Before I had kids, I had quite a few unqualified opinions about how I would raise my children and what I would and would never do. Before going any further with this post, I’d like to apologize to all the moms and dads that I smugly judged for what I perceived to be parenting mistakes and missteps. Now that I have entered your world, I have a greater understanding of the struggles that led you to your decisions.
To those of you without kids who — like me — are looking down your noses at those who do, I regret to inform you that you probably don’t have parenting all figured out, and all of your expert strategies are going to fly out the window the second you meet those little rascals that will become the center of your life at some point in the future.
For your hopeful amusement, here are some of the misguided things I said about parenting before I knew any better.
Before I had kids: “I will never let my kids watch the same movie or episode of a TV show over and over again.”
Now: If he wants to sit and watch the same episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse twice every day, he can go right ahead. As long as he does it quietly.
Before I had kids: “As soon as they can walk, they’re going to walk right to the potty. I’m not keeping them in diapers when they can physically use the proper facilities.”
Now: There’s a big difference in being physically able to do something and being mentally and emotionally ready for it. And honestly, diapers aren’t nearly as disgusting as the number a kid who isn’t ready to be potty trained will do on your house if you try too early. Ever tried to fit a square peg into a round hole?
Before Kids: “He’s coming into my world. If I want to vacuum while he’s asleep, he’s going to learn to sleep through it.”
Now: If the damn UPS man so much as puts a fingernail near that doorbell at naptime we’re gonna be on Cops.
Before Kids: “Our kids are staying in their beds the entire night. Night time is my time.”
Now: (At 10 p.m.) “I sure do miss them when they’re sleeping.”
Before Kids: “Our house will run on a strict schedule. Children need order.”
Now: “Kids, we’re going to the playground to burn off some of that energy. Dinner can wait an hour!”
Before Kids: “My children aren’t going to know what sugar is until they’re eight.”
Now: “We finally got the house clean! Ice cream for everyone!”
Before Kids: “Our children will be in bed every night before the sun goes down.”
Now: Yeah, that isn’t how kids work. If there is a hint of sun at either end of the day they are up and active.
Before Kids: “I won’t tolerate tantrums.”
Now: “Dear God. Why is this kid throwing a fit about which potty he wants to use?”
Before Kids: “My child is going to drink out of whatever cup I give him. I won’t let him whine about which color or size he gets.”
Now: “I’ll hand wash your shoe if you want to drink out of it, just stop whining for five minutes.”
What are some things you said before you had kids that you now realize were woefully inaccurate? Tell us in the comments section below.