Unsolicited advice arrives on your doorstep with more gusto than morning sickness almost immediately after becoming pregnant. And all the eye rolls in the world won’t be enough to wave off the determined advice-giver.
The top five pieces of advice I’ve received in my three years of raising littles have nothing to do with breastfeeding, sleep training or organic baby food.
So, I thought I’d share. Sit back, roll your eyes and listen up.
One good meal a day
I have to beg my children to eat. Like BEG. I often find myself in the kitchen pulling out anything and everything in hopes that they’ll eat something. Our pediatrician recently sat me down and slapped my wrist for being a short-order cook. First, I’m only contributing to their pickiness. And second, I’m basically proving their theory that they’re the boss.
One good meal a day he said. If they refuse what I offer them for breakfast and lunch, then they’ll be hungry by dinner. Let me tell y’all, I know Bauer’s only two, but I feel like a BAD ASS when she turns up her nose at scrambled eggs and I just simply say, “Fine,” take her plate and move on. It’s empowering. I sneak into the pantry and throw myself secret high-fives.
How you speak to them will become their inner voice
No piece of advice has made me feel like a bigger asshole than this. But for a good cause. I have a short fuse. I lose my patience. I scream. I read this somewhere a few weeks ago and it’s my inner mantra now. It’s not my girls’ fault that I’m the least patient person on the planet. They’re kids. They are going to be horrible little creatures on occasion. Even when disciplining, I need to remember to speak to them with love. To praise them for all they do right, rather than only scold them for their wrong.
Let them be bored
Picked this one off the former CEO of Home Depot. Yup, all that business knowledge and this is my takeaway. But seriously, we live in an age of play dates, ballet classes, swim lessons and so on. Why are we judging our parenting off a schedule packed with activities? The best thing we can do for our children: allow them to get bored. See how they respond. Teach them to entertain themselves. To be creative. To be imaginative. To be self-sufficient.
It costs zero dollars and doesn’t require mom to throw everyone in the car and rush off to the 20 minute ballet class that is shorter than the car seat fight required to get there.
No use crying over spilled milk
I had a boyfriend that would say this to me regularly. He was right then and he’s even more right now. Shit happens. Milk spills. If cleaning up six ounces of formula off the floor (even though it’s expensive AF) is the worst thing that happens on any given day than SLOW CLAP for you.
You will undoubtedly have some hard days. Emotionally and physically. Save your tears for those.
It goes so fast, enjoy the moment
THIS IS THE MOST ANNOYING PIECE OF ADVICE EVER. It’s also the most true. Yesterday, I watched Bauer try to squeeze into one of her old jackets that her little sister now wears. Fat girl in a little coat felt like a punch to the gut. It goes so fast, but this on repeat from older parents won’t matter until you realize it yourself. Or if Trace Adkins, “You’re Going To Miss This” comes on the radio. In which case, cue the waterworks and pull over. It will no longer be safe for you to drive.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? I want to hear. This is actually solicited.
Memories captured by Brooke Whitney Photography.