But first, a quick reminder:
Bloggers, are you keeping track of your favourite posts? The Best of the Blogosphere link up returns January 28th through February 4th. I'm keeping track of my favourites in a post so I'll be ready to go on the 28th, and you can too. I'll hope you'll join me in celebrating our fellow bloggers and their hard work!Now back to this week's Listicle! This week's topic is brought to you by the lovely Greta of Not Enough Patience and Never Enough Jewelry:
"I'll Never...": The Top Ten Things You Said You Would NEVER Do And Have Caught Yourself Doing.Oh yes. Hindsight. Before actually experiencing a thing - puberty, adulthood, university, first job, and the mother of them all: motherhood - we know it all, don't we? We say things like, "When I'm a mother, I'll never do x." Unh huh. Just you wait future mama! Abolish the word 'never' from your vocab right now (and then prepare to hear it from your child ad nauseum around about the time s/he reaches age four).
One of the first things I did after having Jack was to call my sister and apologize for not recognizing what a colossal undertaking motherhood is.
As a kid, I frequently knew just what kind of mother I would be, as if simply willing it to be was enough.
Well, if I know anything at all now - debatable - it is this: You will be more sure of yourself as a parent before you have kids than after. Parenting is a humbling endeavour. That's a good thing. Most of us, before having kids, could have used a little humbling!
Before becoming a mom, you might have heard me say:
1. I'll never... have a child of my own. From the time I was 17 years old, I thought I would adopt if I ever decided to have children. My feeling was that there were so many children in the world already that needed parents. How idealistic I was back then! Not that my ideas were misguided or wrong, but I was putting the cart before the horse in a way. Once I met my now hubby, I wanted to have his child and no one else's. (Truthfully if resources were unlimited, I would adopt a bunch of kids too.)
2. I'll never.... rock my child to sleep. Okay, I'm not judging, but I didn't want to create a bad habit that I would later have to undo. I planned to help my child learn to get to sleep on his own in his own room in his own bed. What I didn't plan for was his having acid reflux - possibly because he was born a few weeks early - and the pain he would feel after every feed. So, I rocked him to sleep. In fact, he slept overnight in a swing for a couple of months until we got his medication figured out and the pain subsided. Poor little gaffer!
3. I'll never... be one of those parents that drives their kid around wasting time and fossil fuels just to get their child to go to sleep. Soon after becoming a parent I learned an important lesson: You do what you have to do. And everyone needs sleep above all else when there is a new baby in the house. Yes, I drove... and drove... and drove so that my baby could get some rest, while I continued to function in a state of hyper sleep deprivation, all with a smile on my face and an educational song on my lips! I'm still waiting for my medal.
4. I'll never... give my baby a soother. 'Cause, baby's teeth might come in funny, he might also suck his thumb, his language skills could be delayed, maybe he won't take a bottle or refuse to nurse, and those things are dirty, and, and, and.... and the world might suddenly hurl itself into the sun!!! Boy, did I worry before I became a mom, and then for a little while afterwards. Truly, as moms we will always worry some. But if my child would have taken a soother, I would have been all over it in those first few agonizing months. I spent a good hour one day trying to convince him it was the best thing since milk à la boob. No go.
5. I'll never... feed my kid junk. I try hard not to. I may create some kind of pathology within my child, truth be told, by being as strict as I am. But every now and then I have to let go of this. Kids are given treats, there's Hallowe'en, birthday parties... PLUS it's not like I never eat stuff that's not good for me, and we all know how effective the Don't do as I do, do as I say parenting technique is! It's about balance and moderation and I think we're doing okay there.
6. I'll never... bribe my child to do something. Oh, how naive I was to think I could go a lifetime - my son's - without ever bribing him. Bribes, rewards, consequences... all important tools in the parenting toolkit. My parenting expert friends might not agree, but here's my thinking: I'm not perfect, never will be, and if I work so hard that my child ends up being perfect how will I ever relate to him? And besides:
magnet displayed prominently on my fridge
7. I'll never... buy brand name clothes. I'm a bit torn about this one. I have a thing about sporting brand name wear as a statement of status. As cute as kids can be all decked out in the latest fashion, I just don't want to send the wrong message to my kid or to anyone else. I want my kid to shine... not his clothes. I DO buy some brand name clothes though if the company is socially conscious, if the clothes are well made and reasonably priced, and especially if they are on sale. Mama loves a sale!
8. I'll never... use the TV as a babysitter. FAIL. It was two years, in fact, before Jack saw ANY television at all. BUT... eventually I got tired of having to wait until he took a nap or hubby got home just to take a shower. And then when naps were no more, well... TV time is now the only time that my son is quiet! He talks non-stop! Love him dearly, but my brain would explode if it weren't for Treehouse and CBC Kids.
9. I'll never... have a house full of primary coloured plastic toys. Ah, yes. Oblivion. Ignorance. Absolute bliss, isn't it? I actually believed that not only did I want to maintain my relatively mono-chromatic existence but that it would be possible. Well, that rule was broken before the little guy was even born, and now? Despite my attempts to house my son's many colourful toys in baskets and bins, they're everywhere! I've learned to embrace the fact that my house doesn't look like the cover of a magazine. My house looks lived in, and that's pretty comforting.
10. I'll never... do that! We humans have a tendency to rate, rank and otherwise compare ourselves. We also come equipped with all sorts of values and beliefs (aka baggage) that direct our judgements of others. Even after becoming a parent, there is still a tendency to judge the actions of another parent against our own expectations of ourselves. I learned to do less of this as I discovered that there's just no way to know ahead of time what decisions will be the right ones for my family. And then I vowed to try never to judge another parent's actions without first understanding the circumstances, especially a parent with kids older than mine!
Great topic, Greta, and a good reminder that uttering the word "never" practically guarantees I will be eating my words one day soon!
Here's to the future and the inestimable ways in which I will be proven wrong... again!
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I'm also linking up today with Just. Be. Enough. because letting go of too high expectations and laughing at our own inflexibility is part of motherhood!