Parenting is a hurricane, one that can definitely knock you right over if you don't come prepared. Here's three major lessons that my child taught me.
1. Your time is no longer your own.
I often hear my kid-less friends complaining that they never have enough time but boy they have no idea! Especially at the younger ages, you know as well as I do that your baby needs constant attention. We all love our little ones to death but sometimes I think its fine to admit that yes, we do need our own space and time to recharge sometimes. Even when those little angels (devils) have fallen asleep, there's a whole heap of house-work waiting to be done.
And you know what I find the funny part? Despite looking forward so much to dropping the little one with a grandparent and getting my own space for a few hours, I really really miss them. Despite all the hard work they truly are worth it and I wouldn't have it any other way!
2. Patience is everything
If there was one skill I'd say every parent needs the most of, it's patience. Although this is thrown around a lot, I think it truly is one of the most important.
Kid having a tantrum? Patience.
Sleep training your baby? Patience
Feeding your little one? Patience
Soothing a crying child? Patience
Dealing with a stressed out wife? Patience
Although very cliche to say, it is very true. This one skill will come in handy for almost any parenting exercise and at the end of the day, a parents main job is to be a good teacher. And what do teachers need? Patience.
3. Practice what you teach
Before I became a dad I used to have a serious sugar addiction. I knew how bad it was for me but I never felt motivated enough to try and cut down. I knew it was having a serious impact on my health and I would always adamantly refuse my child goes anywhere near it, yet I was still gorging myself daily. At the time I was avoiding the harrowing realisation that before I try to change my child, I need to change myself. I used to flat out deny my child having any chocolate or sweets and then as soon as he was in bed, i'd be scoffing myself.
But children aren't stupid, and they catch on. Tell a child that smoking is bad with a cigarette in your mouth isn't very effective (trust me, I know) and telling your child that sugar is bad whilst eating a whole packet of extra chocolate oreos just won't do the trick. This was probably the hardest lesson for me to learn. To discipline you child, you need to discipline yourself.
Although I still snack on occasion, I had to cut down my sugar intake by an unworldly amount. At least now when I tell my child, 'Don't eat sugar, it's bad for you', I have at least something to stand on.