10 Things I’ve Learned about Parenting

Here are some things I have learned, in my ten and a half years of having small people hanging out of me. They are deep wisdom and I will give them the hashtag “parenting truths”.

  1. Sleep when the baby sleeps is both true and bullshit. Yes, you should, and maybe you could, but time spent zoning out on the sofa without a small body attached to you is also very important.
  2.  The days are long and the years are short. But the nights are longest of all, and staying in the moment is sometimes the last thing you want to do.
  3. It’s good to be present, but it’s good to take photos too because some people have crappy memories.
  4. When you’re a stay-at-home parent, the other parents in your community are you co-workers. Treat them accordingly: with respect, friendliness, and an awareness that you’re going to be encountering each other for a long time to come, so don’t burn any bridges.
  5. It’s okay to look at your phone at the playground. You’re not ignoring your child, you’re fostering their sense of independence. And you might be reading War and Peace, not Facebook.
  6. You can breastfeed anywhere you want. If someone doesn’t like it, squirt them in the eye.
  7. The most important reason not to use your device to distract your child is that you will want it back. And they will drop it. Or discover Minecraft. And then you will have to buy yourself a new device. Which they will want, because it’s better. So you’ll give them the new one and have your old one back and then you’ll have to put up with a crappy device with a cracked screen for ever.
  8. Teaching children to read as early as possible is a terrible idea. You don’t want them reading distressing newspaper headlines, or the profanity-laden text you just sent, or the No Parking sign you just flouted.
  9. Always get the dye-free Motrin. Your kid might be fine with Red 40, but your white cushions won’t be.
  10. What your child does is not your fault. Unless it was the right thing. Then it’s 100% down to your excellent parenting.
Mabel aged 1.5 or so

It’s her birthday, so she gets to be in the photo

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