The Best Parenting Advice I've Got

I know lots of new little people in the world. Now that I'm not partaking in baby season I feel like I have fresh eyes. And also? Lots of texts that end in question marks. Because, apparently, three babies in three years makes people think I might know something. Gigs up. I don't.

Well, not much.

But I remember what it felt like to just want some ANSWERS. To take the sum of all the advice and know that half of it was ridiculous and the other half was  disheartening.

There is nothing like being sleep deprived, feeling unqualified, and holding a screaming baby that refuses to be comforted to make you want to gut check the next person that tells you to enjoy these days, insists that you must do this or that, or implies that your child's future will clearly be threatened if you don't do such and such.

And then you want to scream because the two people who just gave you advice? Said the exact opposite thing.

So here is my ring toss:

Love them.

LOVE THEM.

Love them. 

That's it.

If that means putting them in your bed. Great.

If it means putting them in a crib. Spectacular.

If it means homemaking all their baby food. Go for it.

Let's face it, if you are barely getting your baby food, REJOICE! Your baby is getting food. Amazing.

Formula, Breastmilk, Cloth, Disposable.

Seriously?

Love them. 

Don't drown in guilt if you need to put your baby down while she is crying for a little bit. Don't drown in guilt if you don't enjoy middle of the night feeding. The fact that you care enough to ask what is best for them proves your worthiness as a parent. 

Don't buy the lie that you can do it just right. You can't. But that doesn't mean you can't do it well. More often than not, for me, loving well means looking a two year old in the eye and apologizing because I got it wrong, not running down the list of parenting theories until I find the perfect answer.

Because when you love them well, you show them grace.

You show you grace.

But maybe most importantly of all...

You teach them grace.

We fall away from perfectionism to sufficiency.

We fall away from self-absorption to humility.

And it's beautiful.

Just like your precious baby.