Rule #26: Being a parent is like folding a fitted sheet. No one really knows how.

February 2, 2020: Day 1,000 as a family of five. 1,000 days. 142 weeks. 32 months. Nearly 3 years.

1,000 days of childhood and parenthood. 1,000 days of lessons learned. 1,000 days of eye rolls. 1,000 days of coffee. 1,000 days of tears. 1,000 days of laughter. Time has flown by and yet, it seems like we’ve been a family far longer than 1,000 days.

I spent part of today reviewing the nearly daily Facebook post updates about our family when we first became a family of five back in 2017. As I’ve been reminiscing, laughing and praising God that we’re no longer in survival mode, I’ve realized there were lessons we were learning from day one. Lessons about life, lessons about parenthood, lessons about being a spouse once you’re also a parent, and lessons about finding yourself outside of the identity of Mommy or Daddy.

We’re still on this journey. We’ll be on this journey for the rest of our lives. Seasons will come and go. And though parenthood is no longer new for Chris and me, we’re still learning. We’re learning how we can be the best for each other, learning how we can be the best for our girls, and learning how we can be the best version of ourselves as we navigate this life.

Some of these lessons are still being discovered. But here are just a few lessons learned in parenting during those first 100 days:

Lesson One: There ain’t nothing wrong with apologizing.

As a parent, you’re going to have to apologize to your kids. You’re going to get things wrong. You’re going to lose your cool. You may even throw a teddy bear out of the bathroom and then have to apologize to your two year old. But as parents, our kids need to know that it’s human to make mistakes. It’s how we we apologize and correct our mistakes that our kids will remember.

Lesson Two: Poop is life.

Let’s be real. Life is all about poop when you have young kids! Poop will be on the floor, in the diaper, on the carpet, on your dog, on your face and anywhere else EXCEPT in the toilet when you have young kids. As I’ve looked back on the first 100 days or so, I can’t tell you how many updates were about poop. Way more than I would have expected! And since we’re still in the throngs of potty-training, I have to remind myself that it’s important to stay calm and be consistent when potty-training. Pooping anywhere but on the toilet happens with young kids!

Lesson Three: Be honest about color.

When you adopt a child who is another race than you are, it’s important for them to know their culture. It’s important for you not to pretend to be colorblind. Your child needs to be surrounded by people who look like them and can teach them about their heritage. Chris and I do our best to ensure our girls aren’t solely surrounded by white people. It’s important for them not to be the minority the majority of the time. This gives our girls the opportunity to build relationships with persons of color and learn more about their history and who they are.

Lesson Four: There’s a first for everything!

There’s a first for a kid rolling themselves up in a rug and talking to God there. There may be a first for you as a parent changing a diaper. And at some point, there will be a first time that poop that is not your own will definitely be on you. (Yes, we’re back to poop.)

Lesson Five: Togetherness and solitude are essential to survival.

I love spending time with my girls. They are joyful, creative, exuberant, intelligent, athletic, musical, and inquisitive. Most of the time, it’s a joy to be with them and to learn from them. But I have to be honest. I need my alone time. I need my morning time when I can have a cup (or two) of coffee alone. I need time living out my passion and being surrounded by adults instead of a bunch of kids. It’s a challenge finding the right balance, but having time together as a family and apart from one another is essential.

We’re still on this parenthood journey. Chris and I are still discovering new lessons in parenting every day. As parents, we know we won’t get everything right. But as long as Chris and I support each other, communicate and prioritize our relationship, we’ll figure out this parenting thing together.

Here’s a look back at a few highlights from the first 100 days of being a family!

Want to read the first 100 days Facebook updates? Check out the First 100 Days blog post to see what life was like in the beginning!

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