Dropping the Truth bombs: 9 Must-Read Tips for Parents
Posted on October 30 2017
As you get ready to tackle the wonderful world of parenting, there are few concepts that are worth bringing up to help paint a realistic picture of what to expect. Here are 9 truths around which you can begin to shape your paradigm, along with tips for parents who want to hit the ground, having at least some idea of what the new “normal” is going to look like.
Truth bomb #1: Grownup movies will probably take the back seat for a while. Even if you happen to be in the mood to watch a dinosaur flick, chances are your choice for the evening is not going to be Jurassic World. It’s not worth the tears when someone wakes up with a bad dream. Thankfully, there are more entertaining options than “Barney” available in this century (Thank you, Disney/Pixar!). But, it’s all good.
Eventually, the kids will get big enough to also enjoy the more action-packed titles. Of course, if something really good is coming out that’s going to be too intense for the kids, you can always invest in a babysitter (or wireless headphones).
Truth bomb #2 has to do with the things you hear from your children. “Where did you hear that?” said probably every parent in history. But, generally speaking, everyone knows our kids don’t come up with euphemisms by themselves. Children can be adequately described as little tape-recorders. Remember, anything you say can and will be repeated back to you at the least opportune moment. A beneficial tip for parents wanting to avoid embarrassing looks from passers-by in the future: be careful what you mutter when you think they’re not listening!
Truth bomb #3: Nothing is Sacred. Watch your cup – beverages left unattended may be tampered with! Think your toddler will be daunted by the size of that humongous cappuccino? Think again! When your kid sees you set a sizeable drink down, what’s running through their mind is something like this: “Challenge accepted.” Shrewd mothers will implement a rule that says, if nothing else, Mother Gets the First Drink. That way, you are at least guaranteed one sip that is uncontaminated by backwash.
Truth bomb #4 is that every parent tears up at random moments. It just happens. Commercials? Greeting cards? How about super-cheesy movies that would not have even warranted a sniffle before you had kids? Now you don’t stand a chance. When the moment happens to be just right, and it triggers an association for you… just own it. There is no point trying to explain to other people why you randomly got choked up. Not having your frame of reference, it’s just going to look like you’re crazy. And there’s no shame in that. Honestly, you’re a parent… crazy is your new normal.
The word “prioritise” will have an entirely new meaning. This somewhat painful bit of truth explains why moms may show up to work with bunny slippers on instead of pumps. Getting ready for the morning used to be a cinch. Post-childbirth, you find yourself making the most ridiculous calculations in your head before it’s even off of the pillow. “I have a minute and a half before my kids usually come bounding into my room. Do I:
- Brush my teeth.
- Fix my hair.
- Go to the bathroom (because it’s the only time I get to do it alone for the next 8 hours).
- Cover my head…”Maybe today they will sleep in a little.”
Yes, we all have wishful thinking sometimes. With Truth bomb #5 in mind, those who have “been there, done that” would share the following parenting tip. If you value privacy in the bathroom and having five minutes to get ready for the day, always make yourself get up just a little earlier than you’d like. It will have you feeling more centred. On the other hand, if it doesn’t bother you to have a little person in the bathroom while you do your business, by all means… catch a few more Z’s before the stampede to your bedroom gets underway.
Truth bomb #6: It’s going to be easier to appreciate the little things. Dating often meant enjoying cute activities like walking hand-in-hand with your spouse. When kids enter the scene, someone else may declare dibs on holding Daddy’s hand. Such territorial displays are just another reminder of how wonderful your spouse really is. Try to claim your rightful place as his hand-holder if you like. You better believe he will be soaking it up that his girls are fighting over him!
Here’s something creative to add to your arsenal of positive parenting skills: find an alarm clock that has different settings to indicate different time-sensitive activities. There are a variety of options available, even one that can be programmed to indicate an appropriate time to be out of bed. You’d think light streaming in through the window would be a good indicator – something obvious to look for – but this is not always the case.
Truth bomb #7 is that, for whatever reason, sometimes 3 AM sounds like a reasonable time for waking up to a pre-schooler. Don’t feel bad if you find yourself desperately Googling innovative solutions to this problem – the struggle is real. Over-caffeination does become a potential hazard when you have a determined non-sleeper!
Truth bomb #8: Your babies have the power to make you look ridiculous. You will do anything and everything to try and evoke the delicious smiles and coos of your little one. It’s an irresistible urge that overtakes mothers and grandmothers the moment they see fuzzy little heads and charming little eyes. You’re going to do hilarious things that will completely dissolve you of dignity. Again, It’s Parenting 101 – just own it.
Truth bomb #9: It’s going to go by so fast. That’s both a blessing and an emotional burden that every mother carries. The baby years are beautiful and heartbreaking, as each milestone heralds the end of one stage and the beginning of another. It’s a constant reminder to take nothing for granted, to be in the moment as much as possible, and look to their future with confidence and joy. Because we know how much we are giving of ourselves by taking on this job of motherhood, and what the benefits will be in the years to come.
While some sacrifices are expected (privacy, action movies, and having your latte all to yourself), it will always be worth it in the long run. The end result can be kids who cherish us not only as parents but someday as close friends. That’s certainly a worthwhile endeavour!
What other truth bombs would you drop on someone expecting to be a first-time parent? We’d love to hear them!