Before having children of my own, I would see a child running around the table at a restaurant and think, “I would never let my kid do that!” I would hear a meltdown in the toy section of Target and think, “My children won’t ever act that way!” I was definitely the perfect mom before I was even a mom. Here are some things I swore would never happen when I became a parent. Little did I know . . .
1. I won’t allow my child to have screen time.
We all know the potential harm of too much screen time. I remember reading that it elicits the same neural firing as substance addiction. I’m sorry, but my child would not be having screen time. Wow, I was 100% wrong on this. While we do limit screen time, we are a device-friendly home. We opted for the Kindle Fire for kids so I have easy control over how long it is used, what times of the day, and what content is allowed. It’s all about balance!
2. I will not put my kids in Crocs!
I used to think Crocs were hideous. Have you seen all the hilarious memes out there? Now everyone in our family owns a pair, jibbitz and all. My kids get new ones every time their size increases. For a toddler learning independence, this has been a game-changer. My son is able to pick out his Crocs in the morning and put them on himself. He also has a sense of pride in the jibbitz he’s chosen to decorate them with. I promise they grow on you!
3. We will never bed share or co-sleep.
This was a BIG no for me. I wanted my own space, and I was paralyzed by all of the cautionary tales of bed sharing and co-sleeping. We did a great job until the pandemic hit. I started working from home and wanted the extra hour(s) of sleep. Our baby would wake up, and we would bring him into bed with us to snuggle during that additional down time. Today, he goes to sleep in his own bed, but he finds his way into ours in the middle of the night. I remind myself that one day he will be a teenager and I will miss these moments.
4. No snacks in the car.
I swore my kids would never have snacks in the car to sprinkle their crumbs everywhere. But, have you met a hangry child?! I didn’t know how desperate I would be to stop the crying, screaming, and kicking. Welcome to “Southwest Airlines” where we offer our kids their choice of snacks and drinks to make their trip more enjoyable. Please don’t mind the weeks (maybe months)-old goldfish in the cracks of your seat!
5. We won’t ever stop for fast food.
This is the most comical. I must have been delirious when I thought that this wouldn’t happen. But, it’s definitely a part of our lives. Not regularly, but enough that my past self would be shocked. Sometimes, after a long day of work and/or extracurricular activities, I just don’t want to cook or even think about preparing a meal. That’s when fast food comes in clutch, and I’m so thankful to have it as an option.
I would have probably called my current self a hot-mess mom. I’ve learned, especially with my second child, that parenting is an ever-evolving learning experience. We can never do things 100% perfectly. We can only do things the best we can. I just hope my kids will look back on their childhood and know that they were always loved, supported, and safe. And hopefully, we can all have a good chuckle over the things I never thought would happen.
Here are some things your ABQ Mom team said they would never do because they were also perfect parents before they were parents . . .
“No character clothing. I thought it was tacky. Not only did my kids wear t-shirts/clothing with cartoon characters/superheroes, they also lived in costumes throughout their toddler years. And, I miss those years with my tiny superheroes.” – Natasha
“Using an iPad was a big one and we do it daily. Especially at restaurants. We said we would never do it and we almost always do!” – Andy
“I will always play with my kids when they want me to (Nope! Sometimes I actually have to work so we can eat. I don’t know how I didn’t see that coming). My kids will treat others with respect because I will teach them how (I don’t even know what I’m doing wrong here, but there is definitely some disrespect that occurs). We will have homemade dinner together every evening (Nope, still sad about that one, but also we love soccer and karate). We will read together every day (All those “every day” things are destined to fail, except maybe tooth brushing . . . yea, probably even that one).” – Martha
“Since my husband and I are both vegetarian, I swore my kids would always eat ALL their veggies. Ha, nope! I also thought I wouldn’t make separate meals for them if they didn’t like dinner . . . but I totally do. I just want her to eat.” – Bekah
“They will always have brushed hair. They will never have dirty clothes. If they throw a fit in the store, I will take them out immediately. All hilarious in hindsight.” – Sarah
“I said I’d never let the kid toys be in the living spaces, and honestly, those stuffed Story Bots are just permanently part of the living room decor now.” – Sara
“I would never put my kid on a leash, give them soda before age 10, make separate meals for picky eaters, willingly catch vomit in my bare hands, lose my patience helping my kid with homework (I’m banned from helping them now), and bribing my kid.” – Jai
“We won’t have noise-making plastic toys.” – Brittany
The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of ABQ Mom, its executive team, other contributors to the site, its sponsors or partners, or any organizations the aforementioned might be affiliated with.