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10 Of My Very Best Tips For Being A Parent Because You’re Probably Doing It Wrong

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wrongI’ve raised three kids and had the honor of partially raising another, in the form of a beautiful bonus son. My eldest is 17, soon he will be off to college and he has never been arrested or broken anything of great value in my home (YET) so I think I know a few things about raising ‘dem ‘dere chilluns. I don’t know everything, no one does, except that one super old lady you see walking down the street with a giant pink hat talking to herself, that woman knows EVERYTHING, but I do know some things. A few. And because I care so deeply about all of you, and because sometimes I worry that you all are doing this wrong, I shall share this knowledge with you. Maybe it will help, maybe it will help one day, but at least one of these will prove useful in the future. Trust me, I’m a professional. (As in professional mom type person who learned a few things over the years raising kids and not having any of them arrested and nothing of great value broken in my home. YET.)

The Most Important And Valuable Piece Of Baby Advice EVER 

Sleep when the baby sleeps. This goes for fathers too. I don’t care how many dishes are piled in the sink. I don’t care how many baskets of laundry are threatening to take over your laundry room. I don’t care if all you have in your refrigerator is a skanky bottle of mustard and a lemon half that is shriveled and grey. This is why there are takeout places. Sleep when the baby sleeps. This is your MOST important job as a new parent. Turn off your phone. Put a sign on your door for any well wishers bearing diaper cakes and casseroles. They can leave these things on the stoop. As soon as the baby falls asleep, go to bed.

Water Will Pretty Much Solve Everything 

I don’t care if they are nine days or 99 years old, if someone in your house is cranky or fussy into the bath they go. A warm bath can pretty much solve everything. It makes little kids drowsy and crabby kids less crabby. It makes your partner relax after a bad day. It makes you get thirty minutes away from your partner if they are complaining about a bad day. Into the bath with everyone.

“Thank You” Can Be Code For ‘Shut The ____ Up” 

You will encounter well-meaning people who give you advice on how to raise your kids. How to feed them, dress them, raise them, discipline them. On occasion, this advice will come from someone you don’t feel like getting into it with. Like your mother. Or mother-in-law. Or employer. You are under no obligation to take their advice, or argue your point, or state your case. You can simply say thank you. And change the subject. Example:

Mother-In-Law: Are you sure Betty is eating enough? Maybe you should switch to formula? 

You: Thank you. Have you planted any new annuals this year? I always love your garden. 

On the Other Hand, You Are Under No Obligation Not To Say Shut The ____ Up

You feel like getting into it? Do it. People who love you will never hate you for expressing your opinion. People who have no vested interest in your reality have no place telling you what to do with your reality. There is no written law that says you have to be nice all the time. You are allowed to lose your shizz on people who deserve it. Especially when it comes to how you are raising your kids. Or, and I hate these sort of namby-pamby motivational poster text thingies, but I do love me this one:

jerk-whisperer

(Image: Pinterest) 

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