8 Things Learned in Early Parenthood

It’s amazing how much you learn about life, parenting and yourself when you become a parent.  Looking back at my first 4 ½ years of parenthood, here are a few things I’ve learned:

1. Don’t Be Selfish – There is no room for selfishness when you become a parent.  You have the responsibility of another life now and there will be times when you don’t get you want.  Sacrifices will need to be made.
2. Don’t Compare – Don’t make comparisons between your child and others.  Every child is different and will do things at different times.  No need to stress yourself out because another child is crawling and yours is not.  Be patient.
3. Be Careful of the Internet – Have you ever put your child’s symptoms in Google Search and found out they may have a thousand different things!  Don’t freak out.  Stay calm.  Stick with reputable websites when it comes to health and when in doubt check with your doctor or other parents who have had similar situations.
4. Don’t Buy So Much Stuff! It’s amazing how much stuff you might think you need as a new parent.  You get caught up in buying so many gadgets and your wallet gets drained.  Focus on buying essentials.  You don’t need a million outfits for a newborn.  They will outgrow them fast and in some cases won’t wear half the stuff you buy.

5. Look for Deals – When you do buy clothes look for deals.  Consignment shops, Goodwill and Craigslist have new or practically new clothes for half the price you will pay at the mall.  Same thing for toys.  Remember sometimes something as simple as a cardboard box can entertain your child longer than an expensive plastic toy.
6. Have a Plan and Stick With It – Having a parenting plan for discipline and how you will handle situations is a must.  Find a good one and stick with it.
7. Put Down the Camera – Yes, it’s good to have thousands of pictures and videos of your kids.  But make sure to put down the camera once in a while and enjoy the moment with your kids.  Dance with them, get crazy and have some fun.  Be impulsive.  Your kids will love you for it.
8. Be Flexible and Stay Positive – With kids things will not always go the way you want them to.  Be flexible and ready to adapt to the situation.  Having a positive attitude goes a long way!

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