Being a Mom Has Taught Me…part two

right now my kids are small and my kisses make all their boo boos better. The day I lose the superpower I know my heart will break.

how to find the answer to any question I have on the internet and how to seperate the good from the insane answers

how to ask for help

how to balance (hint: very often that means letting something less important drop)

how to turn a living room disaster into something resembling clean in under 20mins

that everything is relative

9pm is late, 6am isn’t that early (see above comment)

how to change a diaper in the pitch dark

that I have to place some trust in my kids and in the world because I cannot be everywhere and see everything at once

compliments are important (I need them and my kids do too)

what good enough means to me (no else can define it for me)

some poop/bodily fluids are grosser than others. No, really.

that I can wipe my kids nose with my shirt or my hand-but NO ONE wants to see me do it.

always check your shirt for stains before leaving the house.

i will become accustomed to the volume of life with three kids

whoever said midnight is the witching hour did not have children. 5pm is the witching hour. Dinner, bath, books, bed. OY.

“Because I said so” is a perfectly reasonable response. And mom, you were right. My bad.

coins are better than paper money

bubbles are the greatest thing in the world

anything can be a pretend gun. Especially a Barbie doll.

sometimes their personality is clear even before birth

dads should never lay flat on their back on the floor without a cup

daddy is better at something than I am

it’s ok that daddy is better than me

sometimes, though, only mommy will do

don’t buy pancake syrup at the store. Equal parts water, white sugar, brown sugar-bring to boil. Boil without stirring for 5-10 minutes. Add vanilla and maple extract (maybe even butter extract) and BOOM. the best syrup ever, keep it in your fridge, and much cheaper than the store stuff. You’re welcome.

homemade playdough is better because it does not stick to the carpet or walls like storebought, and I know exactly what’s in it (flour, salt, cornstarch)

don’t try and salvage underwear that has been seriously damaged during potty training. Just throw it out and buy more.

if I keep offering them only healthy snacks, eventually they’ll eat them

you cannot make a chid eat

I am not usually more stubborn than a 2 year old, so don’t get into a battle of wills with one

it is worth making the mess, having a good time, and cleaning it up later

very young kids can help with chores, just don’t expect them to be done the way they “should be”.

don’t let your kids see you correcting the chores they’ve just helped with

always try and cook a double batch, then put half in the freezer

keep placing food on their plate, meal after meal, and eventually they’ll try it

even mommy needs a time out-and should take it

splurge on the good snack cups. they’re worth the investment.

learn where the edge is and avoid it at all costs because if you throw your kid off of it, you’ll never forgive yourself

listen to them play when they don’t think you’re there

let her be a princess, and be one with her

let him play with the pink doll, and show him how to be gentle

let her play football, and show her how to be tough

let him “help” with the car, and show him everyone needs help

let them crawl into your lap, and show them that you love them

if there’s no room on your lap sit on the floor or the couch and spread your arms wide enough so they will all fit inside your bubble

apologize when you’re wrong

forgive them when they apologize

cheese, crackers/bread, and fruit or veggies is a perfectly well-balanced lunch

ice cream for dinner every once in a while won’t hurt

make fruit a dessert

when they start looking like they’ll crawl or walk any day make sure the cameras are always charged, but don’t be surprised when they fake you out for months before doing it

give them a camera and let them take pictures. It’s amazing what they world looks like through their lens

There are no parenting tips, lessons, classes, books, videos, or magazines that make parenting any easier. But some well-placed advice and patience and time will make you stronger

Ask for help

take help when it’s offered

don’t bother making the house spotless before help comes over

the library, and some bookstores, have a ton a of free events, classes, and options for entertaining

in the summer (and sometimes in spring and fall) there are free outdoor concerts, markets, and community activities for free. check the caledars and use them. It’s much better than paying $20 per person and then having to leave after 30 minutes because of an emotional meltdown or sudden stomach virus

there’s nothing wrong with the occasional PJs-all-day day

start the coffee before you start their breakfast (think back to the flight attendant telling you to put our own oxygen mask on before helping anyone around you)

when the baby is a newborn don’t be a hero. If sure you’re showered, you’re both fed, and the baby’s diaper is clean you’re doing your job. Everything beyond that is optional.

the “baby” is a newborn until they start preschool.

If you can’t remember exactly when you showered last, drop everything and go shower.

find a good mommy blog that you like. It can be cathartic to read something you’ve experienced written by a talented, funny and honest writer

find a pediatrician who’s parenting values and methods mirror your own.

Try and figure out where you’re going, even if you change direction it helps to know you’re heading somewhere and not wandering aimless and lost

Get out of the house twice a day. even if the middle of winter. it helps to keep you from losing your mind.

if you go to costco or some other stores at the right time of day you don’t have to cook lunch.

save the shirts and clothes that are so stained they’re destroyed for dinners/meals/crafts that are messy

If you can, get your child to attach to two lovies. that way when one is lost the back-up may just be enough at bedtime

have a hobby that your kids can be involved in as well

have a hobby that has nothing, whatsoever, to do with your kids

don’t watch the news around your kids. it’s frightening enough for adults, sometimes.

breastfeeding and “natural” childbirth are not necessarily as complicated and impossible as people say

the moms I know who’ve had c-sections and formula feed their babies love their kids every bit as much as the ones who choose or were able to have “natural” birth or breastfeed.

enough with the mom vs mom debates. it does not matter if someone else chooses or has to breastfeed/formula feed/c-section/vaginal/co-sleep/sleep in the carseat/SAHM/WOHM/babywears/
always uses a stroller. Nearly every mother loves her child and does her best, even on bad days. That is enough. For that matter, lets stop distracting everyone with details of parenting, and focus on policy changes that support families (no matter the make-up. single, childless friends can be family too) 

Amanda Stein

Amanda Stein is a mother of three who has been married for over a decade. She earned her Masters of Social Work fand has worked as a clinical social worker in the past. Currently a stay-at-home-mom Amanda has a passion for writing, rediscovered a love of running, and loves cooking and baking.

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