My best years of parenting were when I didn’t have any kids

Parenting isn't as easy as it looks!

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  • There are things that people without children don't understand. Sometimes it feels like having kids is a losing battle - there's constant work day in and day out to raise these small humans.

  • Unfortunately, people love to talk even if they don't know what they are talking about. Undoubtably, you have been given the look of "really, that's how you're choosing to raise your child?" Or worse, they have actually said "you're not very good at this whole parenting thing, are you?"

  • You're doing your best

  • Well it's important for those who haven't had any kids to remember that each child is different, and they don't come with their own instruction manual. Parents are constantly learning and trying their best.

  • Sometimes a parent just needs a break, but they don't want to tell their kids that. This leads to a fib, and many non-parents want to point out that "honesty is the best policy." Well, good mental health is also the best policy.

  • You'll learn along the way

  • When you are pregnant with your first child, everyone has advice about what works for their child, and you try to write down their advice or remember what worked for you growing up. After you've made your little list, you feel pretty confident about being a parent.

  • Unfortunately, things don't always go according to plan once the child arrives. You are sleep deprived, and your body is doing things it has never done before. This all leads to good parents not always thinking things through, but learning a lot.

  • Let things go (for your own sake)

  • It's easy to judge parents if you've never had kids. "Why don't these parents remember simple things?" "What are they thinking?" But remember you have no idea what they are going through, and they are doing their best.

  • It is easy to get offended by someone's rude comment, especially if it's about something they don't fully understand. Instead of feeling angry, just laugh it off. And then keep laughing because although parenting is hard, it has its fun moments.

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  • Teach your kids (and learn from them too)

  • Ultimately, they do love you and try to help even if they are little know-it-alls.

  • So don't feel guilty when you are teaching them a lesson. I promise they will be grateful that you loved them enough to teach them.

  • At the end of the day, I feel like I would be a great parent, but I don't have any kids, so I don't actually know. I have seen many public temper tantrums, and I have no idea what I would do to help the child.

  • So to all the parents out there, thank you for trying. To my own parents, thank you for not being afraid to try new things, for letting me learn to be myself and most importantly, for loving me.

  • Have you experienced a funny or embarrassing "bad parenting moment"? Please share your stories, because they are really stories about good parents just learning with their kids.

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Christa is a part time photographer, part time writer and full time lover of life. She loves eating chocolate chip cookies and singing (but not at the same time). She has her degree in political science.

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