This past Sunday, I went to a baby shower and we played a little game where everyone tore off as much toilet paper as they wanted without having any idea why. When we were done, the hostess told us that for every square of toilet paper we had, we had to give one piece of parenting advice.
There we were, a handful of women from all walks of life and at every stage in motherhood sharing our best advice to parenting. There were tears and laughter alike. I really love hearing insight from other moms and how they view motherhood and their best words of wisdom, so I thought I would share some of my favorites from the afternoon!
1. Take care of yourself. Every mom hears this time and time again, but in reality, none of us really do. Make sure to exercise, eat healthy, drink water, shower and get dressed and pamper yourself sometimes too. You can only take care of others when you take care of yourself.
2. Remember the darker days turn into sunny days. We all agreed that motherhood is one of the most difficult jobs we’ve ever done, yet it’s the most delightful, fulfilling and rewarding all in one. The hardest times ALWAYS turn into the happiest.
3. Follow your intuition. A mother’s intuition is like none other. As a mother, you know your child better than anyone else and that makes you know what they want and need better than anyone else too. I think we’ve all had experience with people giving us advice. Some of it’s good and some of it simply won’t work for your child – you know the difference!
4. Go on dates. This one had multiple meanings. For moms with more than one child, spend time with each child individually by going out with them for simple activities like the park or ice cream. The other meaning of this is to not neglect your husband. Make sure to carve out some time to spend childless too!
5. Tell your kids you love them. You can never tell your kids you love them too many times. Showering kids with love is the best thing for them.
6. Parent each child as an individual yet the same. Each child has their own personality, so you must parent according to their needs. However, you want to keep things fair and consistent in your family.
7. Savor all the moments. We could all attest to this one no matter what age or how many kids we had. Kids grow up so fast. It’s honestly incredible how fast time flies by even on the slowest days. I wish I could go back several months and redo them because they went too fast and now I’m on the horizon of having a toddler and I don’t know what to do with myself. Someone just pass the tissues.
8. Ask for help. It seriously takes a village to raise a child. No mother can do it all. Just ask for help when it’s needed and don’t say no when it’s offered.
9. Know your child’s friends and their parents. You want to know who your kids are hanging out with and you want to know their parents to make sure their parenting style somewhat aligns with yours. Make sure to know what’s going on with your kids.
10. Be consistent with whatever parenting techniques you use. We were lucky enough to have a psychologist in the group and this was her advice. She said that kids need consistency because it helps with their emotional security.
I love talking to other moms about all things parenting. Even if not everything we do is the same, you can usually learn something from other moms. It was so enlightening to hear from moms that have kids of all ages to gain insight into what I have to look forward to.
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What’s your best parenting advice?
What was your favorite thing about the way your parents parented you?
Mine was that I knew my parents would always love me unconditionally and that I could always rely on them. I hope I can give that to Aiden (and our future kids) too.