Kids change you. We can sit around and judge what we know we will do differently when we become parents. We observe our friends, family members and strangers playing the role of parents. We watch them: how they handle their kids, how they handle themselves and how their kid acts in public. In our minds we think of all the things the parent is doing wrong and how we will never make the same mistake. We judge the parent and vow to be “better” parents. We know we will beat the odds and stereotypes. My kids will NEVER be their kids.
Then we actually have a kid.
Being an older (not old, just older) parent, I had a long list of things I would never do or things that I would do better than my friends. However, I’ve already done most of things I said I would never do and the little lady is not even 1 year old yet. I would hate to see that list again in a few months or years from now…
However, I’ve already done most of things I said I would never do and the little lady is not even 1 year old yet.
Here’s a list of things I said I would never do as a parent but have already done.
Be a SAHM
That’s right, I said I wouldn’t stay home. I have always worked. I worked full time and went to school full time. There’s something about being really busy and talking to people that I really enjoy. So I figured about 8 weeks of being home would be enough for me. Pppssshhhh, all that went out the door the first time I held my sweet little girl. Not to say that I don’t miss the adult world and working, but I just love being with LA more than that.
Forget My Friends
Things won’t change when I have a baby, “we’ll still hangout,” I said. Babies are portable; I’ll just bring her with. Pah-lease! Sure babies are portable, but wow, is it complicated to bring a kid along to hang out. And for whatever reason, pre-baby friends always ask you to come over and instead of coming over to your house. When the baby is super young and still sleeping most of the time, it is easier to do whatever, but I preferred to sleep when I had the chance. Then she becoming a lot more demanding time-wise but also becoming super fun. Then I stopped calling friends as much and the texts became scarce. Between naps, house stuff, dinner, my naps, errands and having too much fun playing with the kid, before I knew it the day was over and I didn’t call.
Before the little lady, I would go to friends’ houses and silently be appalled at the fact that they let their kids play on some grody looking floor.
Give My Kid a Unique Name
After sitting through several high school graduations while on recruiting duty, I said I would never give my kid a name that was hard to pronounce or seem like I made it up after a night of drinking. While the little lady’s name isn’t made up, I am still that parent. Her name is LilyAnn. Not Lilian, not Lily Ann. LilyAnn. I hope her English teacher enjoys trying to teach her the rule about capital letters in the middle of a word.
Be a Stickler for a Schedule
Early on, it was just sleeping, feeding and diaper changes with no particular pattern. But now we’re on to a pretty definitive schedule; breakfast, morning nap, lunch, afternoon nap, bedtime routine, and an early bedtime. Mess with any of that, and it’s a bad day. But pre-baby me; I would get frustrated when a friend couldn’t do something because it was their kid’s naptime. “Kids can nap anywhere!” I thought to myself. Now I’m the one trying to plan a trip to the beach around a kid’s schedule. We did rebel against bedtime one night and kept the little lady up late so we could further enjoy an early summer barbecue. Oh my, did we regret that!
Vote for My Kid, PLEASE!
I entered my kid into a photo contest to be on the cover of a magazine because she is just the cutest little thing. Every parent thinks their kid is the cutest baby and they go to extreme lengths to get votes, but I promised my new bundle of joy that I would not do that to her. Now here I am, begging friends and family to vote for her. It’s sad (note that by the 7th day of voting, my friends were burnt out). But she’s just so darn cute.
Assault Social Media Sites with Kid Pictures
Before I was a parent, I would occasionally become weary of my friends constantly posting pictures of their kids. Some are worse offenders than others. So I said I wouldn’t be that parent that shoves pictures of my kid down my friend’s throats every day. Well, I don’t do it every day but I just can’t help myself! I have disciplined myself and set up pictures so only family members are inundated with pictures of the little lady.
No Electronic Devices!
Call me old school, but I hate to see kids playing around on tablets and smartphones. I am a hands-on person and feel that touching a screen does not teach as well as pencil and paper. How long did the “no babies using electronic devices’” rule last? She was 8 weeks old. That’s right, 8 weeks. The little lady can’t play games, but she knows how to take a selfie. Most importantly, our family all lives in various states and video chatting is such a great way to keep in touch. Family can watch her grow and she can become familiar with the family members she doesn’t get to see very often.
Dirt, Dirt, Everywhere
Even with the little lady I have found time to keep my house presentable (read: if you don’t look hard enough you don’t see the dirt). Still, with 2 dogs and my losing battle to make the house a no-shoes-inside house, the floor is cringe worthy. Before the little lady, I would go to friends’ houses and silently be appalled at the fact that they let their kids play on some grody looking floor. If they asked me to take my shoes off I wouldn’t. I was afraid of what crud would stick to my socks. While I don’t have mystery goo stuck to my floors, the little lady has fur, dirt and whatever else the dogs drag in on her at the end of the day. I hear it helps lessen her chance of developing allergies and builds up her immune system. I’ll go with that.
The Loud Kid in the Store
You know the kid. You can hear him on the other side of the store. If they’re crying and screaming, you wonder why the parent doesn’t do his job better so the kid will be quiet. If they’re loud, you wonder why the parent doesn’t teach the kid to use their inside voice. Well, I am here to tell you, that my kid is the loud kid. When she gets excited she lets everyone know. There’s just no stopping her mid squeal. When she is upset, most notably if she is tired or hungry, she’ll also let the whole store know. I do my best to entertain her until we’re done, but it’s a losing battle most of the time. And I need to eat too. So I just continue on my way with the crying kid in the grocery store. Stare at me all you want, I don’t care.