Oh, the joys of being a childless woman who knows everything about how to raise children. Before I had kids I thought I knew it all.
Back in my early twenties, I thought I could do it better than all the real moms. Turns out, now that I’m a mom, I’m just like all the moms I used to roll my eyes at.
Since I can’t go back in time and smack myself for being such a brat, let’s have a few chuckles at how naïve I was.
I’ve put a list of everything I said I would never do as a parent, back before I knew any better. Ok-everything may be the wrong word lol! I’m sure there are tons more but here are the ones I remember.
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Things I said I’d never do as a parent
- I’d NEVER let my kids scream inside of a store. Or even take them to the grocery store for that matter. I can clearly remember being at the grocery store with my mom and hearing a child having a tantrum. I told my mom I’d never bring my kids to the store – apparently, in my 20-year-old fantasies of being a mother, I had a nanny. My kids have had plenty of tantrums in a variety of stores and restaurants but the tantrum my daughter had in Safeway a few months ago is the only one that sticks out in my memory. Probably because it was the most embarrassing. While we were waiting in line she decided she wanted me to buy her gum and I said no. She immediately went into full-blown crazy and started screaming and crying that she wanted the gum. There were people waiting in front of me and behind me and I’d already unloaded all my groceries. I was sweating and she was screaming and it seemed to go on forever! I wanted to just get the gum so it would all stop. But I knew I couldn’t back down – not because of the message it would send to my daughter – but because I knew people were watching us and wondering what I would do. I’m sure we annoyed plenty of people but I couldn’t just leave $100 worth of groceries on the belt and walk out of the store. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do and not worry about anyone else!
- Fast food, fast food, and even more fast food. I’m a big fan of McDonald’s so I knew my kids would be getting fast food every once in a while. But ONLY when they were older than four and they would definitely be getting milk with their meal and not soda. Cut to ten years later and my three-year-old is guzzling a can of coke while standing on top of a table. Ok, so this really has happened but it’s not what you think. He climbed into the fridge and opened it himself while I was in the shower. A few days later I found him with a sippy cup full of coke – he was really proud of himself for that one.
- Co-sleeping. So I have to say that for the most part, I have stuck with this. I always said before I was a mom that I would never let my kids sleep with me. Before any co-sleeping mamas get mad at me, I don’t care what other people do, it’s just not for me. My kids drive me nuts when they’re in bed with me; they snore, they pull my covers, they fling their arms into my face. The list goes on and on. But, since my husband works nights the kids seem to think it’s fair that one of them gets to sleep with me nightly. I always regret it when I cave in and let them. If I cave they get competitive about it and it starts arguments. So now I just say no and they’re only allowed in if they get scared in the middle of the night.
- Watch TV. So this is another one where I knew my kids would definitely be allowed to watch TV. But it would definitely be supervised and only allowed for a short period of time each day. I threw that idea out the window a loooong time ago. It was easier to manage that philosophy when I only had one kid but it got harder and harder to manage their TV time as I had more kids. Now our TV is on most of the day. Sometimes they are actually watching and sometimes it’s just background noise.
- Use Electronics. Oh, how I wish I could turn back the clock and stick to my guns on this one! Our XBOX has become the bane of my existence! I hate it and I hate Fortnite too. My son Colton who is 10 only wants to play Fortnite. Getting him to do anything else is a giant pain in the butt. I wish I could go back a few years and say NO when my husband suggested it as a Christmas gift. But I knew how happy it would make Colton, so I said yes. And that is one of my biggest problems…I just want to make my kids happy. But sometimes I really need to weigh these types of choices better and think about the real dangers of these types of games. I urge anyone considering buying a gaming console to read up on some articles about what video games do to children’s brains. A lot of the negative behaviors and traits of kids who game describe my son perfectly. I’m definitely not saying kids shouldn’t play video games. (Obviously, my kids do play) I just want parents to realize that they can have some pretty serious side effects. Some kids have absolutely no problems with them and other kids just can’t handle them.
- When I was a nanny in college, I swore I would never let my kids pick out their own clothes. It used to drive me nuts that the mom I worked for would let her kids make their own choices. When the kids were going out in public with me I dressed them up like little fashion plates. It’s so funny how I just couldn’t understand why this mom didn’t care. Now I know that she probably did but it just wasn’t worth the battle. This is exactly where I’m at with my daughter. She has gone out in public in ridiculous outfits that she picked herself and I DON’T CARE!! I’ve got better things to worry about than what my 6-year-old wears to Target.
- Buy them anything from Starbucks! So one thing you should know about me is that besides being addicted to Amazon Prime and Target, I am a Starbucksoholic lol! I go pretty much on a daily basis and it’s like my special little treat. Since I stay home with three kids while my law enforcement officer husband is working crazy hours, I feel like I deserve lots of treats. Anyhow, I can remember being in a sensory class with my oldest when he was two. Another mom was telling the story of how she had stopped by Starbucks on her way that morning and she had to go back around through the drive-thru a second time because her 18-month-old demanded hot cocoa. I smiled and laughed but inwardly rolled my eyes at this girl who clearly didn’t know what she was doing. I mean, who buys their toddlers stuff at Starbucks because they demand it? I’ll tell you who – IT’S ME!
- Let them eat snacks whenever they want. I don’t know about you but my kids are carb-loving wild animals who devour all carbs on site within minutes. I can spend hundreds at Sams Club and have no snacks left two days later. I know I should just not buy them all these snacks but this is another battle I don’t want to fight.
- I said I would never use Formula. To be clear, I don’t care what anyone else feeds their kids. I wanted to nurse and didn’t feel like I would need to give formula. But when my daughter, who is my second child, was an infant, I got a bad case of the stomach flu. I had no pumped milk and I needed my mom to care for her because I couldn’t. My mom bought some formula and luckily Emma took it. After I recovered I discovered that using formula occasionally was so freeing. I feel like I’ve pretty much breastfed in every public location I’ve ever been to, but that doesn’t mean that I enjoyed it. For me, nursing in public was always very uncomfortable, unless I was at the park or somewhere where the entire demographic was moms. Once baby started ripping that nursing cover off is about the time where I no longer wanted to nurse in public. I’m not into other people seeing my nip slips lol. More power to you if you don’t care, but the possibility of strangers seeing my boobs always made me nervous. Being able to bring formula with me sometimes just made things feel so much easier.
- I said I’d NEVER own a minivan. I said this all the way until I had my third child. I already had a nice sized SUV with the third row but getting my oldest out of the third row every day was getting annoying. I finally realized that a minivan was the answer to my problems! I really had to talk my husband into this one because he REALLY didn’t want to get one. I was very convincing and I became the proud owner of a Honda Odyssey. Seriously the best decision ever! It is so much more functional because you have more options on what seats you can remove so that the kids who sit in the third row can easily climb in from the passenger doors and not through the tailgate. Also, the power doors rock! No more worrying about your littles slamming the door open into another car. If you’re on the fence, seriously go and take a look at one! They’re amazing!
I’m sure there are tons more things I said I’d never do! I’m definitely not a perfect mom but I try my best!
I’ve learned my lesson on why you shouldn’t judge other moms: you never know their situation or what they might be going through.
What did you use to say you’d never do but now you do? Let me know in the comments!