To the Mom’s I Judged before becoming a Mom,
I am so sorry. Even if you’re not a very “judgy” kind of person, we’ve all been there. We have judged another mom or two for how they are parenting their child. In some ways, we may judged them for the way they’re NOT parenting their child.
But to those moms that I looked at before I ever got pregnant, I am sorry.
There are a lot of things my husband and I said we wouldn’t do. We had this idea in our heads that we were going to do our best to be the perfect parents. The kind that people would look up to. What? All of us are a little naive in the beginning! So, I have compiled a list of things I have said and how different everything is.
I will never let my child watch TV.
Let me tell you- with my son, I was dying to get this kid to watch some TV! He’s the kind of kid that would rather run around, not sit still, and scream at the top of his lungs. There is nothing wrong with an active child, but sometimes mama’s got to have a break. Like, going to the bathroom for example. Now that he’s approaching the two-year old mark, he’s watching TV. And you know what? I don’t feel bad about it. Everyday, our “Baby Babble” DVD is playing and it’s helping him and us learn. Thank goodness for friends that introduce you to such things.
I will never let my child eat in front of the TV, in the living room.
This kind of goes with number 1 but this is a big one. When my husband and I got married, we bought a dining room table and said, “We will eat every meal at this table.” Needless to say, that never happened and we ate in the living room all of the time. It is so much easier sometimes, to just sit down on something comfortable and veg out once you’ve finished eating. Now that I have two littles to take care of in the morning, it’s so much easier to get my son his breakfast in front of the TV and then go back upstairs to tend to the baby. Hey, it works for us and I so clearly judged moms too harshly.
Babywearing is for hippies.
I heard about babywearing and thought it might be a good idea. Those buckle carriers from Target sounded perfect. I could wear the carrier to go on all of these hikes (that I never went on) and workout with the baby on my back (which I always do). But those fancy “sash wraps” weren’t going to be my thing. They look all complicated, scary, unsafe, and expensive. Turns out, they’re none of those things. Well, except maybe the expensive thing. Which leads me to 3b. I will never buy a handwoven wrap. Clearly I am a freaking liar. These things are gorgeous and super comfortable. Plus, once you get more involved in this crazy world of babywearing, you learn so much more. Then you get to know what these things are made of and the quality. You learn about different types of carries and you need different sizes to do each carry. It’s a slippery slope, friends.
Cloth diapering is gross.
Well… it still is. Especially when they start eating solids and you’re spraying the poo out of them. But the pros outweigh the cons. Now that we have two babies, we are saving more money by cloth diapering than if we were buying disposables all of the time. When my husband and I were thinking of it, it was an instant “no.” Turns out, they’re not still the old school diapers! There are so many different types of diapers which makes things much easier, and they’re totally adorable! Along with my babywearing addiction, I started to have a cloth diapering one as well.
I won’t let my child have a meltdown in public.
As much as I hate meltdowns, I kind of just let it happen. I used to think that I was going to put my foot down when my child screams at a restaurant. He will not be able to “act a fool” and make me look bad. The thing is, I don’t have the best temper and I need to stay calm when my son is having big emotions. If I am going to be angry at him (or her when the time comes) and yell, that just adds to the chaos. How can I expect my child to learn to be calm and reasonable if I am not? I never really heard of “gentle parenting” until I became a mom and it’s actually a good idea.
I won’t let my child be the boss of me.
This is where gentle parenting comes in. A lot of people who don’t understand it, see it as a situation where the child is the boss of the parent. In reality, there’s no boss here. Just parent and child. Trust me, I have my days where I want to scream at my son when he’s throwing himself on the floor, also screaming. Or when he hands me the same book for the 10th time. We need to understand that our kids are developing their minds everyday and it takes a lot longer for them to process things than it does for us! We’re adults and have been doing this for a lot longer. So, I have learned to be patient and gentle…to the best of my ability.
I am not going to co-sleep with the baby.
I’m going to crush the baby! My baby is going to be spoiled! No. My baby will not be spoiled but mama is going to feel amazing because she didn’t have to get out of the bed in the middle of the night. I’m a working mom so once I had gone back to work, just popping a boob out to nurse my son was a life saver. Who really wants to get out of bed in the middle of the night for a feeding? As for being spoiled, my son transitioned to his own bed, in his own room, just fine before his first birthday.
I am going to breastfeed until he gets teeth.
The teeth came and I am still going. Then I said I would do it until his first birthday…he’s turning 2 next month. Turns out, breastfeeding has been such a wonderful journey with my son that I have carried through into pregnancy and post partum with my daughter. I never in my wildest dreams thought I would be tandem nursing, but here I am. I grew my children and gave them life with my body and I am still nourishing them with my body. It’s definitely been a beautiful experience and I continue to keep doing this until THEY are ready to be done.
I am going to wear a cover while breastfeeding.
I don’t wear covers while nursing. It would attract more attention while we were out in public than if I were to whip a boob out. I still cover what I need to but you gotta do what you gotta do. I am feeding my baby and that’s all there is to it. But before I had my son, I wasn’t surrounded by women who breastfed let alone breastfed without a cover. Funny story: I was at a babywearing meeting 2 days before my son was born. It was getting hot in the room so, instead of putting her son down to turn on the fan, she got right up on the table. She stood up there, nursing her son, and turned the fan on. I sat there in awe because I didn’t know you could actually move while nursing a baby, or a toddler for that matter. As you can see, I was pretty much clueless. But I will never forget how I met one of my best friends.
Our kids won’t control what we do.
This is a little different. They don’t control what we do, at all. My husband and I were newlyweds and we didn’t want to just give up our lifestyle. We liked to go out whenever and wherever we wanted. So, we said we wouldn’t let our kids change that. But it did change, and in the best way possible. We choose to stay home with the kids and have found more reasons to just be homebodies with them. We make it out of the house often and get the kids around others but we have made the home a place for all of us to enjoy together.
I can’t help but laugh when I look over this list; and I shake my head as I go over more examples in my head. Our former, judgy, childless selves probably look back on pre-motherhood often and just laugh. And that’s really all we can do at this point. It’s not until we are mothers and fathers that we realize that the things we said were ridiculous. So, to the mothers that I silently judged when I didn’t have children, I am so sorry.
And to those reading this who don’t yet have kids, just wait.
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