Parenting can be so hard. Thankfully, the good times outweigh the trying ones, but that doesn't change the fact that it's a constantly changing, 24/7 job. Once you become a parent, "dull days" cease to exist. They are replaced with emotional roller coaster rides that grab you by the heart and take you and your patience to the ends of the earth and back.
Below are 10 tips to help maintain your sanity (for the most part) on a daily basis.
1. Laugh at yourself. First and foremost, laugh. Parenting is hard enough; if you don't find the humor in it, you will go bat sh*t crazy by the end of the first six weeks.
2. Laugh at your child. Kids are hysterical, laugh at them. Most of all, laugh with them.
3. Forgive yourself. There is no such thing as the perfect parent. No. Such. Thing. We all make mistakes. If at first you don't succeed... you will eventually.
4. Forgive your child. Just like adults, kids make mistakes too. It's part of life. For little ones, life is all about trying new things and testing limits. They are bound to screw up a few (hundred) times.
5. Steer clear of Dr. Google. Before even thinking about Googling your child's symptoms, call your doctor. All Dr. Google will do is make your think your child is dying of some horrifying rare disease and land you in the ER with a bug bite.
6. The "Right Way" is the way that works for your family. Don't let someone or some book make you think otherwise. Start with your instinct, then go from there. You know your child(ren) better than anyone else; work within those bounds.
7. Block out the haters. Who knew the minute you become a parent, ALL of the haters would come out of hiding? The Haters will do their best to make you second guess yourself, your child and your lifestyle. Ignore them. They know nothing about you or your situation. Plus, nine times out of 10, they are just jealous of you and your badass family.
8. Say 'I love you' and hug your kids everyday. Who doesn't love a little acknowledgement and affection? I know kids especially do. So give it to them. Make there be no question about just how loved they are.
9. This too shall pass. Parenting is really hard! It's not just you that's confused and frustrated. Moms of multiples are still crazed by the third child. From the newborn to the teenage years, there are many stages and phases. Some will be easy, some ridiculous, and some so trying you are sure one more day of the insanity will land you in a padded room. Hold on to those last shreds of sanity, because this too shall pass.
10. Don't sacrifice family time. The dishes can wait. Take time to be with your family now, because tomorrow is not promised. Childhood is such a short time, cherish and embrace it together. Love every second and every stage because when they are gone, you will miss them dearly. Yes, even the really annoying stages.