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My One Piece of Parenting Advice

No matter how old my children get, they continue to be the sun, the moon, and the stars to me. Though they no longer live with me, they are still top of my mind: their successes, my thrills; their bad days, my lows. Their successes are what prompted me to write today because frankly, I am beaming with pride in the people they’ve become. (Sorry if this is embarrassing you two!) How would you define success for your adult child? To me it is seeing my child happy, being passionate about what she is doing, and contributing to society in a positive way.

I remember vividly the thought I had the day the nurses handed over my first, all ready to leave the hospital at 2 days old, with her new mommy & daddy: “How will she survive? I do not have the slightest clue of what I’m doing.” The poor thing! Little did she know how green we were. How nice it would have been to have a crystal ball to look into the future & see that it would all turn out just fine.

But if I had a crystal ball, would I have worked as hard at parenting? Would I enjoy the highs as much if they weren’t unexpected? Would it make the lows any easier? And would I have grown and learned as much myself? I think not.

So I want other moms to know that it can turn out well even if you have no clue as to what you are doing! You will learn along the way. You will figure it out. Your kids will teach you as much as you are teaching them. Be open to that.

I remember my sister-in-law asking me for parenting advice when she was pregnant. My kids were in high school at the time, and I was still figuring out the parenting thing. I recall telling her to be very involved in their lives. I think my words were: “Be in their s***!” In other words know who they are with & what they are doing. Keep them close and their friends closer. Have their friends over at your house so you can get to know them. And get them into sports because that’s a good way to get to know their friends’ parents. (And I’m happy to report that my sister-in-law must’ve figured it out because her kids, now teenagers, seem to have turned out pretty well!)

My oldest now has children of her own. I’m sure she’s experiencing similar thoughts as I did, and I want her, and all of her friends who are new parents, to know that you will figure it out, and it will turn out fine as long as you stay in their s***!

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