5 Tips for Parents

 

I recently read a post from The Bump Life called The Best Parenting Advice I’ve Received, and I think it’s a great list of 5 key pieces of advice.  I just pulled the toy switcheroo in my house, and it worked like a charm.  And I completely agree, getting out of the house every day makes you feel good – like you accomplished something!

I thought of a few more tips that came to mind:

1. Shower and fix your hair every day.  This sounds kind of lame, but I think it ties back to taking care of yourself.  When I take just 15 minutes to get myself ready in the morning, I feel much more awake and ready to take on the day.  When we do finally make it out of the house, I feel better looking good – even better if I put on at least some makeup.  I remember watching a daytime talk show encouraging women to get ready & dress nice just for YOU.

2. Do a load of laundry or some chore every day.  With rarely getting uninterrupted time to get housework done, I break it up into smaller chunks of time, so I’m not overwhelmed. Today my daughter helped me dust and water the plants.  Yay!

3. Do a few things the night before! This can go for packing lunches, picking out clothes, packing the car for a trip, etc.  It is so much easier to get things accomplished with a quiet house that will help streamline the morning routine.

4. Take a timeout. It is perfectly acceptable to put your child in a safe place and leave them there for a few minutes to calm down.  Parents can take their own timeouts too….again it goes back to taking care of yourself for your own health and sanity.

5. Don’t be too hard on yourself. I sometimes aspire to be the perfect parent – to do whatever I can to make my children the best people they can be.  This can be exhausting of course, so give yourself permission to just “show-up.” Sure, there are days when the TV is on longer than I would like, or I may not have handled my daughter’s tantrum in the best way, but I know that there will be PLENTY of opportunities to try something different the next day or during the next tantrum.  Parents – like kids – learn through trial and error, and there’s not one perfect way of raising children.  Do what works for you and your family and just make it through the day.  No matter how many tough moments there were, I try to reflect on the sweet, million dollar moments that I had the privilege of experiencing that day.

Want more advice or tips? Check out these links below:

Advice for Parents-to-be from Go Mama O

How to Find a 25th Hour in Your Day – Forbes Women

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Oh it’s Quiet Time Again!!

A QUIET HOUSE is such a treat!  I didn’t think I was a person who “needed” quiet or enjoyed quiet until having children, and I didn’t notice it as much with just one child.  Though I do remember with child #1 and still love how wonderful it feels to simply take a shower and “get away” for a few minutes. Perhaps with child #2 the house is louder and the demands on me as a mom are greater, so as I said in this post, it’s in the times of contrast that we can learn to appreciate what we have: kids awake = loud and kids asleep = quiet.

There are times throughout the day when I feel like I can’t even go to the bathroom undisturbed – especially with my son in an extra clingy phase right now! During these times, I count down the minutes to each of these quiet periods in my day, usually nap time or bed time.  It means that I CAN DO WHAT I WANT!  Usually my free time is split between consultant work, job hunting, house work, reading, or time online.  It is a peaceful oasis to relax and be able to hear the clock tick, hear my fingers tap the keyboard, and reflect on my day a bit, while getting ready to do it all over again tomorrow.  SHHHH!!

Meeting an elderly woman at the salad bar at our grocery store in our small town

 

I had a great encounter with a sweet, elderly woman at the salad bar at our grocery store in our small town.  (Does this remind anyone else of Pearl Jam’s Elderly Woman Behind a Counter in a Small Town?)  We exchanged the usual pleasantries.  After sharing my kids’ stats (ages, names, etc.), she shared her own motherhood story, telling me her two children were born 13 months apart, and then touching my arm, admitting the next child came 6 YEARS LATER with a laugh.

 

In looking in her eyes, I knew she fully understood and appreciated the hard work and many thankless tasks that are all wrapped up in the ultimate joy of motherhood.  Don’t get me wrong, I love being a mom and am so proud of my children, but it is not humanly possible to enjoy every minute of parenting.  So I accept and cherish the million dollar moments and try to speed up the clock when I’m in the trenches with the worst tantrums and bodily fluids du jour. I thank this sweet elderly woman for admiring my children, while offering me encouragement!  You made Go Mama O’s Day! What’s your favorite story of encountering a stranger while in public?

 

Here are some similar takes from other bloggers:

 

The Stir

 

Momastery