14 Great Reader Comments on Parenting

Have you ever heard something that has changed the way you view parenthood? Here are 14 wonderful reader comments on raising children that made our hearts swell…

On following a child’s lead:

“When I was pregnant with my daughter, I came across a onesie that said, ‘Born To be Mild,’ which made me smile. My husband and I are both really mild-mannered, and I assumed our offspring would follow suit. WRONG! She’s only 11 months old but I can already tell she’s gonna be a spitfire. She wants what she wants and she wants it now. She gets super focused on tasks and then gets so frustrated when she can’t figure them out. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past year, it’s that she’s in control and I’m just along for the ride.” — Laura

“My kids are super different, and something that freaked me out for the longest time was that I didn’t feel the same way about them. But one day, I realized that I love all the different people in my life in different ways — my love for my husband is different than my love for my mom, which is different than my love for my best friend, because they are all *wait for it* different people! And that’s okay! Loving my kids differently doesn’t mean loving one more than the other. it’s just a different kind of love.” — Joanna

On sweet sayings:

“Trying (still) to get my five-year-old son to sleep in his own bed, and he told me, ‘I like your bedroom better because there is no YOU in my room.’ Heart burst.”— EC

“My two-and-a-half-year-old has started telling me, ‘Try your best,’ as I leave for work. It cracks me up! And I really do try my best!” — Nora

On the kindness of strangers:

“When I was a very new mom, a distant cousin tapped me on the shoulder at a funeral and whispered, ‘I can see you’re an absolutely wonderful mom.’ I still tear up every time I think about it, and it has been years. I like to give a similar compliment to new moms I encounter — moms can sometimes feel a little unseen. My version of the compliment is ‘your baby is in love with you.’ It’s never not true, and it usually lights up the face of the recipient (I stole it from the breathtaking documentary A Doula Story).” — HM

“Last year, my husband and I became foster parents to a five-year-old and three-year-old. While it has been difficult, it’s by far been the most rewarding thing we’ve ever done. We’ve been blown away by how kind so many people have been – from the manager at Target who held clearance items for us (when the kids came with only the clothes they were wearing) to the person selling her stroller on Craigslist who sent me home with an entire sack full of toys (when we didn’t have any toys at our house) to the daycare that rushed to get them spots. It’s been humbling to experience so much kindness from complete strangers.” — Bethany

On trusting kids:

“On the way to school each morning, it was my job to get the exact amount of money from my dad’s wallet for the newspaper. I had great pride being allowed to dig in his wallet and then the rush of paying the newspaper seller before the traffic light turned green. I don’t have children, but one thing I always try to do is trust them with a task, in my career as a teacher and with friends’ children. They have the same pride on completion as I had 20 years ago.” — Hannah

On bedtime routines:

“I can’t go to sleep until I have checked to make sure that all four of my girls are breathing – they are 8, 6, 4, and 18 months. I imagine I will be doing it for as long as they live under our roof, and may casually suggest that they call me every night before they go to sleep until they are in their 60s.” — Anna

“Most nights, I ‘cuddle’ with my kids as they go to sleep. We have a rule, which is that we lay back to back, booty to booty, a saying that tickles them. Practically, this allows them to know I am with them, but it isn’t a time for long chats and I can read my book so I don’t fall asleep. It’s a nice time to slow down and be there.” — Lisa

On rolling with the punches:

“One of my parenting mantras is ‘some days are crap days.’ When I’m in the middle of a day that is just not going well, I’ll think to myself, ‘Oh, I see, we’re having a crap day. Let’s just get through this as best we can.’ Maybe that means abandoning the schedule and staying in jammies all day, extra screen time, pouring bowls of cereal for dinner, and crawling in to bed as soon as the kids are asleep even though the house is a mess. When you’re having a tough day, just give yourself a pass and know that you can start fresh tomorrow.” — Kara

On taking it easy:

“My number one tip for traveling with three kids (ages 10, 7, and 3) is, when you’re not seeing the sites, let them do whatever they want! We recently went to Puerto Rico. We were so busy going to the beach, checking out the sites etc. that when we did have downtime: I let them do anything, which usually meant watching TV or playing video games. It’s their vacation, too! Plus, how am I going to get to read a book or lie around if I’m constantly initiating craft projects or bugging them to read?” — Chrissie

“My mom always made us healthy home-cooked meals. As a kid, I hated this. (Can we pleeeease get Velveeta?) But whenever my dad would leave town for work, she would cement her status as ‘Best Mom Ever!’ by letting us choose a frozen dinner to eat in front of the TV. Our trips to the supermarket, as my siblings and I giddily choose our own Kid Cuisine meal, may as well have been a trip to an amusement park.” — Stacey

On the teenage years:

“Not many people tell positive stories about being the parent of a teenager, but those teenager years can be amazing and so rewarding. Yet even when I was pregnant, people would say ominous things like, ‘Enjoy the baby years because when they get to be teenagers they are awful.’ This rubbed me the wrong way — I didn’t want to think of my son as ‘awful’ waiting to happen. So, I began telling him when he was about 10 years old, ‘You’re going to be a terrific teenager. You’re going to have so much fun, and you’re going to make the best choices for yourself, and you will love making decisions about what you want to do and learn. You are going to really like it.’ Now he is 17. The high school years have not all been smooth sailing, but life never is anyway, and I try to remember to keep giving him a version of that message: you can do this, you can make good choices and find your way, and we are right here for you if you need us. Sometimes it’s not a straight path, but he gets there.” — Claire

“When my teenager was small, she would play with my hair while she fell asleep. The other night she’d had a hard day and asked if I would lie with her at bedtime. After a few minutes I felt her hand find my head and was reminded that my big girl is still my little girl.” — Kim

What would you add?

P.S. More amazing reader comments and six words to say to your child.

(Photo by Emma Hartvig, via Land of Women.)