We all have these preconceived notions about parenthood before we get tossed into the chaos of children. We have all these thoughts and ideas and plans of how we will parent. Oh, and we can’t forget the rules we have in store for our future children! We are sure to take the best ones we were raised with and mix them with a few we wanted to change growing up and then sprinkle in some of our very own. I’ve been there! (I’m sure my mother is laughing reading this.)
Then we bring the baby home and it grows into a toddler and then eventually a big kid. By that point, we’ve probably had one or two or three more kids. All of those perfect parenting trophies we thought we could win have been lost in oblivion of children. (I mean, who knew we would be #pandemicparenting anyway?!)
Here are just a few of those ‘rules’ many of us Knoxville Moms Contributors had in store for our future selves and children. Let’s all laugh together in solidarity, shall we?
No Character Clothing – Quite a few of us disavowed all things character related, but then we saw the pure and utter joy of a kid in a Frozen bathing suit or Paw Patrol shirt. At that point their happiness makes you happy, so characters it is!
I Won’t Use a Leash – Have you ever tried to keep up with a quick toddler in a fast moving environment? Have you ever actually lost your kid in a public place for a minute and felt your stomach literally fall out of your body? Leashes for the win.
No Personal Devices and Screen Time – This one was popular among all of us. Let’s be honest; sometimes we actually need to get some stuff done and turning on the TV is the only way for that to happen. An hour of Elmo won’t ruin your child (trust me on this one).
No Fast Food – Maybe you swore you’d only use organic foods, that your kid would never have a French fry, or that carbs are of the devil. You maybe even said that you’d home cook every meal that comes before your child and maybe you’ve stuck to it! Props to you mama, because my kid yells “HAPPY MEAL” every time he sees the Golden Arches.
I Won’t Breastfeed – Before having kids, it’s hard to imagine a human being latched to your boob and eating from it. Maybe you thought it was weird or gross. But it can turn into a bonding experience and some moms’ favorite thing!
I’ll Never Use Formula – On the flip side, I was one that said I won’t use formula. I was adamant about breastfeeding my child. Turns out, I only lasted a month. Formula worked better for him and for me. My second born went straight to the bottle. It’s funny how things change, isn’t it?
I Won’t Ever Yell At My Kids – Ha. Ha. Ha. Sometimes these kids don’t listen to you until you yell so loudly the neighbors start getting ready for school too.
No Phones Until They’re Teenagers – Safety is always a worry for parents and it drastically increases as the kids get older and more independent. Maybe you said no to the cell phones, but have changed your mind because you want to be able to keep better tabs on your growing kiddo.
No Electronics in Public – Have you ever tried to keep a baby/toddler quiet in a waiting room? Have you ever seen the glares of people in a restaurant? Sometimes a quick episode of Baby Bum is better than a screaming child.
I’ll Never Send Them to Daycare/MDO – I thought that if I was going to be a SAHM, I was going to be all in. But, man, sometimes mama needs a break too. MDO was a blessing for my sanity and my toddler’s socializing skills. Win-win. Maybe you got the chance of your dreams and went from staying home to working and sent your kids to daycare. You can still be mom and a boss lady.
I’ll Never Let Anyone Watch Them That Isn’t Family – This is one we all grapple with. Safety is a priority, always. But maybe you don’t live around family or something comes up, and you have to need a sitter. We all have a vetting process for babysitters and it’s a good idea to have multiple options when the time comes!
Say “Because I Said So” – I think we all heard this a million times growing up and we never wanted to be the parent that uses it. We apparently didn’t know that a child could ask seven thousand questions by lunch time.
I’ll Never Let Them Sleep In My Bed – You don’t know tired until you become a parent. Especially a parent with kids that are allergic to sleep. You do what you have to.
I Won’t Own a Minivan – So they may not be the coolest, but they truly are the best mom-mobile. You don’t have to worry about space, door-dings, or renting a vehicle for vacation. Never say never.
I Won’t Let Them Play Video Games – I think we all threw this one out the window this year. Sometimes mama just needs to survive.
I Won’t Ever Let My Baby Cry – Well, obviously, we had never been around a baby before.
And my personal favorite feedback I got when I was crowdsourcing: I’m trying hard to think of something, but I feel all my pre-kid future child thoughts have been erased. I don’t remember how I used to think.
Amen, sister. Amen.