We spend a minimum of 12 years in school to prepare for life as a grown-up. But most of us are not prepared for parenthood, be it by pregnancy, surrogacy, or adoption. As soon as my husband and I found out that the roles of mommy and daddy were in our future, I began reading books for expecting parents as often as I could.
But before I share with you a list of reads for every expecting parent, I want to offer some tips I’ve gathered over the years from personal experience.
- Only you care that your house isn’t spotless. Giving your child the attention they need is far more important, now and in the future, than putting the dishes away.
- When disciplining your child start with the words, “I Love You.” My grown kids remember that to this day.
- Although it doesn’t seem like it, you can always catch up on sleep. So, if your baby, toddler, or teenager needs your attention in the middle of the night, be there for them.
- Maintain eye contact with your little one when he or she has something to say. Give them your full attention so they know you know it’s important. Because it is!
- It’s okay to hold your baby all the time. If that’s what you want and that’s what they need, go for it. They’ll still grow up to be strong and independent.
- People say that in the blink of an eye, your kids will be all grown up. BELIEVE THEM!!
- Early on, teach them the importance of:
- Being a good person
- Caring about other and the world we live in
- Proper manners
- Working hard for what they want
- How to think outside the box
- Being resilient
And now, here’s my suggested list of books for expecting parents:
- What to Expect When You’re Expecting by Heidi Murkoff
- The Girlfriends Guide to Pregnancy by Vicki Iovine
- Modern Families: Parents and Children in New Family Forms by Susan Golombok
- The Panic-Free Pregnancy by Michael S. Broder, M.D.
- Adoption is a Family Affair by Patrica Irwin Johnston
Now, go curl up and read one of these books while you still have the chance. I have no doubt some great parenting tips await.