Before I became a mom I had a list of things that resided in my head that I swore I would never do when I had my own children. Little did I know…
After having three children (the oldest being 10) I have learned a few things. Or maybe just realized a few things. So here is my list of top ten things I said I would never do as a mom; before I actually became a mom and realized just how messy it can be.
1. Allow my children to watch TV before 2 years old: I just knew that if I let my kids watch TV before they were 2 they would be mindless idiots. Fast forward to actually having kids. I could not survive being sick, being crazy busy, or keeping my sanity without Sesame Street, Disney Channel, and YouTube Kids. They continually save me and they also have actually helped my children learn numbers, letters, and colors.
2. Allow my kids to sleep in my bed. I remember silently judging those who talked about co-sleeping. That would never by MY family. Then I brought my first child home. After countless sleepless nights I was exhausted and pulled him into bed with me one night. It was the best night’s sleep I’d had in weeks. Thus, co-sleeping began. Best parenting decision I ever made. (And, yes, that’s a picture of my daughter sleeping ON my face.)
3. Leave the house without makeup. Ha ha ha! Do I even need to explain this one? I do not, I repeat DO NOT need to look put together at all times. Because, let’s face it, I am far from put together most times. A swipe of mascara and a touch of concealer are perfect for me most days. But if I’m not feeling it? Who cares!?
4. Touch any kind of bodily fluid with my hands: Oh man. This has happened more times than I can possibly count. I have cupped my hands for vomit (better me than the couch), picked noses, cleaned ears with my fingers and so much more. I have no idea how it’s possible to be a parent and NOT do some of these things.
5. Allow my kids to eat junk food. I vowed that my kids would eat homemade baby food, lots of fruits and veggies, and only have candy for holidays. Yeah, right. I now very strongly believe in the motto of all things in moderation. We eat lots of fruits and veggies, but my kids also eat candy and junk.
6. Let my kids behave that way in public. Of course, I swore my kids would be perfectly behaved at all times when we were in public. And then, my bubble burst. A melt down happened. I don’t even remember what the first one was about. Probably candy. Or sugar cereal. But now I just walk away from said child and pretend they aren’t mine. Ha! Not really, but I want to sometimes. I have some serious tantrum stories I could tell. One of the worst includes my middle child freaking out extremely loudly in the men’s bathroom because he was covered in poo. But that’s a post for another day.
7. Allow my house to look like THAT. There was no way I would ever let my house be overtaken by toys, laundry, and little shoes thrown everywhere. Now I realize that life happens and a clean house is not always the priority. Happy kids and family? Yeah, that’s a priority.
8. Use my Mom’s words on my own kids. I hated the phrases my mom used to say to me. Now, some days I open my mouth and my mom comes out. Maybe more than some days. I now embrace my mom phrases. They are my favorite!
9. Bribe my kids with a treat or toy. I always knew my kids would listen to me the first time I asked them to do something. Every time. I have since discovered that negotiation skills are a must in parenting. And bribery? Yeah, also a must. A pack of smarties is a small price to pay for a clean room and a happy face.
10. Talk about my kids as much as I do. When I was child-less I swore I wouldn’t talk non stop about my kids… but once I saw them I was in love… and couldn’t stop talking about them! In almost 11 years that hasn’t changed much. They are my world and complete me in a way I didn’t know was possible. So, yeah, I’m going to talk about them. A lot. Deal with it.
Bottom line: There is no parenting guide book. We are all different. We believe and feel differently. There is no once size fits all in parenting. So do what feels right to YOU. Put your children and your sanity first and, believe me, it will turn out okay.
What do you do as a mom that you said you wouldn’t?