“I asked women from different areas and stages in life what the best parenting advice they have been given was. These were the results:
‘Kids will be the hardest on their moms when things get rough because they know whatever happens, whatever they say, mom will always love them.’
Could you hit any closer to home?
Your children are going to get mad at you. They are going to lash out at you. But at the end of each and every day, you are still their safe place. They do these things because they know mom (and dad) will never not be there.
From the moment they came into the world, we were all they knew. A comfort, a never leaving staple in life. And even if we as parents don’t always find this part of parenting fair, it is inevitable.
‘Children spell love T-I-M-E.’
This one really hits home. For a long time, my husband and I (I wouldn’t say argued) had very different opinions on this. Yes, telling your child you love them and they are an important part of your life is a way to show them they are loved. Buying them gifts and surprise toys is also a way. But at the end of the day, none of that matters. What matters is the time spent.
The hours and moments, and everything in between. It could be the hours you spend working on a Lego set together, or a thirty-second hug in the morning before they go to school. Children care about time. They feel loved when you can make time for them. The other things in life come to a standstill when they need you.
Love and time are not interchangeable. They are tied together, and one is not without the other.
‘It takes a village to raise a child. Don’t be afraid to reach out to that village for help. You can’t pour from an empty cup.’
Your village does not need to be big. Heck, it doesn’t need to be more than one other person. But what’s important here is she is right—you absolutely can’t pour from an empty cup. Just because you’re a mom/parent doesn’t mean you’re superhuman. You need to take care of yourself, too.
There’s no shame in needing help. The people in your life are there because they care. They are there because they want to help. Sometimes we need to lean on the people we know and trust. At the end of the day, we as parents are so used to having everyone lean on us, we often forget we can lean back. We need to start reminding ourselves we can also lean on others when we need to.
‘What works for one might not work for all.’
If there’s a sentence that holds more truth than this, I’ve yet to hear it.
This day and age has brought to us the wonderful world of social media. Now, this has brought us many wonderful things, like the ability to learn at new speeds, connect with those we couldn’t have otherwise, and being able to share with others. (I mean, if it weren’t for social media, your lovely self wouldn’t be reading this.)
With that being said, this has also brought a wave of people sharing what works for their families. I for one love this. I learn a new parenting skill or tip every day because of this. However, when information gets shared and stated as ‘facts that will work for any child,’ I take issue.
Just like every adult person is different from one another, so are pregnancies, newborns, babies, toddlers, children, and teens. Do I think trying new things is good? Absolutely! This is how we grow as people and parents, and how we learn what works and doesn’t. But, it needs to be known that just because Karen on Instagram does it one way, it doesn’t mean you have to, or that it will work for your family.
Find what works for you and your child, for your family and home life. Just know each and every person, household, and family dynamics will be different, and that’s okay.
I can’t tell you which piece of advice holds more value than the next. Or even which piece would work best in whatever part of parenting you are in right now. What I can say is that giving time, showing you care, being there, and learning what works best, is what will help you to continue to be the best parent you can be.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Ashley Cirka of Canada and originally appeared here. You can follow her journey on Instagram, Facebook, her blog, Twitter, and Pinterest. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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