Last weekend was my sons first birthday. It’s amazing how quickly he’s gone from being a little baby in my arms to a little boy running around tormenting his mother. It’s exciting to watch Tobin learn and grow. After a year of being parents it’s also interesting to think of the things we’ve learned and how we’ve changed. Here are some of the things we’ve learned over the last year.
1. Don’t underestimate your kids. Tobin is only one year old and it’s easy to think that he might not be able to understand or do something. We’re constantly amazed by how much he does “get”. Even though he doesn’t communicate with words yet, it is surprising how much conversation he follows. There are many things that we can tell him and he shows us by his actions that he “gets it”. I think this is true of kids of all ages, and maybe adults too. If we set the expectation higher, they will rise to it.
2. Communicate with each other. This is one of the most important things for us. I have always thought that I was quite good with kids. What has surprised me is how many things my wife picks up on that I am clueless about. I think she is even more surprised than I am that there are things that are glaringly obvious to her and I am oblivious to them. I really appreciate that she takes the time to point things out to me, even though I’m sure it’s hard not to be frustrated that I just don’t get it the way she does. That’s just one little area of communication. Being able to communicate and work well together goes right down to the core of our relationship.
3. Have fun. Everything changes so quickly with kids it’s really important to enjoy each stage for what it is. It is easy to wish for the day when we won’t be changing diapers (which will be a long time with the 4 kids we want to have), but if we’re always wishing for tomorrow we will miss out on the great things that are happening today. There are so many moments worth enjoying with your family, don’t miss them thinking about what you could have instead.
Being a parent is a huge responsibility and a rewarding experience! It is also a lot of work. As hard as it is sometimes when you’ve been up all night or the only words you’ve said all day are “No, don’t touch that” it is all worth it.