9/2/09

39 Things Every Mom should know

My post for today is taken from Parents magazine, Sep 2009 issue.

"When it comes to raising children, everyone's an expert. Your kids won't be little forever, so enjoy them! Wow, that was helpful. Thanks. But here's something very specific to enjoy about your little kids: They don't know what you're actually up to - so savor it while it lasts. When they get older they notice when you burn food or fall asleep at the school play. But with a toddler you can eat frosting out of a can while watching Blue's Clues and the kids will never bat an eye - or judge you for it. Want more unsolicited but toally honest advice from a mom of four kids ages 1 to 11? Of course you do.

1) You never have to go to obnoxious kid-themed restaurants. Ever. I wish someone had told me that.

2) Don't make birthday parties a huge deal.

3) Do your chores while kids are awake. Using up naptime to wash dishes or clean the bathroom is truly soul-crushing.

4) Put band-Aids on everything your kids want you to. Why not?

5) If the kids are awake, bite the bullet and be awake yourself. You'll waste so many hours trying futilely to extend early-morning snoozes that it's not worth it. If you are sick, pregnant, or it's the middle of the night, ignore this advice.

6) Just throw away the poopy underwear.

7) Don't beat yourself up if you have to use a bribe.

8) Teach your kids not to pee outside unless you're camping - you'll be glad you did. But if other people's kids do it, don't judge that parent too harshly - it's all about karma. (If you're in the midst of potty training all bets are off. You've gotta do what you've gotta do.)

9) Buy cheap shoes when kids are little. Feet grow faster than you think.

10) Don't forget about board games. You'll suffer through way too much Candy Land and Chutes and Ladders, but Connect Four and Battleship aren't half bad. And Clue rocks.

11) Embrace their quirks.

12) Know this: That stain won't come out. And it's okay. (The sooner you accept this, the better.)

13) At some point it will be February. Things will seem bleak. You will think about vitamins, glasses, more exercise, more sleep, more chores, less TV, more rules, fewer rules, and organic food. Just wait. Things will get better when the snow melts. Know that it will happen again at the end of summer, right before school starts. It's the circle of life, baby.

14) Always get boy's haricuts at barber shops instead of hair salons.

15) Answer this question: What is the worst thing that can happen if your kids sleep in their clothes?

16) Never stifle a generous inclination

17) Try to like what they like. It kind of sucks when it's Bob the Builder, but the payoff will come when they discover Lemony Snicket.

18) Teach the to pump on the swings ASAP.

19) If your child falls asleep occasionally without brushing her teeth, don't wake her; baby teeth do eventually fall out.

20) I know you are supposed to use natural consequences to punish bad behavior, but sometimes it's hard to think of natural consequences. In these cases try threatening your kids with clipping their toenails or some other activity they dread. I've had great success with this one, but you must find your own.

21) Get used to the word zerrissenheit. It means a state of disjointedness, and it's the new normal for most of us. At least you can feel fancy because it's German.

22) Buy kids deodorant before they need it.

23) Teach your children to make their own breakfast - and allow enough time so they can do it without pressure.

24) I can't stress this enough: Use duvet covers on your comforters and forget about a top sheet. Not only will you thank me for this advice, but your kids will thank me as well when they are learning to make their bed.

25) Remember clogging lessons are not in the best interest of the child.

26) Don't administer a punishment that hurts you more than it does them.

27) Always pack wipes. If your kids go somehwere without you, send along wipes. It's like having a mom with them.

28) Do not allow the word weinies in your home.

29) Dress you little girls like, well, little girls.

30) Make sure your kids know how they like their eggs and burgers cooked. You don't want them to feel stress when ordering at the diner.

31) It's fine to brag about yourself to your kids.

32) Buy quaint wooden toys and hand-knit stuffed animals, but don't expect your kids to play with them.

33) Just say "No" to any toy or doll that comes with packets that have to be mixed with water.

34) Teach them to like cool music. Why suffer through The Wiggles when you could be enjoying Wilco or counting along with Feist?

35) Don't buy the most expensive school-picture package. It's a waste of money.

36) Give out awards for actual achievements.

37) You're never too old to dress up and decorate your house for Halloween. And it's more fun for everyone if you are into it. It also entitles you to more candy.

38) If the school year, new babysitter, or karate class gets off to a rocky start, don't totally stress out about it. Instead, think of the improvement that can be made by the end of the year.

39) Independence is a wonderful thing. For everyone. So is together time. Make sure you have a healthy dose of both.

p.s. Yes, tiaras and shades do go well together."

I loved this article. Great advice for us parents!!!