Monday, January 23, 2012

Our First Blog Challenge: Do's and Don'ts of Parenting

It goes without saying that kids do not come with instruction manuals. How come there are more sites giving you advice on how to apply eye makeup than how to parent?

Okay let me clarify this...I'm not talking about the so-called experts, because yes I know there are billions of pages of parenting advice from the experts. I'm talking about real life advice, not from the Ph.D but from a MOM. I’m sorry Dr. Soandso but if I followed your hardfast rule of no Binkies past 6 months old, I would not have slept from 2008-2010.

I think it's because none of us want to admit we are "experts" at parenting. No one brags on themselves because you know as soon as you think you are a great Mom, your son will start screaming in a crowded restaurant or you'll get that look at play group when your child is the only one that won't share. But the truth is if you are a Mom, you are an expert on how to be a Mom. Plain and simple.

So come on, we all pin about 1000 pins on our Pinterest showing perfect organizing closet tips or cake recipes, but we don't have a good guide of tips in our arsenal anywhere. Which leads me to a little challenge for us here this week.

I thought it was time to propose a little blog challenge here on JD Moms and try to start a Do’s and Don’ts list for parenting, the tips of a trade so to speak. So, I’m calling out my fellow JD Mom bloggers and readers to help me with this. Karen, Christine, and Jean, I hope you girls will add on to this list this week in your blogs. And I hope if you are reading this you will leave me at least 1 tip...come on its Monday, you don't want to be doing what you are doing now anyway!

Okay so I’ll start:

1. Don’t lie….umm often. Okay, so we all know it’s best not to lie to our kids, but I find it is entirely necessary when faced with such classic questions as: (1) Mom, are there veggies in this? (2) Mom, will my teeth really fall out if I don’t brush them? (3) Mom, will you really pull over if I don’t stop shoving my brother in the back seat?

2. Don’t get too excited when your son runs out of the bathroom to tell you “I aimed”. Take it from me, when a 4 year old boy tells you that he aimed, the next question out of your mouth should be… “In the toilet right?” This tip has been confirmed by me and my bathroom trash can.

3. Do take time to play hide and seek. Okay, so playing Barbie can get old after awhile, and I still have yet to master how to play Thomas the Train well with my boys, but trust me all adults rock at hide and seek. So, make sure when that option comes up at your house, you always join in. And here’s a bonus tip: always hide behind a door, it’s so simple yet they never look there.

4. Don’t take your kids grocery shopping if you can avoid it. I know its hard, but try not to run these errands with your kids. I am not a mathematician but I am pretty sure there is some formula that says for every kid you bring along for these errands you can add at least $22.42 to your bill.

5. Don’t pretend you’re leaving for a “meeting”. My first years as a working Mom, I always felt guilty when I left at 3:30 for a dance class, or 4:15 just to pick up my kid first from daycare for a change. I can remember leaving my firm and smiling quick… “I’m headed to a meeting”. Okay technically true, it’s a meeting at a dance studio. But over the years I decided that its always best to fly your Mom flag proudly. Now when I leave I just usually smile and say “Gotta go get my boys” or “Off to Dance Class”…and I feel so much better.

6. Don’t envy the SAHM crowd. Alright let’s solve this battle first and foremost. We are all Moms whether we stay at home or we work. We all have things that are better than the other, and yes, we ALL have it rough. When I first had J I found it very hard to be around people that were Stay at Home Moms, because well, I was SO jealous that they had the ability to do what I wanted to do most. Remember, the grass is not always greener on the other side, and I’ve learned over these years that my working is a good thing.

7. Do fill up your phone or tablet with a ton of kids stuff. Okay, take it from me, use the following formula for your phone or tablet:for every app, book, or magazine you get yourself, buy your kids at least 2-3. The iPad that I swore was for work has about 10 pages of stuff for my kids and about 2 for me. But trust me, I secretly say a “Thank you Steve Jobs” every time I’m stuck getting my oil changed or at the doctor’s office and I can turn on a video or play a game and instantly the “Are we done yet” is gone. Just face the fact people, that iPhone in your purse, stopped being “yours” before you even bought it.

8. Don’t teach your kids a new song…unless you know all the words. Yeah, that LMFAO song is awesome to listen to after a long day of work, but the look on your husband’s face when your 5 year old sings “I’m Sexy and I know it”…yeah not a face you want to get often.

9. Do skimp on baby wipes, Don’t skimp on diapers. This is one I have learned from my three kids that never gets old. I buy cheap store brand wipes all the time, but I will always opt for Pampers Cruisers, even if the other diapers are so much cheaper. Trust me with my three kids I have had about 1000 near blow outs saved because I spent the extra $1.19. Oh yeah and here’s another tip I learned from the medical people in my family…the cheap store brand Diaper Cream, yep that stuff is often stronger and works BETTER than the name brand.

10. Do get to know your kids daycare teachers, and not just their resumes. Daycare is hard on working Moms. But I have found the one thing that makes it easier for me is I have made it a point to really get to know the providers. And I’m not talking about simply checking their resumes or references, I mean really get to know them. My kids go to a large daycare center, but I have gotten to know the teachers a lot, befriended them on Facebook, found out about their personalities…and you know what, it makes it so much easier knowing that they are there.

11. Do buy girls a size up, but for boys stay on target. I’m not sure why this is true, but I have found that with girls it is always best to buy a size bigger (or two in some instances) than your daughter, but you can’t do that with boys. I have actually put this to test a year ago. I find it crazy that my daughter who is a size 6 in girls jeans can fit into her brother 4T jeans. So trust me, when buying clothes for a girl, buy up, but for a boy try to resist the urge or you’ll look like I did last summer…raising a hip hop up and comer, as L’s pants were always hanging down.

12. Don’t forget that some of the classic rules still apply. You know how you were always tired of hearing “Don’t run in the house” when you were a kid? Okay after a trip to the emergency room with my son after he went head first into our fireplace…trust me they were right. Yes, some classic rules never die.

13. Do spend money on a cell phone camera or app. A lot of Moms spend money on a good camera, but could care less about the camera on their phone. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been somewhere and a cute memory happened and I didn’t have my camera. And we all know cell phones are great, but their cameras usually are horrible. I have learned that it’s best to invest in a good cell phone camera, and if you have a good one, get the apps such as Instagram or Hipstamatic. They make your cell phone pics often better than your regular one. Trust me the best moments in life happen when your camera is not there.

Okay, so I started the discussion, let’s keep it going. Let’s make this a Do’s and Don’t list that will have Dr. Phil impressed! (Okay, maybe that’s a little bit too far, but you know what I mean!). Have a great week everyone!



  1. I live for the juices that have hidden veggies in them...seriously the only way I can get my kids to drink veggies, so that's definitely a DO for the grocery cart!

  2. Pack an activity bag in your van or car to take wherever you go...I keep markers, coloring books, stickers, etc. This way when you are stuck waiting they will be prepared.

  3. Parents should remember that children, especially from newborns to teens, change so quickly and so much that it is important to record them often.

    On my blog about photographing children I encourage parents to photograph their children often and offer tips on how to get great photos of their kids as they grow and mature.

    Add "Photograph Your Children Often" to your Do List.