Before a person has children, it’s easy to pass judgement. And then you have them. It slowly dawns on you that you had absolutely no idea what it meant to be a parent and raise a child. Rather than feeling foolish for all of those bold statements I made about parenthood before joining the club, I’m embracing my naivety and sharing them with you.
10 Things I Foolishly Said Before Having Kids
1. The kids will never sleep in our bed.
Fat chance. No matter how determined you are, sleep deprivation is bound to catch up with you. So when that little wiggle worm crawls into your bed at 2am, you’re not going to have the energy to kick him or her out. Before you know it, you’re either going to choose sleep or choose trying to get your kiddo out of your bed. Sleep will win (for a while at least). Game over.
2. I am not a dog person. (Translated: We will never have a dog.)
I didn’t grow up with a dog. My husband did. I never had the strong desire to have a dog. My husband did. Even after our first son was born, I still said I wasn’t going to have a dog. My husband said let’s talk about it. We had our second son. We now have a dog. Game over.
3. My children will only watch age-appropriate material.
Hard as you may try, things will slip by. They will get sick, and out of desperation when you hit week 2, you will pull up Ben 10 or some other show you’re not sure about. His little brother isn’t around so it must be safe to let him watch. But you forget the older ones knows how to pull up the show in Netflix, and you find the two brothers watching aggressive cartoons early in the morning… without your supervision. Game over.
4. My child will not be the one having public tantrums.
Wouldn’t it be lovely if you could just tell your child to chill and they would? But that’s not the way it works. Kids have tantrums for the most ridiculous things. Once you become a parent, you recognize that kids have to work these things out sometimes. The question becomes not if they are going to have a public tantrum at some point but how long you’re going to let them freak out before you walk out of the store. Of course, if you’re in a restaurant, you should leave immediately (it’s just plain rude, otherwise). But if you’re on a plane, you’re just going to have to ride it out and manage it as best you can. Game over.
5. As parents, we make the rules.
In general, this is probably true. I say probably because I could just be kidding myself. But the fact is, I do make up most of the rules. Unless I’m being played by a certain 7-year-old who knows how to negotiate with the master skills of the best litigation lawyer around. And before we know it, we’ve given in without even realizing that we’re changing our own rules. Game over.
6. The children will eat fast food only once a week… on Fridays… as a treat.
As your kids get older, this will become more and more difficult. When they’re toddlers, they don’t know what they’re missing. Plus, you’re still young and fresh, determined to always serve only healthy meals to help them grow those little bodies. Then they’re going to start sports. Your husband will be traveling a lot for work. Your schedule will no longer be your own. Dinnertime rolls around and you realize that the only things in the fridge to eat are cheese sticks, pickles and ketchup. Some days it’s just about survival. Game over.
7. No toy guns or other play weapons are allowed in the house.
Someone gives your kid a toy gun as a present. (Click here to read what I think about that.) While that didn’t stick, my boys discovered Star Wars. Before I knew it, we have multiple light sabers that light up in the dark and are having sword fights in the back yard at night. Game over.
8. My kids will never be caught out in public in their pajamas.
Ask me how many times I have taken my kids to Target in their pajamas. Shoot. One Sunday I was so desperate to get out of the house, the kids even went to the library in their jammies. Besides having a child with Sensory Processing Disorder who has tactile issues with clothing in general, some days you just don’t have the energy to fight getting them dressed. So the choice is stay at home, have an all out brawl to get them dressed or just go and get out of the house. Game over.
9. No child needs Starbucks.
In reality, no child really does need Starbucks. However, Mommy and Daddy need Starbucks, sometimes. Which means the kiddos get a small treat once in a while. Game over.
10 The kids will not spend the weekend watching cartoons and/or playing video games.
There are going to be weekends where you are completely snowed in. After several months of this, you’re just going to throw up your hands and hand over the remote. After all, you need some rest, too. Let them play all the Minecraft they want. Game over.
WHAT ARE SOME FAMOUS LAST WORDS YOU’VE SAID?