Everything I know in life about parenting I learned from raising my three kids.
“Three kids?!” you say. That should make you an expert. I’d like to think so, but that’s a big N-O.
I’ve learned that just when you think you know what you’re doing, the next one changes everything up. What worked for one is guaranteed to have no effect on the next. That means that all the, assuredly well-intentioned, parenting advice likely will mean jack shit to you. Say it with me. EVERY. KID. IS. DIFFERENT. I’m pretty sure they are designed that way to keep you on your feet.
Never get comfortable. That’s my motto. Because, figuratively, when you do, they change it up. And, literally, when you do, someone wants more water, or a snack and you have to get your ass back up.
Let’s get to some examples. My first taught me that if you make everything organic in perfect proportions, they will grow up to be great eaters. AND, if they do, you should toot your own horn. Loudly. This will make it even better when number two rolls up. With her, you can put veggies in front of her every day of her life. Bribe, threaten, cajole, even resort to trying to shove it in her mouth while she’s laughing at the previous attempts and nada. Her stubborn butt will refuse it all. So far, the third one just really like boobs so it should be fun to see what she throws in the mix.
My first also taught me that kids don’t sleep. EVER. Just give up now. Assume you’ll be rocking kids to sleep for the next 21 years. Find a comfy spot that’s tomb silent and pitch black; not that it will help. The second taught me that you can dump her in the crib while it’s light out and say goodnight and she’ll roll right over and peace out. The third sleeps like a baby (which, interestingly is not as peaceful as they would lead you to believe).
I learned to be the parent of the victim with number one. She was always getting attacked by other kids at school and on the playground. I think they could see her sensitivity and correctly assumed she wouldn’t fight back. I became good at judging the parents of the aggressors. I bet you see where I’m going with this. Number two is practicing for her future in the WWE. That kid will scratch, bite, hit and kick anything with two legs and then carry on as if nothing happened. Now I’m the one getting side eye at the park.
So, what does all this mean? None of us are parenting experts. We are all figuring it out as we go. Oh and take it from me, don’t toot your own horn about your parenting if you plan on having more. It doesn’t end well.