Sunday, June 1, 2014

The 10 Commandments to Parenting

How many times do you log into Facebook and see another article on the "rules" of parenting. What you should or shouldn't do. What your parents did that must have left you traumatized and broken. What you will do now that will surely damage your children. What will spoil, neglect, and leave them depressed and hopeless in their future.

I could go on, but, I think we get it.

You formula fed, you let them cry it out, you said NO to them, you said YES to them, you gave them McDonalds, you didn't let them have ice cream, you vaccinated them, spoon fed them pureed food, sent them to preschool, sent a text at the park, put them in a crib, a stroller, front of the TV.....THE HORROR.

We get it. We are the first parents to parent, the first moms to become moms, and the first to come to the conclusion that not everything is good for our children. In fact, everything is bad for them. That's what I got out of all those articles and all the future ones to come as well.

No, really.

One time, I stumbled upon an article devoted to telling me not to say to my kids "hurry up." I don't know about you, but the last thing I want to do is teach my children it's okay to be late, that the world revolves around our schedule, and that they do not need to respect another persons time. Sure, I get it, it's a great thought. It is. It is important for us to teach our children patience and that their time is also appreciated. However----a big however, I can sugar coat it any which way, change my wording around and talk and explain myself every single time they want to fiddle around, but at the end of the day.....HURRY UP KID works just as well.

 So does bribery and threats. Another no-no in the book of parenting.

It seems like these days we worry more and more about every word that comes out of our mouth, every move that we make, and every decision that we decide upon in regards to our children. Trust me, I get it, I'm one of those people. But then on top of that we have to worry about whether we should expose ourselves to the public and what they could possibly think about our parenting when we do.

Every time.

Talk about scaring all the mothers to be in the this world. And not to mention: exhausting.

So, to make things simple, I'm going to be that obnoxious individual that makes a list of "rules" to parenting. Simple though, just ten. Everyone, raise your right hands up and repeat after me:


1. I shall say "no" to my children whenever it is appropriate, I deem necessary, and for the better sake of their health {and mine}. Without explanation. And if I want to say "because I said so" then I can. And I will. And if I want to say "because I'm the boss," then I will. Because I can. Because it won't hurt my children to know that I am an authority figure, that although I will teach them that they should always question things that may not seem right {even if coming from an authority figure}, they should always do so with respect. And that I need not repeat myself over and over again for them to finally get it. First no gets an explanation, second no gets a:

"No is spelled N-O, not W-H-Y."

2. I shall say "yes" to my children whenever it is appropriate, I deem necessary, and for the better sake of their health {and mine}. Without explanation. That means that if I'm at the grocery store and my kids have been angels and I'm so darn proud of them for being patient with me for 1.5 hours while I browse the aisles of Target, then they sure as heavenly J deserve a treat at the checkout line. Maybe it happens once, maybe it happens every time, maybe it never happens---regardless, I shall say yes whenever I please and never feel like I need to make an excuse to the lady standing behind me rolling her eyes for doing so.

3. I shall not publicly judge or shame a person or group of people. Look, judging is second nature to a human being. Many people do so silently [in their heads, often times without control}, and many do so publicly.  Thank you social media. But let us just get one thing straight: don't be a jerk about it. It's one thing to believe, and it's another to bring someone down with your beliefs. Fine if you want to tell the world that you don't practice the "cry it out method" but don't add in there.... parents that do are causing their children emotional damage.

First, not a fact. Second, jerk move.

4. I shall practice what I preach. If I want to raise these little ones to grow up to be respectful, kind, encouraging, supportive, responsible adults, I have to set the example. To be nice, to give a lending hand, to be positive and patient with others. As hard as it may be at times, and as much growing as we may do throughout our life, nothing is as important as the time that our children are looking to us for guidance.

Thus, I shall be the role model that I want my children to follow and live by example.

5. I shall use electronics to my advantage. Even maybe before they turn two. I shall remember that these things are available in my home and they have two advantages: 1. Makes child happy and 2. Makes parent happy. Oh and for some 3. Makes husband happy because you cooked dinner.

1+2+(sometimes 3)= Happy. Got it.

6. I shall remember that tomorrow is a new day. I know I'll lay in bed replaying some days in my head. I'll think about the time I yelled at Johnny, or the time that I blamed Susie for something that she didn't actually do. I'll have mom guilt about things----many things. I'll have regrets. But I have to remember that tomorrow is a new day, that we all make mistakes, and that they're there to make us grow.

And? Our favorite line..... this too shall pass.

7. I shall take care of myself. Whatever that means---sneaking upstairs to read a book, running to target {by myself}, or going out for some retail therapy with friends. I shall put me at the top of my own priority list.

It really is a pretty simple concept:

Happy wife=happy life. Happy mom=happy life. Happy person=happy life. 

8. I shall not trust everything google says....or Facebook. Remember not to believe every word you read or every picture you see. People have a way of playing with your emotions. And google, well google can lead you to a dark dark place with further searching {or as some of us like to say..."researching"}, leading to you dancing around in circles and your head spinning round and round. And two hours later, still not sure what to do, or what the right answer is.


9. I shall share my mom stories with other moms and feel better about myself. Because how will we ever know if I am the only one that has a toddler that throws himself in the middle of the store screaming at the top of his lungs, or the baby that never quits crying from the hours of 5-9pm, or the teenager that writes me off the minute she sees my mouth open. How?

Maybe I'll even be that mom at that park texting her mom friends the story of the day. We will laugh about it, they will make me feel better, and I'll realize a really important lesson:  

I'm not alone in this parenting gig after all. 

10. I shall love my children. Really, really, love them. I may not always like them. I may even have days where I want to put them in the front lawn with a sign "FREE--please take,' and I may have moments when I'm physically tired and worn down---but regardless, I will always love them and they will always know that, and there will never be a moment, day, or act of disobedience that would make me want to trade them or this life for anything else.

Because nothing is better than being a mother to my children.


  1. I LOVE this! Thanks for keeping it real, girl ;)

    1. Thank you! Parenting is so complex and we can only do our best!

  2. love this!!! I feel you on all of these. Sometimes I just want to ship them away to la la land when they're being so naughty. lol but like you said I will always love them!

    1. Thank you!! And yes, there is nothing out there like a mother's love for her children---- especially on the hard days!

  3. Maybe its because I'm on my phone, but where's #8? I need that extra paragraph full of giggles today lol but this is so true. Its nice to read an article that isn't someone on a high horse because we all have #10 days 😊

    1. Oh man, I cannot believe that I didn't catch that after reading this 20 times. Not sure how my children ever learned to count from me ;)

      I'll try to think of something witty for number 8. Thank you for pointing that out!

  4. I can't tell you enough how much I LOVE this post. I've been a long time reader and first time commenting. This is my favorite post!! It's hard to even say what number I love the best. I relate and agree with every one. Thanks for making me feel human. Parenting is hard, fun, exhausting and amazing. I have two kids, 4 and 2, girl and boy just like you. My son is very different than my daughter so I have felt like a first time parent all over again. Does make it hard to even think about the possibility of #3, hehehe. What do you think?

    1. Thank you for your sweet comment and taking the time out of your day to share your thoughts with me. Tara, I could not agree more with the above statement about #3. So funny that you mention that your son is so different than your daughter was, because I could have written the exact same thing. I could not imagine even THINKING about number 3 {although the thought has come in and out--quickly---out of my head}, because to be honest with you, Graham is nowhere near ready to share my attention. And I'm not sure when he will be. Elliana was also a big mama girl and needy, but he takes it to a whole new level. Glad to know I'm not alone :)

  5. Amen to all 10 :) Thats how i feel too about those rules. This is a great post, thanks for sharing.

  6. Becky, this is just awesome! I so so agree!!!

  7. Love this!! I frequently have to tell myself that "this too shall pass." Some days are hard!


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