Regardless of how many parenting books one gets to read, the best lessons on parenting are learned when you become a parent yourself. Here are a few things I have learned over the years
1. It's OK for baby to cry - When I was a new parent, I felt guilty and scared whenever my baby would cry. Guilty that I may be doing something wrong and scared that something might be the matter. Check on the diaper, feed baby, make sure baby is burped -- check all possibilities that may be causing baby's restlessness. If all is ruled out, then maybe it's just a really bad day for baby. We have our bad days and so does baby! Try calming baby down by singing to him or cuddling him.
2. Our temperament affects baby's temperament -- Giving birth is not easy. Recovering after giving birth while caring for a newborn is harder. Hormones can still be all over the place thus affecting our moods. But remember, baby can feel the tension and can become uptight too. Try your best (though it may seem impossible, but still try) to relax and have more positive thoughts. Baby will be calmer and will have a more pleasant disposition.
3. Establishing a routine earlier on goes a long way - This works especially well for working moms. Since I was always "on the go" with all my 3 kids, I had to have a fixed bath time for them (before leaving for school and then later on work), fixed feeding schedule, fixed nap time and fixed going to bed time. This allowed me to finish more things because baby;s schedule was more or less predictable. Although a lot of adjusting had to be done in the beginning, eventually both baby and I learned to stick to the schedule!
4. Chicken broth for the sick IS NOT an old wives tale - I have to say, this is by far the best remedy when children -- even mommies-- are down with the colds or flu.
5. Apple cider vinegar for sore throat -- mix 1 teaspoon in a glass of lukewarm water. Drink. The next day, you'll forget you even had a sore throat.
6. Each child is different = different parenting styles - I found out that what you used to do with your first baby does not necessarily mean it'll work with your second or third. Each has a different temperament so you will just have to "experiment" and see what works best for them.