Your little kids are adorable, despite ear-piercing shrieks that fill the house in the wee hours of the morning. When you feel like screaming and shouting yourself, take a minute to breathe — and to remember a couple of these things about your little ones.
Later on, that loud proclamation to all of Target about the intimate details of your married life will have you rolling with laughter. While this piece of advice doesn't do much for the present, anyone who has raised a child has stories that — over time — turned from mortal embarrassment to exuberant laughter.
Snuggle time is limited (as are their tantrums)
Little kids aren't little forever. Though it's true that tantrums in their toddler years may make a recurrence through teenage years, snuggle time likely won't. It's not easy to remember how precious this time is while they are young (and when there's more marker on walls than on paper), but take a deep breath and try.
Tears don't stain
Yes, you are there to soothe, comfort and console … to a point. Learning to work it out, tough it out or cry it out won't stain clothing, carpet or couches. Sometimes all your kids need is to cry it out and move on. It puts the responsibility off your shoulders, and though it's hard to listen to, a good cry can sometimes solve problems.
You are their world
Your children are watching your every move. The words you whisper under your breath (or a tad louder) are heard and are oftentimes repeated. Meditate, do some breathing exercises, or walk out of the room before you do or say something you will ultimately regret. Harsh words won't make you feel any better and certainly won't make haphazardly cut bangs grow out any faster.
It's a big deal (respectively)
There is no use crying over spilt milk, but it's still stressful for a 2-year-old (hence the crying). When your biggest worries in life are centered around snack time, playtime and bedtime, spilt milk is a big deal. Taking a moment to realize how this seemingly insignificant event is rocking the world of your toddler can be motivation to be a little more patient with him or her.
Acting out might be a way of coping with something that is bothering your little kiddo. Life can be a scary place, and kids might not have the vocabulary to communicate exactly how they are feeling. Though you'd prefer a conversation over a tantrum, that's the stage your child is in; being frustrated isn't going to settle their worries.
It's all relative
Your kids are living in their own reality, unconcerned with the idyllic pages on Pinterest. You might be comparing yourself to the things you see online, but your children aren't. Save yourself the trouble and stress of trying to make everything perfect. Your babies are just happy to spend time with you and to feel special and loved.
They love you even when they say they don't
No parent wants to hear "I hate you" come out of their child's mouth, but it happens. And that's OK. Your child is trying to express his or her anger and frustration the best way he or she knows how. We all have said things we don't mean.
It would be way easier to give in; but that's not how lessons are learned
It takes approximately 23 minutes longer for your little girl to walk down the street when you could carry her and be there in about three. While it's going to be quicker to do the dishes yourself, or to clear the table on your own, constantly doing so will only teach your kids that they never need to pitch in. Lessons are learned when you dole out responsibility and independence.
It's OK to need a break
Being a parent is a full-time job that doesn't ever retire. Even when your children have kids of their own, you will always be Mom. In a job that lasts for decades, of course you'll need a break now and then. Don't beat yourself up over needing a few hours away to catch some "me" time.
Things aren't more important than your children
This phrase doesn't erase the dent in the car or bring back your string of pearls, but it is the truth. The quote "Nothing else you will ever own is worth more than the love of your children" is an easy mantra to remind you of something that's sometimes easily forgotten.
Your sense of humor is just as important as your patience
Parenting essentials include two things: patience and a sense of humor. In the thick of raising children and juggling life, don't lose either. Find some camaraderie with parents who have been able to laugh in very literal sticky situations on this Instagram account.
An apology might come in the next few hours, or could take a few years' time. Once your kids grow up and are raising little ones of their own, their own eyes suddenly seem to be opened. Your dedication and sacrifice will be noticed and appreciated.
When things get hard, remember that you are so loved, and tomorrow is a new day.
Emily is putting her English and Humanities degree to use editing and writing all over the world. Trying to see all 7 world wonders (while visiting as many countries as she can in between), Emily loves wandering alleyways, beautifully photographed food, stumbling upon impromptu flea and food markets. She can usually be found camera in hand, munching on a street food and never has her headphones out of reach.