Motherhood may seem like a game of guess and check or trial and error, as many moms know with Mother's Day coming up this weekend.
However, there are some universal tips that make motherhood a little easier and less stressful.
Here are ten things every mother should know, as compiled by Redbook magazine.
10. Family feuds happen—Kids are more likely to fight with their siblings than their friends. That sort of unconditional love defines family.
According to journalists Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman, authors of NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children, sisters and brothers who spend time together but bicker will be closer later than siblings who play separately.
9. Motherhood is not a competitive sport—Look for support and companionship from other moms. Find a group of moms from your office or neighborhood to meet regularly with to share joys, frustrations and a glass of wine with.
8. Don’t feel guilty for working or not working—Child care and maternity leave are meant for you to take advantage of! Make a choice regarding your career that is right for your family and feel good about it.
7. Apology accepted—Saying you’re sorry when you make a mistake is just a small gesture that teaches your kids that no one is perfect. Your kids will learn that everyone makes mistakes and it's better to acknowledge them and move on without the hard feelings.
6. Get over yourself, Pinocchio—If it means that your kids will pick up their toys, or take a nap, or eat broccoli, then it's okay to tell the occasional white lie.
5. Laugh at yourself, a lot—The next time you find a cheerio in your hair and catch yourself eating it, or you talk in a baby voice to thank the cashier at your grocery store, laugh. Motherhood is fun, funny and hard, enjoy it.
4. Plan outfits ahead of time—To make your weekday mornings less hectic, plan out your kids’ outfits the day before. If you’re feeling ambitious, plan out the entire week’s attire on Sunday afternoon--this could spare you some stressful mornings.
3. Let Dad parent too—Valerie Davis Raskin, M.D., a Chicago-based psychiatrist and author of a book about motherhood says, "Kids want to be loved in different ways, and to experience different aspects of love. As long as Dad's ways aren't dangerous, it's a good idea to let it go."
2. Motherhood is a learning curve—It’s all right to make mistakes, learn from them and move on. Not everything is your fault anyway: Just because your child gets on an elevator at a crowded mall and takes a solo ride down to the food court doesn’t mean you’re a negligent mother, unless of course you leave them there.
1. You can raise a healthy eater—Get your kids into the kitchen. A registered dietician explains, "Children feel important when they're asked to pitch in, and because they take pride in the finished product, they're more likely to have an open mind about eating it." Chef hats come in small, too.
To read more of Redbook's article on 10 things every mom should know, click here.