My husband and I became pregnant with our first child while I worked at the preschool! After almost seven years of teaching I decided I was going to be a stay at home mom when my daughter was born. 81/2 months pregnant I left the preschool with a heavy heart and embarked on my motherhood journey! I was in labor for 28 hours, pushed for and hour and a half and out came my daughter! It took all of about two minutes for me to realize I knew nothing about parenting!! My first night in the hospital I cried! It was then I realized kids don't come with an instruction manual, college does not prepare you for being a mom. My heart that just grew two sizes bigger that day in the delivery room was overshadowing any advice anyone could give me or anything I had learned in the books!
Three children later and expecting again, I have learned each child is different! As a parent your heart gets involved almost to a fault! You need to take it day by day! With my first child I was so concerned with the benchmark milestones. You know the ones, (sitting up, crawling, walking, eating solids, potty training. Ect.) as parents we need to stop making milestones a competition. Is your baby walking yet? Is your baby talking yet? How many words? Can your baby read? Mine can! My baby knows French and sign language! My best advice I can give now...It's not a competition! Each child is different and will learn in their own time!
My first did not crawl! She started walking late. She didn't know how to read until kindergarten. As a preschool teacher and later a home daycare provider, I was a master potty trainer! I swore up and down to the frantic parents I worked for that their baby would be potty trained in ten days or less if they just stuck with the guidelines I was about to share. Most of the time they were! My second child came along and could you believe she wanted nothing to do with that potty chair! It took her a year and a half to be completely potty trained! As a teacher and daycare provider I also had a no lovey or pacifier until nap time rule. The children I cared for had no problem with this because it was their routine. When they were at school it went in their cubby and came out a nap time. My second child had a lovey she carried everywhere! She still sleeps with it! My son was a pacifier baby who had to have both hands full of pacifiers and one in his mouth! None of my advice I had given over the years to other parents did I listen to myself! Because parenting is easy until you have kids!
Now my kids are getting older and into the teenage years. I continue to learn everyday how to be a parent! Everyday is different and has its own trials. All I can do is show them unconditional love and Pray that I didn't ruin them somewhere along the way! Parenting is HARD! Now I have another due this fall and I feel like I completely forgot everything I knew about babies! Time to buckle up and hang on for the wild ride of raising another blank canvas. Wish me luck...