Oh, how sure we are of ourselves before we have kids of our own (or more than one child). How easy it is to judge another mom using a safety harness to keep her toddler from getting lost in the mall, until our little Olympic-sprinter-in-training causes us to think that it's the best invention ever! Motherhood is really humbling, isn't it?
Here is a short list of inexperienced presumptions I had about parenting, until now:
Five Things I Said I'd Never Do...but Did Anyway
- Wear sweatpants in public. I once thought that if I wasn't put together at the bus stop or dressed up for the grocery store, that I would appear a failure as a mother- like I couldn't handle it. Three kids later, I don't really care. That's not saying that I don't try to look presentable, so as not to embarrass our family name. I do promise to brush my teeth and wash my face (at some point). But if you're a mom, I'm just going to expect you to get it. Some days, makeup and hair is extra. (FYI: You can cheat by wearing yoga pants or a perfectly matched workout ensemble, because it makes it look like you just came back from training for a marathon. In my mind, this makes you look awesome, because I hate exercise. Keep it up).
- Bribe my kids with candy. I had a friend who packed M & M's for trips to the pool and playground, because that was the only way she could get her preschooler to go home without a complete meltdown. She was hilarious...and smart. I thought to myself, "My kids just better listen to me and not throw tantrums, or we will have words!" But when I have had to take a renown screamer shopping with me, I have been known to pull out the gummy snacks for my sanity. I WILL bring out the lollipops when my children are begging me for cereal with marshmallows or need to go to the bathroom again. It allows me to think for a solid five minutes! No apologies. With some peace and quiet, and happy kids, I may actually remember everything on my list.
- Answer, "Because I said so." Listen, we all want to keep open lines of communications with our children, but man, they are persistent little lawyers-in-the-making sometimes, and I am just TIRED of rebuttals! When "Yes, ma'am" becomes too difficult for them to manage, I have no patience or brainpower to continue the verbal back-and-forths (You are a CHILD, for Pete's sake). This reply will just have to do. Because I said so. And because I'm the mom.
- Let the TV babysit my kids. Well, I don't know about you, but I am without a live-in nanny or family member to help manage the multiple requests and household operations that occur DAILY. There are times when no amount of play-doh, crayons, or building projects will keep kids entertained without demanding my assistance. So in order to help one kid with homework or to provide a home-cooked meal each evening, I may need a "Hail, Mary." The problem is, with so much going on, I have admittedly forgotten that my three-year-old has been upstairs watching Disney Jr. for more than an hour. I'm not proud of it. But good gracious, look what I have accomplished!
- Raise my voice. "Yelling" sounds so harsh, doesn't it? Since becoming a mom of more than one kid, I hereby confess that I have stretched my vocal chords on more than one occasion (which is funny, because my high school cheerleading coach always told me that I wasn't loud enough). I don't like loud. I don't like being loud. But I cannot compete with the noise level and my kids' selective hearing on any given day! I have wondered if there exists some kind of app with a siren or gym teacher's whistle that would get their attention. Let me know if you find one.
What would you add to the list? Leave a comment below.