It’s Aniah’s 13th Birthday so I thought it was fitting to share 13 things I’ve learned while parenting her!

1. A SOLID AND REAL RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS MADE ME LESS ANXIOUS AND MORE GROUNDED AS A PARENT. When Aniah was born the fear was REAL! I use to literally watch her sleep in fear that something might happen if I went to sleep while she was sleep. It made for an extremely rough first year of parenting. LMBO!!!! 😂 I got saved for real when Aniah was about 4 and my parenting slowly started to change then. I don’t have much patience still but the little I have came from Jesus himself 😂 Most of my anxiety about the trillion things that could happen to her slowly started to go away. I was no longer all over the place. I don’t want this to be too long but when you know Jesus for real all that anxiety, being anal and overthinking when it comes to your children just isn’t the same as everyone else. 

2. HAD TO GROW UP AND GROW UP FAST! I had Aniah at  19 years old. I was attending University of West Georgia and y’all Aaron & I were not on the best terms. For a moment I felt there could have been a very real chance I’d be single parent. So I immediately shifted to I need to make sure my daughter has a good life. I got a few jobs and started thinking of ways to make extra money and that’s when I really fell in love with makeup. Having Aniah pushed me to explore my passions. 

3.  IT REALLY DOES  TAKE A VILLAGE! You can do it alone but life will no doubt be extremely difficult for you. I’ve never had a problem asking for help but having Aniah really made this phrase so real for me! Aniah is at a phase where she thinks I’m cool but I’m still her momma so it’s imperative I surround her by Aunts and Uncles she can look up to and view as role models. Even though I want her to tell me everything realistically I know that may not happen. So I have her surrounded by people that she can talk to when she may not feel like talking to me. 

Aniah at 2 years old❤️ Speaking of village, my sister took Aniah to take these so she’d have Christmas pics ❤️

4. ADVICE IS ONLY ADVICE! There’s no manual to parenting and everyone is different. Aniah taught me that I control a lot more than I realize when it comes to parenting. I take advice with a grain of salt. I’m very stern with my children and it has made for some interesting comments but at the end of the day I know I am the parent and my children will not ever control me and just because other kids are doing things or behave a certain way does not give my children a pass. I’m the mother and what I say goes. There’s no other discussion. I always like to share examples. 😂 I had an associate who thought I disciplined Aniah too much. She believed in letting children be children and express themselves. She had no kids at the time but now her method has led to her child hitting her and telling her to shut up. She said she doesn’t want to stiffen his personality. He’s 3. 😩 Now that works for her household….. but for mine it will not. That’s all I’ll say about that 🤣🤣🤣🤣

5. PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH. Even though I am very firm with I don’t care what I am doing if I tell you to do something you do it 🤣 I do realize your children will DO AS YOU DO more often than do as you say. This is why even though I hate making up my bed and keeping my closet clean( it’s still not clean by the way but the rest of my house is 🤣 ) I realized I was training my little humans to be junky and not clean up after themselves😩 

6. PARENTING IS ABOUT CREATING ADULTS! Everything I do and teach these little humans is so that they’ll be amazing adults who can function in whatever in environment they are put in. That is always my end goal. From controlling their attitudes, to teaching them how to love in spite of how some may treat them to showing them what it looks like to pray and fast and having a real relationship with Jesus of their own. My thoughts are always will this action help them be better adults? Will anyone want to be around your child when they become adults if they continue on the track they are on?! #ParentingCheck ☝🏾

7. YOUR CHILDREN ARE NOT YOU! I felt like I knew this until Aniah started elementary school. I assumed because I excelled at school and didn’t need any direction to make straight A’s that my child would be the EXACT same. WRONG. Aniah struggled greatly with school up until last year. I had a come to Jesus moment Aniah’s last year of elementary school. I realized that if I didn’t figure out Aniah’s best learning methods and quick middle & high school would be a disaster. I went to Google and my mentor Momma Hill  for help. When I accepted that she was different everything else clicked. Aniah went from low C’s and failing test to almost straight A’s and making 100’s or higher on her finals and being put in advanced classes! Y’all! 🙌🏾😭

Aniah & I when she was 3 ❤️

8. YOU ARE YOUR CHILD’S BIGGEST ADVOCATE! Aniah knows that she can tell me something that she’s struggling with and we will come up with a solution together. Aniah knows that I am her mother and want the absolute BEST for her and besides her father no one else will advocate for her like me. She’s told me if she doesn’t know anything else she knows I have her back and that makes me extremely proud. 

9. I APPRECIATE & LOVE MY MOMMA EVEN MORE! Nothing like parenting your own child  that teaches you just how amazing your momma is. I often have sat and cried when I think of all my mother endured to get me to where I am today. It’s really been an eye opening experience for me. 😭

10. FAMILY IS EVERYTHING! I guess this could go hand in hand with you need a village. We have a pretty large family and holidays, birthdays and ANY reason to get together and celebrate my children and family are FOR IT. Family is the MOST IMPORTANT SUPPORT GROUP CHILDREN HAVE! 

Aniah with her grandma & cousin Quaylin ❤️

11. LOVE YOUR KIDS AND FORGIVE YOURSELF. You won’t do everything right. There’s no way to be a perfect mom, but there are lots of ways to be a good one.

12. YOU ARE THE RIGHT MOMMA FOR YOUR CHILD. You are the right momma for your child. God gave you your specific child for a reason. They need your personality and your love! Don’t ever think otherwise!

Aniah & I LOVE Snapchat! 🤣

13. LOVE YOURSELF & TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF. SELF CARE IN NOT SELFISH. I have ran into so many women who don’t take care of themselves. They take care of any and everyone else pouring every single last ounce of themselves into others all for the sake of someone not being able to call them “selfish”. I have seen those same women become short-tempered, judgmental and even jealous of those who have more freedom in their lifestyles. They begin to question their value and self worth. This reminds me of the airplane routine! Have you ever been on an airplane and listened to the instructions about using the oxygen masks in an emergency? The flight attendants always give special instructions to those traveling with children: Put your own oxygen mask in place before you place the mask on your child. Those directions seem to go against our very nature. Our first inclination is to take care of that child even if it means sacrificing ourselves. But when we stop to consider the reasoning behind the instruction, it makes sense. If we don’t take care of ourselves first, we might not be able to help either one of us and we might both perish in those few precious moments. If we put our mask in place first, we are then in a position to care for others. The same principle applies in life. We MUST FIRST TAKE CARE OF OURSELVES IN ORDER TO PROPERLY TAKE CARE OF OTHERS. This will give us the stamina, patience and perspective needed to care for the needs of others over the long haul! ❤️

What have you learned while parenting? Drop your nuggets in the comments below! 

Until next time,

Santana❤️

Aniah at 6 months ❤️

 

Aniah & her best friend Kylei ❤️

 

 

Santana Dillon
I'm a wife & momma to 4 beautiful children based out of Atlanta, GA. I love to blog about all things faith, family & fashion!