Inspired by the blog Waiting for Happy. My favorite of hers is #10, "The biggest thing I've learned, that I am JUST realizing this year, is that God didn't give me kids because he wanted me to perfect them and make them better. He gave me kids because they are a gift. He is using them to perfect ME and make me better."
Here are my 7 things from 7 years of parenting (in random order):
1) If there's a problem with how things are going, it's probably me.
2) The toddler years never end. (I technically know this isn't true, but I've been living in toddlerville for all of my seven parenting years.)
3) The days are long but the years are short. (I stole this from Gretchen Rubin.) My variation is: One way or another, every day comes to an end.
4) Make more eye contact, or as I like to think of it - soulful staring or warm eyes or my approval face. The look my kids get the most from me is the hairy eyeball when they're disobeying. I'm not very good at the positive side of this, but I'm trying. I got the idea from Our Town, "Oh, Mama, just look at me one minute as though you really saw me."
5) Your first child is like the first pancake. (Said to me by a friend as a word of encouragement on a bad day. Except now I have had four first pancakes. Kitty has it made, except she's the fifth so she suffers from mommy-enrichment-burnout. She has to bring me books for me to even remember that I should read to her.)
6) Persevere. That's one of our family mottos.
7) I'm not perfect and I cannot expect others to be perfect. (You'd think this one would be obvious, it is obvious, but I still agonize over every mommy fail. When I watched this short video, I noticed that the first thing the moms thought of when asked about motherhood was everything they weren't doing well enough. It also helps me to remember that I cannot expect great behavior from my kids all the time.)