Truth. I didn’t read ANY parenting books while I was pregnant, I just figured motherly instincts would kick in and I’d be golden. Some instincts kicked in (like hearing that teeny tiny cry that only you hear but your sleeping husband doesn’t) yep absolutely. Others such as knowing if your child is tongue tied, well, let’s just say thank you inventor of the internet and google!
But being a good parent, that’s something I’ve had to work on because hello, I’ve only ever had to google things like “how to be a better child right now”. I’ve never been on this side of the fence before.
Even though I’ve only been a mom for 5 months I have been a child to great parents for >27 years. I was raised by the original “Power Couple”, and no, not Beyonce and Jay-Z.
My parents have been married for 28 years and have a rock solid foundation built on love, trust and respect. They’ve been great parents and made every effort to give my brother and I an awesome childhood.
We went on a yearly road trip up to our cabin in Idaho and those 3 days in the car allowed for some quality bonding time. Many of my fondest memories are from traveling the back roads, exploring and hearing my parents make up stories. My childhood was the epitome of what I desire for my daughter.
Here are a few things that I grew up with and other tips that I’ve learned that will make you a better parent right now and will help grow and foster that relationship with your mini.
Say “I love you” every day frankly my parents said it to my brother and I so often that we’d sometimes finish our sentences with “yes please, love you”. We can’t just assume that our kids know that we love them so we have to tell them and remind them and impress it on them as often as possible.
Likewise, if you have multiple children have them say “I love you” to each other and often. Anytime my brother and I would have an argument my dad would tell me “now give your brother a big hug and a kiss and tell him you love him”. My brother and I have a freakishly close relationship, he is one of my biggest fans and best friends.
Furthermore, tell your partner you love them. Kids learn by what they see and hear. And allowing them to see a loving relationship between their parents will set them up for seeking out healthy, loving relationships. As Lorelai Gilmore wisely said “I would hate to think I raised a kid who couldn’t say ‘I love you’ “.
Remind yourself that it’s ok to have adult time.
(in fact go pour yourself a drink before reading any further!)
As much as I love Bridget and I get so antsy as it gets closer to closing time I enjoy having date night with Mr. Pepper or hanging out with my girlfriends without little miss Pepper. I also highly enjoy having a glass of wine without any interruptions. But that little bit of adult time allows me to miss her and I come back to her energized and ready to give her my 100%.
Please don’t be that parent that says “no means no”. Perhaps I’m a overly curious person but I really want to know why someone says no and my parents did a great job providing those answers to my incessant “but whys?”. I don’t want to sound soft, there were times when I did get the “no means no” and no explanation was provided however I found that by providing me with an answer as to why I couldn’t do something I was more likely to comply.
Snuggle, kiss, cuddle and repeat. I have held little miss Pepper so much and even still I miss how teeny tiny she was when I brought her home and how she’d fall asleep on my chest so easily. Now she loves to stretch out during nap time and really doesn’t appreciate the cuddle as often, but she sure does get lots and lots of kisses. Don’t ever underestimate the power of touch.
Put your phone down and enjoy the moment. The other night I was so focused on trying to get a snapchat of Bridget’s first official “roll over” that I almost missed it. I knew she was extremely close to doing it and I finally gave up and put my phone down when all of a sudden she did it! I am so happy I got to see it live and not behind the lens of my iPhone.
and finally, know that as parents who are reading this right now and who are actively seeking out advice, you’re already a great parent.
What other tips do you parents have for me? I’d love to hear in the comments below.