I've been given so much advice since I started this thing called motherhood and I wanted to take a few minutes to write things down in no particular order so I don't forget. I'm not giving you all advice, I simply just want to remember these things! I know I've forgotten things and who has given me what advice but I'm just going to type...
1. My cousin Kit told me before I had Molly Anne that Kevin and I set normal. We as the parents set our children's "normal." She is so right. Molly Anne operates on our schedule and in our world. It's what we expose her to and expectations we have of her that she knows. We set normal. I love this. Probably the best advice I've received.
2. My SIL is a Mom (and a teacher!) who I really look up to and quite frankly, my brother too. I like how they parent, what they expect of their girls and how they follow through with it. And you can tell by how the girls act that they know right from wrong and manners. Anyway, she told me this past weekend to not take your children somewhere all of the time. They also need to know how to play at home and not get bored. This helps their imagination and it's good to be less programmed. And it makes going to Discovery Place or Disney on Ice a big deal and something special. They need to be happy and content just "being" at home.
3. Something else she has always said about the girls is that they need to be children. They need to not be forced to learn how to write their names at age 6 months (exaggeration obviously). But they don't need to be pushed pushed pushed all of the time. Let them be children. Let them play and be silly. I forsee this as something I'll need to keep myself in check on!
4. Let it go - you can't do it all. Yeah...I REALLY need to work on this one. Although, I will say. I remember at the very beginning when Molly Anne was born, Mom told me I could not do it all. That I needed to let certain things go. Likeee......I was most interested in having the house picked up at all times. I actually have let a lot of things go this year and it's been a big learning curve for me. I do go to bed without all the laundry put away and the playroom not picked up. I have released control of our house not being dusted weekly. I don't and honestly can't have a perfectly cooked meal for dinner on the table at 6pm every night. It just ain't going to happen. And I need to get right with myself that all of that is okay! I'm a mom, a full time employee, I help Kevin with things for his businesses and our rental properties, I am a friend, we're building a house, I'm a wife, we're BUSY. Can I get an amen for drive through grocery pick up and Amazon Prime?!
5. My co-worker Brendan told me years ago before we had Molly Anne that he and his wife go out once a weekend. He said if we aren't happy then our kids aren't going to be happy. Truth! Kevin and I are good about going out and about. And it's usually more like two or three times a month versus every weekend but I think that's good. We've gone on trips just the two of us. This stuff is important! Molly Anne came into our world, we didn't come into her world. Gotta still keep your life/marriage right. You can't ONLY be a mom all the time. Refer to #1 above.
6. Flexible. When she was first born, my Mom basically told me to quit being so crazy about her nap schedule and let her be flexible. She was right (of course) but babies do thrive on a schedule...actually don't we all? But I wanted Molly Anne to be flexible and not down to a minute. Also, I didn't want her dependent on anything. I obviously want her to have a lovie and something to be attached to but I didn't want her to be 4 years old with a pacifier hanging out of her mouth. Happy median right?! Also, food-wise I want her to try anything and everything. She had deer tenderloin thanks to Uncle Clay last weekend. She loved it.
7. Put the camera down and enjoy the moment. So true. Some of my favorite moments with Molly Anne are when I don't have my phone in her face taking her picture.
8. We are all doing the best we can. We are all in this difficult time of our life trying to juggle raising kids, being wives, working full time, traveling. You cannot judge other moms (even though this is so natural) and you cannot compare your child to other children. Easier said than done. But at the end of the day, we're all doing the best we can. Reach out for help when you need it. Ha, that's funny for me to say since my friend Sarah says I'm the queen of never asking for help.
9. Surround yourself with good girlfriends that get it. My girls get it and we're all in the same stage of life. We are on a group text and sometimes one of us will say, "what do I do about this.... or please commiserate with me while I take my toddler on a plane ride" and you get responses from Moms that have been there. You must have good girlfriends to get through life with.
10. Make time for yourself every now and then so you feel like a human. AKA - exercise, shower, pedicure, time to get ready in the morning, go walk around the block, whatever.
That's all I've got. Now I'll go read these again and maybe follow some of the advice I've written down for the future. Ha!