You could read for the rest of your life and not read every parenting tip ever written. You could write for the rest of your life and not write enough tips to cover every situation a parent ends up in. In the end there are some inevitable truths those new to the parenting world should know; here are the 10 commandments of parenting in no particular order of importance.
1. Thou shall not wonder what could have been; rather wonder at what will come.
One of the biggest mistakes any parent can make is to sit and dwell on what their life could have been had they not had children, rather than focusing on how wonderful their life is because they did. Looking back instead of forward can also cause you to walk into walls.
2. Ye who smells it disposes of it.
This applies to all children based messes from diaper to stashed lunch meat from last week. Keep a balance of ick-factors duties between caregivers and you’ll find balance in your life.
3. A child’s smile cures all.
Anytime you catch yourself overworked, under appreciated, anxious, unhappy, depressed, fatigued, infuriated and any other negative adjectives find your child, make him or her smile and realize the biggest perk in parenting.
4. Betty Crocker was a fictional being.
Male or female recognize now that one individual cannot do everything, let alone perfectly. Expect your house to not be spotless. Expect dinner to not always be gourmet. Expect perfect imperfection and embrace it.
5. Poop and pee shall be conversational pieces and butts for smelling.
You will find yourself over the next 18 years and possibly longer in a plethora of conversations about poop and pee. Do not be surprised by this. You will also inevitably learn to pick up your child and smell or their tush to check for spoilage without removing clothing. These two facts are almost rites of passage of parenting.
6. The answerer shall be the one who is asked.
Avoid the “go ask mom/dad” game. It takes many parents years to realize this leads their children to play the game, literally and play you two against one another. United you raise well adjusted, intelligent, contributing members of society, divided you melt like gummy bears in the microwave. Stand together, stand strong, don’t project responsibilities.
7. Nothing ye don’t do now will disappear tomorrow.
This goes both ways. If you put everything off till tomorrow it will pile up, it’s not going to disappear, but also recognize that sometimes letting things go to spend more time on you, the kids, or your significant other if you have one is important too. What you don’t do today, you can always do tomorrow.
8. Outside is thy friend.
The more a kid runs around outside the more tired they get, it’s an unspoken law of nature, half hour at the park equates to half hour nap mom and dad can relax during.
9. Ye shall never go anywhere with a tired child.
Taking a child or children anywhere when tired is the epic fail of parenting, it never ends well. It’s okay to end the trip with a tired child, (see #8) but never begin it that way.
10. There ist no right or wrong way to parent.
Finally the ultimate commandment of parenting – there is no right and wrong way. No matter what your sister, brother, grandmother, best friend, guy at the post office or anyone else says, if it’s right to you it’s right. The big 10 could erase all of the nine that precede it or encase them in gold. It’s all up to you.
If you’d like to read more parenting tips feel free to also check out:
Can Your Baby Be Prejudice or Racist?
Plastic Allergy or Diaper Rash? How to Tell the Difference
My Toddler Has a Pot Belly: Common Questions and Concerns