The two best general pieces of advice I received as a new parent

Before I was pregnant I had a good idea of how I was going to raise my hypothetical children. I worked with children so I felt like I had a good grasp on things. I learned quickly that there is no job on this planet that is going to prepare you for parenting your own children day in and day out. There is so much advice for new parents. Just read the comment section of any parenting article and you will second guess yourself  on everything (or get a good laugh). Do I breastfeed or formula? No screen time before age 2? How much tummy time is enough? What baby carrier do I use, or should I even use a baby carrier? The most ergonomically safe high chair? When should my child start school? Oh and of course the sleep debate; how much sleep, where to sleep, what to wear to sleep, comfort items? It slowly turns into blah blah blah, I need a drink.

Fast forward 3 years and I have since become much more confident in how I am going to raise my REAL children. Before I would read something and think well so many people and experts did it this way it must work. When it didn't work out I thought I was doing something wrong. How come all the other parents can do this and I can't figure it out? The biggest changes I made were to get to know my own children's personality and trust my instinct. Every child interacts, learns, listens and connects with the world in their own unique way. Every parent has different schedules, resources, culture, and education they bring to their home. So you can learn what others do to make things flow at home, but you are going to have to make it work for your own family in your own way.

The two best general pieces of advice I received as a new parent:

1. Be an example.
 You want kids that are healthy, they need to see you taking care of yourself. You want them to respect adults, you need to show respect to your spouse, parents, school and friends.You want ambitious children then they need to see you working toward goals too. They may not always follow your lead or lifestyle, but they are always watching and learning. So basically if you do not want to raise an asshole, don't be an asshole.

2. Everything is a phase.
Your child sleeps 12 hours straight. Great! Enjoy it because that will not always be true. Your child loves bath time or hates bath time; well don't worry eventually bath time changes to showers on their own.Your baby cries every time you lay her down. Your arms won't always be tired because she will quickly learn to crawl and walk. Your toddler is a walking tornado through the house, soon they will be spending more time in their room. Call it a stage or a phase it will all change and they grow into adults. You do not have to love every minute of it; so don't feel guilty.

I still read some parenting articles because I am always open to learning new ideas, but these days I just take things with a grain of salt and maybe a Margarita.

I am currently reading Positive Parenting. I do not agree with all of it, but it has some good themes. It leans more toward what my husband calls "Free range baby" parenting style which I clearly and proudly fall into.

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