Unless you live in a cave somewhere, you’ve likely heard of the Broadway sensation, Hamilton. (If not, go listen to the soundtrack, like, now.) I commute with my kids every day, and we listen to it almost every day together. So what if there’s a few swear words in there? They’d hear more if we listened to Kidz Bop or the terrible horrible Mickey Christmas CD they got as a gift, directly from their mom’s mouth.
Anyway, the lessons of Hamilton extend well beyond teaching your kid the history of American democracy. If you pay enough attention, you might just realize that there’s some pretty good advice for parenting the preschool set. (Probably unintentional, but I think Lin-Manuel Miranda’s kid is about the same age as mine, so…you never know?)
1. Do not throw away your shot. If you see an opening to teach your child something, to get a word in edgewise, or even escape the house for a girls night out, DO IT. Jump on it and run.
2. They will passionately smash every expectation you have of them. Sometimes this is good, like when I realized that my child was perfectly capable of operating a stick vacuum. Sometimes this is bad, like every time he has a tantrum or a meltdown and I remind myself that he’s still so little.
3. They are [sometimes] willing to wait for it. The development of a sense of time has been pretty invaluable in our house–terrible twos were a “I need it NOW” struggle constantly. Now we can say, “we only watch movies on the weekend so you can pick one on Saturday,” and he kind of gets it.
4. It’s useful to have a spy on the inside, by which I mean preschool teachers. Treat them well, give non-crappy holiday gifts, and they will reward you with useful nuggets of wisdom to help you win the daily parenting war. Every mom needs a Hercules Mulligan.
5. “What is a legacy? It’s planting seeds in a garden you never get to see.” See also, having kids.
6. The world is wide enough for both you and your preschooler. Some days may feel like you’re Hamilton and Burr, oil and water. Give motherhood a break, take a breather, and realize that a duel is not the solution.
So, if you’re ever having a rough day of motherhood — look no further than the lessons of our founding fathers!