23 things I’ve learnt in 23 years as a parent

GAWD 23 years is a LONG TIME isn’t it?? More than half my life in fact. Over 8000 days.

Oh hang on, 8000 days somehow doesn’t sound as much does it? Let’s stick with 23 years.

Donkey Sanctuary

Any excuse to use the ‘Belle looking like the very small host of a donkey documentary’ photo.

Anyway, you’d hope that over that time I would have learnt a few things – you know, picked up some tips and tricks, stuff not to do. So here’s a list I came up with of some of the things I’ve learnt as a parent.

1.  You will always be a parent. Even when they grow up and leave home they still need you, just in different ways. (Mainly cash based.)

2.  Don’t take a toddler into a big Asda when they are tired or hungry. It WILL end in tears, probably yours in the car park.

3.  There is never a ‘right’ way to cut sandwiches – what was right yesterday will be wrong today so always check.

4.  Even when they get older and should have realised by now, your children will still think you know the ‘answers’. Belle asked me yesterday when the right amount of time is to tell someone you love them.

5.  Every school concert you ever go to will make you want to poke forks into yourself and then your youngest will leave school and you will cry quietly to yourself at the thought of never going to another badly performed nativity.

6.  Having pizza for two meals in one day is totally legitimate.

7.  No matter how many delicious meals you cook they will always remember the ONE TIME you gave them three burnt fish fingers as a snack. (Let it go Belle.)

8.  Children like to tell you things, even when they get older and sometimes aren’t sure how.

9.  When in doubt, offer a glass of water and a little lie down.

10.  Think carefully about your parenting style and how you want to raise your children to avoid screens, only eat raw vegetables between meals etc but be prepared to laugh into a tumbler of wine while you look at Instagram and your child watches their 14th episode of Peppa Pig in a row.

11.  There WILL come a day when they appreciate how annoying they sometimes were as teenagers.

12.  GCSEs really don’t matter enough to stress about.

13.  They WILL learn to sleep through the night/use the toilet/eat solid foods/not throw themselves on the floor in Sainsbury’s – it doesn’t really matter how or when.

14.  Everyone likes mini-golf.

15.  Do your pelvic floor exercises.

16.  If you can deal with a toddler throwing up in a car, all over the back of your neck, you can deal with most things.

17.  The friends you make when you have a baby can be some of the best ever, so make the effort.

18.  When they are small you can’t imagine ever forgetting anything about them, but you will, so write it down, take pictures and record their voices so when they ask you questions you don’t have to look blank and sound like a terrible parent.

19.  It’s okay to not know the right way to do things because, newsflash, there isn’t a right way.

20.  Knowing stuff that your parents knew, like the names of trees, doesn’t just COME TO YOU when you have your own children. (Seriously, how did they know all these things?)

21.  Literally no one cares about seeing pictures of your kids in their uniform on the first day of school.

22.  If your first born sits nicely in her chair and sleeps through the night from six weeks old it has nothing whatsoever to so with your ‘relaxed parenting style’.

23.  You’re probably doing okay.

Do you have anything to add? Leave a comment and let me know what parenting has taught you.

parenting lessons

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