Who better to ask for advice than those who have been there before us? Grandmas have such wonderful parenting advice for us moms who are in the thick of it. They’ve raised amazing children (us!), they’ve experienced the ups and downs of motherhood, and have learned over the years what really matters.
I decided to reach out to some grandmothers and great-grandmothers to ask them the most important advice they would give to those of us with little ones at home. And of course, they did not disappoint.
Grandma’s Parenting Advice
1. Nurture your Relationship with Your Partner
Being more present for your kids does not mean being less present for your partner. In fact, your kids will benefit from seeing you prioritize your partner. Let your children see and experience the love you have for each other and let them see your range of emotions. One day, your kids will grow up and move away, and it will be just you and your partner, so invest in keeping your relationship strong and healthy.
Help your partner bond with your children and cheer on their relationship. Be slow to correct your partner’s methods of parenting and quick to celebrate achievements.
2. Take Care of Yourself
Yes, you will be exhausted, and your baby will need a lot of time, love, and care. You can do all these things more easily if you take some time for yourself. Nap when the baby naps, leave the baby with capable care takers for short periods, take a hot bath, a walk, etc.
Designate time in each day as “mommy time.” Your kids will learn the importance of self-care by watching you prioritize self-care. Even if you are only able to designate 10 minutes to yourself, set aside that 10 minutes, and protect it. Other things will fall into place more easily when you do.
3. Have Fun with Your Children
Get down on the ground and play with your little ones, play what they want to play, let them set the rules of the game and follow those rules (even if they change every 2 seconds).
Make memories, print the pictures, and make voice recordings — they grow up so fast.
If you have multiple children, remember each child is unique, so tailor your interactions with each child to reinforce their gifts and talents. Find time to be one-on-one with each child and time to build memories together as a family.
4. Trust your Instincts, Relax, and Don’t be Afraid to Make Mistakes
Have confidence in your decisions and trust your instincts. You don’t need to make the same choices that other moms make. Think about what worked and didn’t work in your family as you were growing up and use those experiences as a baseline.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes or to ask for help – there is no such thing as “Supermom”. Trust us – you are doing a great job!
5. Be Consistent
Our children are a lot smarter and understand a lot more than we think. Be consistent in what you expect of them and the consequences that follow their choices.
6. Surround Your Child with Patience and Love
Hug your kids a lot, pray for them, and accept them for who they are. Encourage your children and advocate for them and their ability to interact with the world with humility and gratitude.
Allow your loved ones to invest in your child. As long as any adult is capable, caring, and committed in your mind, encourage them to bond with your baby. The more people who love your child, the more secure he or she will feel as they grow.