Sunday, July 18, 2010

25 Things I Know Now as a Parent

I got this idea from Jen Lemen's Supersisters site (via Mama Om).

Others were invited to join in, so I am -- albeit several days late! Maybe you'll be inspired to contribute your own words of hard-won wisdom.

Here's my list of all the things I now know, thanks to my kids ...


(I considered posting a list where all 25 were blank ... but you get the idea.)

2. Sleep and sex are wasted on those who regularly have time for both.

3. I can't make a baby eat, sleep, or poop. (I got this one from my sister -- but it's still true, and my "babies" are now 5 and 8.)

4. I can break any toddler's bad habit in three really bad days. (Also from my sister.) It takes a little longer, and the days get a little worse, as they get older.

5. My sister is waaaaaaay smarter than I thought when we were teenagers.

6. Sometimes I have to lower my standards to get through the day. (I learned this one all on my own.)

7. If I lower my standards to get through the day, I will pay for it dearly when I'm ready to raise them again.

8. My kids will get over most disappointments in approximately half the time it took me to agonize over the decision to disappoint them. The remaining few will be with us, I suspect, until they're 40.

9. Time spent taking care of me is NOT time stolen from my family. It is promptly returned to them in the form of me not sounding like such a bitch.

10. Asking a child why they just did something never, ever produces a satisfying response.

11. I'm not really looking for a number when I ask, "How many times do I have to tell you ...?"

12. Knowing #10 & #11 will in no way stop me from asking one of those questions when my child has just beaned his/her sibling with a rock (or a baseball bat, the dog, etc.).

13. If you leave a hidden camera in ANYONE's house long enough, you will get enough footage for a Supernanny episode. (Despite this -- or perhaps because of it --Supernanny still rocks.)

14. There are some truly awful parents out there. But most of the parents I so smugly judged before I had kids were just average, competent people having a bad day.

15. Kids are always doing the best they can.

16. Parents are, too.

17. Teachers are only human.

18. Many teachers are really awesome humans.

19. Just because I'm chilly doesn't mean it's worth trying to force my kids to wear their jackets. Sometimes, they're just not cold.

20. If I never let my kids feel cold, they'll never know how to decide when they need a jacket.

21. Numbers 19 and 20 can be rewritten to cover sleep, food, and just about every other decision that doesn't have immediate, fatal consequences.

22. The best memories get made when I put down the camera.

23. Every age is the best age.

24. Every age has challenges that make me, at times, desperately wish it were over.

25. It turns out a lot of cliches are also true. My kids' childhoods really are going by (for the most part) too quickly. I can never have enough reminders to ... Watch. Be amazed. Enjoy.


  1. 26. The best parents (and teachers) I ever saw were the quietest. I have tried to emulate them, to no avail. I'm hoping a stay in the Mid-West will help.

    27. Kids latch onto a parents' bad habits like white on rice. And it is useless to say, "Do as I say not as I do.". (Like waving a red flag at Pamplona.) If you dwell on this or worry about it, you will go nuts.

    28. (ok, not original). Experience is the comb that life gives us after we have gone bald.

    29. When kids get into their early twenties, their parents' IQs go up 70 points, minimum - as long as the kids stop living at home.

    30. Learning comes from making mistakes. Making mistakes ruins your reputation. Real maturity comes when you can learn from the mistakes of others (and not hurt their feeelings in the process).

    31. My best friends knew things about me that we never discussed. And I knew that they knew these things and that they would never discuss them with me. This agreement was not stated and didn't need to be. And we were the coolest and best of friends because I showed them the same courtesy. Honesty (and openness) is not always the best policy. Consideration for others is.

    32. Opening your heart to others begins with acknowledging that (indeed) your heart is closed sometimes.

    This was fun.

    Uncle Doug

  2. I would like to get 15, 16 and 23 tattooed to my eyeballs.

    thanks for visiting 6512 and growing