Motherhood has a learning curve. With each child you have you learn more about yourself than you ever imagined. You also learn about your child (I hope). Annnnnd, you learn a lot about others and the world in which we live
1. Not everyone wants to hear about your kids.
BUT WHO CARES! Post about them anyway. The people that aren't your real friends can defriend you or block your feed, whatever! You only have a limited amount of time to brag about your babies firsts and their bowel movements and how cute they are before they get a facebook account of their own and yell at you. Your children are a part of you, my children are my heart. Why wouldn't I want to brag to the world about their cuteness? So if someone gives you grief about how your facebook or twitter has been entirely devoted to your little ones tell Tin Man to get a heart and just keep doing what you are doing.
2. Each kid is different.
I only have two kids and even I know this! Your parenting style should adapt to each special personality. Don't be so set in your ways that you don't recognize the individuality of each child.
3. Calm the heck down.
There is no reason your baby needs to know their ABCs by the time they are two. Do some art projects and play outside. If your kid is advanced, great. If not, don't sweat it. Kids tend to do things at their own pace so don't compare them to other kids and don't push them too hard because YOU think they should be somewhere they are not. If you have concerns, talk to your pediatrician. If he or she assures you that they are on track, listen to them. If they are concerned about anything, don't freak out. Many kids struggle through different developmental stages and they turn out just fine. It's pushing too hard or ignoring problems all together that compounds issues in the future. Love your child where they are and trust your instincts, just not the crazy ones.
4. Laugh at the crazy
There will be nights where both kids are up until one in the morning screaming and running in circles. You are exhausted and ready to put them on the front lawn with a sign that says "Free". Laugh about it. All moms have been there and they can share in your pain. If you let yourself get too stressed you will end up being cranky with the kids and that is no good for anyone.
5. Ask for help
Whether it is your hubby or a baby sitter, your parents or your in laws, don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it. It doesn't mean you are a failure, it just means you are tapped out. Take a nap or a date night and forget about the laundry at home. We all need a break at times. Motherhood is the only job you work 24/7, no matter if you stay home all day or go to work as well. Take some time for you and you will be a better mother to your kids.
6. People will think you are wrong.
About EVERYTHING. The nice people make suggestions. Others stick their noses in the air and tell you that if you do/don't get your kid vaccinated, etc that you are a disgrace to motherhood. Honestly, just ignore them. Do your research, talk to your spouse, and make a prayerful decision together. Then stop worrying about what others think. Nobody wants the best for your children more than you so when people try to tell you what to do, it's usually to make themselves feel important. Not to actually help. If they have good advice, don't be so prideful you won't take it but ignore all the negative. And then laugh about it later with your spouse.
7. Pray every day.
It's really the only way to stay sane and it's the only way you will be able to do motherhood right. Our babies are a gift from God and no one knows how to love them better than Him, so just talk to God all the time and let Him lead you.
8. Less is more.
You want your kid to have everything, that is normal. But it's also a pain in the butt to clean up. Limit toys and books, store things you aren't using. For differnt developmental stages I rotate out toys. That way they have new things to explore and learn with and everything they own isn't all over the floor at once. Same with clothes. My kids have a lot more clothing in the smaller sizes than they do in their larger sizes. That's because I finally go just how much money I spent and how little they wore each item. It's cute, but not necessary.
9. Give them siblings
My sisters are so incredibly important to me and the person I have become. Juliette is already Madeleine's best friend. I know some people may not be able to have large families because of health, infertility, or severe money issues, but those things aside nothing is a better gift than a sibling. If I had to make a choice between a fancy vacation, an upgrade to my house or car, jewelry, new electronics, new toys, new clothes for myself or a new baby... I would choose a new baby every time. With that said, spend quality alone time with each child you have and celebrate the gift that THEY are. Don't beat yourself up if you aren't keeping up with the Duggars. I know I won't be! Use NFP and you will be trusting in God's plan for your family. No plan is better than His.
10. Make time for your spouse
You wouldn't even have your babies without him. The happiest children comes from families with happy marriages. You can't have a happy marriage if you don't take time out to spend with each other. Always put your spouse before yourself and look to exemplify a marriage centered on God for the world by loving each other like He loves His Church, so much that He died for it.
That's ten things and I am super tired so I am done for the night. I'm a beginner mommy so I know these things may seem "duh" but the were amazing things for me to learn over these past two and a half years. I am thankful for Kyle and my super awesome and adorable babies to teach me every day. Motherhood has changed me to my very core and made me a better person than I ever dreamed I could be. I still have a looong way to go but I'll have God and my family by my side for the journey so I think I'll get there.