Parenting would be soooooo much easier if they just gave you the manual for a child as you were leaving the hospital. Instead it’s a, here’s a free (but not really free) wheel chair ride to your car with your new baby….good luck.
Not helpful. So then we resort to how we were raised. Granted we don’t know what the hell our parents did with us during the newborn phase *chances are they don’t remember either* So we have to wing it.
As we go on, we figure out things along the way that are helpful to our baby and to us. Minutes turn into hours, that turn into days soon we are years away from their first day earth side.
All the while we’ve just been figuring it out…
And that leads us to this:
There aren’t any manuals. There aren’t any cure alls. There aren’t any magic wands that guarantee your child will be a successful, happy & healthy adult. There isn’t anything.
You are the manual. You are the fairy godmother. You are the one that will alter how your child develops into adolescence then into adulthood. It’s just you.
So, here’s the parenting tip. Do what works for you and your child. See their needs and meet them where they are. Social media can be a great resource and our worst nightmare. Try not to compare how your child is to everyone else’s. Social media is the highlight reel of a family’s life. For example: Just because that family looks like they all had an amazing time on their Fiji vacations, doesn’t mean they actually did. What you probably weren’t show was the three year old throwing multiple tantrums on the travel days. Maybe one of the children got sick from foreign food. The parents could actually be in a heated argument because of the stress of traveling with family. The teenage daughter could be absolutely miserable because she didn’t want to go on the trip, she wanted to stay home with her friends. Oh don’t forget the baby, that baby probably isn’t sleeping because, well, it’s a baby!
But what you did see, is a “happy family, all smiling, standing still with an amazing background, on a lovely, expensive vacation” that we interpret as a “goal.” Try not to compare. Try not to wish upon a star. Try not to think “why do their kids behave themselves all the time.” Try not to live outside your family.
Try to do this instead…
Be consistent. Be loving. Be present.
You kids don’t need lavish trips to make them well rounded adults. You children don’t need Elite elementary, middle & high schools. Your children don’t need to do every extracurricular activity under the sun. Your children don’t need all of the newest fashion trends. You children don’t need x,y & z.
Your children need you. They need you to see them. To hear them. To be present with them. The rest will come when it may.
Parenting is NOT easy. But you were meant for it.