A Mom Listed All the Things She Wished She Knew Before Having Kids: BRB, Printing This Out
Mom of three and blogger Casey Huff has certainly learned a lot in caring for her kids over the years. As a veteran parent, she recently explained what she would tell herself if she could go back in time as a first-time mother. Chock-full of practical advice — hey, Target has some good finds! — and little ways to practice self-care, her Facebook post is going viral for good reason.
"You will in fact sleep again. Someday," she began the post. "Breastmilk is really good for babies. So is formula. Do what you gotta do. They're your boobs, it's your baby." Casey also reassured parents that sometimes screen time can be helpful. "Screen time is not the enemy. Make sure whatever your kids are watching is age-appropriate, then sit back and drink your coffee in peace. (Also, prepare yourself to have at least one cartoon theme song stuck in your head at all times)."
Not only did she give sound advice in terms of feeding, but she also had some extremely helpful tips for those who haven't quite experienced being a parent just yet. "I know those baby shoes are sooo cute, but put them back. Your baby will wear them exactly one time before the left one goes missing forever," she said. "Always have an extra large bag of chicken nuggets waiting in the freezer for quick lunches or nights you're too tired to cook dinner."
Also on her list? Never leave the house without another change of clothes for your baby; the only people who needs to approve of your parenting is your partner, if you have one; and trusting your intuition is absolutely paramount.
"Anyone who gets tired of seeing photos of your kids on social media or elsewhere can choose to keep scrolling."
Casey also touched on topics that give many new parents anxiety, like doctors appointments and straight-up making mistakes every once in a while. "The pediatrician isn't going to judge you if your kid is wearing mismatched socks at his well-check appointment," she wrote. "Google can be both your best friend and your worst enemy when it comes to researching your kids' well-being. You will make mistakes. Push the guilt aside, and do better the next time around."
She continued: "The $1 craft projects in the dollar spot at Target are sanity-savers and boredom-busters for the toddler years of stay-at-home-motherhood. Throw a couple into your cart every time you're there. You're welcome. The list of things you 'would NEVER do' as a parent will get shorter and shorter as time goes by. It's OK to laugh at pre-kid-you's optimism and 'insight.'"
Additionally, she shared helpful tidbits about looking at your own behavior if your kids are acting up, because hey, your mood can rub off on them as well as the importance of making dinosaur pancakes every now and again. Most importantly, she rattled off a few things parents just shouldn't waste the time stressing over.
"No one who has ever had kids expects your house to be spotless — you're the only one putting that pressure on yourself. Keep your house as clean or as messy as YOU are comfortable with," she said. "Anyone who gets tired of seeing photos of your kids on social media or elsewhere can choose to keep scrolling. Don't feel awkward about being proud of your kids. Show those babies off! If you ever get a photo of your whole family looking at the camera at the same time, frame that sucker. You might not get another until your kids are all teenagers."
She also emphasized it's impossible for any person to have it together all the time, so cherish those days spent lounging around in pajamas. And on that note, moms, make sure you have a backup pair of leggings — or sweatpants! — so you can go an extra day without doing laundry. All in all, loving your family is really the biggest piece of the puzzle, no matter how stressful the days get.
"Loving your kids in all of their forms is 95 percent of a job well done," explained Casey. "Marriage is a tough job, and throwing a baby into the equation will rock the boat more than you ever imagined. Keep working at it; your spouse is worth it. You are a good mom. SUCH a good mom. Extraordinary, really. There will be many days when you forget that, but that doesn't make it any less true. You don't have to be perfect for your kids to really, really, REALLY love you."