8 Things I Said I’d NEVER Do As A Mom
August 22, 2016
It’s so easy to look at someone else and spot our differences. We see people in a different phase of life than our own and immediately assess how they’re doing, and how we’d do things differently. This is probably most often the case with parents.
I know I did it. Before I had my own children, I saw parents of babies or children around me and was so ignorant. “Really?” I’d think. “You just LET your kid wear pajamas to the store? Don’t you realize people can SEE you?” Sometimes I wish I could just go back and slap my pre-mom self for being so judgmental. I wrote a more serious post about this on the Owlet blog last year, about my failures as a mom, and why I keep going.
But alas, I’ve succumbed to several of the “parenting don’ts” that I swore I’d never do. And thankfully I’ve grown up and realized that not only are most of these not a big deal, but part of my kid’s childhood.
And here are 8 [of the probably dozens] of them:
- Posted messy pictures of my kids online (think spaghetti).
Isn’t this just a rite of passage? I used to scroll through my Facebook or Instagram and see my friends posting pictures of their kids covered in spaghetti sauce or mud and be so appalled. How could they think that was not only cute, but worth sharing?
Well, enter my first child, who was perfectly angelic even when covered in her own food. I am fully aware that I am probably the only one who thinks she’s cute even when she’s actually disgusting, but in the moment I am convinced her hilarious, if not disgusting, antics are adorable to everyone.
- Ignored my kids whining in public
I would see moms pushing their carts while browsing the magazine covers at the store whilst their children whined and thought, “You’re just going to let them do that?”
Oh, yes. You bet she is.
Because now I’ve learned for myself that engaging them intensifies the tantrum to chart-topping levels. Toddlers will be toddlers. Their little brains do not understand impulse control, or patience, or self-discipline. Yes, I’m trying to teach those characteristics, but their tiny little brains can only grasp so much. They’ll learn. But in the meantime, I still have to take them shopping and I promise you, this whining for a lollipop is best left unprovoked.
- Gave in to their public tantrums
This one could actually be titled “contradicted myself,” because sometimes you just have to pick your battles. And sometimes when a toddler who is teething and didn’t nap wants a lollipop and is screaming their face off to the point of making their voice hoarse for a lollipop, you just get them the stupid lollipop.
- Let them wear the same clothes 2 (or more) days in a row
Remember how exciting it was when you were pregnant to see cute little baby and kid clothes and get so excited to dress them like little tiny fashionistas and models? Oh man, what a reality-check I got when my toddler was introduced to the world of Disney princesses. Granted, most of the time she doesn’t care and I just grab whatever for her, but at least once a week she insists on wearing her Elsa dress… and will not take it off until I insist she take a bath.
- Use the TV as a babysitter
Before I had kids, I saw a commercial (ironically) about how kids shouldn’t have more than 2 hours of TV a day. I remember thinking, “TWO HOURS! Who would let their kid watch TWO HOURS of TV a day?”
Me, that’s who.
After a full day of working and errands, you bet that I’ve let Princess Sofia do the babysitting while I take some time to straighten up the house, check some emails, or call my mom. And sometimes Princess Sofia does such a good job that I blink and she’s been here for over two hours. GASP! It’s okay. My kid is smart, she is social, and she has good manners. Her brain has not rotted, I assure you, from the occasional TV-binge.
- Feed them Kids’ Meals
Another case of expectations-developed-during-pregnancy shattered. Because it seems to be during pregnancy that I would do the most fantasizing and planning of what kind of mom I would be, and a good-cooking mom was definitely high on the list. My Pinterest boards are filled with good intentions in the form of “healthy, kid-approved lunch ideas”- esque pins. But in real life, when those kids start eating real food it can be tricky. Some days that are filled with appointments and meetings and errands just fly by, and before you know it, those kids need some fuel. And oops, forgot to make time to scour my Pinterest boards and plan and pack healthy toddler-friendly snacks. Fortunately, Chick-Fil-A kids’ meals are just the fuel we all need to make it to the next part of the day.
- Posted several pics of my kids a day
And how cute were they playing with their kids’ meal toy? And wearing that Elsa dress? And singing the Sofia theme song? Cute enough to take pictures of it all, and definitely post that shi* so the world can all agree. You probably still scroll by and see the same kids’ faces popping up and roll your eyes, but it’s different when it’s your own kid, right? *Right* (wink-wink).
- Drive a “mom” car
This is the last one I finally caved for. My pride was set on sticking with a sedan, at the most. But I slowly converted to the mom car life. First it was just a hatchback – and my excuse was that it was for the dog. But let’s be honest, it was for the stroller and huge grocery trips. The dog still insists on riding shotgun. And then the second kid came and going on trips filled that hatchback with little room for any souvenirs. So we justified that getting an SUV with 3rd row seats just made sense, because we’d have to anyway if we had anymore kids and even if we don’t have more, now we can drive friends around or haul furniture… but not really. Because that huge space perfectly fits our double stroller, and beach tent, and cooler full of juice boxes. And I don’t even care, having 3rd row seats is AWESOME.
*Sigh,* so yes. I gave in to several things I thought I’d never do as a mom. But you know what? I’m an awesome mom. My kids are happy and growing and thriving. I’m doing my best and if I let some things slide once in a while, I hope some other mom-to-be notices and makes a mental note of what not to do. But then someday finds this post, and nods in solidarity as her kid eats French fries from the back of her minivan while watching a movie on the built-in DVD player after throwing a huge tantrum.
It’s alright, you got this, mama.
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