You know how when you go to a baby shower and, after playing the ridiculous games that seem to be required at these events, they ask all the mothers to give the mom-to-be their best ‘motherly advice’? Does this sound foreign, and slightly odd, to the guys out there? It is. Be happy you get to be somewhere else, eating pizza and watching sports at those moments….I’m usually wishing I was there with you.
Anyway, there are lots and lots of little nuggets of parenting intel that get shared at this time. Mostly, you’ll hear women trying to prove to everyone else (and maybe themselves, too) that they are good and wise and proper mothers; dispensing gems such as “love can conquer all things”, “mother’s intuition is never wrong”, “always explain yourself to your child, it makes them feel equal”, “when you’re feeling angry, whisper”, yada yada mother-freakin’ yada. Seriously….when you’re feeling angry, whisper??? OH. MY. GOD. I want to punch that mom. In the throat. Then she really will whisper.
You wanna know my go-to advice nugget at these brain-numbing receptions? Here it is: “Never make a rule that you are not willing to get out of the shower to enforce”. Because that’s my kind of motherly intellect. And because I’ve been in the shower, with shampoo in my hair, deciding if the fighting I was hearing outside the door was really ‘that bad’.
But now I think I have another, and probably more appropriate, piece of advice to offer up: Take pictures of your kids. Lots and lots of pictures.
See, I’m lucky that my husband is great with pictures…not only is he always taking them (sometimes annoyingly so) but he also organizes and catalogs them on our computer. Subsequently, our computer screens have a continuous scroll of randomized family photos as their screen savers. Which is awesome because you really can’t go wrong with having tons of pics of your kid(s) around. They are great reminders of your kids (and you) over the years. But, that’s not the reason for the advice that I want to give to all new parents.
Nope. That would be too….um….’good mother-ish’.
The real reason I think you should take lots of pictures of your children when they are young and cute and not talking is that someday they will be teenagers and not so cute and talking a lot….and these pictures will save their lives. More specifically, it just may save them from a serious parental beatdown when, after they have sent you into a whole other universe of pissed-off-ness (I know of what I speak), you happen to catch sight of that same child at 4 years old, snuggling with their teddy bear and smiling innocently at you from the computer screen. That will make you pause just long enough for your anger to become manageable and the offending child to escape with a grounding and not a pounding. Just sayin’.
So, there you have it, my best advice for new parents. You need to have pictures of your children around from when they were adorable to serve as a reminder of why you had them and why you’ve let them live thus far and should continue to do so. Believe me, you will thank me for it when your cute 5 year old is an attitude filled 15 year old. Trust me on that one.