I can remember back to before we were even expecting a baby, thinking about how I would plan to raise a child when the day came. I would see parents in the grocery store, a restaurant, or in the mall and judge them for what they were feeding their children, how their children were dressed, or how their children were acting. I thought to myself I will never let my child act like that, dress like that, or eat that!!!
Boy, let me tell you, those thoughts the childless me had were so far from right. I see now, those parents weren't wrong. They were exhausted from fighting with their children who didn't want to eat the healthy food. They were burnt out from the lack of sleep from the child who didn't want to go to bed. They were done nit-picking about what outfit to dress their child in and let them dress themselves!
Before I was a parent I thought....
....my children will not eat junk food. They will only eat healthy food. This means no sugary snacks, no juice, no MacDonalds.
Now - I just want her to eat. You don't want to eat the supper I made, even though I know you liked it the last time we ate it? Fine. I don't want to argue about it. Just eat. Eat whatever you want. Cheese and grapes? Sure. A bowl of cereal? You got it. Just please eat something!
...my children will not watch hours of tv, play video games, etc They will learn from books, puzzles and outside time.
Now - If watching 3 episodes of Bubble Guppies means I have a free minute to clean up the juice spills, please, watch on. If playing on the iPad for 20 minutes means I get a spare second to eat my cold breakfast and sip my cold coffee, please do it!
...my children will not act out. They will listen to and respect their parents.
Now - I just hope that I have a distraction close by when this happens. Do I have a snack in my purse? Is my iphone in my pocket? Is there anything at all I can negotiate with that will make her stop flailing around in the parking lot of the grocery store?
...I will not lie to my children. I will be honest with them.
Now - I probably lie on a daily basis. "Bubble Guppies is over." "The iPad is broken." "The juice is all gone." I like to think I am lying to her for her own good?!?
...I will not let my house turn into a child's playground. My house will be kept clean and well organized.
Now - what on earth was I ever thinking? I clearly wasn't. There is a tornado of toys in every room on a daily basis. There is food crumbs trailing from the kitchen to every possible room. Yesterday, I even found a half eaten Timbit in the middle of the floor. There are tiny pieces of ripped up toilet paper scattered throughout the bathrooms. There are tiny little hand prints covering every surface of the house. There are socks hiding in every corner.
But, I wouldn't have it any other way. A whole new reality hits when you become a parent but it is truthfully the best thing in the world.