I wish I could say that I never have uttered the phrase “When I have kids I’ll never…” but unfortunately, I have said this more times than I could probably count. It’s one of those phrases that I think all non parents say to either make themselves feel superior to those who have kids or because they simply have NO IDEA. I was the no idea person. I used to think that I knew exactly how I would raise my children when that day came. But you can only mentally prepare yourself so much. There are days when I just laugh at how naive I used to be. Here are a few good examples of my “I’ll Never’s”
1.) When I have babies or when my kids are older, I’ll never leave all their stuff out in the open. I’ll keep the toys, exersaucers, bouncers, swings, etc all tucked away either in their rooms or the closets then only bring them out when they’re needed. I don’t need to be staring at all that stuff 24/7. It’s still MY house.
My god. Did I really say those words? Yes. At one point I did. I thought it would be SOOOO easy to simply keep Nate’s large, heavy, and numerous baby items either in his room or store them in some of the closets/storage spaces in our house. So then what? I can just lug them downstairs or upstairs or out of storage every morning? No thank you. What the heck was I thinking!? I’d love to go back and give myself a good shake. Clearly, I didn’t think that one through…
2.) When my kids are playing, I’ll never let them dump all their toys out all over the living room. They can play with one or two things at a time then put them back into the toy box and grab a new toy when they’re done playing with the first ones.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Basically that’s all I can say to this one! Seriously. Trying to explain to a now 10 month he can only have one or two toys is ridiculous! The day I brought Nate’s toy bin downstairs to the living room he was probably only a few weeks old and I was the one who ended up dumping them all out to show him different things. In that moment I realized just how clueless I truly had been before he was born.
3.) When I have a baby, I’ll never co-sleep. It’s so dangerous and I’d never do anything to risk my baby’s safety.
This one I have a hard time with. As a nurse, I do know how dangerous it can be to co-sleep but as a new mom I realized my motherly instincts were fierce. We didn’t ALWAYS co-sleep. Most of the time Nate was sleeping in his playpen in our room but every once in a while (probably 3-4 nights a week to be honest) he slept in our king size bed. Kurt is a deep sleeper but since our bed is so large, I often found if my arm was protectively around Nate he was fine. I would instantly wake up the moment I felt him shift or squirm beside me. I wouldn’t recommend co-sleeping or preach about how you should do it either; it’s just one of those things that we decided as a couple we were o.k. with.
4.) When I have babies/kids, I’ll never take them with us to nice restaurants. I don’t understand why some parents think it’s alright to have a screaming child at their table while other people are trying to have a nice meal.
Who was I to judge what other parents think is acceptable behaviour? Kurt and I have gone out several times to dinner with and without Nate. There have been times where we’ve taken him to a restaurant and he’s been a perfect angel and then there’s other times where he was squirming and crying but you never know how your child is going to behave. You can’t stop living your life because you’ve had a baby. And the way I see things now is that if we try to expose Nate to things like restaurants at a young age, hopefully he’ll learn early on what is and isn’t appropriate behaviour when he’s out in public.
5.) When I have a baby, I’ll never breast feed in public. There’s NOTHING wrong with breast feeding in public. I’m just not comfortable doing this myself.
Well, let me tell you! After two horrendous experiences feeding while sitting on a dirty toilet seat, I am officially over my irrational fear of breast feeding in public. I never once thought it was gross or disgusting to feed out in the open as I’m extremely PRO breast feeding. It was more me not being comfortable exposing myself like that. Nowadays, I couldn’t careless. If I know there’s a room with a big comfy chair for me to sit in then yes heck yes, I’ll take a big comfy chair over a not so comfy bench but I by no means think I need to be hidden away somewhere while breast feeding Nate.
6.) When I have kids, I’ll never get behind on my housework. I’ll always make sure the laundry is done and the floors are vacuumed.
Oh lord. I’d like to go back and hug that neat freak of a girl because I’m lucky if I EVER get all the laundry done and there’s been a few times where the floors have gone longer than two weeks without being cleaned. Sometimes, it’s just way more important to grab a few extra nap time snuggles with your baby or just take a few quiet moments to yourself on the couch.
7.) When I have kids, I’ll never let them watch TV when they’re young.
Ok. Nate is only 10 months so obviously he’s not really paying attention when the TV is on and I do still want to ensure that my kids don’t become TV kids. I want Nate and any future children we might have to love being outside or playing make believe instead of sitting on the couch plopped in front of a kids show. But that being said, when Nate was super colicky from three weeks to three months, there were times that the ONLY way to get him to settle down and relax was to put on football, hockey, or Tree House TV. And when you’re sleep deprived and your baby basically cries all day long while he’s awake, you’ll do what needs to be done in order to keep your sanity.
8.) When I have a baby, I’ll never lose my cool regardless of how much he or she cries.
I’m pretty sure I completely jinxed myself with that one. Nate basically cried from 12-4pm then again from 7-11pm ALL DAY EVERY DAY! Seriously. It was awful. He was so colicky and there was nothing we could do (besides maybe the TV or the Christmas tree lights) to make him happy. It was heart breaking, frustrating, overwhelming, and so very humbling. I wish I could say I got through those first few months melt down free but that would be such a lie. On more than one occasion I had to lay him in his crib, shut the door, and either go have a good cry in my bedroom or go downstairs and take a 15 minute breather. I’m happy with how I handled those situations. I knew I was boarding on losing my cool and in order to calm myself down, I needed to be away from him for a few minutes. Unless you have a colicky baby, you never fully understand how exhausting it is to hear screaming and crying 24/7 and having to deal with the majority of it by yourself is so much harder than I could ever explain. Poor Kurt would come home and would see my frazzled self and just hug me because he knew it had been a bad day.
Being a parent is so much harder than anyone could ever tell you. And until you have children of your own, you really don’t know how you’ll raise your kids. You can say there’s things you’ll never ever do but guess what, you may just break some of those “I’ll Never’s” like I have. I’d love to go back in time and tell past me just to keep my parenting opinions to myself because guess what; one day you’ll be eating your words!