10 Things Parents New + Old Should Never Forget

There's no doubt about it; Parenting is so hard! Thankfully, the good times outweigh the trying ones, but that doesn't change the fact that it's a 24/7 365 job. That's constantly changing.

During my short time so far as a first-time parent, I have learned many valuable lessons, the hard way. Every day is different. Some are so friggin insane, I want to run away to Never Coming Back, Island. Some, I want to pause and cherish for as long as possible.

Below are 10 Parenting Mantras I use almost daily that help me maintain my sanity. I've come to realize, these mantras will be with me for life, because without them, I would need a padded room.

1. Laugh at yourself. First and foremost, Laugh. Parenting is hard enough, if you don't find the humor in it, you will go batshit by the end of the first 6-weeks.

2. Laugh at your child. Kids are hysterical, laugh at them. Most of all, laugh with them.

3. Forgive yourself. There is no such thing as the perfect parent. No. Such. Thing. We all make mistakes. If at first you don't succeed... you will eventually.

4. Forgive your child. Those little sh!ts mean well. Really, they do.  Just like us, kids make mistakes, too. It's part of life. For little ones, life is all about trying new things and testing limits. They are bound to screw up a few (hundred) times.

5. The Joneses are assholes. Damn those Joneses trying to set standards and pass judgments. Pay no attention to the talking heads. They don't know you or your child.

6.  Your instinct is right, listen to it. Mom. Dad. Listen to your inner parent, it knows what's best. Don't let someone or some book make you think otherwise. Start with your instinct, then go from there.

7. The "Right Way" is the way that works for your family. Your family is the new normal. Don't let a book tell you your instinct is wrong. You know your child(ren) better than anyone else, work within those bounds.

8. Say I love you and hug your family every day. Who doesn't love a little acknowledgment and affection? I know kids especially do. So give it to them. Make there be no question just how loved they are.

9. The dishes can wait. Don't sacrifice your family time. Take the time to be with your family now, because tomorrow is not promised. Besides, the dishes will always be there.

10. Love every second and every stage because you will miss them dearly. Yes, even the really annoying stages. Every day goes by so fast. Be in the moment and try to document as much as possible.

April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit AprilMcCormick.com