We all know I’ve no claim to be a parenting expert. I make mistakes often but I generally learn from them (I have only ever ONCE attempted to take the kids to school on an in service day).
Eldest boy is almost 16 (I know I know I’m way too young!) and I’ve had 3 more since him so I must have picked up one or two things about parenting in 16 years.
Here are the 16 parenting lessons I’ve learnt in 16 years :
1) I do like children after all! (phew)
2) Motherhood leaves you vulnerable to more pain, upset and worry that you could imagine.
3) Mother’s instinct is a real thing.
4) Never leave weetabix bowls for even two minutes before you wash them. That stuff could be used to build houses.
5) Despite what meany-pants parenting books try to say, there’s no such thing as too much praise. I absolutely believe the reason I’ve such confident children is because they know I think they’re fantastic and tell them often.
6) Colic doesn’t last forever. You think it will but it doesn’t.
7) One day you’ll really miss the TV shows/books/movies you currently hate because your child wants them ten times a day (I’m so sorry for hiding you We’re Going On A Bearhunt)
8) The teens will never admit it but they do appreciate you taking the time to ask about their day. For every 10 times the response is shoulder shrug and ‘meh’, there’ll be one time they open up and chat about their day. It’s worth it.
9) There IS a difference in parenting boys and parenting girls.
10) There’ll be days you find motherhood dull or exhausting or impossible. That’s OK, those days pass.
11) One day you’ll find yourself telling your children off for exhibiting behaviours that have come directly from you.
12) Teething is torture. For all concerned.
13) Don’t panic about children being late potty training or giving up dummies and bottles. One day they will.
14) The chocolate /junk food /sweets you swore you’d never bribe your children with? You probably will. Don’t worry about it, it’s a means to an ends. Desperate times call for desperate measures and all that and if a kinder egg means your kid will sit quiet while you have a smear or something equally glam so be it.
15) A kind or thoughtful gesture from your child will break your heart in the best way. It just kind of dissolves with pride.
16) Don’t lament the end of the baby /toddler/pre school days too much. It’s hard to let go but teens are quite good company (on their terms of course)
It’s in no way rules to live by, but I’m Queen of making it up as you go along parenting and these children of mine *crosses fingers, touches wood, finds lucky rabbits foot* they seem to be turning out OK!