This weekend I realized that I have become the parent that I swore I’d never be and in that same moment I realized I was more than OK with it.
In my younger years (yes, I know I am not old), OK in my pre-children days, I, like everyone else made that list. The mental list the consisted of all the things that I would see parents doing or not doing with their children, the list of “I’ll never do that”. The things that I thought I’d never do. Some of them might seem nit-picky, and that is due to my A type personality, But everyone’s list should be different as everyone has a different idea of the parent they want to be. And while the parent I thought I wanted to be and they parent I’ve become may be different, there are still plenty of things that I am doing, such as the most important – I love my children more than anything and always put them first.
After many mental exercises, I was able to compile a list of the top five things that I swore I’d never do as a parent in my pre-children days that I am doing, or have done.
I swear I will not be that parent who…
“ …makes a separate meal if they don’t like what I’ve made for dinner”
Oh, I was so naive. I am not saying I do this often, but there are those nights when there is a bowl of spaghetti with sauce on it sitting in front of them, we are 45 minutes into dinner and not one bite has been had because it’s ‘spicy’. Those moments are when I throw in the towel, grab some chicken fries out of the freezer, toss those puppies on a paper plate in the microwave and voila, dinner. I am not ashamed to admit this, at all. It’s called picking your battles and something I never realized was so important to learn until I had children.
“…lets the baby sleep in our bed”
Co-sleeping is in my top ten of favorite things about being a parent. With a newborn, the ease of just rolling over to nurse and nurse lying down while you are so tried (and usually falling asleep) so the best. I will admit, the first night or two that it happened, I slept with one eye open. Yet now, with number three, I feel like an old pro. I know how to set the bed up so that she is as safe as she can be. This is one of those I had to toss the rule book and what our ped. said out the window and do what worked for us. I am so glad we did.
“…lets my children become dependent on TV”
I tried to outrun this one, and for several years I had. Then, when I was pregnant with Chloe, I was on moderated bedrest. Which meant, I could go to work (because I sat at a desk), but that was it. No extended walking, no gym, so strenuous work/movement of any kind – which including picking up my children. I couldn’t pick them up to hug them, I couldn’t play outside with them, I couldn’t even load them into the car. TV on those Saturdays that my husband had to work, became our savior. The kids could only entertain themselves for so long and living in an apartment our back yard was limited. Chugginton, Curious George and the Wild Kratts were how I made it through those days (side note; we mourned the day that Wild Kratts was taken off Netflix). This has calmed down now that Chloe and I are both well, I am able to be a more active parent and keep them distracted enough that they don’t even ask for it much. We also balance it out with no TV on weekdays. Compromises people.
“… dresses my children (that aren’t twins) in matching clothes”
GUILTY. Yep, I have a handful of matching outfits for the boys. It’s just so stinkin’ cute. And now, CHLOE AND I CAN MATCH. We have mommy and me headbands. I am trying really hard to not go overboard with the mommy and me sets for Chloe. REALLY HARD. But back to the boys, I dressed them alike quite a bit, more than I’d like to admit and much more than I have documented by pictures.
“…talks about how awesome their kid is at every possible moment”
moms and dads, let’s be real, we all love, want, need to do this. I am not talking about comparing kids like a baseball card you want to trade, talking about stats and all time bests. I am talking about “Look, Maddox wrote his last name, by himself, without help from a teacher, by memory. He only missed one letter.” Those moments when you are just so uncontrollably proud of the masterpiece that your offspring created that you want to show it to the girl at the drive thru window when you get your morning coffee. I do it all the time. Hell, I even did it in this paragraph, Maddox did write his last name the other day, from memory, without help and only missed one letter – I was/am so damn proud.
Oh- the things we ‘know’ about being parents before we become parents.