1. Children are little sponges.
What’s the expression? The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. When parents don’t say pleases and thank yous, is it really so shocking that the kids don’t either? And when parents are kind and respectful, it’s no wonder that their kids ask for a sticker instead of just taking one.
This is one of the things that scares me most about having children. They watch everything you do. They mimic you, your words, your behaviors. They truly are little sponges.
I knew this but didn’t realize how extreme it was until I interacted with hundreds of parents and their children every day. I think this is one of the reasons I feel unprepared to have children. I feel like I need to be the absolute best version of myself, to present to my children an example of someone that they should want to be like. I’m not that person (yet).
2. Children’s hospitals often have a safety store – selling car seats, sleep sacks, etc. at cost.
You are required by law to put your child in a car seat in the car. Many children’s hospitals nationwide get brand name safety items at cost and sell them at cost to make sure all kids have the safety equipment they need.
Anyone can shop at the safety store and everyone gets the items at cost. It’s such an awesome resource. Why pay full price at Target when you could get the same brand name car seat for cheap? The safety store also sells items like sleep sacks, monitors, and helmets.
If you are interested in seeing if your local children’s hospital has a safety store, visit their website or give them a call. Here is a list of all of the children’s hospitals in the US.
3. If you waited a long time in the ER, there’s probably a reason.
And that reason could be that there was a child much, much sicker than yours who needed attention first.
4. Someone doesn’t have to look like a good parent to be a good parent.
What does a good parent look like, really? One thing I’ve learned is the good and bad parents come in all shapes and sizes. A person can be a great parent (or a terrible one) regardless of what they look like, dress like, how many tattoos they have, how many teeth they’re missing, or what language they speak.
I feel like interacting with so many different kinds of people and families has made me a little less judgmental. Everyone gets a big smile and everyone gets my best care and concern.
5. You aren’t guaranteed a healthy child.
This is the scariest thing of all. It seems like because most people I know have healthy babies, that I will too someday. But seeing kids who have serious medical needs (sometimes life-long) every day has really terrified me. Sure, my kids could be healthy. And yes, even if they weren’t I would love them anyways. But there is always that chance that they won’t be and I have a reminder of that every single day.