The Best Advice No One Ever Gave Me

In the last year, as Sweet E has grown, I keep finding myself telling Husband, “I need to tell Boy/Girl _____.  No one ever told me that and I wished they had.”

The best advice no one ever gave me, but would have been gratefully received, was that we’d make it through whatever calamity or crisis had its hands around our necks, strangling the sense right out of us.

Most of what happened during times of upheaval and mayhem were people telling me that things weren’t so bad (WHAT?!) or to buck up and focus on the good, as the bad shit fell all around us.

Ahem.  Not helpful.

I needed to know that even if I was making a choice that wasn’t conventional or embraced, that we would make it through.  That everyone would stumble safely out of the raft and onto dry land.

I think back to all the kiddos we have known over the years, and all the different parenting techniques and types, and my end assessment is this: if there is love, kindness and understanding, all will be well.  Might not go smoothly or effortlessly, but all will be well; you’ll make it through.

What worked for parenting your kids might not have worked with mine and vice versa.  Parents carry guilt about comparisons.  Am I doing it right?  Will this work?  Will that? Kayla’s parents give timeouts.  Matt’s parents count to three.  Olive’s yell.  Jack’s don’t believe in punishment.

How are you supposed to make heads or tails of parenting when there isn’t a manual?!

Relax.  Breath. Take a walk.  Take a hot bath.  Have a cold drink.  Clear your head.  Share a laugh.  Share another.

Best Advice No One Ever Gave Me

(OMT! and Boy, circa 1984)

This life is short.  Raising kids can make it seem longer than it really is, especially when you’re in the thick of it.  Still, it’s short.  And you better make the best of it, as the one responsible for raising your carpet crunchers into productive members of the human race.

Everyone will make it to shore.  The crisis will pass.  The bonus will be new wisdom from white knuckling the ride.  And who couldn’t use a bucket full o’wisdom?

The end result may not be what you hoped, dreamed, wished, or even prayed for, but as my dearly departed granny used to tell me in my middle school drama days: this too shall pass.

I never believed her, until, well, “it” had passed.

So, if you’re afraid your kids will be neurotic like you: you’ll make it through.

If you think you’ve ruined your kids because they saw you naked and singing in the bathroom: you’ll make it through.

If you’re horrified that your kids are the conservative to your liberal or the other way around: there’s no hope for you.  It’s better you die now.  NOT REALLY!  You’ll make it through.

If your mother’s horrible curse of “I hope you have children just like you!” has visited upon your house: you’ll make it through.

Kids are resilient; they’re a lot tougher and smarter and way funnier than most give them credit for.  They understand love.  Period.  You can screw up in the biggest of ways, but as long as there is love and kindness and understanding, you’ll make it through.

If your life consists of slammed doors, I HATE YOUs, or toddlers refusing to eat anything but peanut butter and Smarties on lightly toasted bread, I can tell you, with great authority, baby, you’ll make it through.

I wish someone who had already been there and done that had thought to share this nugget of wisdom with me; it’s the best advice no one ever gave me.  Would have saved me so many Jerry Springer nightmares.

What about you guys? I know there’s buckets and buckets of white-knuckled wisdom out there.

What’s the best advice no one ever gave you?

 

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Comments

  1. This is so true! There is no manual and what works for one kid doesn’t necessarily work for the other kid. I guess that’s the advice I would have wanted. You can have a certain parenting style but not all of your kids will respond to it the same way…and frustration ensues. But you’re right…it will all pass. And time is short…they’re all grown up before you know it!

    • Mrs. Tucker says:

      It was such a relief to know what you know now, right? Like you weren’t doing it wrong, just the way that was best for your kiddos.

      When Boy was off to college, I was stunned at how fast the time had passed. BAM! Grown!

  2. How to deal w teenagers.. esp girls!!! Never give in and don’t fall for their sneaky ways and they will slam the door and tell you that you are the worst mom and they will roll those eyes at you w hate inside of them .. but in 4-5 years they will get over it.

  3. I LOVE THIS! My children are grown and gone and believe me, I have told them all of the things that my mother never told me. Those things that I always wondered, ‘why DIDN’T she tell me’! Thanks for sharing!

    • Mrs. Tucker says:

      Maybe it was our mother’s generation, but I honestly don’t remember her telling me much unless I asked. WHY?!

  4. It is so true. No matter what happens, cruddy or devastating, life goes on and we seem to keep going. Thanks for the reminder. I am not looking forward to the teen years. 🙂 Found you at the link party!

    • Mrs. Tucker says:

      I have told my DIL that I will tell her that every age is a great age, and I honestly enjoyed all of them. The teen years brought its challenges, and most of us could have done without the sullenness, but it always gave me a thrill to know we had reached each new milestone. Good luck, momma!

  5. Love this!! And soooo true!!

    I think the best advice no one ever gave me was that its OK to say No. I don’t have to agree with everyone or to everything. Its ok to say no when I need a break!

    • Mrs. Tucker says:

      It’s OK to say no is HUGE. Luckily for me, I learned that in my youth, but I know it’s a toughie.

  6. This helps with life in general, not just parenting ♥ Although, I must say, I wish all parents could read it. 🙂

  7. I always told my kids that someday they would understand when they had kids of their own. And I always wished them kids just like (or worse than) they were being at the moment. My wishes came true. And sometimes I can smile about it. But usually I can’t because I am raising the children of my oldest son so those words are coming back to haunt none other than me…

    • Mrs. Tucker says:

      The mother’s curse visited upon the mother..yikes…never thought about that. You sound like you’re handling it with grace.

  8. I think one of my favorite phrases about parenting is, “the days are long, but the years are short!” Pretty much sums up how I’m feeling!

  9. This is a great article. I have two little boys and can relate to this. … ” I will make it through”

  10. My parenting strategy is to ensure work for the future MFTs. lol Yes, love outweighs the bad. When I have a bad day and “share” it with the kids, I tell them sorry. Modeling humility, modeling humanity. At least my kids will grow up knowing how to correct a wrong! 🙂

    • Mrs. Tucker says:

      So much YES in your comment. I think it’s a relief when kiddos learn their parents are not only human, but even better, able to say they’re sorry.

  11. Oh you are so wise! My Nan (and Mum) always said “it all comes out in the wash” and it really does.
    I think when things are stressy it’s really good to step back and think “will this matter in 5 years, or 10 years, will I even remember it then”. That really helps me with perspective.
    I also told my daughter as she left for Uni that sometimes, but just sometimes, it’s ok to have a bowl of cereal for your dinner!

    • Mrs. Tucker says:

      Lol! First, thank you and your nan and mum were as wise. Secondly, cereal for dinner is definitely OK!

  12. In the midst of day to day chaos, focused only on meeting everybody’s needs and getting through, you often don’t realize that others, on the outside, are looking in and admiring you. How nice it would have been to have those people say, “Hey, you handle everything so smoothly and I’m a fan!” at the time – instead of 10 years later, when you’ve finally figured that out for yourself?
    And so I tell my daughters – “Look at you – what IS going right for you now is the envy of lots of young mommies. Quit yer whining! I’m tired of listening to it!”
    That seems to work – sometimes!

    • Mrs. Tucker says:

      Raising dem babies is hard! You’re so right. We tend to focus on what’s not working instead of being thankful for what is working. Great reminder.

  13. I cannot express how right you are about “this too shall pass” and you do the best you can with what you’ve got. I try to tell all my new mama friends that yes right now sucks but soon you will be through it. I also remind them parenting/life doesn’t get easier. It just gets different.

    • Mrs. Tucker says:

      Each stage = different. Yes. You learn as you go. You adapt. You accept that parenthood has hard edges and will make you cry. Even then, you’ll make it through. Thanks, Ashley.

  14. Wow, I don’t even have any kids yet and I love this. Excellent thoughts. =)

  15. So so so so TRUE! 🙂

  16. I loved your post, and I also loved reading all of the responses–very wise mamas out there! 🙂

  17. On a day like today, I needed to hear this. I haven’t been super kind to my oldest so I appreciate that you mentioned “as long as there is love and kindness and understanding.” I’ll now go do my best to make sure we end the day with love. I’m glad I found your post through Time to Sparkle Link party.

    • Mrs. Tucker says:

      I read your comment, then read it to my husband, a bit overwhelmed. Thank you for sharing this with us.

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