We all had ideas about being parent before we become…well, parents. Here are four things I said I'd never do as a parent before I actually become one.
Four things I said I'd never do as a parent before I actually become one
Before we have kids, we're full of B.S. statements like “My kids will never do that” and “I’m never going to be that kind of mom.”
If you have lady parts, chances are you’ve said these things at least once. The childless and moms-to-be usually have lofty ideas about child-rearing. They are usually wrong and eat their words later. Here are four “never's” that actually came out of my mouth at one point. Obviously, I'm eating those words now.
1. I will never look like that mom
Before I had kids, I turned up my nose at mothers who let their kids interfere with their fashion choices. I was not going to be one of those moms, no siree. I would continue to be hip and lipsticked upon exiting my house. No way would I be one of those mothers who drops the kids off at school in pajama bottoms with visible remnants of yesterday’s mascara. My nail polish will never be chipped and yoga pants will be reserved for actual yoga.
Comfortable shoes and the natural look was for those other moms. Not for me.
While I still make a reasonable effort not to look like a hag in public, my bar for everyday cuteness is lower. Lipstick has been replaced by chapstick…and yes, I have my everyday chapstick and my “good” chapstick, which was a situation I never expected to be in.
I've dropped my kids off at school wearing visible remnants of yesterday’s mascara and also no mascara. I'm a “sometimes” makeup wearer and I'm OK with appearing in public looking like crap. I try not to be the mom at drop off wearing pajama pants and a sweatshirt, with my uncombed hair under a ball cap and my husband’s rain slicker. It might not rain much here in Texas but it definitely helps to conceal the fact that I'm not wearing a bra.
In short, yes, I look like that mom because I am her.
2. My house will never look like that.
What I said pre kid: There won’t be a plastic tub filled with soap scum and headless, naked Barbies in my bathroom.There won't be a minefied of LEGGOS marching down my hall way. My house would be tidy. Orderly. You probably wouldn't even be able to tell kids lived in my house.
Guests to my home (oh yes, because we would still entertain) would be comfortable sitting on my couch to enjoy a glass of wine without having to check whether or not they will be sitting in part of what used to be a banana. They wouldn't be greeted by the eyesores of ugly, plastic toys in our Zen living space because we'd have vintage wooden toys that would provide the appropriate amount of mental stimulation while contributing to the aesthetically pleasing environment in our home.
Back to earth, now.
Come to my house today and it looks like the plastic toy fairy threw up in every room. And actually, don't come to my house. You're not welcome. We don't entertain. I don't want to put on pants or a bra just so I can fetch one more person one more thing. That whole “we will still entertain” thing? Mmm…not so much. It's not you, it's me.
3. My kids will never eat that.
I’ll never be one of those moms that fixes separate meals for the kids. We’ll sit down together every night as a family for proper meals at a proper table. Ramen noodles? Anything made by Chef BoyArdee? Not for this family. My kids will feast on organic pasta and processed foods will never touch their lips, ever. If we introduce them to the “right” foods when they’re little, they’ll grow up learning to appreciate nutrition.
Yes, I really said this. Yes, I really thought this.
I remember looking in to my cupboards shortly before Zack’s adoption in 2012. I gazed with satisfaction upon the spaghettio-free shelves, thinking “My little darling will learn to love gnocchi with Asiago cheese sauce. He’ll have none of that blue box nonsense.”
Well, last week, we had scrambled eggs and Diet Coke for dinner because someone forgot to go to the store to buy staples (like Spaghettios and Ramen). I'm not even ashamed.
4. I will never resort to use of electronic entertainment to force good behavior in public.
I used to watch those kids with iPads and their moms phones in the grocery carts and I'd silently tsk-tsk. My angels wouldn't need to be plugged in to make it through one simple trip to the grocery store because they'd sit quietly in the grocery cart and wouldn't need to be pacified by an app to get through a shopping trip. My kids would quietly hold the coupons without wrinkling them or getting them out of order.
We would be “that family” who can coexist with other restaurant goers and appreciate a fine dining experience at a young age (and by fine dining, I mean a place with table cloths.)
Yeah, not so much. Taking my kids to the grocery store is a last resort, period. If I’m forced to take them shopping, there is no couponing going on, period. Two four-year olds can turn coupons in to weapons…don't ask me how, they just can. However, here's a win: we were once “that family” who sat in a nice-ish restaurant next to a child-free couple obviously on date night. They didn’t glance our way once…because our kids were engrossed in their tablets. Go me.
Parenthood just never works out how you think it's going to, right?