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Raising children is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. I know that a lot of parents feel that way. In saying that here are the top five things I think you should know before you become a parent.

 

This is a 24/7 job.  Now some people would not like the fact that I am referring to parenthood as a job but it is. I had no idea when I had my first son how much work an 8 pound baby could be. I soon realized that I could go with no sleep just fine with a little help from my friend called caffeine. It was amazing to me that I could function on 1 hour of sleep.  This job offers no pay, no vacation time, or sick leave. But the benefits are priceless.

 

Your children are not perfect. This is a concept that was fairly easy to me. I know that I am not perfect, so they are not going to be.  The thing is there are parents that think their children could walk on water. That is very hard for a child to live up to. I think that every child should have manners and should show respect. This does not mean that they won’t mess up. I mess up as a parent so my children will mess up.

 

People who do not have children will think they know everything about parenting. This is the one thing that surprised me the most. People who do not have children I have found have a lot of advice to parents. This advice is generally unwanted but they seem to think they know it all.  As my grandfather would say “When you have children you know nothing, by the time you are done raising them you are an expert.” So be assured that these people have no idea what it is like.

 

 Each child is unique. This sounds like a no brainer but it’s hard not to compare your children. I have been guilty of this. I not only compare my children to each other but to other children. Parents are very proud of their children and it is fun to brag about them. This should not be done to make yourself look better or to make others feel bad. I try to let my children be them. My oldest son is autistic so he is very different from most children. I had a really hard time not comparing him to other children. That was not good for either of us. My youngest son is my spit fire. Which he came by honestly.  My children are very different and I need to embrace their differences.

 

God gave you the children that you were meant to have. I stole this one from my pastor. I like this because it helped me a lot when I have struggled being a parent. God fully equipped you to take care of the children that he gave you. There have been times I have struggled to understand why I have a child that is different. This is the road that God has given me and I have tried to embrace it sometimes it’s easier than others. But God has given me the children that He knew I needed and they needed me. So remember that no matter what the is going on, you are fully capable of taking care of your children.

 

I am no expert in raising children. I am far from it. I yell at my children , get mad, and sometimes understand why animals eat their young.  I do love my children and want the best for them. I hope this helps all future parents and current parents.

 

God Bless,

 

Dawn

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