11. If you're wavering about whether or not to take your kid to the doctor on a Friday, do it. In my humble opinion, your peace of mind over the weekend is worth the $35 copay.
12. Repeating yourself, concerning instructions, will only frustrate you. Yes, it's tiring to get up and go through the whole discipline scenario. Yes, it's inconvenient if your kids need a spanking right in the middle of dinner, or while you're at someone else's house, or while you're trying to do something fun for them. The quicker you take action, the less chance you have of becoming angry. Toddlers especially, understand action much more clearly than your lengthy explanation. Take the emotion out of it!
13. If you have a second child, while this child is still an infant and your older child/children need you, help them first. They will remember being neglected for the baby...the baby will not remember it.
14. With each additional child, you probably need to add 10 minutes to your "it'll take this long to get out of the house" estimate. Kids have a propensity for pooping and losing shoes riiiiight as you're trying to walk out the door.
15. On that note, if you are getting frustrated because one kid loses a shoe, then another kid poops, then another kid wants a drink, and all you want to do is get out of the stinkin' house to take them to the playground with enough time so you can unload them and let them play without them whining about not getting to stay long enough, stop and take a breath. To you, they are acting as one big frustrating unit. They're individuals. Typically, typically, they are not conspiring against you, although I promise, it will feel like they are, a lot of the time! Try not to be frustrated by the sheer amount of needs and/or demands. Try not to let them pile up into one big assault on you. Try to take care of one thing at a time. And take a deep breath.
16. Anything you can do to prepare for the next day, the night before, will benefit you greatly. Fill up cups the night before. Make lunches the night before. Lay out clothes the night before. I am not a morning person by any stretch of the imagination, but I can stay up late with the best of them. Why not be proactive!?
17. And speaking of staying up late. Don't. At some point, for me, it was with 3 kids (and its coming around after the 4th starting to sleep through the night), you will realize you need to change your schedule and you can't operate any longer on what comes naturally. Trust me, I've pushed this for as long as possible. Held out much later than I should have. Naturally, I am a night person. Do I still stay up later than I should? Sure. Do I pay for it the next day? Yes! I can most easily change myself by going to sleep earlier. I cannot make the kids sleep later in the morning. (Many days, the only chance I get to work out or read my Bible, is if I get up earlier than the kids to do it.)
18. The first year we had a kid go to preschool, there was so much sickness in our house! They're exposed to all kinds of stuff and will expose other kids in the house to the same. It's OK, it's stuff they'll encounter sooner or later. Be ready for it though. If they don't go to any type of school before kindergarten, it'll come then. Go immune systems, go!
19. Be reminded that so much of childhood is a phase. The good and the bad. Your kid gets out of bed 12 times to go to the bathroom before they go to sleep? It'll end. That sweet little toddler cries and cries when you leave them in the nursery or with a babysitter? That'll end too. Those precious, mispronounced words? They'll be corrected. The crazy? The crazy ebbs and flows, but I think it's like contractions...just when you think you can't handle another second, there is some relief.
20. Accept help. I love to help people but it's really hard for me to accept help. As soon as I realize I'm allowing people to do something they already want to do, it becomes much easier. Also, with so many people to care for, I cannot do it all on my own...that has helped me learn to accept help too. Leave it up to other people. If they offer, take them up on it. If they really didn't want to help, they just won't offer again!
I've got one more point that'll be the start of Part 3. However, if too much time elapses before I can compile some other points, it'll stand alone as the finale :).