Something weird happened a couple of years ago: I became the older mom and younger moms started assuming I had answers to their parenting questions. (I know. I can hear my kids laughing at the very thought.)
But instead of wearing a permanent sticky note on my forehead declaring I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I’M DOING EITHER, I thought I’d put together of little guide of my sage advice in dealing with some parenting issues. I hope it is a source of encouragement and help. (I also hope you appreciate sarcasm.)
We’ve all experienced them, right?
If your child has never had one, HOLD ON. It’s coming at some point.
Tip: If ignoring and stepping over your thrashing child doesn’t work, I suggest throwing yourself on the floor. Add in a bit of kicking and screaming for good measure. If it doesn’t distract your child, it might scare them into behaving or at least give them some company. Plus, it’s good to get a view of your floors this way and it might make you feel better.
You might be staring at your tiny baby on your lap right now and be thinking “It’s just not possible.” Oh, bless your heart.
Tip: When my kids are disrespectful, it takes a lot of self control on my part to RESPOND correctly, which mostly means not being disrespectful right back. Or yelling. Remaining calm and in control goes a long way.
But if that fails, see Temper Tantrum above or break down and sob uncontrollably about your hurt feelings. Sometimes they just need to remember you’re a person, too.
Tip: If you’re struggling to get your kids to pitch in around the house, simply stop doing it all yourself. It’s sort of a shock to their system when they have to dig dirty clothes out of the hamper. Unless they are a teen and then they don’t mind at all. In this case, I suggest sliding an invoice under their door for rent. Also known as a WAKE UP CALL.
The other day my kids avoided a nasty hairball on the floor, only to point it out to me (from upstairs). In this situation, I’ve found it’s best to quietly pick up the vomit with 17 paper towels and then chase your kids around the house with it for a bit. It doesn’t really teach them much, but it’s really fun.
*Updated: My cat left another gift on the kitchen tile before I published this post. My son walked right in and grabbed paper towels and cleaned it up. Miracles happen, y’all.
Let me tell you what not to do: Don’t send your kids into the back yard to “work it out.” Because one of your kids might just get punched in the nose, not that I know from experience or anything.
Tip: While I really hate hearing my kids fight, arguing is often the best way to work something out or compromise.
Now, I just go to the backyard.
Paying for College
I’m banking on the Second Coming of Jesus before I have to figure this one out (sticks head back in sand)
Sleep: Naps, Sleeping Thru the Night/Sleeping In
I have one kid that has always required half the sleep I do. Tip: Might I suggest room darkening curtains for them and ear plugs for yourself? And that whole don’t wake a sleeping baby? It’s truth.
Picking Your Battles
I once saw a child wearing the strangest assortment of mismatched clothes with church shoes at the store. I remember thinking my child will never go out in public looking like that. And then a few years later, I realized I was a really great mother–before I had kids.
That’s all I’ve got, people.
Y’all have a happy Monday.