My wife and I had our first child just as my wife was planning to start going to college. Fortunately for us I had a job where I worked nights and weekends, which allowed me to be home with the baby while she as at school. It was much like learning how to ride a bike, with no training wheels. At first it’s a little scary and hard to figure out if you know what you’re doing. But you make some mistakes along the way and hope that you learn from it, and before you know it your riding a bike or raising your child.
As our first child got older there were some bad habits that we did along the way. Like letting him just crawl into bed with us if he woke up in the middle of the night. There was also laying down with him in his bed to help him fall asleep, after a while you found yourself falling asleep before he did. Then I think the worst thing we did, is we actually took him in the car at night and drove around until he fell asleep, not even sure anymore how we got to the point of thinking it was easier to go for car rides.
Before my wife graduated from college we welcomed our second child to our home. With already having gone through having a baby around the house before, a lot of the daily stuff was not new to me. I know we defiantly did different sleeping habits with her, so there wasn’t any nighttime driving to get her asleep.
Getting the kids in a routine is the biggest key I think to make your mornings easy for you. Getting them up at the same time during the week, having them eat breakfast, brush their teeth, and then getting dressed…. And then repeat the next day. Not everyone’s routine would be the same obviously, but after a while there’s not a whole lot of work for you to do, just making sure they get up when they’re are supposed to.
Sometimes though you don’t win every battle and you have to pick and choose which one’s you want to win just so you can win the war or so they say. My kids are not always the best at picking up after themselves at our house, but have heard over the years that at school that they are willing to do some extra help like putting supplies away or putting extra chairs away. So even though not picking up their stuff at our house isn’t ideal, I would like to believe doing that extra stuff for someone else might just be a little better in life. But at the same time doesn’t stop me from reminding them to pick up their stuff.
Recently my oldest had turned 14 and sometimes feel like maybe I didn’t learn to ride that bike as well as I thought. It isn’t like its completely horrible or a nightmare, but sometimes it’s frustrating to deal with his attitude. He gets really good grades and has started a job because he wants to have his own money. So the daily parenting with him has changed, there’s no trips to the park to get pushed on the swing or playing on the floor with hot wheels cars. Now days it’s more like a taxi service, but still being able to teach some life lessons along the way is nice.
My youngest is 10 going on 16, and has the sass to back it up. Over the last couple of years it’s been the struggle to keep her from thinking she needs to do everything her older brother does. Don’t get to have the same bedtime, don’t get to have your own cell phone and so on. Sometimes it’s hard to get her to do her homework or read, but there are days once I can get her started she keeps going for an hour or two.
Over the past fourteen years being able to stay at home with them is something I cherish, and I hope someday they can too.
Our mission is to assist women and families in the Brookings area and SDSU who are experiencing unplanned pregnancy to explore choices by providing appropriate resources and support including counseling, educational programs, and mentoring.
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Life, Love and Lessons Series
Option 1’s "Life, Love, and Lessons" blog series provides small glimpses into the life, love, and lessons from a variety parents. Some may be just like you and some may not resemble you, but each is here to share their own journey.
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Phone: (605) 692-1600
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