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Best Parenting Advice I Ever Received

Being a mother is, without a doubt, the hardest job I have ever done.  I know to say this is a bit of a cliche, but it's true.  It is a twenty four hour a day job, in which my employers even follow me to the bathroom to make sure their requests are heard and fulfilled.  That being said, it is also the most wonderful and important job I do, as well as the one I worry about most.

I am the type of person that likes things to be right. I have to admit to a little (okay a lot) of OCD regarding certain things, such as my work, or more importantly my children.  I try to do everything right for them so that they are fulfilled, challenged, happy, healthy, and most of all loved. A daunting task I know and one I usually find I don't fulfill as I wish I could.

When my first son was born I was almost manic trying to take care of him.  I sterilized everything, including, believe it or not, my dad before he, or anything, would be able to come into contact with the baby.  It could be said I stalked my son, watching his every move and doing my best to ensure he was stimulated, healthy, progressing, happy, and of course loved.  What did this truly accomplish you may ask? Not a whole lot to be honest, except to drive me and the baby a bit loopy.  Finally one day my grandfather, who was ninety two at the time and was rocking the baby told me something very important.  He said, "Honey, you don't have to worry about all the stuff you're worrying about. The color of his bedding and how many books you read to him and all the other stuff.  You just love him and let it go.  The rest will follow.  Enjoy him, Honey, love him and enjoy him, that's it."

It was, at that moment, like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders.  Suddenly I realized all my hovering, obsessing, and sterilizing of everything (including our personalities), wasn't helping anyone, in fact it was probably holding us back from having a good time and enjoying this time in our lives.  It was the single most important and most useful piece of advice I have ever received.  It is also the one I pass along most.