Being a mother has made me feel so many emotions that I had never felt before having my daughter. From extreme frustration and worry, to pure joy and deep, unconditional love. Motherhood is a wild rollercoaster ride.
As a first time mom, I’m still learning the ropes. I’m not the type to read parenting books-this seems so absurd. Instead, I like to take everything as it comes and make it up as I go! So far I think I’m doing a pretty good job. However, there are a few things I’ve come to regret in the almost two years of being a mom. If I have the chance to do it all again with another child, these are the things that I will keep in mind for the next time around:
- Figuring out effective tactics for dealing with stress. To me, this is the most important thing I need to work on. Someone once told me that before becoming a parent, one should be at their “best self”, which makes sense. Of course, sometimes you don’t plan on becoming a parent, but that’s when you need to come up with healthy ways of dealing with life’s stressors. Because a toddler temper tantrum can mess with even the most level-headed person.
- Capture memories on a camera, not your phone. Technology has come super far, and the quality of the photos I take with my phone is impressive. That said, I’ve lost so many baby pictures of Maddy because of changing to a new phone after my old one unexpectedly bit the dust. Those are photos that I’ll never be able to get back. It almost seems wrong to hold up my smartphone to snap some shots of Maddy’s birthday, instead of squinting into the lense of my trusty Canon.
- Giving phone as a distraction. Speaking of smartphones, here’s another thing I regret: Giving Maddy my phone to play on to distract her. If we’re grocery shopping and Maddy is getting fussy and starting to get cranky, I’ll hand her my phone without even thinking about it. Over time, she has come to expect this, and that’s where I draw the line. Technology is great, but it seriously needs to butt out of our lives a little bit sometimes.
- Spending too much time on my phone. One last thing about the phone-I spend too much time on it! I think that a huge amount of parents are guilty of this. It’s so sad, yet we’re glued to our phones. You’ll never be able to get back lost time with your children. I’m so glad that I grew up in a pre-cell phone era. A lot of my childhood memories that stand out include reading bedtime stories with my parents-not watching them post to Facebook! Geez.
- Not letting her cry. There’s some controversy over whether parents should let their children cry for a little bit before rushing to their side, ready to give them whatever it is that they want. If you ask me, I think children could stand to whine and cry for a little bit. When Maddy was a baby, it would deeply distress me to hear her crying, even though I knew it was over something simple like dropping her toy, or being tired. If I could do it again, I would let her soothe herself for a little bit, particularly at bedtime. Now that she’s almost two, I am starting to see this coming back to haunt me a little, like when she wants a different snack, or has a fit about having to get dressed.
Are you a seasoned mother who has tips to share with newbies like myself? Or are you a new mom with beginner’s luck who would like to pass on some tricks? Please comment!