When I was young and a tiny bit on my high horse, I had an iron clad list of all the things I'd never do when I had kids. I had visions of how easy it was going to be and I was a pretty straight laced, "by the book" kind of person who was going to be similar to June Cleaver in my child raising skills.
I'm sooo not June Cleaver. I'm a cross between Melanie Griffith in Working Girl, Sarah Jessica Parker in Sex in the City and Julie Bowen from Modern Family. I do things I never dreamed I'd do when I had kids just to survive. I hope all moms out there can give themselves a break if you're doing even half of the things I'm doing, which if I'm perfectly honest, I don't think are all that bad now.
1) Letting my kids eat in the car. My mom taught me that all eating should take place at the table. In an orderly fashion. I was never going to allow my kids to mess up my car with crumbs and sticky hands. Until I had to commute with both of them for close to an hour each way when their daycare was located near my job. They were starving when I picked them up at 5:30 or 6pm at night. So I made an exception. Now we live 10 minutes from their school and they can't make it 10 minutes without a snack. Yes, it's messy and my car looks like Chuck E Cheese before the nightly janitorial crew comes in... but it starves off many a meltdown if I have my Prius fully stocked like a grocery store.
2) Letting them sleep in my bed. In fairness, this isn't ALL THE TIME, so I cut myself some slack. But when I was going on year 2 without sleeping longer than 2 ½ hours at a stretch because my son was waking up all night long, I allowed him to sleep in my bed because I would do just about anything for a few uninterrupted hours of sleep. Now I have 2 kids, but I'm no longer sharing my bed with a significant other so my feeling is, "Why not? There's no possibility of ruining my sex life like most married couples so grab your pillows kids and hop in!"
3) Allowing them to stay up late. My parents were sticklers for an 8pm bedtime. My mom would preach that all kids needed at least 10-12 hours of sleep. I would now argue that all PARENTS need at least 10-12 hours of sleep and kids would be perfectly content if you let them party all night. Although I'm able to get my little one down by 8pm, my 5 year old is a different story. He wants a little "mommy time" without his little sister stealing his thunder so I allow him to stay up with me so we can have that one on one time. Yes... he sometimes stays up until 10pm but believe it or not, the kid has more energy than a frat boy jacked up on Red Bull so I've kind of let this one go. No harm, no foul.
4) Lying to them. I preach being honest all the time to my son so he doesn't become a little liar yet here I am, telling him all kinds of fabrications when I need him to do something. "I'm leaving without you..." (clearly not or I'd be arrested by Child Protection Services), "It's past your bedtime!" (he can't tell time yet so I get away with this one a lot when I want to catch an episode of Game of Thrones) and my all-time favorite, "If you don't stop it I'm calling your father!" This last one scares the bejeezus out of him and works every time. Let's be clear, I wouldn't call his father unless I was on my deathbed, and even then, I think I'd phone a friend first because my ex would derive too much pleasure at my kicking the bucket.
5) Letting them have meltdowns in public. Oh... wasn't I the GREAT JUDGEMENTAL ONE, when someone's kid had a public meltdown. I'd roll my eyes and think to myself, "No kid of mine is ever gonna do that." Well, karma's a bitch. My son had so many meltdowns his first 2 years in public places, I think he could have qualified for the Guinness Book of World Records. And my daughter typically lasts about 15 minutes in a store tops before the whining starts. Why don't I just take them out of the store like I swore I'd do "pre kids"? BECAUSE I HAVE A LOT OF STUFF TO GET DONE. And you better believe I'm gonna do it, whether my kids are annoying you or not.
6) Cursing in front of them. I grew up in a house where my parents NEVER cursed. But I'm from Jersey and I just can't control myself sometimes. It started innocently enough. Sometimes I'd be in the car with my baby in the back seat and someone would cut me off on the freeway so I'd unconsciously utter a small curse word under my breath. This escalated into the occasional 4 letter word when I dropped something on the floor at which point my son started calling me out. Now that I'm a single mom of two and my life resembles complete anarchy half the time, I curse quite a bit. No, I'm not proud. But I did mention I'm from Jersery, right?
So, if you find yourself doing any of the things I'm doing. Cut yourself some slack. June Cleaver wasn't all that anyway.
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