It’s hard to believe we approach the two year anniversary of me being a parent next month! I can’t wait to have a gigantic celebration in my honor for surviving another year raising boys! The road hasn’t been easy, but I’ve made it this far!
In honor of my children’s fast approaching birthdays, I feel an obligation to impart wisdom on fellow parents. The things I have learned in the first two years of parenting boys who happen to have the same birthday. (twin boys!)
There comes a point, around the first ultrasound, that you begin to lose rights to your Facebook. What used to be party pictures is rapidly replaced by toothless grins and spaghetti messes. Embrace living in the age of the Internet! Like those embarrassing photos from middle school now circulating the Internet waiting to be discovered and made into a meme, your children’s photos will never be lost. Facebook has become a family photo album, which you should be actually quite ok with. It’s nice to catch so many “likes” on a photo that melts your heart. Whenever having a down day, you can swipe through the photos on Facebook and have your heart melt all over with nostalgia.
Accept the fact that each milestone will be filled with equal parts joy and sorrow. You will be happy to watch your child develop, obviously. But, it’s so bittersweet. Often times, I look back longingly at the days before running and talking; when my kids wanted nothing more than to snuggle up with me on the couch and watch sportscenter.
Not every moment needs a picture. I know, I just talked up photos, but hear me out! Most of the time I am too busy enjoying and living a moment to capture it. Some memories are forever etched in your heart. I just spent a week bonding and enjoying my families company in Colorado. I took twenty five photos with my fun and a million memories tattooed forever onto my heart. Catch a smile, cherish a moment.
Tantrums are not personal. Sometimes your kid just has a shit day, they are human. You have bad days, I have bad days, kids have bad days. Being a parent is about being able to assess the situation and redirect it, you’re not the one who should be throwing the temper tantrum. Too many parents get ridiculously frustrated with a screaming kid. Walk away instead of losing patience and dropping to child like mentality. I smoke. If I need fresh air for five minutes I’ll step outside and rip a cigarette. Smoking is better than exploding on my kid, so shove the “smoking is bad” talk. Seriously, just step back. Kids cry, they don’t know what they want sometimes, just like you. Be the cooler head.
Let your children be children. Join them in being children! Kids are blessed with such a pure form of joy, untouched by complexity. There are no gray areas, it’s happy or sad. It’s nice to momentarily fall into the black and white. Kids are a chance to relive the purest form of joy. Bask in it before the world steals their innocence and everything becomes mired in layers.
The zero to two year old phase passes way to fast. Just yesterday we were in NICU. Now they run and play games and it’s too much sometimes. My youth has been slowly siphoned off. But it’s been worth it. Absolutely worth every midnight feeding or stinky diaper. The fulfillment of parenting is unrivaled. Trading in video games for Kipper wasn’t an easy transition, not going to lie. But it’s absolutely worth it. So cheers to two years past, this parenting gig has been my favorite activity to date.
Oh, and one last final advice. Hide the knife block, far out of toddler reach. For everyone’s safety.