The 10 Best Pieces of Advice I Got When I Had a Baby

Parenting is a funny and unique thing. You think you will be great at it until you are actually doing it.

This doesn’t happen with other skills. I never looked at a professional skier and thought, “Why would he do that? I would do it totally differently.” I never saw a surgeon make the first cut and said, “Hmmm. I would’ve gone in the other direction.” Usually, before we experience something, we are very aware that we do not know what we are talking about. But … parenting … totally different story. Everyone is a perfect parent until they have their own kids. I have found that, not surprisingly, the best advice┬ácomes from people who have actually done it, not people who can imagine what it must be like.

Here are the 10 most useful, reassuring things I was told when I was pregnant or had a newborn. They all came not only from parents, but from parents who were parenting in my generation.

— Night is just a dark day.

— This too shall pass.

— Accept help.

— Just because you would jump in front of a train for them, doesn’t mean you have to like them.

— Nothing is permanent — not the good, so don’t get too comfortable, and not the bad, so don’t give up just yet.

— Nap.

— Kids don’t start laying down memory until at least three years old, so anything you screw up before then won’t come back to haunt you.

— Respect your kids as actual people and not as extensions of you. You are not an asexual lizard (yes that’s a thing.) You give birth to a human being, not a clone. Just as important, demand respect from your kids the moment they are capable of giving it to you. The more respect there is in your home, I guarantee the happier everyone will be.

— Laugh. Often and loudly. You are in a circus. It is ok to act like it.

— The love you have for them is perfect, and that is where the perfection ends. Don’t strive for it. You will miss so many wonderfully imperfect moments.

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Author: Karen Latimer

Karen is a Family Physician, founder and president of Tips From Town. She loves combining all she learned as a doctor with all she continues to learn as a mom of five to bring you interesting, useful and fun information on the Family Pages.

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