by Alissa Holm

My mom with her first child, circa 1978

We all have our own “What if’s” and “I wish’s” about past phases of life. In an attempt to learn from the past, I’ve come up with a series of blog posts based on this idea: Learning from other’s past experiences to enhance another’s future experiences. In part one, I discussed what married LDS women wish they would have known before they tied the knot. For this segment, I’d like to discuss what LDS women wish they would have known before they had kids.

Like I said in my last post, I am not married, nor do I have any children. However, I do have several connections in my life to wise women who do have children and know quite a bit on the subject. So, without further ado, I give you a list of ten “What I Wish I Would Have Known’s” in regards to having children.

1. Motherhood means sacrifice. Joseph Smith said, “Sacrifice is the first law of heaven.” From the moment you conceive your child, you will learn to sacrifice everything from your health, to your sleep, to your appear for them.
2. Kids won’t ever be happy when they are hungry or tired. Your kids need to be well fed and rested to be happy and perform well.
3. Don’t sweat the small stuff. You can discipline children all day long for what they’re doing wrong. Some of these things aren’t THAT big of a deal. Who cares if the kids rearrange your silverware drawer? Yes, it is annoying, but it isn’t worth making a big deal out of it.
4. Emotional scars are just as bad as physical scars. Be careful with your little ones’ hearts.
5. Be silly. Sometimes this is the best way to connect with your child.
6. Read a lot. Turn off the TV and teach your children to love books.
7. Kids are mirrors. Sometimes they may be slow to listen, but they are very quick to imitate. Be careful.
8. Traditions matter. The traditions your family establishes will shape your child’s memories for the rest of their lives.
9. You can’t spoil your kids with time, just money. Spending extra time with your kids can only make them better.
10. Be quick to forgive. Kids are so quick to forgive, so don’t feel too bad when you make a mistake. Just try harder the next day.