Today, I am honored to have Erica Johnson blogging for me. She is the main editor for Inner Parents and a very proud mother of two who’s passionate about the latest parenting tips & baby products. She wants to share with us (practical parents) the 5 best kept secrets about parenting. So, here’s Erica:
5 Best-Kept Secrets About Parenting
by Erica Johnson
Everyone has parenting secrets they’re willing to share. You’d think that between your family, your workout crew, your co-workers, and your social network that by the time you become a parent, you would know all there is to know. Years later, you may realize that there are some best-kept parenting secrets everyone keeps to themselves — or maybe it’s that you have to discover your own. Here are five good ones.
Secret One: Breastfeeding is Easier Than You Think
Not every mom can breastfeed, and not every mom wants to; but if breastfeeding is your choice, you discover pretty quickly what a lifesaver it is. Despite a steep learning curve, it’s ultimately a snap. Breast milk is always the right temperature. You don’t have to wash bottles. You never need to make a trip to the convenience store at three AM–it’s always right there.
Secret Two: Time Flies
Sometime during your child’s first year, you’ll swear that you will never have time to read a book, paint your nails, or even take a private pee until your child has graduated. The secret here is that when your child really has graduated, you’ll wish you could trade a few of those books or nail sessions for just one more hour of your grown kid being a little one again.
Secret Three: Kids’ Books Are Awesome
One of the most delightful treats of parenting is re-reading those books you loved — and discovering new ones. From the hauntingly evocative illustrations of Chris Van Allsburg to the glorious world of Harry Potter, children’s books are amazing, and it’s great to have a good excuse to browse that section of the bookstore.
Secret Four: Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
New parents worry about Disney princesses. (Is Snow White a good role model?) They worry about birthday parties. They worry about cloth or disposable. Want to know a secret? These issues aren’t that important. What’s more important to your child are the hours you played with them, taught them, went places with them. Odds are, your child will remember that day you both built houses out of orange peels and rocks in the yard better than they remember the expensive birthday party you threw.
Secret Five: Let Go and Let Grow
One secret about parenting is that your whole job is to make yourself irrelevant. (We don’t want an adult child who still needs parenting!) To do that, we have to let our kids fail. That doesn’t mean giving them the car keys when they’re eight, but it does mean that we give kids age-appropriate control: we let them do their own homework, choose their own clothes, get that weird haircut. It’s tempting to step in and fix things, but don’t. A child who experiences age-appropriate natural consequences becomes an adult who’s prepared to take responsibility.