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16 Things New Parents Deserve to Know

Parenting is awesome. And frightening. And wonderful. And hard.

Whenever a couple announces their first pregnancy, I’m filled with glee and yes, a hint of sympathy. If they only knew how much life was about to change. If they only knew how much they were about to be challenged. If they only knew how much they don’t know.

The fact is, no one tells you the whole truth about parenthood the whole truth is more than just words. Parenthood is an accumulation of beautiful bittersweet experiences that have to be lived to be fully understood.

While I may never find the perfect words to comfort expecting parents, my experience can offer these 16 things they simply deserve to know.

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  • It gets harder 1 of 16
    It gets harder
    Unfortunately sore nipples, sleepless nights, and colic are not as hard as it gets. But that's OK; you're up for the challenge.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Your kid won’t always be the best 2 of 16
    Your kid won't always be the best
    Your kid may not always be the smartest, cutest, fastest, or most creative, but he is to you and that's all that matters. Humility is a valuable lesson for both parents and children.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Just say no to competition 3 of 16
    Just say no to competition
    Limit your association with parents who make everything a competition. You're running your own race here and every parent trying their best deserves to be a winner!
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Dirt don’t hurt 4 of 16
    Dirt don't hurt
    It's only natural to want to keep that precious baby as shiny and new as the day she was born, but science confirms that kids need dirt. Relax with the antibacterial wipes, Mom and Dad!
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • You might know more than your doctor 5 of 16
    You might know more than your doctor
    Trust your gut. While doctors are medical professionals, you're a professional when it comes to your kid. If something isn't right, speak up and advocate for your child.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Ask for help 6 of 16
    Ask for help
    There's no gold medal for doing it all on your own. Recognizing your personal limitations and asking for help is the greatest gift you can give yourself and your family.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • You know less than you think 7 of 16
    You know less than you think
    We were all "better" parents before we had kids. Abandon those "I'd never let my kid" notions and get real. We're all learning as we go.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Just when you figure your kid out… 8 of 16
    Just when you figure your kid out...
    ...they'll change like a cosmic joke. Parenting is a constant evolution designed to keep you on your toes.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Don’t rush in to help 9 of 16
    Don't rush in to help
    Allow your kids to stumble, argue, fail, and ask for help. It's all part of learning and normal child development.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • The kisses stop 10 of 16
    The kisses stop
    Enjoy all the sweet tender moments your child will allow because sadly, they won't last forever.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • There are no experts 11 of 16
    There are no experts
    Don't let those sanctimommies fool you. All any parent can claim to be an expert in is their own child. Do what you know in your heart to be best for your child.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Keep other interests 12 of 16
    Keep other interests
    It's wonderful to take your parenting responsibility very seriously, but maintain your personal interests. Parenthood, while a huge part of you, is not all of you.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • They get more expensive 13 of 16
    They get more expensive
    When you first start bleeding money for diapers, formula, and miscellaneous baby gear, you'll make a silent promise to your bank account that once they're potty trained and eating solid food things will get financially easier. I'm sorry to tell you this, but they don't.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • You will screw up 14 of 16
    You will screw up
    You will screw up in spite of your admirable intentions. Take comfort in knowing we've all done it and will continue to do it; we're human!
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • It happens 15 of 16
    It happens
    Leave it to your child to wake up with a fever on your first day of vacation, cry through a family photo session, or vomit for the babysitter on your first date night in ages.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • There is simply no greater joy… 16 of 16
    There is simply no greater joy...
    ...than parenthood. You've done your soul proud and given the world a precious gift in your child.
    Image credit: Shutterstock

What else do new parents deserve to know?

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