That’s me with my older son, Josh, in Muir Woods outside San Francisco — pretty many years ago. I don’t know if you can tell but I’m pregnant with his brother. Happy to join the virtual shower although despite my adoration of and respect for both Liz and Catherine, I’m from the generation that put their babies to sleep on their stomachs and so may sound a little old-fashioned*.
1. Don’t do anything that doesn’t feel right no matter whose advice it is.
2. Trust yourself.
3. Remember that everybody makes mistakes and anyway a child is not a product, she is a person. You’ve heard that kids are resilient. They are. Do your best with love and if you don’t dwell on your mistakes neither will they.
4. You can’t turn a child into someone. You can only help them become the best somebody they already are.
5. Don’t be afraid to say no. Parents who don’t set limits and help their kids learn self-discipline are selfish. It’s easier but it’s not right.
6. No experience is wasted on a child. Maybe they’re too young to remember, but if it happened, it had an impact. So share as much of what you love as you can – music, museums, trips to Timbuktu or Target — poetry, cooking, washing the car.
7. No child ever went to college in diapers.
8. Listen to experienced people you respect, preschool teachers, friends, even, God forbid, your mother. Experience really is a great teacher. Then, though, think it through and then do what you think is right.
9. Everything is not equally important. Pick your fights and win them. 10. Leave time to just be. Lessons are great but quiet time is where imagination and a sense of self emerges.
10. LISTEN to your kids. They are smart and interesting and wise and if you respect them you have a far better chance of having them respect you.
11. Did I say trust yourself?
*This post was part of a “baby shower” if pieces by friends of this about-to-be new BlogHer mom.