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6 Parenting Tips I wish I'd known about years ago

Updated: Jul 14, 2023


 

We calculated it this morning… My husband and I have been parents for 2190 days. We joked that we’ve kept our son alive and been parents for longer than we’ve done most things. How crazy is that?!


This morning over pancakes and conversations about Ninjago Lego, we celebrated our son’s 6th birthday. In the lead up to today, I’ve found myself saying things like:


“On this day 6 years ago, I was…” and “By this time 6 years ago we were…”


We’ve been travelling down memory lane a lot this last week. The kids have been joining in and have loved the retelling of stories. It’s been wonderful to reminisce as a family.

As I sit here wondering how he’s going at school today, sharing Zooper Dooper icy-poles with his classmates (the go-to primary school birthday treat here), I’m reflecting on what we’ve learnt these last 6 years since becoming parents.


It’s interesting what’s popping up. It’s got me thinking, if I could go back in time, what would I tell my younger self?


So I thought to share these 6 pieces of advice that I’d give B.C. me (before children me), and maybe fellow parents might relate to this, or find it interesting too. Here goes…


1. The house will rarely be clean… and that’s okay.

I know you prefer to have beds that are made (and not jumped all over and crumpled 5 minutes after making them), that you like folded laundry, and tidy benchtops… but the sooner you can accept that fighting for a tidy house 24/7 is a unwinnable and draining battle, the calmer, tension-free, and sane you’ll be. Kids make a mess, and that’s okay.



2. Embrace sleeping on the couch. No matter how much revision of past successful sleep trainings you do, regardless of how many reminders you’ll give the kids, or conversations you’ll have about staying in their rooms all night, regularly one of the kids (if not both of them on the same night), will sneak into your bed in the wee hours and boot one of you out. Deal with it. You’ll value sleep (no matter where it happens). The couch is fine.

3. Parenting takes time (A LOT of time)... it’s just how it is. Breathe and become okay with having to explain things, situations, and yourself often (and repeatedly). Some days it’ll feel like you’re saying the same thing a million times… but eventually they’ll get it and you’ll feel like an awesome parent! Celebrate it!! Then get ready for the next round… they’ll hit you with the next wave of questions, hypothetical scenarios, or inquisitions that you need to take time out to parent and talk about. Rinse and repeat. That’s just how it is. It can be frustrating, but it’s also beautiful. The time you have with them as kids is short. Enjoy the roundabout conversations.

“It can be frustrating, but it’s also beautiful. The time you have with them as kids is short. Enjoy the roundabout conversations."


4. Make friends with Patience… they will push ALL THE BUTTONS! Parenting is a rollercoaster ride, and your beautiful babies will test you, BIG TIME!


You’ll have tol pull every tool out of your coping toolbelt (and ask for more coping strategies from family and friends - calling on the collective wisdom of your village to get through). Learn to lean into the infuriating, triggering, and overwhelming moments. Do your best to be patient (heck, settle in and become best friends with it). Choosing patience will be challenging, but a few strategies will soon become your modus operandi:

  • Breathe. Whenever you feel on the edge, remind yourself to “breathe” - then do it. A handful of slow deep breaths will do wonders to calm you and help you think clearly again.

  • “Mummy needs alone time” will become a favourite saying of yours. It’s okay to tell the kids you need a moment, and to close the bedroom door to reset. In fact, it’s smart! You’ll be looking after your own wellbeing, and modelling for the kids another way that they can regulate and calm themselves too. It’s a win-win.

  • Waking up before everyone else each day will help! Doing things that are just for you - whether it’s exercising, reading, journaling, meditating, or drinking a coffee slowly (that’s still hot!)… filling your cup first will increase your threshold to be able to handle whatever the day throws at you. You’ll have the bandwidth to manage and not lose it at the drop of a hat. It’s like magic!


5. Your kids are your best teachers. Embrace the lessons.

This follows the last point really. I read somewhere once that kids trigger us to teach us the lessons we still need to learn. You’ll discover how true that is! Embrace those trigger moments - the silent rage moments and overwhelming times - as opportunities to learn, adjust, and grow.


Rather than seeing those moments as a curse, recognise them as lessons you need to learn. Seek out the help and resources you need, and get the answers to develop yourself. You’ll become a better individual, partner, and parent. Embrace the lessons your young teachers dish up.



6. The title “Mum” will be your favourite job title yet. Enjoy it!

Yes, you will have days where you miss your pre-kids life, but that longing won’t last long. Kids are a precious gift who’ll enrich your life in ways you can’t imagine right now. Having little people who love you so deeply - who you have the privilege to love, guide, and nurture - the title of Mum will become your most treasured job title, because it truly is.


The last 2190 days have been a wild ride, and it’s one crazy, beautiful adventure that I’ve loved wholeheartedly. I can’t wait to see where this ride takes us next.

Happy 6th Birthday to our Baby Blueberry (can’t believe he was once the size of a blueberry… he’s so big now!). Thank you for choosing us to be your parents. We love you forever, for always xoxo


I wasn't kidding about the Ninjago Lego talk... it's a bit of an obsession here!



 



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