Before I became a mom I had all kinds of theories about raising kids. Now that I have a child, I still have theories but they are a whole lot different than they were then. When I was younger I worked in daycare. I spent my day surrounded by 2 year olds and I thought that meant I was an expert. Now that I have a 2 year old I realize no one is an expert. It’s a whole different world being the parent. Never again will I look at a parent who’s child is having a complete meltdown in the middle of a grocery store with that look of disapproval. I have been there. It isn’t pretty. No matter how well behaved your child is there will come a time where their behavior makes you want to disappear into a hole in the floor. We live in a world where everyone wants to make it seem like they have it together at all times, that is impossible when you have a full time job and young children.
One of the hardest things when becoming a new parent for me was knowing which advise to follow. It can be very overwhelming. There are so many different opinions on everything baby related. Pacifier, no pacifier, swaddling, breast feeding, etc…..I finally figured out that it didn’t matter what “they” say is best, you have to do what works for you. Every baby is different and every parent is different. What works for one may not work for the other. And sometimes I wonder if “they” who say they know everything about babies have ever actually seen a baby. Tyler had colic and was a particularly difficult infant so I had a influx of advise and I was grateful to everyone for it. I had no clue what I was doing. I wasn’t at all prepared for a baby that cried ALL THE TIME. But when it came down to it, I had to chose what advise to actually listen to and what advise to just smile and nod at. 🙂
There are some things that I think are silly. Like people who say they never let their child watch TV. I am in no way saying sitting your child in front of a TV all day is the right thing to do. Children need to play and interact to learn. Plus, children are young for such a short time we parents should be soaking up every second we can. But, realistically we all live busy lives and having your child sit still for a 1/2 hour to watch a non-violent cartoon isn’t the worst thing in the world. One of my all time favorite things to do with Tyler is curl up in my bed and watch Disney movies. He is now at the age where he will sit a little longer. We never get to watch the whole movie but we watch pieces of it throughout the day or weekend. Now he will turn to me and say “Mom, bed” and we run into my room and curl up under the covers and snuggle. We laugh at the movies and I answer his questions and I love every single minute of it. His favorite movies are Toy Story, Shrek and currently Up. We have probably watched his favorite parts 300 times but it doesn’t bother me to watch the same parts over and over because he loves it and I get to snuggle which doesn’t happen that often with a busy 2 year old.
Here is my advise to new parents. Do what works for you and what works for your baby. Don’t worry about things like when they give up the bottle, or stop taking a pacifier, or when they take their first steps, say their first words, count to 10 or learn their ABC’s. Don’t rush the baby stage. Don’t be in a hurry for your baby to grow up. It happens too fast no matter what you do. Enjoy it. Do not listen to people who tell you not to hold your babies too much. Hold them all the time. Let your house get messy, let the dishes sit in the sink and do something silly with your child. Enjoy every minute of them being little. They grow like weeds right before your eyes. It makes you proud and sad all at the same time. Enjoy every minute.