Thoughts and Tips from a Mom Who’s “Been There, Done That”

Hi, my name is Pam and I’ve survived sleepless nights, sore nipples, and “cry it out.” I’ve seen the other side of potty training, toddler beds, and the first day of school. My kids are six and seven (ALMOST eight…what?!) and I’m here to tell you that no matter what crazy baby/toddler/preschooler stage you’re in right now, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. To survive the past few years, I’ve had to stock up on lots of red wine and mommy friends who “get it.” I also learned a lot through trial and error..and more error. I thought I’d share some parenting tips that I picked up along the way.

Pop Mommy

1. Don’t worry so much about those dreaded “milestones.” Here’s the headline: They will walk. They will talk. They will use a fork. They will pee in the potty. They will learn to tie their shoes, ride a bike, and read a book. It just takes time and patience and ignoring all those annoying baby manuals and your mother-in-law. Your child will get there. Believe me. Now, go spend your time worrying about sleep because…


2. Sleep is IMPORTANT. It’s the one thing you can (kinda) control and, I don’t know about you, but I felt so out of control as a new mom that I was all about nailing down some sleep patterns. I read a bunch of books and put a plan into action early in the game. Both my kids took two naps and slept through the night. They never once slept in Mommy and Daddy’s bed because that is sacred ground. I also let them (gasp!) “cry it out.” And guess what? They survived it without any physical and emotional harm! They don’t even remember it! So take control of sleep and put it as a priority! You’ll thank me at 8:00 pm when your feet are kicked up on the couch and you’re watching “Real Housewives” and drinking your favorite Cabernet. Cheers!

Sleep - Pop Mommy

3. Organize your photos NOW. Whether you like traditional photo albums, scrapbooks, or online photo books, start the process when your babies are born. I wish I had been more diligent. I’m working on it now and I never thought I would get so exhausted from looking at hundreds of pictures of my daughter on the play mat or my son taking a bubble bath. Stop what you’re doing right now and organize your photos before you’re pulling a week of all-nighters their senior year of high school. Side tip: Be sure to get IN the photos! Don’t be the Mom who worries about extra baby weight or that pimple on your chin. You’ll be disappointed when you look back at memories and only see Dad and the kids having a blast because you were having a bad hair day.

Organizing Pics - Pop Mommy


4. Starting school is the start of a whole new world of social status, peer pressure, and worry. And I’m talking about YOU. You’ll be dealing with new parent relationships and authority figures. It can be stressful. My biggest tip is to get involved from the start. Put in the effort to get to know the teachers, principal, and staff. If they know you, they’ll help you out with a grade concern or if you need to fudge a volunteer hour. It’s all about who you know. And take care of the teachers with gifts and thank you notes. They have to deal with your kid’s personality quirks times TWENTY.

Side tip: Please invest in travel sanitizer for school back packs and teach your little ones to wash their hands. I also bought peppermint spray for hair when I heard about a lice outbreak. (I know. I know. ) School is a pit of germs and you want to avoid those little suckers coming into your home as much as possible. Either way, they WILL GET SICK. You can’t avoid it, but you can try to decrease it. Just be sure to chug your multivitamins with your morning Starbucks too.

Classroom - Pop Mommy


5. Read to your children every night. Bedtime is also the time when my kids open up to me about their day. I know it’s hard to always have a sit-down dinner together, but reading every night is something every parent can do. It will help your child learn to read by Kindergarten and will establish their love for books, which, in this iPad/iPhone/ iNeedThatNewAppNow world, is pretty gosh darn cool.

Reading - Pop Mommy


Finally, speaking of electronics, my kids watched their fair share of television when they were little. They loved the Baby Einstein videos, Sesame Street, and that adorable Steve from Blue’s Clues. Wait, that might have been me. Either way, their screen time was limited, but I definitely wasn’t clocking their daily intake. Both grew up to be focused, intelligent students. So give yourself a break if you need to throw Frozen on the iPad again because of an unexpected meltdown. It’s all good. I’ve been there, done that.

Are you an “older” mom like me? What’s your favorite tip for “newer” moms?
Comment below!

Pam Kaye
Pam Kaye is a work-at-home mom to Daniel (9) and Annabel (7). She moved to Jacksonville in 2007 when her husband, Mark Kaye, became the morning show host on radio station 95.1 WAPE. Having children inspired Pam to start her blog where she writes about her love for her family and everything “pop culture.” Before Mommyhood, Pam worked as a promotional consultant and publicist for the movie and radio industries in New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Washington, DC. She's shared popcorn with Jeff Daniels, drank Starbucks with Matthew McConaughey, and received a personal “shout-out” from Taylor Swift during one of her concerts. Pam loves traveling, checking out new restaurants, cheering on the Jags, and meeting amazing children through her family charity, Kaye's Kids. (


  1. Great message- as a mom to an almost 8 year old and a 5 year old I completely agree. Just trying to keep up with photos is a full time job!

  2. I have grown children and three grandchildren. Your blog is wonderful! I would add: don’t worry about the house mess and broken items. Value your children more than material possessions. Build loving, loved children not over cautious nervous adults. Eventually the house will be clean and material possessions will be forgotten. The love remains.

  3. As the mom to girls ages 16, 15 and 9…savor every moment, time does fly and you will wake up and they will be seniors. They won’t take a bottle, paci or thumb when they are 10 or want to be rocked to sleep…do what feels right for you, don’t allow yourself to be judged by others…make memories!

  4. Sleep is certainly important – but cry it out isn’t the only answer. I’d encourage moms to do what is right for their family!! Each baby is different.

  5. I love your tips, and I enjoyed reading the article…but I’d also love to hear more about this light at the end of the tunnel. I often feel like “being a mom is hard right now, but it will get better”. But then I read all of the, “if you thought TWO was hard, just wait till THREE!” And then there are the endless comments about how every single stage of having kids is hard. I was so excited to read this refreshing article about how GREAT it is when the kids are a bit older. Can you indulge me on how great the light is?


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