I do not like people giving advice either but. . .
These are the things I wish someone had told me when I was waiting on my first bundle of joy. Here is the background on this “old ” mother. I am not really that old, I am the mother of older children. My oldest is twenty-one and the youngest getting ready to turn eighteen, so I feel like I know a few things about raising kids/boys. I had a lot of on the job training. What I am going to share with you are some of my regrets and some of what I feel are my greatest accomplishments as a mom, the later will be a short list.
Number one: You are a good mom, always remember that
This is an honest post on motherhood, this is merely my opinion and you know what everyone says about those. One of the things I did but did no do as much as I wanted, was hold my babies. Everyone says; do not run to your baby and hold them every time they cry. Let them cry themselves to sleep they need to comfort themselves. Hog wash, you hold that baby and snuggle that baby there will be plenty of time for them to learn self soothing later on. There is not one mother on this earth that will say they regret they held their baby too much. Not one, I promise. I did hold mine a lot and snuggle and one of my favorite things was to take naps with them when they were babies. There is no better sleep when you are mom than laying beside your baby and snuggling.
Christmas with your newborn and older. . .
Your little one will not remember what material things you gave them, they will not remember how you tried to make everything perfect for their holiday. They are too young, save your money and put that toward their college fund. I also started buying the boys Christmas ornaments each year. These boys will have the best decorated trees in their early lives of any boys out there. They may or may not remember those trips to see the grandparents and the visits with Santa so take lots of pictures. LOTS of pictures!! You can help them remember those experiences with your pictures. Did I say take pictures, lots of pictures. No mother has ever said, I wish I did not take as many pictures as I did of my baby or my kids. Not one, I promise.
Start saving for college as soon as you see those two lines. . .
When I mentioned above about “scrimping” on Christmas, I just meant on silly things that the kids will not remember or that will break. Save your money and start them a college savings fund, it does not necessarily have to be for college it could be for them to go out on their own after high school. Younger kids are happy to open a gift and play with the box they do not care what is inside the box. Save your money and put it away for them when they are older. This is one I wish I had done a little more aggressively. I had an empty water cooler jug, one of those five gallon numbers, we put our change in and started a college/savings fund for Sprat even before he was born. We joked when anyone came to see him after he was born they had to put some change in the jug. I charged for visits with the baby. My parents loved it and graciously added dollar bills to his stash. Later we opened a true college savings fund. We slacked off on our contributions and that I do regret. Start that college fund and keep up with your contributions.
Seal a time capsule. . .
This one is probably more for the parents than the kids but Sprat really enjoyed his. We sealed a time capsule on his first birthday to be opened when he turned eighteen. When we sealed that capsule, eighteen years seemed like an eternity. Those eighteen years flew by like lightening streaking through the night sky. I think Sprat was probably older than eighteen when he opened his, I let him open it after high school graduation at a family get together. Everyone in the family had contributed to it, there were things from both sets of grandparents and from older cousins. Sprat loved it, he was amazed at all of things that were included and the list of things that were going on in the world when he was born. I bought an official time capsule, I think Gerber may have made it. Big T will be getting one made out of an old popcorn tin, a little less official but still holds many memories. Big T will be opening his this year, I cannot wait to see what we put in it.
Take lots of pictures. . .
I cannot say this one enough, take lots of pictures of your babies and of you with your babies. These pictures will be your diary of their lives. They can look back to these pictures and be reminded how much they were loved and all the cool things they got to do. My kids get so tired of me taking pictures of them, yes I still take lots of pictures of my kids, my husband and sweet Basil. I have recently looked back at pictures that my parents took of us kids and I love them. The pictures I have of my mom and dad before they had me and of my grandparents who passed away before I was born are true treasures. I have a few pictures of my maternal grandmother when I was little, she passed when I was in third grade. My hope is that my kids will treasure ALL of the pictures I have taken of them over the years.
You will get a lot of unsolicited advice when you are planning your wedding, when you first get married and especially when you find out your are expecting. Listen to all of it and then pick and choose what to use. I hope you find some of what I shared useful. Remember you are a good Mom!!