I am in the physically exhausting stage, which includes short nights, long days and participation in and management of almost every mundane and minor event in the lives of three little ones. This can be mind-numbing, back-straining work. Especially when your six-month old weighs almost 20 lbs.
(Hi, six-month old.)
But I love thinking it through, understanding the direction, being proactive and deliberate as I parent. And I love the shared project that this is as it encourages a new kind of togetherness between me and my husband as we observe, discuss, decide and follow-through in parenting our children as best we can.
There are many half-finished parenting blog posts I have started composing in my mind as I go through my day--advice about power-struggles, thoughts on discipline, principles for understanding oneself and one's children.
However, at a certain point (in my mental composition) I abandon the project, because--who the heck do I think I am? I've got three little kids and precious little experience in the grand scheme of things. In reality I'm down here in the trenches figuring things out and trying to stay sane and engaged. Who am I to wax eloquent about the sensitive topic of parenting?
It's a well-known fault of mine that I tend to think I know it all.
Sometimes I shut my mouth.
Good for me.
So, in lieu of bossing you around myself, I want to introduce you to another (older, wiser, and more experienced) know-it-all than me. Meet Auntie Leila. She is the parenting advice-giver that I aspire to be--funny, self-deprecating, practical, and thoughtful. Here's a little gem from one of her recent posts:
Remember my golden principles of parenting:
Reacting is not a parenting technique! You are the adult. You act.Don't seek affirmation from your children! You are the adult. You get affirmation from doing what's best for them. Attitude doesn't bother you.Don't be surprised when things are not perfect!And my usual disclaimer: Whatever I have learned has been SOHK (School Of Hard Knocks) and most of it can truly be said to be DWISNWID (Do What I Say Not What I Did), or at least LFMM (Learn From My Mistakes).
Her blog, Like Mother, Like Daughter, is full of all sorts of practical help and down-to-earth goodness about an array of home-family-faith topics, but I absolutely love what she has to say about parenting.
You're going to want to explore for a while. Find out what you might be doing wrong (This method does not work!) and get some ideas about what you might want to do (Threaten. But don't be dumb.)
Go let her boss you around some and then tell me what you think.