What I Would Like To Tell My Kids About Raising Kids

Jun 7, 2022 by

What I Would Like To Tell My Kids About Raising Kids

. . . If They Would Only Listen

by Agnes Andrews

I can so clearly remember the day I brought my first son home from the hospital. I looked down at my beautiful baby boy, sleeping in his crib and terror slowly crept into my heart. Every new parent has that moment of realization – when the weight and reality of being a parent hits you. That first night home from the hospital was my moment. Now my kids have babies of their own and they seem to have become overnight experts. Between searching online, getting advice from podcasts, and constantly seeking out the latest and greatest baby gadgets, they think they have this parenting thing down pat. Here are some things I would like to tell them about raising kids – if they would only stop being “experts” long enough to listen.

  1. Slow down and enjoy the moment. It may sound cliché but that’s because it’s true. Although it may not seem so while nursing a crying newborn at 3:00 a.m., this time will go by so-o quickly. Somewhere between the fog from sleepless nights and the constant “newness” of the whole experience, you blink and realize they’re not a baby anymore. Let the dishes stay dirty in the sink occasionally. Let the laundry pile grow a little higher every now and then. The most important thing you can do is spend time together as a family. A year from now, you won’t remember how dirty the house was, but you will remember the first time your baby smiles at you.
  2. Take time out to recharge. Both as a couple and as an individual, you need to make time for focusing on your interests. Your relationship with your partner is the foundation of your family and maintaining a strong, healthy relationship must be a top priority. Carving out time for “date night” isn’t always easy but try a 20-minute walk together once a week instead. And it’s important for you both to take some time for yourselves, as individuals. It can be so easy to lose your own identity as you take on the role of a parent, with all the responsibilities and sacrifices that come with that title.
  3. Don’t waste your money. No matter what the podcasters are telling you, babies do not need lots of toys and fancy gadgets. Humans have been born for a pretty long time without them. Your kids will be fine, even if you can’t afford designer baby shoes or if you don’t have time to handmake their organic baby food. Play with your babies. Read to your babies. They want you – not some light up toy that plays classical music or a Gucci onesie that they will outgrow in two weeks. When they’re old enough, try sitting them on the floor with some old pots and a wooden spoon. It works every time and doesn’t cost you a dime. Buy their clothes from thrift stores and take all hand-me-downs. Save your money now because I promise you will need it when they’re teenagers.
  4. Have fun. Happiness doesn’t just drop out of the sky into your lap – you must create it. Find ways to have fun and make new memories together. Whether it’s ice cream for breakfast on the last day of school, or matching pajamas for Christmas – fun family traditions are intentionally created. Stop taking pictures, stop posting on social media, stop checking your e-mail and just have fun together.
  5. There is magic in the world. Despite proclamations from the nightly news that indicate otherwise, the whole world is not full of criminals, liars, and devious people. There are very many good people out there. And although it’s more crowded, more polluted, and changing faster than ever before, our physical world is still full of wonder and discovery. Get out there on family adventures to explore and learn together. Little ones have a way of opening your eyes to rediscover the beauty of the world and the joy of being alive. Harness and hold onto that magic every single day. A.A.