A Moms Advice to Her Younger Self
"Don't stress on the little stuff. Take a deep breath and relax. When you are in the grocery store and the kids are crying, don't yell, give in, or cry with them. Just leave the basket and walk out. As simple as that. Instead of letting the stress accumulate and explode, find a solution. Ask youself: 'What can I do to lower the stress level?' Is it planning ahead, leaving early, or prioritizing? Like if you need a few last items, and you can see the tears coming, just forgo those items. My husband even told me once that sometimes the least stressful thing to do is just to let them scream!"
2. Be in the Moment
"Enjoy your kids; they are only little once. Remember them and the little things they do and say. I wish I had remembered their cute little sayings. Don't always be taking pictures, or be distracted, and worried over something. You may not know when those little moments come, but just try and be mindful of how special and precious they are. Enjoy holding their hand when you walk them into school, picking them up to put them on your hip, and talking sweet naps with them. They won't do those things forever."
3. Perfection Who?
"You want to do everything right as a parent. In the beginning I insisted that I needed everything: the perfect strollers, bottles, and food. I got a changing table, but so many other surfaces worked just as well. The fact is, once you are in the throws of parent hood you improvise. After my first child I better knew what I really needed and didn't. Dealing with imperfection means you need to put things in perspective. That mother you know who always looks like she has her life together probably does not. She is not perfect and it is ok that you aren't either. There are so many people less fortunate so be grateful with the blessings that you do have and be ok with the imperfections."
4. Keep those Memories
Keep a box with all those little special things: outfits, Christmas lists, toys. I kept a box and my kids and I love looking through it after all these years. As my kids have gotten older they have wanted to know more about their younger selves. My mom always told me to write stuff down. I didn't write enough down and now I wish that I had."
5. When to Let Go?
"One problem a lot of my friends and I had was when to know when to let go and when to stand our ground. I put my children in activities and sports because I wanted them to find a passion. With many, they wanted to quit. I found it hard to balance what I wanted and the long term results and what their choices were. It was hard to know what was right. When it comes down to it, parenthood is a balance between the spirit of the parents and the will of the child."
As a parent you could spend days worrying about every little detail. But there is no such thing as a perfect parent. Sadly, we don't know what we would change as parents until our kids are all grown up. So, we hope that this advice helps you in whatever stage you are at in your parenthood journey. But one thing we know for sure is you will do great things and raise great kids!