1. Never, ever, EVER say "Oh, I'll never do_________" (you fill in the blank with whatever it is you think you'll never do as a parent.) Guess what? You almost always do it. "I'll never sleep with my baby." "I'll never let my child walk around with a sippy cup" "I'll never let my baby only wear a diaper and shirt!" (ahem. last one was one of mine.)
Eliza: Queen of the t-shirt and diaper look.
2. Related to number one is rule number two. Don't judge, (other parents) lest you be judged (by other parents). "My child will NEVER behave like that in the store!" "Sheesh! Can't that mom stop her toddler from pushing my toddler down?" "gosh, that child sure talks to her mom with an attitude for a 5 year old. she must learn that at home." Sure, your 9 month old may not be into pushing, tantrum throwing, or attitude talking. But, trust me, they will grow into those things. Quicker than you think, too. Your child will be THAT child, smashing the bread in your grocery cart on purpose because he's mad. Your child will be mean to other kids at some point. My, then, 16 month old got into "trouble" at church almost every week for pushing kids down. She was, by far, the smallest child in the class. Weighing only 16 lbs. But, she felt the need to display her dominance (or make up for her short stature. Who really knows what goes through an 16 mth old's little head.) by pushing much larger kids down to the ground and saying a silent "boo ya!"
O: World's smallest bully
3. Bragging and/or complaining publicly about something your child is doing will result in a negating of such activity. For example, saying "yes, she does sleep through the night" (even with out "bragging") will likely result in your baby waking up 8 million times the following night. "My child is potty trained!" will, in the same manner, produce 15 accidents the next day, or, even more humiliating, a poop accident in his pants 5 minutes later. (Better yet, is the pooping in the corner in his room a year after being potty trained.) Reversely, tweeting "my baby won't stop crying!" will probably be the magic trick! Thus forcing you to type a follow up tweet saying "never mind. #babyisbipolar"
World's cutest room pooper
4. The doctor rule: Your child will be very sick at home. Running a fever, fussing, and general malaise. When you arrive at the doctor, with 4 kids in tow, have paid your co-pay, and your child's fever will miraculously disappear. she will be all non-sick smiles, flirting with the blond haired boy across the waiting room. The pediatrician will, consequently, find absolutely nothing wrong with your child. (Say good-bye to your $25 on your way out the door. )
Its $25 co-pay each child?!?
5. Your mom really does know a thing or two about babies. After all, she had you. So maybe she's not up to date on the current crib recalls, but she knows a thing or two about what babies love. I remember fervently telling my mom that, under no circumstances, would O be rocked to sleep. Not even by a visiting Mimi. When I say no circumstances, I meant it. Even when my mother was visiting us after I brought O home from the hospital. As in, O was a teeny tiny newborn, who likely had no idea she was being rocked versus in the car. (I think I read it in a book that you shouldn't associate sleep with rocking. You know, because books are perfect and all.) My mother, gently, told me
Zeke: Rock, rock, rocking on Heaven's door
So, there are my top five "rules" of motherhood. Any more that you'd add?