Thursday, February 2, 2012

Best parenting advice I've gotten so far - and it's from a GUY!


Ever since I started to tell people that we are expecting, we have been inundated with parenting advice - some of it good, some of it...well, a little militant. I know that everyone has the best of intentions, so I have been taking it in stride, trying to remember that I may need their experiences some day.

So far, however, the best advice I have gotten was from my friend, Keith - read below:

It's so awesome being a parent, although it really does change your life in so many ways that you can't even fathom beforehand.

The one piece of advice I will give is this — everyone will get all up in your grill with their own parenting advice... this worked for me, that doesn't work, that will give your baby the Ebola virus so never do it, this is the only way to get your baby to [insert verb here], etc. Everyone has their own (sometimes very strong opinions) about what works and what doesn't, but every baby is different and responds differently to everything. What works for one person may not work for another. Just take in everything so you have options to try when things happen, but don't be intimidated when other parents declare their solution is the be-all and end-all of solutions and you better take it to heart — because it's nice to know it works for one baby in case the advice someone else gave you doesn't pan out and you need to try something new, but it might not be the solution you need. For example, during Max's first few months, the only way we could always assuredly get to him to fall asleep was when I held him and rocked him to sleep while playing rock music — anything with a good amount of electric guitar in it was soothing to him. I seriously doubt that would work for the majority of other parents, but it was a surefire method for us.

Also, my wife says that the first week is pretty smooth because babies tend to sleep a lot after they get home from the hospital so you get lulled into a false sense of security and think "this is easy, I don't know why everyone says it's so hard." Then the next few weeks kick in and they wake up every 2 hours and need to be fed and need constant attention, and you enter what my wife refers to as "the Dark Times" when you feel like you made a mistake and what did you get yourself into and this is the most horrible experience ever and you're SO TIRED all the time. That too shall pass eventually, but it's always good to have other moms around who are going through the same thing as you so you can commiserate and also so you have someone to text at 4am when your kid's awake.

That's my $0.02, for what it's worth. But it's such a great thing to have a little one, and I'm so happy for you & Steven! I can't even begin to tell you how much I love it when Max comes home from daycare and breaks into a huge smile when he sees me... that is truly the best part of my day.

I am so lucky to have smart, sweet men in my life that are willing to share!

So, do you agree with Keith - or not so much?

4 comments:

  1. Great advice. Really. Although I would say that "Really Dark, sullen, withdrawn, eye-rolling, sighing, snarky and sometimes downright nasty Times" begin about 16 years after giving birth and usually end when you are holding your first grandchild. Or a homicide. Whichever comes first.

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  2. I totally agree with Keith. I have FOUR kids, and they are ALL different. I don't give advice. I AM a listening ear though to parents in the "DARK TIMES." That is an awesome paragraph and too funny because it is so true. Letting new parents know that "this too shall pass" is the best encouragement for those days. AND, the hard times DO pass for most of us.... I love being a mom... most days :D So excited for you !

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    1. Listening ears are always welcome! Thanks for confirming his advice... :)

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