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Moment of Truth: Being Her Parent Is Worth It

Being a mother has its good and bad days. Sometimes I wish there was a manual that guides you to a perfect parent life. I’ve been blessed to have this little girl in my life. I get to be a part of her adventures every day. She grows and learns every day. I’ve only been a mother for 10 months and counting and…I’m already pulling my hair (rather it’s falling out)!

I’m overwhelmed by news reports and articles on baby do’s and dont’s. The back of a food label can give you nightmares for days. It seems like parenting is more of a horror story without a happy ending! Even after reading articles, books, magazines, along with listening to doctors, child experts and moms, I still feel like I’m not giving her enough.

Those moments (sigh) when your exhaustion catches up to you! Some crazy incident involves your baby eating paper or kitty litter. Your alarm goes off and you pray and hope your kid’s arm won’t fall off. Trust me, you’re not the only one to use Google or go on WebMD to self-diagnose your little one.

My advice:

  • First, step away from Google and take a deep breath.
  • Remind yourself that you’re an amazing mom or dad.
  • Think about all the good things about being a parent.
  • Don’t stress over every little thing.
  • Don’t dwell on the negative. It weighs you down like an anchor.
  • Keep a positive attitude on the absolute worst days.

Most importantly, have faith everything will work out. Becoming a parent is an honor and rite of passage. My life has taken a new meaning with new priorities and a new reason to smile. Having a child (or children) will come with a mess but relax…it’s a mess only parents can clean best!

1609788_10153372978827152_4309837560169015771_nSince I had my Elizabeth, I’ve taken my new role and responsibility as if it was a super power. It’s NOT to be taken lightly but life’s too short to stress over what you don’t have and what problem lies ahead. As you go through the day, promise yourself and your kid(s) that you won’t take being a parent for granted. Don’t be afraid to wave the white flag and ask for help. As a new mother, I sometimes feel when I ask for help, it means that I’m failing her. I’ve learned these past few months it’s the other way around. I fail her when I don’t acknowledge I’m tired and need a break. Although I like to consider myself Super Woman, I’m only human (with a really cool kid). Get a moment to yourself. Remind yourself you’re not a failure when you allow overbearing grandmas and moms to jump in. If the opportunity comes…run as fast as you can!

Ignore the scolding and judgmental looks from so-called “expert moms.” Just because their kids are grown and functioning in society doesn’t mean they’re perfect. They’ve made mistakes too. Don’t let other parenting styles knock you off your rhythm. After a couple weeks of spending time with my baby (only because my lady business was still getting herself together), I connected with her and started to understand her more. I learned her cries and knew when and why she was fussy. I learned her schedule of when she wanted to eat and sleep. So when other parents tried to chime in their opinions and “philosophy”, I was an expert on MY baby. I listened to her instead of what others said. When you know your baby, nothing else matters.

Finally, trust your instincts. A lot of parenting books and articles don’t stress it enough. Most guidance from the media comes from statistics. A group of kids responding to a variety of ways is just data! Your baby isn’t a number. Rely on your natural instincts if all else fails. So what if you didn’t use a specific lotion or healthy snack? So what if you gave your baby something that’s really sugary? It’s your baby and no one can out love him/her more. When your bones are tingling about something and everyone else is saying something different…listen to that gut feeling! Of course don’t ignore sound and wise advice, filter it. Just because using Johnson & Johnson worked for your mom’s mom doesn’t mean it will work for your baby. You might need Aveeno or something cheaper for the frugal Frans. Some advice isn’t applicable. I received a lot of products for my daughter. I didn’t use them because it didn’t fit in with my baby’s needs.

Smile and take a sip of the bottle. Know that you’re not the only struggling and juggling parent out here. I’m always here so now there’s two of us! From one parent to another, I hear it gets worse! Keep smiling…sooner or later it will be their turn.

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