July marks my “Mamaversary”, the anniversary of when I became a mom. My son turns 12 and I can’t help but look back in wonder at the last dozen years of parenting and reminisce about all that I’ve learned.
Nor can I refuse the urge to share with you all that I’ve learned. Here are my words of wisdom, the 12 Things I’ve Learned in 12 Years as a Parent:
1. It doesn’t matter if you take your kid to pee wee soccer or pee wee swim or pee wee music. Seriously, unless you’re dying to get out of the house, it’s totally fine to start that stuff when they’re older.
2. There will always be a child that is smarter, prettier, faster, and funnier than your child. Which makes sense as there will always be someone that is smarter, prettier, faster, and funnier than you.
3. Yogurt and pudding cups should be opened by grasping the lid at the farthest point from you and peeling it up and AWAY from you. AWAY, I say.
4. Buy things when your friends’ and neighbors’ kids are selling them for fundraisers. Your child will be schlepping stuff, too, someday. We’re all in this together.
5. There is no limit to the amount of love your heart can hold. With every smile, laugh, touch, challenge, accomplishment or struggle, your heart grows bigger.
6. Not everyone is going to like your child, no matter what you or your child may do. The sooner you accept this as fact, the easier things will be. Don’t sweat it and move on.
7. Say No.
8. Stepping on a Lego with bare feet and trying to brush the tangles out of a curly-haired American Girl are equally as torturous.
9. I have no idea what I’m doing sometimes.
10. Parenthood smells. Vomit, pee, poop, regurgitated milk, sweaty tweens and teens–lots of things about kids stink.
11. Kids are who they are. It’s our job to nurture and encourage that rather than force them to be someone they’re not or someone we think they should be.
12. I have a lot left to learn.
There they are, the 12 things I’ve learned in 12 years as a parent. What about you? Have you learned any of these in your journey as a parent? What other funny, sweet, or true lessons have you learned?