Things I Said I Would Never Do As A Parent, Before I Was One.
We can all admit saying "I would never" at some point in our lives. There are even those occasional moments where our judgy eyes shoot lasers at the moms who are doing things different than we do. It's human. Let's face it. We're all jerks.
In my early 20's, before my actual husband or children were even a twinkle in my eye, I had motherhood down. I could tell you what you were doing wrong, why your kids were so god-awful, and how to fix it. In watching parents, I was able to figure out what my life as a mother would look like. And here was my list of "Nevers".
First off, I was never going to co-sleep. Co-sleeping was the worst possible thing you could do to your marriage and your child. Reasons: It creates bad habits, you won't be able to sleep, your children end up dropping out of college because they can't twirl their mom's hair in their hands as they fall asleep in their dorm rooms, and you and your husband lose intimacy. Then I had kids. It started off great. My first kid slept in a pack n' play in our room for 3 months. Then we moved Jack right into his own room, where he slept 12 glorious hours each night. I was a sleep training pro. Every mom needed to follow my lead. Second baby came along. Charlie decided he would not sleep in a room without me. He would wake up screaming every 15 min when I tried to keep him in his own room. So for survival alone, in my bed he went. You can only get up, zombie walk to your child's room, and shove a binky back in your screaming baby’s mouth so many times before you throw in the spit-up splattered towel. He won. And baby number 3? Nora is now 9 months old and still in my bed. Not because she needs me, but because I need her. She is my last snugly, little bear cub and I can't stand to think I'll never have a baby in my bed again. And guess what? My 4 and 5 year old boys now sleep in their own room, in their own beds, without me. I know. It's crazy. Oh, and the losing intimacy part? That doesn't happen because of co-sleeping. That happens because of kids in general.
Next, I was never going to allow my wolf pack to throw tantrums in stores. When did these parents decide discipline wasn't a thing anymore? How could they just stroll away from their child having a psychotic episode in the toy aisle. No. My kids would walk respectfully in a single file line, right behind mommy and her cart, and only speak when spoken to. God has had lots of fun with this one. Target employees have mandatory team meetings just so they are prepared when we walk in those doors. I make sure my list is in plain sight. I repeat the bribe of choice continuously throughout our shopping experience. I run through each row like I'm in a game show about to win a billion dollars. Yet in my thoroughly sketched out plan, they still end up losing their s%$@, things come tumbling off the shelves, there is always one kid that hits the floor to flail around like a freshly caught trout, and usually by the time we reach the swagger wagon, I am covered in a heat rash. So....that idea worked out well for me.
Another thing I said I would never allow my offspring to do was be "picky eaters". Who do these parents think they are making 7 different meals for dinner? Who runs your household? Get it together! For the LOVE! My kids were going to be thankful for the food set before them. They would eat all their vegetables and whatever creative pinterest recipe I chose for the day. The second my babies would be old enough for solid foods, I would strictly feed them vegetables and protein so they never knew the dangers of sugar. Well, with my first kid, the idea of making my own baby food made me even more exhausted than I already was. So, I instantly went to those little plastic containers that sit on the grocery store shelves for months. Those were just so convenient. Sure, there might be some sketchy stuff in there like bleach to keep it from growing mold, but its as close to the real thing. If the real thing was processed and packaged in a factory. Ok, confession: my first 2 kids lived off of those preserved cups. It just made life so much easier. But with my third, I was ready for the change. I didn't want my baby to eat anything on the list on no-no's from Earth-muffin moms. You know the ones. The natural types, who grind their own gluten free grains on a rock in their herb gardens, while their dreadlocks stay perfectly twisted up in their top knots. I was going to try SO hard to be more like them. Plus, I didn't want my kids to have any reason to contract extra digestive issues that weren't already passed down by me. So, I went out and bought the baby bullet and all the little containers to freeze her food. My very first gigantic batch of sweet potatoes were not a hit. Her first bite was her last. So, as any other on the fence Mom would have done, I gave up then and there. Right back to aisle "baby" for the meat pudding. And those 5 month old sweet potato remains are still out in my garage refrigerator, most definitely covered in mold. I came home from work the other night to my husband feeding the baby a chocolate chip muffin for dinner. By the third kid (and under the care of your husband) you learn to be thankful they eat anything at all. Now that my boys are old enough to eat the well-balanced meals I prepare for us, they have decided anything that doesn't include artificial colors or "nugget by-product" is straight from Satan himself. Point is, kids go on food strikes. There is no amount of bribery or parental magic to change their evil minds. So really, the only motto I stuck to is, you "EAT IT OR STARVE" in my kitchen. Mwa ha ha.
Basically, I’ve learned through each child I’ve birthed, that they are here to throw our entire world upside down. The second you think you have become an expert in anything kid related, be prepared to fall flat on your face. First time parents, mark my words. That first child of yours who listens when you tell them to stop, the child who walks right beside you at the grocery store without wandering, the kid who never climbs out of his crib, the crawler you never had to child proof for....if you're having more kids, BE READY! I will never say “never” again. Hands in the middle. Bombing at momming on three.....