The mom I thought I'd be until I actually became one
I was reading blogs, as usual, the other day and I came across this post from Lauren and boy, could I relate.
Before we had Peanut, in fact, before we even thought about having Peanut, I always said that I would be a certain kind of parent. You know, the cool, collected, got-everything-under-control-my-kid-will-not-have-a-cell-phone-until-she’s-18 parent. I remember listening to one of my co-workers contemplate a cell phone for his 7 year old and I laughed because, wow, I would never do that.
Things like Pinterest and other social media didn’t help – I was constantly reading about these moms that could handle it all. 2.5 kids, dogs, a perfect house, clean floors, fresh flowers on the table, adorable little toddler snacks cut into dinosaur shapes. They worked out, took their kids to soccer, fed them all natural, healthy meals 5 times a day, and still looked adorable. That is the kind of mom I would be, for sure.
It brings me back to this quote that I heard a long, long time ago.
And the thing is, that on this blog, I don’t spend a lot of time sharing the struggles, the changes, or the bad stuff. It’s not what this blog is about. It’s about lessons from parenting, lessons that will hopefully help someone else. It’s about solutions and it’s about keeping tabs on what our life was like. It’s not for airing out the dirty laundry (after all, if I don’t want Addison to read this when she’s 15, then I’m not posting it). But when I came across Lauren’s post, I couldn’t help it. I wanted to lift the curtain and share with you that “that” mom I always said I would be…well…yeah. Real life isn’t like that.
This was my list, or what I remember of it:
- I wouldn’t need a routine with my kids – they would just adjust to my lifestyle.
- I wouldn’t spend all my time concentrating on feeding my kids “all natural.” We grew up without it and we’re fine.
- My home would always be spotless and stuff-free. I wouldn’t have toys in the living room because that’s not the place for them.
- Sweatpants are for working out and sweating, not wearing out.
- My life would be filled with other young, fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants moms and we would get together and sip coffee and wine while our kids quietly played nearby.
- I would leave my kids with a babysitter and go out with my friends or on date nights with my husband.
- There would be no TV until age 2 because babies don’t need television.
- My kids would always wear the cutest outfits with matching shoes or headbands or what have you.
- My husband and I would put our marriage first. Always. No matter what. Yes, even before the kids.
Are you laughing yet?
Let’s talk about my reality right now, shall we?
- Routine rules our lives. And we don’t dare take a single step away from our routine. The kid wakes up and goes to bed at the same time, she naps at the same time, she eats at the same time. And it works for our family because it means a happy toddler. And although there are days when I would love to just jump up and go wherever whenever, I don’t. Because I really don’t like melt downs.
- This changed when I got pregnant and things just continued to change as our kid grew. Now we’re all about the nitrate-free hot dogs, organic juice (on the rare occasion that our kid even gets juice), and organic whole milk. You know, I’m not even going to try and back that one up. It’s just a mom-worry thing I guess.
- The house is ok. I wouldn’t call it super messy, but it’s definitely not where I like it to be nor where it was pre-Peanut. There are things everywhere. There are clothes left in laundry baskets for days, if not weeks. There is dust and dirt and books on the floor. I’m not a huge fan and I do what I can when I can, but at the end of the day I rather look at the mess and know that we spent the day at the children’s museum or at a park than see a clean house and bored kid.
- Sweat pants are the most comfortable things ever. The end.
- I am still waiting on those carefree moms. I have a handful of mom friends but most of us are too busy with kids, work, and life to actually get together more than once every couple of months. Wine is rarely involved since we’re mostly chasing our kids through the park or pushing them on the swings.
- Babysitters are scary. And going out is over rated. Though I miss it, I rather spend the evening on the couch, with this laptop, watching White Collar.
- TV isn’t for children, it’s for adults. Why don’t they tell you that in parenting 101? If we didn’t have TV I have no idea how P would ever finish her milk, I would get a shower, cook dinner, or drink my coffee.
- Cute outfits are expensive and the stains never wash out. Even the cutest of outfit doesn’t look good with dark knee stains and blueberry marks. Jeans, dark leggings, and sweatshirts on the other hand, hide those very well. The cute outfits are saved for pictures, family visits, and long weekends.
- Have you ever tried to put a capable 29 year old man before a totally dependable tiny adorable 1.5 year old? Besides, I didn’t carry him in my belly for 9 months, birthed him, and then breastfed him for another year. Don’t get me wrong, my marriage is super important to me but when push comes to shove and I have to face reality, I must admit that we, both, put the kid first. And I don’t hate that.
The thing about all this is that I’m not sad not to be “that” mom. I’m happy, my family is happy, and that’s ok. There are always going to be things I’ll strive for and some things that I’ll want to do more or less of. There are moments when I turn around and wonder what happened to the ideals I once considered to be my future. And that’s ok. We can’t all be perfect, and it’s nice to have something to strive for.
What changed in your life? Are you the kind of adult you thought you would be?
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