Thirteen Things I've Learned While Parenting:
1. Do NOT parent with your reputation in mind. This applies to those times when you have to suck it up and let the four-year-old wear the superhero outfit to the grocery store, as well as the scary times. Like raising any child over the age of twelve.
2. Accept the fact that you will make mistakes. You are not the only parent that has screwed up and this is certainly not the last time you will screw up. Welcome to the club. We're glad you're here.
3. Laugh. Like a lot. Kids will think you're funny and adults will bring you homecooked meals because they will assume you've finally lost it.
Plus it burns more calories than not laughing. And calorie burning is always a plus.
4. You do not have to sit at the table for dinner each night. The point for togetherness is not sitting around the table while eating veggies and discussing your day. The point is being together and doing something you all enjoy. In some seasons of life we ate at the table and discussed our day. Every night. There were veggies involved.
Now we eat in the Master bedroom. We pile around the gigantic bed, in the recliner, on the floor, etc.
And we watch our favorite shows. We all love it and we would choose this time together over almost anything else.
5. Do NOT parent with your reputation in mind. Have I mentioned this already?
Well, it bears repeating.
You are raising a human being, not a science experiment for which you will receive an award and praise among your peers.
Do what is best for the child.
Not what is best for what others think of you as a parent.
6. Involve God. He is a parent and He has raised many, many children. Some obeyed. Some did not. The point being that He knows how to love at all costs and in all circumstances.
He can be found in His Word.
7. Drink lots of water. It is good for you and it gives you an excuse to take potty breaks. Believe me sometimes potty breaks will be your only breaks.
Coffee works just as well.
8. Invest in quality friendships that make you laugh. Sometimes you will find that the only thing that is keeping you sane is the voice of a sweet friend. And nothing helps you make it through a rough day like knowing that you aren't the only one considering locking yourself in the closet.
9. Don't be surprised when you feel guilty. Every parent feels guilty from time to time. It has a lot to do with #2. And sometimes it has nothing to do with #2.
Guilt is just something that likes to hang out with people who are parenting. Get used to ignoring it because it likes attention.
Do not give it any.
10. Enjoy your season. No season lasts forever, whether good or bad. If you are in a parenting season you don't particularly love, don't feel guilty about that...
plenty of other things to feel guilty about anyway...
Instead, try to find something that you can include in your life and in your daily routine that you thoroughly enjoy.
This gives you something to look forward to and something to be thankful for until this season passes.
And believe me, it will.
They all do.
11. Talk to your children. The one thing my children have told me that I can be certain I did right,
was talking to them.
When they want to talk and when they don't want to talk.
Talk to your children and encourage them to talk to you.
12. Listen. It doesn't make a lot of sense to get them to talk to you if you don't plan on listening. Put down the bloody cell phone already, turn off the television, and close the laptop.
It's time to listen. They really are fascinating little people and they enjoy being heard just like everyone else.
13. Figure out their love language. Then learn to speak it fluently.
They are worth the effort.
And that's all for today, kiddos.
But, heck, that was so much fun, I might just do it again on a regular basis!
With a different group of "thirteen things..." of course.
Because otherwise, what would be the point, right?
But before I sign off for the day...
Thank you EVER so much for sticking around. You gotta know it makes this girl happy!