While I’ve only been a mom for just over 10 years, I can honestly say that I’ve learned more in the past decade than I have in my entire life. Motherhood has a steep learning curve. Not only do you have to jump in the deep end from the moment your child is born, but there is not a whole lot that you can do to prepare for motherhood.
Sure, you can read parenting books and articles online all day long, you can have an idea of the type of parent you want to be, but, when it comes down to it, the life of a mother is ever-changing and as your kids grow and as you learn to find what they need, you have to adjust the way you parent… even if that means throwing out everything you thought you knew about parenting out the window!
I’m not a huge fan of parenting advice, despite having dished out my fair amount over the years and having been on the receiving end of wisdom from other moms (some asked for and some not so much!). In honor of the Rack Room Shoes #InMomsShoesGiveaway (goes live on Friday, May 1st at 9:50 a.m. EST on their Facebook page!), I’m sharing a handful of things that I’ve learned that hopefully speak to every mom.
10 Things I’ve learned as a mom
1. Never wear a scarf when changing a diaper:
I suppose I don’t have to state the obvious, but I’ve learned this lesson the hard way once or twice in my parenting years. With a cashmere, dry clean only scarf. Learn from my mistakes, friends.
2. Don’t forget a snack
Always, always a snack. Before you leave the house. An extra in the car. More than you think you’ll need. One for yourself. Snacks make happy kids and happy kids make happy mamas.
3. Always leave 10-minutes before you think you should
Once, I had a mom friend tell me that she was so surprised that my kids don’t have meltdowns. I laughed, of course, because they do. But, rarely when we’re at birthday parties or BBQs because we always leave a few minutes before I think we should. It’s a parenting lifesaver… and so much nicer to leave with kids who are grumbling about leaving before their friends than with kids who you’re carrying out over your shoulder because they’re overtired.
4. Take the time to chat with their teachers
You learn far more in a quick hallway chat with your child’s teacher on the way to recess than you ever will at their parent-teacher conference. Also, bring them their favorite coffee. They need it.
5. Find a pediatrician who lets you lead
You are with your child every day. You are the one who knows when something is amiss or if they’re offbeat. Having a doctor for your child who actually listens to you is golden.
6. Never turn down help
Ever. It took me having my third child to realize that accepting help is life changing. Let someone bring your kid home from school for you to let the baby nap. Take people up on offers to bring you food when you’re sick. Say yes. You’ll pay it back someday.
7. Know your easy go-to dinner
Quesadillas with beans for dipping. Grilled turkey and cheese sammies on sourdough bread. BBQed skinless chicken thighs and veggies. Those are my three and I keep the ingredients stocked, always. What are yours?
8. Sometimes, silence works best
Nothing is more telling than silence. Especially when you have a tween.
9. Teach your kids to wait
Try not to wait on my kids hand and foot, despite how much my 5-year-old would like me to. Learning to wait is a long lost art, for kids and for adults. Teach them when they’re young, especially if you’re planning on having more kids.
10. Don’t sweat the small stuff
It’s cliche, but it’s true. The dishes in the sink will always get done. Your kids won’t suffer if they have an extra 30-minutes of screen time so that you can kick up your feet for a moment. Dirty fingernails are not the end of the world and cereal for breakfast won’t kill them. Motherhood is about so much more and you’ll never see it if you’re caught up in the stuff that doesn’t really matter in the long run.
Win a year of shoes for Mother’s Day from Rack Room Shoes
Rack Room Shoes wants you to share your best mom wisdom for a chance to win an entire year worth of shoes!
Their #InMomsShoesGiveway runs from May 1-10 on the Rack Room Shoes Facebook page. Entering is as easy as leaving a comment with your best motherhood advice on their giveaway post — look for it pinned to the top of their Facebook page starting Friday, May 1st — and be sure to use the hashtag #InMomsShoesGiveaway.
Rack Room Shoes will pick a winner each day for all 10 days of the giveaway, giving 10 moms the chance to win a year of shoes.
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