As you prepare for motherhood for the very first time, there are lots of books and people giving you advice, filling you in on all the things you should do as a mother- but there are also a lot of things you should avoid doing as a parent that the books aren’t as quick to tell you. A lot of the “do’s” of parenting aren’t universal, every situation and every child is different, but there are some “don’ts” of mothering a child that every woman should take into consideration.
Jill Smokler tells us some of the most important don’ts in parenting, something that every mother and mother-to-be can learn from.
1. Don’t ever claim that you have mastered parenting or are the best at it
Jill’s first piece of advice is crucial. The world of parenting is unique from any other world, even in some ways from other parents’, and even the most “prepared” parent will find it has many curve balls to offer. Always remember to be humble because you never know what kids can throw at you.
2. Don’t sweat the small stuff
I’ve said this in blogs before and I’m sure I’ll say it again in blogs to come- because this advice is so important. Don’t get lost over the insignificant things, like clothes on the floor or unmade beds, because if you do you’ll go crazy. Not to mention, you won’t have energy left for the things that really do matter.
3. Don’t ever lose your sense of humor
This goes hand-in-hand with no sweating the small stuff. Always remember to laugh and make light of the things that can be made light of. It will help you stay sane in the crazy world of motherhood.
4. Don’t get upset over milestones
Their first day of kindergarten is bittersweet for every mother, but don’t let it get to you passed that morning. There will be many milestones in your child’s life, all the way through the birth of their own child, so it’s important to put a positive spin on it and not get weighed down in negativity or the past.
5. Don’t judge another parent’s parenting
Some parents do this a lot, but don’t be one of them. Every child is different, so there is no such thing as one right style of raising them. It is so important to be supportive and nonjudgmental of other mothers and their children because you never know when a time will come where you’re going to need other mothers to be supportive and judgement free of a situation your child is in.
6. Don’t let another parent make you feel bad about your parenting
Like I mentioned above, every child is different. No other parent has raised your child, so it is not their place to tell you how to raise your child. If the other classroom mom is judgmental of you being a working mom, don’t let it bother you. What works for her is fine, and if what works for you and your family is different then that is fine too.
7. Never say never
I love this because in life in general this is true, but it becomes especially true in parenting. Once you become a mother, you google things and do things you never imagined you would.
8. Don’t ever go to bed without saying “I love you"
No matter how long or stressful your day was, never let your kids go to bed without telling them how much you love them and how special they are.