When you become a parent, there will be times you’ll wish children came with a how-to manual. The next best thing for finding the answers you need is reading a parenting book filled with advice. But, even the best parenting book may not be exactly what you’re looking for.
If you’re about to add “parent” to your job title, here are 11 things you won’t learn in any parenting book that will help make raising your children a little easier.
1. The most expensive toy will be upstaged by a box.
We all want our children to have access to the best start in life and if you purchased an expensive new toy with the hopes of giving them a leg up on their education, brace yourself. Chances are your child is going to be more excited and entertained by the big box it came in.
2. Alone time is not a bad thing.
It’s not bad for you or your child. If your baby is awake in their crib, safe and not crying, there is no need to rush to their first sounds of the day.
3. It’s hard for everyone.
It may be easy to believe everyone has this parenting thing figured out except you, but one thing parenting books won’t tell you is this gig isn’t easy for anyone.
4. It’s OK to not love every moment.
There will be points in parenthood where you’ll completely love it and others where you’re counting the days hoping for it to be over. For some people, the two year age seems impossible and you question this whole parenting thing.
5. Sleep deprivation will make you feel sick.
Parenting books warn soon-to-be parents to expect some lack of sleep to happen. What they fail to mention is just how tired you’re going to be and how that will impact your day. Did you know you can literally ache everywhere after less sleep?
6. It’s OK to change your mind.
Parenting books suggest sticking to a routine to help encourage good habits and to stick to our guns when we’ve made a decision. But, it’s also OK to change your mind once in a while too. If you swore you would never co-sleep, but it works better for your family, embrace that.
7. Every parent accidentally hurts their kid at least once.
You’re going to run into them or drop your phone on their head and you’re going to feel bad. It’s going to happen.
8. You may not feel attached to your baby right away.
You see it on TV: the mom has her baby and instantly proclaims her undying love for this new person. For some women, that bond takes a little longer to develop and that’s totally normal and totally OK. Allow yourself the time to get to know this new person and love will grow.
9. Don’t make things super quiet when the baby is sleeping.
It’s going to be your instinct to turn off the TV, turn down the ringer on your phone and put a “do not ring” sign on the front doorbell – but don’t! Yes, your baby just finally fell asleep, but if you’re able to get your baby used to sleep through the everyday noises, when sounds suddenly pop up, it won’t instantly wake them.
10. Dinner time will change forever.
Not just talking about making healthier options, but dinner is going to be different forever. You’ll have trouble finding time to eat your meal while it’s still hot, you’ll have to eat your vegetables if you’re insisting your child eat them (they’re always watching!) and you will always have to make a second milkshake for your child.
11. Being smart with housework saves sanity.
Raising little children leaves little time for anything else and if you want your house to be in a tidy order, you’ll have to be smart. Do the dishes after dinner and have it set to run overnight. Put a load of laundry in before breakfast in hopes you’ll remember at dinner time to put it in the dryer. Deep cleaning is going to have to wait – and that’s OK.
Photo credit: adapted from JD Hancock | Flickr