I absolutely love new parents and their naivety. They have all these fabulous plans and ideals for their future life as parents. They bring home their bundle of joy and have all sorts of plans and dreams going through their little post-pregnancy minds. Let me just stop you right there. NONE OF IT WILL HAPPEN! Well, it might, but rarely as you have planned it to.
Before I became a parent I thought I had what it takes to be a SAHM, I mean how hard could being at home all day looking after a child be? I’d have plenty of time to keep my house spotless and produce home baked goods a few times a week. How wrong I was!!!!!! I can’t even wash my hair a few times a week, let alone bake!! Most of the things we bake are pre-packaged child cupcakes with the crappy icing that always ends up too watery, and the sugar paper decorations that are printed so blurry you need glasses to see them properly!
There were so many things I promised I would never do with my children, and so many things I swore they would never eat, do, or say! Wrong again! Very, very wrong!
Here are my 7 Things I Will Never Do As A Parent (until I actually became a parent):
My children will never sleep in bed with me and my husband! HA! A big fat HA!! When you become a momma you have to face facts that sleep is sleep no matter how you get it. You will sleep standing up if you have to! I quickly realised that co-sleeping wasn’t just a good thing for your child but also for you as a mum! My eldest slept in my bed from his third day at home. I could not hack the screaming. I think sitting on my bathroom floor sobbing was a turning point for me in this decision! Sleep deprivation is one of the worst feelings ever, and it doesn’t go away, ever! My kids are now 3yo and 4yo and I am still exhausted. If your kid doesn’t sleep in their cot or moses basket but will sleep if they are in with you then PUT THEM IN YOUR BED! Sleep is sleep!
My child will never have a dummy/pacifier! Really? Did I really even think for one moment I could survive without one?! I love dummies! They are a God-send! Crying? Shove in a dummy! Tired? Shove in a dummy! Out shopping and need a few minutes peace? Shove in a dummy! I love dummies. I am a dummy advocate! Dummies are mummy-sanity-preservers!
My children will never have a tantrum in public! Stupid, stupid, stupid! My children do nothing but tantrum in public. The busier it is, the longer and louder they are! Public tantrums are horrific. Everybody stares, especially new parents. There’s nothing quite like dragging a screaming child through a mall and he shouts “Help me!” to passers by who are already giving you a death stare! Tantrums WILL happen, a lot, and they will be VERY public.
I will never bribe my children with candy, they will do as they are told! I’m actually laughing out loud at this one!! Just you wait! You will bribe them with food, you most definitely will! “Please behave during the shopping trip and you can have some sweeties, please!” Sound familiar? Vaccinations, doctors trips, meetings, and generally any time you need harmony!!
I will never shout at my children! Well, this lasted a while, not! I yell, I yell a lot, I hate that I yell, and I am consciously trying to stop yelling. I grew up with yelling, so it’s a hard habit to break. I feel guilt ridden about yelling so often, but I then remind myself I am working on it, and my children are very loved, I just show them a little louder than I’d like! Don’t feel guilty mommas, you will yell. Maybe a little or maybe a lot, but you will yell, and it’s ok, these kiddos know how to drive you to the edge and keep on prodding. It’s normal. You’re normal!
My children will not walk around with messy faces and snotty noses! Well unless they sit still all day with no food or drink then this is very unlikely to happen. My youngest child would make a mess with his own shadow!! There is not a second goes by when there is not some kind of mess to clean off hands or faces, or both! Don’t get me wrong, I don’t let them walk around like scruffbags with breakfast in their hair or milk moustaches left, right, and centre, but I also don’t clean them every second of the day. They are kids, and mess is ok, I just didn’t realise this pre-children.
My house will always be clean, tidy, and ready for unexpected visitors! My house isn’t even ready for expected visitors, let alone unannounced ones! There is hardly any time for housework and chores, and making sure everything is in it’s proper place. If I spend my days worrying about the house I’ll miss my kids childhood, and there is not a speck of dust on earth worth that! Dust can wait, my babies cannot! So, if you visit me, be sure to visit us and not the house!
Before you become a parent you have so many ideals, and then when you actually become a parent you fail every single one of those ideals, but you know what? It’s ok! All of the things you thought would matter actually don’t. Becoming a parent gives you a new outlook, and the only ideal you need to live up to is one called SURVIVAL! Do whatever it takes to get through the days.
Life is short so take everyday as an opportunity to create memories with your kids. Don’t let guilt consume your mummy journey, we all fall short, we are only human, but you right there reading this, YOU are needed just as you are! Dust doesn’t matter, dummies don’t matter, sleep doesn’t matter, the only thing that matters is your family, whether you’re a family of 2 or 22 it’s the only thing that actually matters.
Your journey is yours, and nobody can write it for you.
Don’t dwell on all that you are not, focus on all that you are!