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Since the majority of us are parents, what did you discover after becoming a parent that you wish you knew before becoming a parent?

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asked 06 Aug '10, 02:30

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edited 17 Apr '11, 22:10

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I really like this question. Although all the answers seem to be along the same theme: "Trust yourself!" I wonder why we're all so insecure about our parenting.

(06 Aug '10, 19:40) Anne
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I think because it's just so damn important, Anne. You know that saying about how "100 years from now nobody will remember the kind of car you drove, but your great-grandchildren will show the kind of parent you were." That's why. Scary Sh*t.

(10 Aug '10, 07:23) Neen

I wish I knew not to worry so much early on about how much and how often my baby was eating and sleeping when the truth is that she would eat and sleep as much as she needed to.

I also wish that I didn't take so long to go out with her. I worried so much about whether she would cry/fuss, need to be fed, or sleep enough while we were out it kept me from leaving the house for very often or very long for the first three months. The result was feeling isolated and alone. Now I realize that those first three months it would of been easiest to have her with me while I was shopping or out catching up with friends.

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answered 06 Aug '10, 17:44

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God yes. I was constantly worrying that he wasn't getting enough sleep. I was worried sick!!

(06 Aug '10, 19:39) Anne

That the parent is the ultimate authority.

With your first child, you spend so much time and energy running around trying to find an 'authority' to tell you what to do, or to reassure you that you are doing the right thing. It's kind of normal, but at some point you just have to let get and decide for yourself.

Neen kind of summed it up in this wonderful post:

And if anybody questions why you're not training her anymore you can say "Some woman in Winnipeg who's the grand-high-poohba of poopy gave us permission to stop", that should confuse them enough that they change the subject.

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answered 06 Aug '10, 05:41

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Yes. Along those lines, trust your gut.

(06 Aug '10, 14:08) Anne

I wish I had realized quicker how important bonding is. I tend to focus more on quantifiable things like making sure my son has the best nutrition because I'm not as good at the emotional stuff. As a result, I made some trade-offs in his first couple of months that I now regret. The good news is it's never too late to work on building a better relationship with your child :)

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answered 06 Aug '10, 04:37

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I wish I'd known that I was going to screw up and make mistakes, that it was actually inevitable, and that it was okay, and that the only one who wouldn't forgive me for my mistakes was myself. Maybe I wouldn't have worried so much about being perfect and getting everything-exactly-right, and enjoyed myself more.

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answered 06 Aug '10, 18:17

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+1 "the only one who wouldn't forgive me for my mistakes was myself". I used to beat myself up so bad for the stupidest little things, like forgetting to change the baby before nursing him to sleep.

(06 Aug '10, 19:39) Anne

I wish I had had more faith in myself. I lacked confidence and felt incompetant. After I became a parent I realised that no one is born with parenting knowledge or skills..its something you learn and share continuously....

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answered 06 Aug '10, 21:49

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I wish I had known that each child needs to be treated in a way that is appropriate for that child. Parenting is NOT one size fits all.

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answered 11 Aug '10, 17:08

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I wish someone had told me to throw out, or better yet, burn, all the "parenting" books. Each one had a different authoriative-sounding answer that convinced me I was doing a horrible job as a parent. Eventually I figured out it's like the bible: somewhere I could find a book that agrees with what I am doing.

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answered 06 Aug '10, 14:10

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I wish this site had existed.

Over the course of three kids our strictness has varied. I think we now have an okay balance. We were too strict with our first and I think it has dented his self confidence. Although on the plus side he is very seldom properly naughty and we can trust him to do as he is told.

Of course teenage years might show something different. Not looking forward to that.

I think I would have liked to know to be a little less strict, but then we would have made different mistakes I'm sure. Maybe worse ones.

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answered 07 Aug '10, 09:47

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This is a great video that asked moms that very same question. I watch this often :)

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answered 19 Apr '11, 10:21

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All of Heloise's stain and odor removal tips.

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answered 18 Apr '11, 10:13

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Asked: 06 Aug '10, 02:30

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Last updated: 03 Mar '12, 14:11