I remember someone saying to me that once you have a child, you have something to worry about for the rest of your life. And I guess it’s true. But some things you just shouldn’t stress about as a parent.
Especially in the early years, parenting is a damn stressful time. I’m pretty sure I spent hundreds of hours scouring online forums and medical pages seeking answers, only to be left feeling more confused.
The internet is a tricky place you see. I’m sure, if you knew what half the “experts” knew in real life, you would avoid their advice like the plague, and yet, because it’s written on a webpage or a fancy blog; somehow they must know better about your child than you do.
Here are five things that you don’t need to stress about as a parent (and two things you do):
1. Drinking from a sippy cup.
When I had my first son, I remember reading endless pages of debates on which was the best cup for his age and why. Why couldn’t my son drink from a straw cup? Should I get a soft spout or a non-spill? Will a certain cup impact his teeth coming through and his ability to talk properly?
Seriously. This is not something that requires you losing sleep over (let’s face it, take what you can get). I am yet to meet an adult who has not learned how to drink from a cup.
2. Fussy eating.
Probably one of the more frustrating stages for us parents to endure is the fussy eating stage.
I know, I feel your pain. You spend hours researching the best homemade snacks, dinners and lunchbox treats, spend way too much time and money sourcing nutritious organic ingredients that you’ve never even heard of.
You devote an entire afternoon to cooking one handed with a baby attached to your hip, trying your best to keep them clear of the sharp and hot things, and finally you present to your beloved angel the most amazing restaurant quality banquet imaginable. And all they want is a bloody cheese sandwich.
Kids love a reaction. I’ve found the less of a deal you make of dinner time, the less of a battle you will have. Offer what you will, and don’t make anything else. Kids will eat if they are hungry. (And purchase a good grater. It’s a lot easier hiding veggies in pasta sauce/muffins/baked goods).
I’m sure if you searched the online forums for the most frequently asked questions, 99% of them would relate to sleeping. Should you pat, feed, rock, shusshhhhh or sing your baby to sleep?
Are you creating bad habits? Should you leave them to self-settle from an early age and get used to nodding off by themselves? With the dog? (Probably not). How many sleeps per day should they have? For how long? When do you drop the day sleeps? You get my point.
The thing is, as a parent with young children, your life will revolve around sleep. Not so much yours (ha!) but theirs. The simplest answer… just do what works for you. Choose the best option for your family. If there was a manual for these small people, it would have popped out with the kid.
4. Toilet Training.
Ah toilet training. Such a messy time it is. I decided to go with the three day approach to toilet training. (It didn’t take three days) and my son and I both got fed up and frustrated with my constant prompting to go to the toilet. Stress levels were high and we were getting nowhere, so feeling like a failure and breaking all the so called rules in the book, out came the nappies.