My sister-in-law and her husband just had their first baby. It was not an easy road to get pregnant and he entered the world 4 weeks early, but he is healthy and perfect and we are all over the moon!
He was born a few weeks after my oldest turned 9, my baby turned 1 and my miracle micro-preemie (26 week!) twin nephews turned 6. That week was really emotional for me. It was just one of those moments in time that you step back and think, oh my God where did the time go?! Was it really 9 years ago that I became a parent? Did my last baby really turn 1 and start walking?
I have been swooning over the newborn baby pictures and becoming emotional all over again. As I write this, I am sitting at Barnes & Nobles and can’t hold my tears back. The miracle of life. Family. Parenthood. They all evoke so many feelings.
After I wrote the post on the feelings and challenges of parenthood, I promised a list of positive parenting survival tips. I received great input from comments and messages and I realized they all can be summed up into one point.
Love yourself first.
It may sound a little crazy. And honestly, it is a little hard to put loving yourself before loving your kids or significant other.
But, if you love yourself first, it will benefit everyone around you, especially your kids.
If you love yourself unconditionally, taking care of yourself will be a priority.
You will try to get enough sleep, eat well, and exercise.
You will ask for help and accept all help that is offered.
You won’t compare yourself to other parents because you know that no two family situations are exactly the same.
You will do what feels natural and follow your intuition. You will trust your decisions because you know yourself and what is best for your family.
You will deal with any issues from your childhood that you are projecting onto your kids.
You will have healthy relationships with significant others, family, friends, co-workers, strangers.
You will be aware of what your triggers are when it comes to stress, anxiety and irritation and work on controlling your reaction.
You will view parenthood as a lifelong learning experience. You won’t beat yourself up for mistakes, but you will look at each situation as a chance to improve.
You will have fun and laugh and enjoy parenting as much as you can.
You will be able to love and listen and parent as positively as you can because you love yourself unconditionally.
And most importantly, your kids will model your behavior.
Lots of unconditional love,