Friday, January 3, 2014

Why Parents Should Never Buy Toys and a Couple Other Life Lessons

When people see me toting my toddler or my two-month-old when Ella isn’t with me, they probably think to themselves, There’s another new mom with a lot to learn.  While I don’t disagree with the idea that I have much knowledge to acquire, I have been a parent for almost a decade now and I do know a thing or two.

Never Buy Toys
I don’t mean never, ever.  I just mean to say don’t go crazy buying toys for your little ones.  Reference the above photos if you don’t believe me.  We all have our ooh-and-ahh moments when walking through aisles of awesome toys, thinking of how much our tiny people will love playing with this or that.  The truth is however, they’ll be just as happy with a few toys to play with and an array of pots and pans on which to drum out their own beat.  Most days, toys are more conducive to mess than they are to merriness in our house.  Hendrix litters the living room rug by tossing toys over his shoulders, but he can sit for extended periods of time playing with remotes, makeup containers and kitchen utensils.

“Parents are people too.”
My mom drilled these words into me as a child.  Not because she wanted an excuse to do a plethora of things sans my presence (the woman is pretty much a saint), but because she wanted me to understand that alone time, adult time and even mistakes are all part of being a parent.  Now, as a mother myself, I realize how even the tiniest break from the kiddie chaos can award one a hearty dose of sanity and how caring for yourself helps you care for others.  I hate the way some people act like you have to sacrifice everything about yourself to be a good parent.  That’s a myth.  That’s what ruins marriages and drives people crazy.  In order to raise well-rounded children, I believe you must be a well-rounded person.  It is important to mix an undying willingness to give up everything for your children with a small sprinkle of selfish.

Lame Now, Legendary Later
Photograph everything!  This is yet another thing I learned from my mother.  Even the smallest of moments make the best memories.  I have treasured pictures of my niece and I modeling in the backyard, my cousin from Florida and I applying makeup in my bathroom, and even all our family pets from over the years.  That’s just to name a very, very few.  My mom’s eagerness to grab her camera was always met with sighs and rolling eyes on my part, but looking back I’m thankful for every snapshot.

I hope you enjoyed this and found it to be more practical than preachy.  I was going for practical.  If you’re a parent, feel free to drop a dollop of advice in the comments section!

<3 n

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