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Monday, May 16, 2011

Parenting Do's and Don'ts

We hear a lot of do's and don'ts as parents. And most aren't very helpful. But, here's some real advice on parenting from the Blogosphere! Be sure to visit some of these wise mamas!

DO get every minute of sleep you can

DON'T ever leave the toilet seat up for any reason. If you're not on it, it should be shut. Trust me.

DO give your kids good advice that can see them through adulthood.

DON'T be surprised if they don't listen.
Oh and also, you can borrow my motto for success and use it to make kids you like: everything successful in life relies on your ability to harness your awesomeness and force it onto others.

DO Relax. Take a deep breath. A lot of the things we think are SO important now we will look back on in a few years and realize we really should have been worried about something else completely. {smile} It all works out in the end.

DON'T Try to do it alone. There is nothing wrong with asking for help. Reach out to your mom, your aunts, your cousins, your friends, the people you go to church with, that girl you knew that one time in high school but really didn't like. You never know where help will come from, and a lot of times it is from a place you would least expect. Motherhood is hard. You don't have to do it alone.

DO remember that this, too, shall pass.

DON'T EVER put your kids to bed late, thinking they'll sleep in later in the am. That never works. Never. In fact, they'll get up earlier, and be even crabbier.
-Gigi @ Kludgymom

DO do take a shower before your toddler wakes up.

DON'T don't forget to eat.
-Jessica @ My Time As Mom

DO listen to your intuition. Just because a book or a person says your baby should be sleeping, eating, crawling, walking, or doing cart wheels at 2 months doesn't mean that is what your baby will do. All babies are different...some need to be held more, some don't. Some catch on to the sleeping thing pretty quickly, and others need more coaching. You know what is best for your baby, so don't worry if it doesn't fit into a box. It's your baby, and you know what's best for him or her.

DON'T think that everything you do is either going to kill your baby/child or scar them for life. You hear so many things about parenting that will freak you out such as holding your baby will spoil them or if they go asleep in a swing they will never learn to sleep on their own. I am pretty sure our parents did worse stuff to all of us and we're still alive and kicking.

DO listen to those seemingly annoying advice-givers when they tell you that your children will grow up too fast and DO enjoy every moment of their mushy babyness. They will be walking and telling you “no” before you know it.

DON’T expect that your life will ever return to “normal” after having a baby. The lack of sleep, the bizarre excitement over your child’s poop, the world revolving around those sacred naptimes, the desire to wear yoga pants ALL the time, the necessity of large quantities of coffee to get through the day … THAT is the new normal.

DO take time for yourself!
Last week I had reached my max. I have had a gift certificate for a pedicure since Christmas! That's right almost 6 months old! That shows you how often I get out. I needed a break so bad, I thought I might explode. The kids weren't able to say anything to me without fear of being lynched, and I was just plain mean. When my husband got home, I left. I got a pedicure and brow wax. I took my time, read my kindle, and sat in the drying chair for about a half hour after I was done. It was only an hour and half, but I felt good afterwards. When I came home I was a nicer mom. I need to remember to do these little things for myself before I reach a boiling point. Sometimes you just need a few minutes where no one is calling your name.

DON'T compare yourself to other moms, or your kids to other kids. No one knows your children better than you. Every child is different. Therefore, we parent differently. what works for some families may not work for yours and vice versa. So what if Suzy Q feeds her kids organic only, and your kids live on Ramen noodles. So what if Johnny is a baseball all star and your son trips over his own feet standing still. We have special talents and abilities as moms, and our children have special talents too. We can't all be perfect and excel at everything. So stop trying. Embrace our differences and celebrate them! The only thing we should all have in common is love for our children, and making the time to show them. That's what matters!
DO document things--be that a blog, a journal or an obsessive amount of photos. You will forget things you never thought you would and looking back to reminisce is so much fun.

DON'T get caught up in what others think, in the Judgey McJudgerson's of the world. Someone somewhere will always have an opinion about what you should or shouldn't be doing. Just keep being your awesome self!



Anonymous Galit Breen said...

What fabulous advice from fabulous moms! A perfect note to start my week on! Thanks so much for these Shell! XO

May 16, 2011 at 7:20 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

This advice is priceless! I tried the putting to bed later and JDaniel did wake up earlier.

May 16, 2011 at 7:25 AM  
Blogger Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

What a wonderful compilation of advice!

May 16, 2011 at 7:28 AM  
Blogger Maggie S. said...

Wise words!!!

May 16, 2011 at 7:28 AM  
Blogger Amethystmoon said...

Great tips! I agree with how important it is to journal. I wish I could have had a blog when they were small, because now they're almost out of high school and so much has happened since then,and well, my brain is just old and tired...it's hard to remember it all.

May 16, 2011 at 7:30 AM  
Blogger Jessica said...

What a great post and there are a few bloggers in there who are new to me, looking forward to visiting them.

May 16, 2011 at 7:34 AM  
Blogger Not a Perfect Mom said...

great advice...
we moms are sometimes a little to judgy with each other-it's so nice to see women giving advice to do your own thang...
but really? I wish I did forget to eat...ha!

May 16, 2011 at 7:38 AM  
Blogger BNM said...

great advice :D Wish i would have read this 4 years ago it probably would have eased my mind a little haha

May 16, 2011 at 7:44 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Words of wisdom from the mommyhood trenches. I agree with all of them.. most of al love your kids.. that will be there with them when they are on their own..

May 16, 2011 at 7:47 AM  
Blogger Jenny said...

Totally agree with them all! I tell my husband that bedtime one all the time but he never understands until the next morning!

May 16, 2011 at 8:12 AM  
Blogger Alison said...

Great advice! Thanks for compiling these Shell.

May 16, 2011 at 8:21 AM  
Blogger Evonne said...

Wise words!

I would like to emphasize not leaving the toilet lid up. If your kid doesn't drop something in there, something will get knocked in after a little person forgets to flush. Like your husband's deodorant. Shh!

May 16, 2011 at 8:45 AM  
Blogger Natalie said...

They are all so right! It's great to know that that how we feel as moms can be validated by other moms. Thanks for getting this list together and for asking me to contribue to it! :)

May 16, 2011 at 8:47 AM  
Blogger Amanda said...

Nice advice. The best one, in my opinion, is trusting your instincts.

As for me:

DO invest in earplugs.
You'll be able to hear just fine but it will take the edge of the noise off and reduce stress.

DON'T compare your insides with other people's outsides.
People who appear extremely polished/perfect/whatever often have something to hide. It's usually something that would make your life look like a bowl of cherries.

May 16, 2011 at 8:58 AM  
Blogger Brandi said...

Ha! I agree with Not a Perfect Mom! I wish *I* could forget to eat just once or twice.

Seriously, though, all the advice is priceless and precious. I'm particuarly partial to the one about enjoying every moment of their mushy babyness. I hated when everyone would tell me to cherish it because it goes by too fast. But they were so right! It does go by way too fast.

May 16, 2011 at 9:01 AM  
Blogger Erin said...

I so love this post! About the toilet seat, your gonna love this..., you ready....

Well I've taught Sam to WAIT till the toilet seat is down to touch the toilet! Whether I am on it or just cleaning it she'll come tottering over to me wanting to hold on to me and I'll say "WAIT" "WAIT" and she will! Not 1 second after that seat is down though she's on it! lol!

May 16, 2011 at 9:03 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

Great advice!!
Especially the one about keeping them up late in hopes of sleeping late. Never happens.

May 16, 2011 at 9:04 AM  
Blogger KLZ said...

I'm kicking myself for not taking my own advice last night - perhaps I should just start listening to these other moms instead.

May 16, 2011 at 9:11 AM  
Blogger John said...

Great advice, all.

I'd add, if there's that one thing that you know your life won't be complete until you've done it, do complete it before becoming a parent.

And don't fret anything that you're not able to do when your single friends are out & doing their own thing.

May 16, 2011 at 9:19 AM  
Blogger Emmy said...

Great advice indeed! I think I always hear the enjoy it now one-but in the moment it is hard to remember and believe; but it is true!

And yes it is crazy how much you forget.

Glad to see a post again- I was missing you :) How is the transfer going?

May 16, 2011 at 9:39 AM  
Blogger reluctantmomma said...

fabulous advice - my fav..."DO take a shower before your toddler wakes up."

TRUER WORDS were NEVER spoken:)

May 16, 2011 at 9:48 AM  
Blogger Desperate Housemommy said...

I'd like to add a special A-to-the-Men on the ones about showering before the cherubs wake and never putting them to bed late in hopes of them sleeping in the next day. Fabulous list!

May 16, 2011 at 10:01 AM  
Blogger Diane said...

Great words of wisdom. I can relate to all of them.

May 16, 2011 at 10:29 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

All excellent. And taking a shower before they wake, even if it's only a 5 minute shower? The best.

May 16, 2011 at 10:30 AM  
Anonymous tracy@sellabitmum said...

I love all of these. Maybe we need to publish a blogger mom advice book someday!

May 16, 2011 at 10:35 AM  
Anonymous Making It Work Mom said...

Love the advice - perfect for everyone coming off of another busy weekend!

And for those with older children:

Don't try to be your child's friend. Honestly your child does not need a 30 or 40 something year old "friend". It is just weird and they only reason they like it is because they think it will allow them to get away with things.

Do take that time to get to know your older children's friends. They may not be as cute and smooshy as when they were 4, but it is just as important to know who your child is spending all their time with and telling all their secrets to.

May 16, 2011 at 10:38 AM  
Blogger Tina L. Hook said...

I am storing all these tid bits away for my future.

May 16, 2011 at 10:38 AM  
Blogger Macey said...

Yep, ALL good advice.
And if you're a mom to boys, the one about the toilet seat is WAY more important than we'd ever know. :)

May 16, 2011 at 10:40 AM  
Blogger Lourie said...

Best piece of advice I think I ever got was when I was pregnant with my first...the lady in line told me, "Just tell everyone this is your 5th child, then they won't bother giving any advice." hahahaha.

Mom time outs
Your kids are your kids. You know them best.

All great advice.

May 16, 2011 at 10:58 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

Love this post Shell! I always love hearing about new blogs to visit too:)

May 16, 2011 at 11:00 AM  
Anonymous christine @ quasiagitato said...

I agree in particular with the comparing...this just never comes to any good. I have to constantly remind myself of that one.

May 16, 2011 at 11:05 AM  
Blogger SharleneT said...

Just keep following that trail and it will be just fine. And, you're right, someone, somewhere, will always tell you what to do. ALWAYS consider the source -- always. That way you'll know whether or not to follow their advice.

May 16, 2011 at 11:11 AM  
Blogger Venassa said...

Love this, a lot of great advice. Especially the part about them growing up too fast.

May 16, 2011 at 11:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gigi is right on with the going to bed later wisdom ... why doesn't it work for kids when it works so well for adults? Ugh. ;)

May 16, 2011 at 11:42 AM  
Blogger Kristina P. said...

I don't have kids, but I've worked with teenagers for about 12 years and I agree!

May 16, 2011 at 11:42 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Gigi is so right about that sleeping thing. I tell my husband that all the time and he still tells the kids they can stay up late. He also gets to be the one to get up with them the next morning!

May 16, 2011 at 11:50 AM  
Blogger Elena Wollborg said...

Love this compilation of advice from great bloggers! Great idea, Shell!

May 16, 2011 at 12:01 PM  
Blogger Kim said...

These are great. I could have used these a lot more when my first was a baby. But I still need them now, too.

May 16, 2011 at 12:06 PM  
Blogger Courtney K. said...

These are absolutely FANTASTIC bits of advice. :) I found myself nodding and agreeing with every single one. GREAT idea.

May 16, 2011 at 12:34 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

This is all great (and real) parenting advice.

Thank you for including me on the list!

May 16, 2011 at 1:02 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

I totally love DUmb Mom's idea of forcing awesomeness. :)

May 16, 2011 at 1:54 PM  
Blogger Cindi said...

Great advice! I think my favorite and the one that says it all:

"DON'T compare yourself to other moms, or your kids to other kids. No one knows your children better than you. Every child is different. Therefore, we parent differently"

May 16, 2011 at 2:02 PM  
Blogger A Mommy in the City said...

Great advice ladies!! Thank you for sharing!

May 16, 2011 at 2:30 PM  
Blogger Helene said...

Oh these are SO great!!! Wish I had this list back when all my babies were newborns!!!

May 16, 2011 at 2:48 PM  
Blogger Tracie Nall said...

SO much good advice.

Bloggers are brilliant.

May 16, 2011 at 2:53 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Great advice from some great bloggers.

Here's some Semi-Slacker advice-

Do ask for meds when you think you need them.

Don't forget you still have a life besides being a momma.

May 16, 2011 at 3:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great stuff! I especially like the one about "do your own thing and not just what other moms do" (paraphrasing) and then compares it to one family who eats all organic and one who eats all ramen noodles. Our house has a LOT of mac and cheese. A. LOT. Sometimes I wonder . . . then I say, "oh well. I grew up on mac and cheese and still learned to love sushi." :)

May 16, 2011 at 4:38 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

What a great collection of advice. Some is age-old wisdom that definitely bears repeating. One tip that I never heard before but wish I did? Keep the toilet seat down. I recently caught my 5YO with his arm in the toilet, "taking the water's temperature." Ugh.

May 16, 2011 at 5:08 PM  
Blogger Babes Mami said...

great advice from fabulous ladies!

May 16, 2011 at 5:46 PM  
Blogger Sorta Southern Single Mom said...

Wonderful advice from a even more wonderful group of mommies!

May 16, 2011 at 6:06 PM  
Anonymous Paula @ Simply Sandwich said...

It takes a village! Love the tips and the post Shell! :)

May 16, 2011 at 7:23 PM  
Blogger The Suburban Princess said...

These are great!

May 16, 2011 at 7:28 PM  
Blogger KSK said...

Great tips!!! I'm thinking that I should print these off and post them on my fridge!!! Thanks!!!

May 16, 2011 at 8:13 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

Some great advice here. I am just sad that I totally forgot to give you some.

May 16, 2011 at 9:05 PM  
Blogger Tiffany said...

This was a great post. I love the insight advice from other moms out there. Makes me feel better about the choices I make. :)

May 16, 2011 at 11:03 PM  
Anonymous strugglingforeverafter said...

I like your best "Sometimes you just need a few minutes where no one is calling your name. " Oh, So true!

May 16, 2011 at 11:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fabulous advice!

Why do kids always get up earlier when you put them to bed later?! Darn kids!

May 17, 2011 at 1:45 AM  
Blogger Kimberly said...

Great advice! Sometimes it's hard to remember some of these things when we're in the moment.

May 17, 2011 at 2:25 AM  
Blogger Liz Mays said...

Good advice from everyone here! I'm a scrapbooker, so that documenting one really caught my eye.

May 17, 2011 at 7:43 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

This was a great post idea! Thanks for asking me to be a part of it! :) There's some great tips from some great moms!

May 17, 2011 at 7:55 AM  
Blogger Daisygirl said...

haha, these are awesome! I so agree with GiGi's never put your kids to be later and expect them to sleep in...never works...why is that?

May 17, 2011 at 12:48 PM  
Blogger Alissa said...

Love this post. And like so many others I can't agree with Gigi's "don't" more. I think every time I put my guy down later he wakes up even earlier.

May 17, 2011 at 3:10 PM  

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