Before I was an actual parent, I was the perfect parent. I knew everything about motherhood and had it all figured out. You know what I’m talking about right? You’re at the store at 10pm and you see a mom with her baby & toddler and think “shouldn’t they be in bed at this time??”. You make a mental note that you’ll NEVER do that when you have kids. You’ll never be “that” kind of mom. And then you have children and realize that parenting isn’t so black & white.
All three of my babies had reflux. They were terrible sleepers, fussy nursers and just all around difficult, to be honest. God used each of our babies to humble me in ways I didn’t think possible and to show me how much I didn’t actually know about life & parenting. He used them for my good, and I’m thankful now because I’ve become much more laid back as a mom & a lot less dogmatic about things, especially those pertaining to motherhood. I’ve learned there is no one-size-fits-all way and we are all just doing our best to survive the long days, love our babies well & be good mamas.
Now that I’ve got three kids under my belt and i’ve officially done every single thing i said i wouldn’t do, I can look back, laugh at myself and share this list with you. Having children has showed me that I don’t know what I don’t know. All of the ideas & plans in our minds are merely hypothetical until we are actually in the situation. With that said, get ready for a good laugh.
Expectation vs Reality
Then: I’ll never let my children sleep in our bed.
Now: God must have a sense of humor because our first baby cried all day for the first 4-6 months of her life and would only sleep upright on my chest. So there went that rule. Off to a great start!
Then: I’ll never rock my babies to sleep.
Now: My babies loved to nurse. They also love to be held. Especially at night. Rocking my newborns while they nursed & fell asleep was one of my favorite past times! Babies don’t keep & their infancy is way too short to stress about putting them to sleep. And let’s be honest, when you have a fussy baby you spend A LOT of time rocking. I’ve probably slept in a rocking chair or glider more than my bed in the last 5.5 years since I became a mama!
Then: I’ll never let my kids use an iPad at a restaurant.
Now: ALL the praise hands for any gadget that keeps my children quiet and occupied for more than 5 minutes so we can eat our dinner in peace! Can i get an Amen?
Then: I’ll never let my kids eat in the car.
Now: This is laughable. My kids might eat more meals in their car seats than they do at home some weeks because we are always on the go!
Then: I’ll never let the world revolve around my child.
Now: The world, or at least my world, does indeed revolve around my child in some ways! Especially when they are brand new & nursing all the time and depend on me for every single thing they need. We make it work but it’s normal for life to revolve around a brand new tiny baby for a while… aka a few years, ha!
Then: I’ll never let my children talk back to me or tell me no.
Now: My firstborn likes to negotiate everything I tell her to do and my almost 3 year old middle child’s current favorite word is “no”… so yea. I was naive to think this would never happen.
Then: I’ll never put my kids needs before my husband’s.
Now: let’s be real, kids are a lot needier than your husband. Before you have a child you don’t realize how much they need you and rely on you for EVERYTHING. At least my husband doesn’t need me to get him dressed and feed him 😂
Then: I’ll never let my kids eat candy.
Now: candy is everywhere. kids love candy. People love giving kids candy. Saying no to candy is hard. So sometimes you let your kids have candy. We do keep healthier options on hand to minimize the food dye intake but kids will get candy inevitably and that’s ok!
You know what they say… never say never!
Those are just a FEW of the things I swore I’d never do but have done. And I’m actually okay with it. Motherhood is much more enjoyable without holding myself to some unattainable standard. Bottom line: if you’re not a parent you can’t pretend to know what it’ll be like any more than you can know what it’s like to be a police officer or a teacher unless until are one. So try not to judge when you see that mama at target with her kids in their pjs eating candy at 10pm. She’s doing her best just like you are.
If you are a parent, can you relate to any of these? What things did you do that you said you never would? Tell me in the comments so i know I’m not alone!