When the September edition of Parents magazine arrived in my mailbox this month, I tossed it aside to possibly be read later, maybe. Don't get me wrong, I think Parents is a great magazine. I've had a subscription to it since before Harrison was born, and it has helped me deal with lots of parenting issues. Lately, however, after reading about articles such as how to get your kids to eat Shrimp Pizza (that author has obviously never met my children) or how to grow an organic garden in your backyard (something I really would love to do, but our super hot, nearly treeless backyard just won't do), or plenty of other similar articles,
it's left me feeling a little (or maybe a lot) inadequate.
Today, the magazine totally redeemed itself, with an article titled, "39 Things Every Mom Should Know," written by Kacy Faulconer, who just might be my new best friend. :) I read the article, laughed, smiled, and could literally feel the guilt lifting right off my shoulers. And since I'm all about helping other moms feel less guilty as well, I thought I would pass on some of my favorites from this article, mixed in with some pics of some super cute kids in some of their cutest moments, and some in their less-than-perfect moments. :)
When it comes to raising children, everyone is an expert. Your kids won't be little forever, so enjoy them! Wow. That was helpful. Thanks. But there'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 bum 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 kid will never bat an eye~ or judge you for it. Want more unsolicited but totally honest advice from a mom of four kids ages 1 to 11? Of course you do.
(See? I told you she was great! Keep reading...)
1. You never have to go to those obnoxious kid-themed restaurants. Ever. I wish someone had told me that.
3. Do your chores while the 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?
6. Just throw away the poopy underwear.
7. Don't beat yourself up if you have to use a bribe.
9. Buy cheap shoes when kids are little. Feet grow faster than you think.
12. Know this: That stain won't come out. And it's okay.
(The sooner you accept this, the better.)
16. Never stifle a generous inclination.
18. Teach them to pump on the swings ASAP.
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.
27. Always pack wipes. If your kids go somewhere without you, send along wipes.
It's like having a mom with them.
28. Do not allow the word "weinies" in your home.
36. Give out awards for actual achievements.
37. You're never too old to dress up and decorate 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 does of both.
You see, I'm all about being the best Mom I can possibly be to my kiddos, but I also know that things aren't always going to be perfect. The kids are going to fight, they're going to watch too much tv sometimes, they're not always going to eat their veggies, etc., etc. They're still really great, smart, happy, fun, healthy kids. And it was so nice reading an article that embraced this subject, instead of laying more guilt about the things I'm not doing perfectly.
So this month I'm thankful for a more realistic Parents magazine,
and looking forward to what I learn next month. :)