Parenting will always be a challenge. No if’s, and’s, or but’s about it!
It’s hard work, and impossible to perfect, no matter how many chances you get to give it your all!
Every parent has those “parenting regrets” they just love to sit and dwell on. Wondering if that sugary food they gave their kids to be quiet has taught them that complaining is rewarded. Or if the amount of TV they let them watch is slowly scrambling their brains from the inside out, ruining their lives forever!
We can get a little dramatic as parents, can’t we!
Even so, looking back on these instances is much easier than seeing clearly in the moment. And I know for myself, if I get pregnant again and have a second chance at this whole parenting thing, there are a few things I will be doing differently. 10, to be exact!
1) Play More!
I would throw the worries of my child not learning to play alone out the window, and get in there and have some fun!
I would get on the floor and roll around with the stuffed animals, I would build forts in the living room, and you better believe I would never miss a tea party!
Nothing is more important, valuable, or limited than playtime with your kids!
2) Nap More!
I couldn’t really tell you when nap time became “run around and get everything done time”, because it slipped in there before I had a chance to stop it!
I would take advantage of those little afternoon siestas every chance I got to make sure my kids were getting a well-rested Mama!
3) Get Messy and Be OK With It!
Finger paints, sure! Mud pies, why not! Rain puddles, bring ‘em on! They’d get messy, I’d get messy, and the thought of scrubbing or laundry wouldn’t even cross my mind…probably!
4) Ask For Help and Appreciate When It’s Offered!
Being a first time Mom, I was all about “proving” that I could Mom it up with the big girls! I thought that letting others in on my parenting journey was a sign of weakness, and that it looked like I had no idea what I was doing (which, let’s be honest here, I didn’t!).
Next time would be a whole new ball game!
If someone offered to hold the baby, do the dishes, or watch them for an evening, I’d be empty handed and out the door before they’d know what hit them!
5) Take Time Away For Me!
Whether it be drinks with my girlfriends, or a night out with my husband, I would take time away to remember that I am more than a Mom. It’s so easy to get lost in that identity that we forget who we used to be…I don’t want to lose that again!
6) Less Toys and Gadgets!
Every parent has watched in amazement after gifting the “perfect” present to their little one, only to have them playing contently with the box 3 minutes later. Children have fabulous imaginations, and we should be catering to that, not training it out of them with needless toys and electronics.
A box, some socks, and a mirror…these will be my child’s favorite toys, and I will love joining in the fun!
7) More Family Vacation Time!
I would make sure we had family vacations at least once a year. A chance to get away from the daily routine and really get to know each other all over again!
We would go to theme parks, camping, beaches…I may need to start planning without the second child!
8) Take More Candid Photos!
I’m not sure what everyone else’s photo albums look like, but mine don’t have nearly enough candid shots of our little one!
I have spent far too long saying “Smile for the camera!”, and not enough time snapping shots of the real life moments – the ones that I will truly miss when they are gone.
9) Only Buy Used Clothing or Wear Hand Me Downs!
My days of buying into the “oh-so-cute-ness” of every baby store in the mall will be no more! It took me awhile to catch on, but have finally learned that I can visit our local thrift shop and get quality clothing for a fraction of the price, and that is exactly what I want to pay since I know they will grow out of it and into the next size in about a day and a half!
10) More Hugs and Cuddles!
There’s never enough hugs and cuddles, enough said!
Whether you are pregnant and getting another go at this whole parenting thing, or just realizing some of these list items would be on yours as well, go for it! It’s never too late to start playing, getting messy, capturing those priceless memories, and of course sneaking in more hugs and cuddles!
We may only get one shot at parenting a child, but the great news is, every minute is a chance to make a change in how we do it!