Kasey from WalkingRedeemed.org has written a blog post called “Notes to Self”. It contains notes she’d have written to her pre-child self, if given the chance. Inspired, here’s my own list:
1. Don’t take it personally. They are children. Despite all evidence to the contrary, they aren’t doing things just to get on your nerves. Most of the time.
2. Do the undies check. Young children routinely forget these things. Before church when young girls are wearing dresses and before little boys are modeling reindeer outfits for Bass Pro Shops when the color swatch has been taken from the rear of the outfit are two times these are most important. You’ll thank me later.
3. Don’t tell any child anything you don’t want repeated, particularly if they are under the age of 5. Don’t laugh at anything you don’t want repeated. When you hear them tell it, it was louder, bigger, stinkier, and worse. Every time.
4. Don’t ever let them the hear word “boobs”. Anything but that. It WILL come back to haunt you. Same goes for “alcohol”.
5. There are going to be nasty comments. This one I was unprepared for when we passed the “normal” family size. The sooner the ability to nod, smile, and thank 10 strangers per store for pointing out that you have fuller hands, work harder, or are lacking the brain cells necessary to prevent such atrocities is mastered, the better off you’ll be.
6. Raise your expectations. If you expect your two year old to melt at the word ‘no’, they will. Likewise, if you expect them to obey on command and act civilized in public, you’ve got a much better chance of that happening.
7. When you turn on the faucet and nothing happens, proceed the meltdown. Likewise, when the gas company says the line has a leak, a meltdown is appropriate there too. It’s gonna be bad. You’ll live, though.
8. Wants aren’t needs. The sooner this lesson is learned, the easier life becomes – and the easier contentment is to achieve.
9. Don’t teach the baby that riding on Momma’s lap during lawn mowing is a possibility. You’ll never mow alone again.
10. Do a head count before leaving anywhere. Having to march back in because you missed someone is humiliating.
11. Don’t take bikes to the park for children who aren’t fully capable of riding long distances. Being miles from the van with six kids, pushing a double stroller, carrying a bike, with a baby tied on your back mere weeks postpartum is going to end badly.
12. Don’t take personal space for granted. Soon, you’ll never have any again - at least for the next 26 years.