There is no judgier parent than one without kids.
Before becoming parents, my husband and I had a list of things we swore we would NEVER do. Whenever we were out, we’d observe other parents and their children and we’d whisper to each other, “our kid is never going to do that.” It sort of became an inside joke between us. We would never be those parents and there’s no way our kid (that we didn’t even have yet) would be doing those things.
But within days of having our son, we found ourselves doing many of the things we swore we’d never do. Having a child is a total game changer and everything you thought you would or wouldn’t do becomes fair game when you become a parent.
Below are 5 things I SWORE I would never do as a parent that I find myself doing often. Plus a few more, just for a good laugh!
1. My kid will never watch an iPad in a restaurant- During college, I worked in a restaurant and I would constantly see parents setting up iPad’s in front of their kids at the table. I would judge those parents hard! When I was a kid, we weren’t allowed to watch TV while eating dinner and there was absolutely NO WAY I was going to plop my future child down at the table with an iPad to watch. I thought these kids were spoiled and the parents were lazy. That is, until I had a kid of my own.
When you have a kid, going out to eat can be a struggle, especially with toddlers. Once they’re done, they’re DONE, even if you’ve just spent 10 minutes cutting up their food into bite sized portions while your food is getting cold. The moment you begin to take your first bite, your kid is probably done and ready to get up and move. And did I mention the eternity it takes to actually get your food? This is where the iPad becomes your best friend. It’s the only way my husband and I can grab a meal outside of our home without getting a babysitter. And are 20 minutes of cartoons in a restaurant going to ruin our child? Probably not. So judge away because I am totally guilty of this one!
And if you don’t have kids, you’re probably thinking, “well maybe you should stay home then,” but actually, nobody deserves a meal cooked and cleaned up by somebody else more than mom and dad! And remember, I was an expert on parenting too, BEFORE having a kid ;)
2. I will never be that mom on Instagram– Go ahead and say it, you’re never going to be that mom that posts a million pictures of your kid on Instagram. I said it. I meant it too. I used to get so annoyed at other moms for constantly posting pictures of their kid on Instagram. I mean, come on, it’s YOUR Instagram, not your kids!
And then I had my son. And something came over me, this uncontrollable urge to share every single cute picture I took! And to me, I was holding back! I mean, I have about 12,000 pictures of my kid on my phone so two pictures a week wasn’t bad. I wasn’t turning into that mom! But I look back at my Instagram during his first year of life and there isn’t one picture of me. So I’ve accepted it, I’m that mom. And guess what? You probably will be too :)
3. I’m never going to compare my kid to other kids- This one was tough. With all good intentions, I tried every single day not to compare my son to other children. I remember a specific time at a social gathering. Two moms chatting about their children, both the same age. The first mom asked, “when did blank start walking?” It was clear that the other mom’s child hadn’t started walking yet. “Oh, well my little so and so has been walking for months now,” she replied in her bragging tone. I watched the other mom deflate like a balloon. She looked concerned and defeated. I sat there and thought, “let your child be themselves! Don’t compare them to others! Your kids going to walk eventually, just relax!”
When I had my son, it was so easy to get caught up bragging about him. He was an easy baby, he nursed and slept well and when people would ask, I couldn’t help but tell the truth. But as he got older, he started to slow down on some of his milestones. All of the doctors and books make SUCH a big deal about milestones. I would get weekly emails that would tell me what to expect my child to start doing and what milestones were coming up. And when you have friends that have children close in age, it’s very hard not to think, “wait, your kid is doing what? Why hasn’t my kid done that yet? Is something wrong? Should I take him to the doctor?”
So, unfortunately, I have found myself comparing my child to other children. But when I do, I try to stop and remind myself of the things I thought as an outsider. Let him be himself. Don’t compare him to others. He will (fill in the milestone) eventually, just relax!
4. I will never let my kid throw a tantrum in public– Haha! I’m actually laughing at myself right now. Yes, I actually swore this would never happen, as if I actually had any control over it. I’m fortunate to say it has only happened once (so far) but it was the single most embarrassing moment as a mom that I have ever had!
Picture this: a nice, peaceful, afternoon stroll down the aisles of our favorite store, TARGET. We headed to the toy aisle to find something to keep my little guy busy while I did some shopping. We had done this before without issue. I would let my son pick a toy to play with and by the time we made it to the check out, he’d be bored of it and I would stash is before he noticed. No harm done.
But on this particular day, my son reeeeally wanted that toy. I tried to stash it, but he wouldn’t let go. I considered buying it, but it was a total rip off and I just couldn’t let myself spend $25 on two stupid little cars, so I told him no. That’s when it happened, my kid lost his damn mind. He started screaming and crying and kicking and slamming his body against the cart. Nothing I said or did would calm him down, he had lost control. It was a stage-three full blown tantrum right in the middle of our local Target. I started sweating and panic came over me. There’s literally nothing you can do in this situation. I picked him up, body flailing, screeches screeching, people staring, and carried him to that car, leaving everything I needed in the cart. I have never been so embarrassed and felt like such a failure of a mom. And it was probably my own fault for letting him play with the toy in the first place (which we never did again, BTW).
So yeah, my kid threw a public tantrum. Never say never!
5. I will never cook more than one meal. My kid is going to eat whatever we’re eating- If you have a toddler, you know how ridiculous this sounds. I gave it a good effort but guess what? Mama’s hungry! And if I want to enjoy my meal, I’m going to have to make something my kid will actually eat. Because if I don’t, he’ll refuse to eat and I’ll end up getting up and making something different for him anyways. Meanwhile, my food is getting cold! It’s just a way of life with a toddler. They’re picky eaters and you can fight it all you want but I’ve come to pick and choose my battles and I choose a warm meal!
Here’s a few more just for fun.
My kid will never…
Sleep in our bed- When your kid decides to wake up at 4am, you’ll let him lay in your bed too!
Wear a leash- Okay, before you judge, I didn’t actually put the leash on him, but I was reeeeally tempted. In fact, my husband vetoed the idea, but we do own a backpack with a leash lol.
Wear dorky character tee’s- But he just loves Lightening McQueen so much! So yeah, I caved.
We will never….
Baby proof– We fought it as long as we could, but you can only say “no” so many times before you head to Target and buy every baby gate and cabinet lock you can find.
Stay in his room until he falls asleep- Yep, did this one for 6 whole weeks during a rough sleeping stage.
Moral of the story? Be careful when making that list of “nevers” because you’ll likely find yourself doing all of them!
J A M I E L Y N N E