I Wish I Knew


There’s no amount of parenting books that can prepare you for life as a mom.

There are parenting gurus and motherhood influencers scouring social media, giving us a sneak peek of the life we think we may achieve, but even their advice isn’t the parenting prep course most of us need.

As a mom of three who’s read birthing and parenting books, as well as researched things top to bottom, I still don’t know it all. In fact, I’m still trying to figure things out, and I honestly am winging it day by day. My tips and tricks to mothering and parenting may not be suitable for you, but just in case they could help someone, I’ll go ahead and share them.

  1. It’s okay to be tired. You’re doing a lot. You have managed to keep another human, aside from yourself, alive; and that’s not an easy feat! You’re managing the household, cooking, cleaning, and kissing boo-boos, all while working all day and trying to find time to shower so you can not look like what you’ve been through.
  2. Hiding in the closet to eat that mini drumstick ice cream with the light off and the door locked doesn’t sound like a vacation, but it probably felt like it for the ten minutes you spent in there. That’s okay! You need a break, so take one—even if it is in the closet.
  3. You don’t have to breastfeed if you don’t want to. Some say it’s healthier, and it probably is (depending on what you’re putting in your body). But if you feel like a human cow and are dreading it, then don’t! Formula will get the job done, too. Fed is best.
  4. Know that your feelings are valid and correct anyone who says unhelpful things, like “All that matters is that your baby is happy,” “You knew what you signed up for,” “You’re doing too much,” and all the other forms of insensitivity you may hear. Know that sometimes they don’t know any better. That’s not to say that whatever they said isn’t an ignorant or insensitive statement to make, but know that you have the right to feel your feelings, and something said to you has made you upset, it’s okay to say so.
  5. Cereal is a valid dinner! You’re not a bad mom if the kids eat cereal and pop tarts for dinner because you were too tired to cook.
  6. See a therapist! Parenting is a journey full of working through things we had no clue needed to work out. We have all experienced some level of trauma that plays a large role in who we are, how we behave, and how we navigate the world. Seeing a therapist isn’t just about trauma, though, it’s about pouring into yourself and growing in the roles you acquire and choose to take on.
  7. It’s okay to say no. “No” is a full sentence and doesn’t need to be followed up with an explanation.
  8. Second-hand clothes will do just fine.
  9. Your friendships may change because who you are as a person is changing. Having little people to take care of just adds this new level of “growing up” that sometimes doesn’t align with relationships—both platonic and romantic—that you have engaged in. Don’t take it personally.
  10. Your children are watching, even when you think they aren’t. They are little sponges soaking up little tidbits of everything going on in their environment. Keep that in mind.
  11. You can parent differently. Doing it the traditional way or the way your family has always done it may not be what you want to do, and that’s okay. There are tons of parenting styles, so find the parenting style that works for you and your household.
  12. Baby-wearing will save your life!
  13. Utilize your village. Your husband may not fold the towels the way you like them, but at least the laundry is put away.
  14. Go on the date. Moving forward, you will spend a large portion of your life being “responsible” and taking care of others. Don’t lose yourself in that. Your life shouldn’t stop because you have kids.
  15. Remember that you are more than a mom!
I hope my tips give you a sense of ease and allow you some comfort. You’re doing an amazing job. What are some of your favorite motherhood tips you like to share?