Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Five Things I Said I'd Never Do When I Became a Mom...but Did Anyway

Be honest.  Have you created a mental list of things you would and wouldn't do, using other families as real life examples?  Did you find it more difficult than you thought to stick to those aspirations?

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
  1. 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).
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!
  5. 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.
I hope this post reminds you that we really shouldn't take ourselves too seriously when the mom season is full of so many variables!  We always have and always will have a lot to learn...and a lot to laugh about!

What would you add to the list?  Leave a comment below.

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