The night before my first child was born, I did a lot of thinking, wondering what it would be like to be a parent.
What would it be like, I wondered, to hold my own child, to hear “Daddy” for the first time, to watch him or her swing on the playground with friends? It was so foreign to me, but now seems so natural.
If I could go back to that night in February 2008, I’d tell myself a few things. Some of the items on this list I learned by experience, while others I practiced nearly from the get-go. Here is what I would tell myself:
1. Parenting is far greater than you can imagine. Nothing on this earth compares to it, and you will regret waiting so long to become a parent. It’s better than all those things you think are fun: football, naps, eating pizza. You’ll soon discover you’d rather be a parent for one year than do all that other stuff for 100 years.
2. Don’t get too busy in life. You’re living in the days you’ll forever treasure, and this time will fly by faster than you can imagine. Limit your hobbies, your take-home work, and even how you are involved at church. Spend lots of time with your kids. Continue reading
Some of the most frustrating moments in my life have involved household jobs that required far more time than I initially envisioned. Fixing that stopped-up sink. Painting the room. Changing that broken ceiling fan chain switch. I consistently underestimate how long it will take.
Now that I have three young children, I have trouble finding time to do those chores – and when I do try to do particular household jobs during daytime hours, my oldest son, who is 5, wants to help.
Parents always face a dilemma when a young child wants to tag along and “help” with work. The time it takes to accomplish the chore easily could double or triple with a kid in the picture. Will the child truly help – or simply break something else along the way? Shouldn’t I just get my spouse to keep him or her away?
Lately, though, I’ve tried to allow my son to help me more with jobs and tasks, and I’ve discovered we’ve both enjoyed it.