Two things parents don’t want are dirty diapers and advice. Unfortunately, parents end up with mountains of both. And just like the diapers, most of the advice is useless and outdated while a few manage to capture the inconvenient messiness of it all.
Here’s an honest look at 12 proverbs for parents: we tell you which ones are true and which ones are bigger lies than the time you told your child you didn’t know who ate all of their Halloween candy.
1. Don't cry over spilled milk:
Anyone who has ever spilled a full bottle of freshly pumped breast milk knows it is almost impossible not to cry. On the first day I went back to work after our oldest was born, four ounces of liquid gold spilled all over the cabinets and floor. Baby and Daddy cried, too.
2. Absence makes the heart grow fonder:
Sleep, sweet sleep. Oh how you will miss it. Why did you waste all that time before you had kids not sleeping?
3. You can't teach an old dog new tricks:
When we started feeding our oldest in the high chair, our old dog learned very quickly that she could earn some tasty treats by dancing in a circle around the base of the chair and entertaining the baby. New trick.
4. Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth:
But do look a baby in the mouth when you’re wondering what happened to the leaves of that house plant, the corners of some magazine pages, your missing earring or your older child’s LEGO pieces.
You never know: Letting your child eat food off the floor can actually be the better option.
5. Let sleeping dogs lie
Don't wake up your sleeping dog to take her outside for "a quick pee" while the baby is asleep. She'll bark, chase a squirrel and wake the baby. Baby will cry, you'll swear and start planning your "Needs a good home" in the Pets section of Craigslist. Sidenote: Let sleeping babies lie. Even if you have to hold them above your head to get them to calm down and sleep. It may be your only chance. Plus, it works the arms.
6. A penny saved is a penny earned
Put every penny you find in your child's college fund, even if you find it in their diaper. Life's not getting any cheaper. If your child ate the penny and survived, they are tough enough to deserve a college education. Even if they were dumb enough to eat a penny in the first place.
7. Don’t put off for tomorrow what you can do today
The laundry will still be there. Sleep now.
8. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink
If your kid won’t eat the broccoli, you can’t force it down their throat. But sometimes you can hide it under some cheese. And sometimes you can’t.
9. People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones
Parents should never, ever utter the words "I would never let my child …" You never know: Letting your child eat food off the floor can actually be the better option. Parents living in glass houses should also be care about throwing softer things, too. Not long ago, I walked into my son’s room, picked up a pillow from the floor and tossed it playfully at his face. “That pillow has barf on it,” he said. “I put it there for you to wash, Mommy.”
Becoming a parent causes strange changes in your perception of beauty. Suddenly, a diaper full of mustard yellow poop is a thing of beauty.
10. Variety is the spice of life
According to your toddler, there is no need to watch other television shows, eat other foods, wear other clothes, sing other songs or read other books. The same ones, over and over and over again, are good enough for them and should be good enough for you, too. Unless you put lunch out on your toddler's favorite green plate without being told to, in which case you're being boring. Go get the pink plate, now, who cares if it's in the dishwasher.
11. Don't judge a book by its cover
Especially since many books will lose their covers at the hands of your toddler. When buying books, it's always a good idea to read it before you buy it. Only pick books that won't make you insane after reading them 500 times. Be especially wary of books with bulldozers on the cover. Zzzzz ....
12. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder
Becoming a parent causes strange changes in your perception of beauty. Suddenly, a diaper full of mustard yellow poop is a thing of beauty. Babies also find beauty in unusual things. A ratty blanket or bedraggled bear will win their undying affection. And they will always beam with adoring love for their Mommy, no matter if her hair is stringy and unwashed, her eyes dark-circled and puffy, and she's wearing the same sweatpants for past three days. In their eyes, you’re perfect.