Have kids; expect conflicting advice from friends, family members and complete strangers.
It’s pretty much par for course.
Sure, some advice may be helpful, but many times, the advice you receive will leave you even more confused than before.
Parenting advice you can actually use
Want some parenting advice that is actually useful? Put down the parenting books, step away from social media forums and tell your MIL to stop suggesting you add a dab of rum to the baby’s dummy (seriously, it’s 2018 Nana, stop with the rum).
Behold, all the parenting advice you’ll ever need to get you through those early days of parenthood.
No pressure. No guilt. And no bullshit.
1. Hide all Sharpie pens.
And Sudocrem too. If you don’t, you’re pretty much guaranteed to have it smeared all over your carpets at some stage.
2. Carry a balloon in your bag at all times.
If you’re ever stuck in traffic, waiting for an appointment or simply have a child who’s ‘bored’, give them the balloon. It’s an instant boredom buster for those unexpected delays in life.
3. And wipes – don’t leave home without wipes!
Do yourself a favour and add a container of wipes to every single room in your house. Do the same in your car. It will save your sanity on those days when bub spits up in the car/toddler spills juice on the rug/ preschooler pours shampoo all over the bathroom floor.
4. Create a time out corner
For yourself. Not them.
Decorate it with Kmart items.
5. Let them be nude.
If you’re not leaving the house and it’s warm inside, then we reckon let the kids play in their underwear. It means less washing, drying and folding for you!
6. Wait to buy nice things.
Until the kids are at least 12.
7. Ignore the haters, especially the haters who hate bribery.
Yes. Bribery is a completely valid tool to use in parenting.
8. Keep a block of chocolate hidden in your bathroom.
This is YOUR chocolate. For when you’re “going to the toilet” but you’re really hiding out in the bathroom, scrolling through your phone, enjoying five minutes of alone time.
9. Pick your battles.
Kids aren’t perfect. But instead of trying to make them perfect and constantly scolding them to be perfect, pick your battles. Some battles are best left ignored.
10. Accept that ‘chicken nuggets, chips and cheese’ is your new meal plan.
You may be able to sneak a vegetable or piece of fruit in there once in a while…
11. Stop buying glitter.
Seriously, you’re only punishing yourself. If your child INSISTS on glitter during craft time, then pick up a lint roller to make clean up a little less painful.
And teach your kids how to use the thing.
12. Sleep however you damned well please.
Co-sleep if you want. Don’t co-sleep if you want. Sleep in a hammock in a tree fort in your backyard, if you want. As long as you and the kids are happy with the sleeping arrangement, then it doesn’t matter how or where you choose to sleep.
A tree fort hammock bed sounds pretty good right about now…
13. Get in the photos.
You’re part of the family too, dammit. And kind of a big part of it. When they are all grown up and you’re looking back at the photos, you’ll be happy that you forced your husband to snap the photo with your kids smiling next to you.
Even if your hair looks like crap.
14. Make up your own mind about ‘screen time’.
If you give them too much screen time, you’re creating lazy kids. If you don’t give them enough screen time, you’re depriving them of the use of technology. Damned if you do. Damned if you don’t.
Might as well embrace technology and let your kids watch other kids review toys on YouTube. Some studies suggest it’s good for them.
15. Finally, reduce the pressure you put on yourself.
This will greatly reduce your stress levels too.
You’re doing good. So stop thinking you have to be better. Instead, of trying to be perfect at everything, focus on just one main task – did you keep the kids alive today?
Yes? Great. Gold star for you.