I love giving advice, as long as it is something I am somewhat knowledgeable about. One of the reasons I love giving advice on parenting is because I have 3 kids and I figured SO many things out through trial and error (lots and lots of errors). Therefore, I certainly can’t claim to know it all (not even close), but if I can save a parent even a little bit of frustration, especially a brand new parent, that makes it worthwhile!
1. The importance of sleep. When I had my first child, I thought that the later I put her to bed, the later she would sleep in the morning. So, I thought if I kept her up until 9:30 or 10:00 at night, maybe we would make it to 7:30 or 8:00 in the morning, which would help protect my sanity. How wrong I was! It turns out that an early bedtime is really important, even for small babies. Once they hit a certain hour, they catch a second wind and begin getting fussy. This makes it twice as hard to get them to sleep when it is too late.
2. Watch your tone of voice. Be aware of how you speak to your kids. Your child is an innocent being, who will test your patience endlessly while, at the same time, provide you with so much joy and unconditional love your heart could burst. While life gets crazy and really stressful at times, the additional antics of your kids can sometimes make you can practically feel the steam erupting from your ears. However, always be sure to remember that they are kids. I’m not saying you should be a push-over, but you are the most important person in their lives, and your response to their behavior is the foundation of their self-esteem (I know, no pressure!). If you had a crappy day at work and you called your best friend, sister, or mother — YOUR special person and they told you to stop being a crybaby or they didn’t have time to listen to you or some other snarky response, your feelings would be hurt. While you might be exhausted or frazzled, when your child is acting out, it is usually because they need your help. Do your best to respond to them the same way you would want.
3. Enjoy each day with your kids. The time you spend doesn’t have to be anything expensive or grand. Just taking a walk together, making a tent in the couch and snuggling, reading a story, or baking together can be a time to talk and connect with your child. Yes, of course they will remember the family vacations or the trip to Disney World forever, but they will also have such fond memories of the small times, when you turn off technology and just pay attention to them. The endless “to-do” list will always be there, so take the time to appreciate time with your kids each day.
4. Take care of yourself. I have to admit, I had a lot of guilt about this one. I felt like going to the gym for an hour was an hour that I was taking away from doing something for or with my kids. That was until my very smart friend reminded me of how much better a mom I would be when I feel good. The energy and good feeling exercise brings me allows me to be more patient and energetic with my kids.
Meet The Bella Behind the Blog: Kristen Farley is a mother of three and a domestic goddess. She is a former teacher who enjoys spending lots of time with her kids, healthy eating, volunteering at school, and mommy blogging for the masses.