The Best Parenting Advice Ever

Not long ago, I was asked by two different sets of new parents-to-be if I had any advice as each couple prepared for the birth of their first child.

In both cases, I gave some of my best nuggets…my thoughts on products that were all hype (wipe warmers) as well as tips on how to layout a nursery for maximum efficiency.

Not to brag, but I was pretty proud of the sage advice I passed on, and I’m certain those folks were mesmerized by my wisdom!

After a recent stretch at home though, I wondered if I had given them the best advice I could have. And suddenly it hit me…the best parenting advice ever! I should have told them to:

Get some sleep while you still can!

Go to bed early…take a nap…sleep in!

Quit binge watching the latest trendy show on Netflix or staying up until 1:00 in the morning to see Jimmy Fallon slow jam the news!

Stop getting up early on Saturdays for a “fun run” (oxymoron) or a sunrise tour of historical downtown wherever!

Remember how tired you thought you were when you and the Johnsons went to see the midnight showing of Hunger Games 2? Yeah, that was nothing!

It’s. About. To. Get. Real.

All I’m saying is the kiddos don’t always look like this:

Advice Everyone Should Hear Before Becoming a Parent

Sometimes they wake up at 2:00, 2:30, 3:00, 3:30, 4:00…

And, sometimes they wake you up before 6:00 on a Saturday morning singing “Oh, Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun…Please shine down on me.” (Yeah, my wife and I haven’t slept past 6:30am on a weekend since 2008.)

Ok, ok…that’s not real advice…I’m only kidding!

No, I’m not…Yes, I am! Well, either way, there’s a little truth in every joke, right?

So, if that’s not the best advice I could have given…what is?

What words of wisdom or encouragement would you offer new parents? What’s the one thing you wish someone had told you? What have you learned along the way that’s made you a better parent?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Kelly

    However much you THINK it’s going to cost to raise a child, it’s not enough! SAVE, SAVE, SAVE! It’s. About. To. Get. Real. Aside from the lack of sleep and lower bottom line, having kids really is a total blast. It honestly doesn’t get much better….God’s way of keeping us all humble, and laughing!

    • Stephen

      Thanks for the comments, Kelly! I agree, it is a total blast! I wouldn’t trade it for anything!

  • Alisa

    I agree. Get.Sleep.Now. Also, work really hard to have as much fun as possible. Leave the dishes in the sink. Put away the vacuum (you hear me Steve?). I know it’s hard to enjoy the times when everyone in the house is puking and waking up in the middle of the night, but that’s why you have to make the fun times as much fun as possible. Teach your kids to be kind and love Jesus.

  • It’s just funny how much time you have in a day that you don’t even realize pre-children.