There is a saying, “I was the perfect parent until I had kids.” Boy, that is true! When pregnant with our first, my husband and I would often go through the things we observed other parents doing that we would NEVER do. A lot of these still stuck when we only had one kid, but kid #2 turned our worlds upside down. We lost any control we thought we had. I was kidding myself thinking I would be the boss of my kids. The youngest person in the house is always the boss.
We had this blueprint for what we thought parenting should be like. But life with kids is uncharted. Once a birthed a child, many of those pre-kid pledges fell to the wayside. Here are some things I said I’d never do as a parent, that I’m currently doing:
Do you know how much you can get done in a 30-minute episode of Sesame Street? Make it a one-hour episode and wow… I can cook dinner in peace. We actually stuck to our initial parenting vow for the first year. But then I got pregnant and had horrible morning sickness. After the first time she followed me to the bathroom and patted my back as I threw up, I knew I needed to distract her with Elmo. And when her baby brother had his horrible colic, the TV was on all day long because I wasn’t able to entertain her.
Have you ever wanted to enjoy an adult conversation with your significant other while eating at a restaurant? As soon as our kids are finished eating, we often need help from the iPad. It is guaranteed to shut them up and give us a few minutes to talk. Bonus: they won’t disturb other patrons either.
Again, you will do anything for sleep. At 2am if your 3-year-old will only sleep cuddled up to you, you’ll scoot over and make room for her immediately.
I feed my kids whatever they will eat – which is often different than the meal my husband and I are eating. If they don’t eat, I’m woken up twelve times that night because they are hungry. You’ll notice this theme a lot: as a parent, you’ll do just about anything for sleep.
I wanted my children to have a healthy relationship with food, so I vowed not to use food as a punishment or a reward. Fast forward three years to life with a strong-willed toddler who is refusing to eat anything except strawberries and crackers, I promise her dessert if she eats a bite of vegetables or protein almost every night. I do try my best to hide nutrients in the desserts they have, like black bean brownies or healthy chocolate milkshake.
If I give them a blueberry muffin from our local coffee shop, my husband and I can have 5 minutes of uninterrupted conversation. Refined sugar… it may be poison, but sometimes it makes the day a lot easier.
I weigh 20 pounds more than when my husband proposed to me. In the few minutes I get to myself each week, working out is not at the top of the list. Showering isn’t even at the top.
I will do anything to get a few hours of uninterrupted sleep or one 2 minute conversation with another adult. If I have to resort to bribing them with sugar or a movie, that’s what I will do. Last week I told both kids they could have cookies for breakfast if they stayed in their bedroom all night. It worked!
Saliva is convenient and it works. On that note, I also said my kids would not be those disgusting ones with dried snot all over their faces. Reality: They always have snot. Everywhere.
I loved my career, and I wanted to set an example of an independent woman for my kids and not only show them traditional gender roles. Well, working full time with kids was overwhelming for me. Like many other working moms, I felt like I was failing at home and failing at work. That stress wasn’t good for my mental health. I couldn’t quit my home life, so the only choice was to quit my job. Turns out that staying home full time isn’t for me either. Now I’m on the hunt for a fulfilling part-time and/or flexible job.
I hadn’t yet dealt with the hell that came from my child missing their afternoon nap. Turns out my daughter could usually handle skipping naps just fine. My son, on the other hand, is a disaster without his nap.
Wedged in the seats of the backseat, you’ll find approximately 45 cheddar bunnies and a dozen dried blueberries.
…that I’m currently doing daily
So, I’m curious… what are you currently doing, that you said you’d never do as a parent?