Wow! FOUR years, I am coming up on the four year mark of being a stay at home mom. April of 2010 I quit my job as a many to twin boys to get ready for the arrival of my own little boy. That means in April, I will celebrate that anniversary. Then in May I celebrate being a mom for four years and again in June, I get to celebrate being a mom to two children for two years. That's just crazy to me! So, here's a list of just a few of the things I have learned.
1. Every child is SO different from the next. We have two children (which you know) they are complete opposites. It's outrageous to me everyday the different characteristics they have. They have the same parents, they are the same sex, even born in the same season, just two years and three weeks apart. Yet, they different. Sometimes the same, but not often! This is how I learn so many different things. Dallas taught me so much about being a first time mom, he taught me how to be selfless, patient, compassionate. Liam has taught me how to be tough, how to be EXTRA patient, how to face fears. However, they both taught me how to love unconditionally, how to share my heart equally, how not to judge people, how much sleep you don't need (and how much coffee you do!) along with so many other things.
3. Car seats, where to even begin. I'm not an expert but here are some things you may want to research if you need a car seat, if you have a car seat, if you think buying a used car seat is a good idea. First, they expire!!! Who knew??!! Yep, sure do! They all have a sticker or an imprint on them with an expiration date and a manufactured date. It's true, check yours out! Second, there are LAWS about when your child can be forward facing. Rear facing is of course the safest way, the longer, the better, even with bent/crossed legs...still the safest. Next, the placement of your child's head is important. Meaning how high up on their seat their head is. The chest strap is also important when it comes to placement! Oh and the straps aren't supposed to be twisted...just saying. Fourth, winter jackets are a no no when it comes to car seats. I never knew this until this winter. I watched a few videos and learned why...scary stuff! And last, Graco recalled a billion million buckles on their seats. That's just awesome because we have two Graco seats. It's annoying, but they are doing what they can to fix it. Will I buy another Graco seat? Probably not. Will this make them go out of business? Probably not. Can it happen to any manufacturer? Probably. I just have a sour taste in my mouth from the experience and will avoid them if possible. Anyway, I've learned from all of this and much much more that the car seat is important to me and I like to buy ones that not only look cool but that they are also super safe for my boys. You don't have to spend hundreds of dollar, but you should at least be doing some research on that pretty bright yellow and grey seat that looks cool before you buy it second hand off craigslist from someone you never met. Oh and PS: and car seat in any kind of accident, even just a fender bender, SHOULD be replaced.
Here's just one helpful link
Here's one about wearing winter jackets in the seat
4. How to love. Before I had kids, I loved. I loved my family, some friends too. Now that I have kids I really truly know what love is. I know unconditional love. I've seen my kids get hurt and then turn around and forgive so quickly. Even when I still hurt for them, they are long past being hurt. I need to start reacting how they do to people who don't always make them 100% happy. I have high expectations for others and sometimes they fall short. I don't know if this is due to how I was raised or if it's something I've acquired in my "Grown up years". My parents have always stood by my side and never given up on me. They had expectations for me and I hope I met or exceeded those expectations. I try to do the right thing. Always. I try to please others. I always worry about what other people think or me and I wonder why other people don't think that way. Why wouldn't you want others to be impressed with you? Why wouldn't you want them to look at you as a parent and admire the way you handle situations? That's what my kids are teaching me. It doesn't always matter what people think of you, we all have bad days where we are not impressive. What matters at the end of the day is that we are happy, healthy and family. If other people hurt our feelings or make is mad, that's okay. It happens and we move on. The world is still turning and we are still alive. We can't control other people....
What have you learned from your kids?