By Cindy Moy: Parenting is hard, and it doesn’t get easier after doing it for 20 years, so here are a few tidbits of wisdom I’ve gained along the way. Please share any things you’ve learned in the comments section below.
Lessons Learned From Adopting a Special Needs Baby
When a doctor tells you that the best you can hope for is that your child will be slow, and that you should turn down the adoption referral, carefully consider what adopting this child will mean for your life.
Special needs babies can grow up to be math prodigies that tell math jokes that you–a reasonably intelligent person–do not understand.
Babies are babies. Adopted or biological, you never know what you’re going to get. And neither do they.
Lessons Learned From Being Elbow-Knee in Diapers
That carefree lady in the luxury car that passed you in your minivan filled with screaming kids may be jealous of your chaotic, kid-controlled life. Or she might not. What she thinks will be irrelevant when your child’s friend announces, “I just puked. And it’s purple.”
Yelling “Let me hug you, damn it!” at a teenager is counter-productive, especially when done in the high school parking lot.
Teenagers are on a hormonal roller coaster ride. Do NOT get on the ride with them.
If your kid’s interests are completely different from yours, great! You will get to learn something new while meeting a whole new community of parents.
Teenage boys do not require sports cars to drag race. Minivans in an Arby’s parking lot will suffice.
Printing boarding school brochures off the Internet and waving them at your teenager while yelling “we have the money to send you away,” is not an effective disciplinary technique.
When you overhear your teenager telling a friend, “My mom is actually pretty smart. You wouldn’t think so, but she is,” take it as a compliment. It’s the only one you will receive for several years.
Lessons Learned From Attending the Funeral of a Child
Every family deals with a child’s loss in a unique way. Every unique way is the right way.
Donating to a fund that fights autism/meningitis/SIDS will not bring back Kaylie/Annie/Jacob.
Donate anyway. That donation will pay for research that will help the next child.
Lessons Learned From Going on Vacation Without the Husband and Kids
It is possible to check into a hotel and not care if it has a swimming pool.
Grown women will eat anything they don’t have to cook themselves.
What lessons have you learned?