
7. Taking your kid their homework in 2nd grade will end up with you taking it to them in 11th grade. Let them learn to be responsible while they are young and the consequences are minor so you aren’t cleaning up their messes forever.
8. In reality there are very few things that having kids will keep you from doing. They just enhance any experience.
9. Be the best at what you do even if it’s cleaning toilets. Teach them the satisfaction of a job well done.
10. Make sure they know you love them above all else–that one I knew from the first time I held my oldest
I could go on and on but really we just need to relax and realize that there is so much joy in this journey. I hope you can take the time to find it for yourselves because my kids are the joy and make this journey worth it.