#1 Lesson I learned as a new parent

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Written by: Kelley Ahuja

Recently, I asked the NPN Board of Directors, what is the #1 lesson you learned as a new parent.  Here is some great advice as you navigate the day-to-day ups and downs of parenting:

“A hug can deflect a lot of frustration.” -Elisa

“While the minutes may drag forever, the months fly by. Try your best to stay present through the sleeplessness and frustration. It all passes quickly.” -Kelley

“With twins, the first three years were very challenging, having two babies’ needs to meet. These last two years have been easier with the built-in playmates and helping them academically.” -Susan

“Everything is a phase: your child will eventually sleep through the night, she will eventually learn to use the potty, etc. But as soon as she does, you’ll find a new challenge to deal with.” -Lee

“Don’t read every book about parenting; every child is different and you need to do what’s best for your family (even if you nurse until your child is two or don’t take away the pacifier on his first birthday!).” -Sarah

“All of those books that talk about the importance of a regular sleeping schedule are right. A well-rested baby/ toddler is a happy baby/toddler. Make sure you know how much sleep your baby/toddler should be getting at night and for naps and stick to it!” -Alex

“I’ve come to live by this Joyce Maynard quote: ‘It’s not only children who grow. Parents do too. As much as we watch to see what our children do with their lives, they are watching us to see what we do with ours. I can’t tell my children to reach for the sun. All I can do is reach for it, myself.’” -Sharmila

“Stop judging and start supporting! I used to make fun of my sister for listening to Christmas music in June because her kids loved Rudolph. Now I understand that sometimes quiet, content children on car rides is a lot more important than the musical genre being played!” -Cindy

Share your lessons learned - email hi@npnparents.org.  Want to learn more about the members of our board - check out their bio's.

Chicago families share fantastic advice on how to navigate parenting in the city in our NPN Parent to Parent Newsletter. Download the full NPN summer issue to read more! 

Posted on July 28, 2011 at 9:40 AM

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2 Replies

  • bike, light weights and yoga

    I would definitely add prepare yourself physically as well as mentally--caring for an infant is far more physical labor than you might imagine! Thanks for the post!

    by Alex on 07/29 at 12:36PM

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  • indeed!

    the endorphins will pretty much get you through the first 9 months, and then you'll wonder where they went!

    by Edward on 07/29 at 12:42PM

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