What I Wish I Knew Before I Became a Parent

handsBefore your baby is born, forgive yourself ahead of time. You’ll make mistakes. Nobody gets a perfect score in parenting.

Before your baby is born, get used to the idea of forgiving others. Those around you will make mistakes. People will say things that are insensitive and hurtful. Grandparents will do things their own way. Your partner will screw up. If you forgive others, you’ll find it easier to forgive yourself.

Learn to forgive your child the way you hope she will forgive your grandchild.

The need to fulfill your ego as a parent and the needs of your child aren’t necessarily the same thing.

If you follow the rules most of the time you are allowed to break some of them some of the time.

Parent is something you are and something you do. But it shouldn’t be all that you are and all that you do. To have your child be your only project creates too much pressure on both you and your child.

Learn the difference between needs and wants.

Don’t abuse the word no. Say yes when you can and no when you have to. The more times you say yes, the more power the word no will have.

Everything doesn’t have to be a lesson or a moment to remember. Just be.

Raising a child  is like making a strainer leak proof. It takes lots of work to make what you put into it, not go right out the other end.

Creating a solid parent-child relationship is also like plugging up  a strainer. Expensive vacations are nice for making memories, but they are not enough to build trust, genuine affection, and a sense of belonging. To build a solid bond, you need lots of small but consistent, seemingly insignificant moments.

Don’t forget to have fun.