If you had to give a new mom any one piece of advice, what would it be? What's the one thing you wish someone had told you when you first became a working mom? Our members shared their top parenting tips; here are the 10 must-do answers.
- Nothing lasts forever. Not even the really rough, ultra-challenging times. You (andyour children) will get through it! Remember: This, too, shall pass.
- Take care of yourself. No matter how good of a mom you are, you'll be even better if you're emotionally, physically, and spiritually happy.
- Take a break from the rules. Allowing them -- and yourself -- to break the rules every once in a while might make your kids more likely to stick to them the rest of the time.
- Don't worry about being perfect or raising the perfect child. It's much more important to be a good role model. If you are kind, nurturing, forgiving, and thoughtful, then you're doing your job. It's OK to make mistakes. As one mom of 10 points out, "Kids are designed to be raised by humans, not saints. Do your best, but cut yourself some slack. And by all means, cut your partner some slack, too."
- Communicate with your kids. Even when you think they're too little to understand, it sets the stage for better conversations and understanding as they grow older. But don't forget that kids are kids -- not "little adults." You'll probably have to repeat things over and over, and that's OK.
- Follow your instincts. They're better than even the best advice books. No one knows your kids better than you.
- Let your kids express themselves. Their behavior isn't necessarily a reflection on you; let them be who they really are.
- It's OK to say no. Just try to explain your reasons for doing so, when appropriate. Don't forget that you are the boss.
- Get involved and stay involved. "Your kids need to learn from the begining that you WILL be involved in their lives, or they won't have one," one mother says.
- Enjoy every moment. Children grow up so quickly; take the time to just BE. "Forget about the laundry, the multitasking, the stuff you need to do at the office. It's the time that you share where you can really experience being fully with them," one mom says. "These are the moments that you will cherish and not forget, and they will last for years to come! Nobody remembers how clean your house was."
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