My 5 Favorite Pieces of Parenting Advice

Parenting advice is everywhere these days, some good, some bad, and some downright ugly. I think as moms, we file away every single piece of advice, every single tip, trick or story we have ever heard into our brains, and constantly question ourselves about whether we are doing things right. Especially in the middle of the night, when we are supposed to be doing that weird thing called sleeping. I am by nooooo means a parenting expert, but over the last 5 years, have come to collect quite a few great pieces of advice from friends and family, and thought it would be fun to share a few of my favorites. Especially ones that aren’t so common, but I think we can all relate to!

1. Never take unsolicited parenting advice. At least don’t take it to heart. Every parent does things differently, and for good reason. What works for one may not work for another. Just remember that people giving you advice usually do have good intentions, especially ones that start out with “well when you were a baby…” 🙂


2. Don’t put your kids to bed when they’re tired, put them to bed when you’re tired of them. This sounds worse than it is, but it makes total sense. Babies, and even toddlers, are especially fussy (and annoying) when they are overtired. I used to find myself with a cranky baby, running out of patience as I tried to keep them awake til the next nap time or bedtime. When in reality, I should have just put them to bed. There’s an old saying, the more they sleep, the better they sleep. And it has proven so true for us! If you have a scheduled time in your head for when you think your kids should get tired or go to bed, but find yourself getting frustrated because they are cranky or fussy well before that time, sleep might just be the answer!
 
3. If they’re bored or unhappy, they’ll let you know. This starts to come into play when you are a new mom with a young baby who is starting to get curious about the world. Do you take them to music class? Mommy & me yoga? Read fourteen books back to back while alternating tummy time & baby Einstein music? Currently, they are three months old & seem pretty content laying on the bed watching the ceiling fan, but surely they must be bored, right? I remember working from home full time when Harper was a new baby & I could never focus because I just kept wondering if my new baby was bored, all swaddled up in her swing listening to music & cooing. And then someone once told me, if they’re bored or unhappy, you’ll know it. And it’s so true! We put so much pressure on ourselves to do all of these THINGS when really, our kids might just be happy hanging around the house using their imagination. Or watching the ceiling fan.

4. Hug it out. I am living this one on the daily. Our strong willed, free-spirited children sometimes give us a run for our money, and their tantrums sometimes seem unstoppable. But I have learned this the hard way, continuing to try to discipline or raise my voice or even try to talk it out doesn’t usually work. Sometimes it takes wrapping up your little monster in a big, tight bear hug, even though at that moment it’s probably the last thing you want to do. This is the oldest trick in the book for my little Eloise, she is a lover, not a fighter.

5. Everything is a season. This one is so, so true, and something we can all cling to during those terrible twos or middle of the night feedings. It is both good and bad, time is fleeting & soon we will all look back and wonder how the years went by so quickly. And we will wonder how we were ever so tired and frustrated and overwhelmed, because it only lasted for a few seconds, right? 🙂 So when you feel like whatever is happening is never going to end, just remember that it will. And, by golly, we will miss it. 

 Photo by Scobey Photography

Happy first day of April, friends! Have a wonderful weekend, hopefully more flowers than showers! XO

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  1. I am on Day 5 with my second baby, my 2.5 year old is having the toughest time and I am overwhelmed and tired and emotional and this post is so just what I needed! Thank you for this supermama!

  2. Curious what your work schedule/arrangement is now with three. I know from following the blog you've worked at home before with Harper and cut back with E. Considering my own plans if we go for 3!

  3. This was a great read! I'm currently pregnant with my 4th, my oldest only being 4. I find myself more often than not being so overwhelmed with the tantrums and the little fights or repeating myself a million times a day. Reminding myself they are little and this is normal for their age is hard to do but we need to keep doing it. They won't be 1, 2 and 4 forever! I look back at baby pictures of my 4 year old and I miss how little he was and can't believe he is 4! I want to take in these moments as much as I can while they are little, but still remembering to take time for ourselves too!
    It's funny because it's the advice from family that is hardest to hear than from strangers. But this will be an issue forever so we need to remember not to take it to heart and how even people in the same family can do things so differently. I know my siblings raise their kids different from me and I don't judge.

  4. Harper's shoes could not be cuter! And I love this advice–it's a great reminder to give ourselves a pass every now and then! I always say, it's a marathon, not a race. When we have a bad day, there's always tomorrow to start over.

  5. Loved this! Especially number 1 and 5. I am struggling with my daughter (2 1/2) staying in her room and in her bed. I am so sleep deprived right now and it is frustrating at times but I know I will miss this age. This age when she says stuff that makes me bust out lauging and how she dances to music anytime she hears it. Thanks for the post you are an awesome wonderful mama!

  6. Great advice! I usually tell my new mom friends; don't talk to your husband between the hours of midnight and 5am! When ever I do I usually say something I regret in the morning 😉

  7. I feel like I need to print this and put it on my mirror. Each one spoke to my heart. This parenting stuff is hard, but even harder when I'm not being kind to myself. Thanks for always keeping it real. 😀

  8. Thank you once again for such an honest heartfelt post. I can always relate to your posts as I have three girls myself (twins that just turned one and a big girl about to turn three in June) and as everyone says the days are long but the years are short!

  9. great list, the hug it out one is true around here…. except for when it's the "this is a no cry zone" and I send the older one to her room to work it out and come back when she is calm and tear free. Which surprisingly takes 5 minutes and she's back like nothing ever happened, usually showing me some random toy she's unearthed from under the bed.

  10. Love this! Especially no. 3. I have a one month old and I constantly feel like I'm not doing enough to keep him stimulated. I try to remind myself that everything is new to him but mom-guilt is real!

  11. "Hug it out" is something I have recently done with my 3 year old daughter. If she is upset with me at a store while shopping I will pull to the side, and bend down and just let her give me a giant hug for as long as she wants. And look her in the eye and talk to her! It makes a huge difference. Rather than arguing while walking with the cart, getting more frustrated. I started realizing she did not think I was paying attention to her…and she just wanted a few moments of Mommy Time. It makes a difference, we are all SO busy in our crazy lives these days!

  12. the "season" thing is so true!!! i would find myself getting so frustrated with my 2 yr old daughter about certain things, then finally realized it was a phase and would pass quickly! don't stress about things because they will change quickly!!!

  13. These are all so true. Great compilation. Number 3 is the hardest for me, especially as a working mom – I feel like, since my time with them is more limited, every moment must be official quality time. And that's all the harder now that I have 2. My younger one is so content to cruise around the house on her own, opening cabinets and banging toys along the way, and it's always tempting to let her do that since her older sister wants attention more. I guess that is why first kids and second kids turn out so different!

  14. Hugging it out is the most forced, unnatural reaction to my kids naughtiness but it works every time. Three year olds are tough!

  15. I love this so much. I always tell myself I'm going to be crying my eyes out when my house is empty and they're all grown up, changing the world. Savor it. Even the "when was last time I took a shower? How did we accumulate more books than the public library? Didn't I just do laundry? Are they ever going to nap at the same time? Why are they acting like insane evil people in public? What is happening?! " . I know we will look back and we will weep for these days. Someone told me that although the days are long, the years are short! Savoring savoring savoring. Hugs to you. ❤️

  16. Great advice and so, so true! My 3 girls are now 15, 12 (almost 13) and 9. Harper reminds me SO much of my oldest Rachel, I giggle when I read about Harper! It does go so fast, it honestly seems like last week when my girls were those ages…

  17. I always try to keep in mind: "A child needs your love most when he deserves it least"

    To everyone who wants to raise their child with love and reason, rather than rewards and punishment, I highly recommend to read Alfie Kohn's Unconditional Parenting.

  18. Amen! We hug it out multiple times a day, and it makes everything ok. For a minute. 🙂 And everything is definitely a season! I can't even remember what I was bitching about in the fall! 🙂

  19. #2 🙌🙌🙌🙌

    I came across this a few years ago, and saved it and will read it from time to time. "whatever it is you need to do to be a better parent, sleep training or bottle feeding or getting a sitter and taking a night off once in a while or making a third box of mac n' cheese in a week- do that. Because when you're happier and healthier, your children are also happier and healthier. You matter. Your physical and emotional health matters."

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