There are so many things about parenting that you don’t get to know until you’re actually in the throws of it. For example, did you know that some babies sleep through the night almost immediately? They are a rare breed, for sure, but it does happen to the occasional lucky parent.
But that’s not the only thing people glaze over in regards to parenting. Here are five things new parents probably wish someone had told them sooner:
- Parenting books make good photo props
To expecting parents, the world of parenting is uncharted and immensely scary. That’s probably why there’s such a demand for parenting books. But here’s the thing: There’s really no such thing as a book that can prepare you for what’s about to come. It will be new and terrifying, and there’s nothing you can do about that.
Also, these books have to assume that all children are the same. Remember that child who sleeps through the night from birth? Well, for each of those, there are hundreds who won’t sleep through the night until well into their toddler years. If you don’t know what to expect from your unborn child, and none of us do, it’s difficult to prepare yourself either way.
Still, if you feel comforted by keeping a library of parenting books, go ahead and buy them. If nothing else, they make great photo props.
- Your commitment doesn’t end at 18
Any parent of an adult child will tell you that the worrying never ceases. You will be there for your child regardless of age. That’s probably why so many kids are choosing to live with their parents beyond their college years.
You’ll likely be their go-to person for all problems well into adulthood. The heat goes out at 2 a.m. and what do they do? Call mom. She’ll know how to handle it.
As a parent, your involvement in their adult life will be up to you and your child, but they will always be your baby at heart.
- Each child and situation is unique
Part of the reason why parenting books so often miss the mark is that every child and situation is different. It will be up to you to decide how to handle each moment as it comes.
Before you have kids, you’re probably thinking you’ll have hard-and-fast rules that apply to most situations. “My child won’t talk back, and she’ll clean her plate or else.”
But when you become a parent, you quickly realize how important it is to pick your battles.
- There will be awkward moments
Parents have a strong bond with their kids. It’s such a strong bond that you don’t mind being weird or silly. There’s no embarrassment here – until you get to talking about sensitive issues. When you have the drug talk or the sex talk, you may feel a little uncomfortable. This is perfectly okay. Know that it’s more important to have an awkward conversation about these things than to remain silent.
- You were a perfect parent before you had kids
Every new parent goes through an “aha” moment where they realize they judged parents too harshly. Before you have kids, it’s easy to talk about how great of a mom you’ll be and how you’ll never stand for things like a temper tantrum in a public place. And then you have kids, and you sit around laughing about your previous arrogance with your mom friends. We’ve all been there.
What are some things you wish someone had told you about parenting?