14 July 2013

Never Say Never

Things I swore not to say as a parent


In parenting it's the ultimate jinx - and it's all the things you said you'd never do BEFORE you had children that count in this particular game. Therefore, if you don't have a child it would be best to keep your thoughts to yourself and take notes unless you'd like to eat your own words one day. Often you think you know but until they put you in the situation you actually don't know how to react. Testing...1...2...3.

It's OK, though. You're discovering who you are as a parent much like you discovered yourself as a person: trial and error. What works, what doesn't. ...and it's OK to change your mind along the way.

Here are some things I thought about parenting before I had a child:

  • They will never play with plastic toys.

  • Everything will be natural (wood, etc).

  • No batteries allowed.

  • The TV will never be on

  • Juice, yeah right.

  • No sugar. Ever.

  • They will eat what I place before them.

  • No tantrums in public.

  • I will have endless patience.

  • No "licensed" character gear or toys.

I have kept up with some of my nevers but that was only by chance, like:

  • No pacifiers. Oh but wait he used them in NICU and then rejected them on his own a few months after coming home. Why would I deny my premature baby sucking comfort?

  • No formula. Oh wait, he needed that mixed in with my breastmilk because of his low birthweight. Once again, what was better for him? He got the formula. I'm not going to be a purist while Tristan is living in the hospital.

You have to know how and when to bend or one of you will snap.

Here are some I kept by working at them:

  • No crying it out as an infant/baby.

  • I get dressed every day.

  • Some level of make-up is worn so I look more awake than I am and I feel brighter.

  • Tristan gets dressed, too.

  • No hitting of any kind.

  • No empty threats (or threatening tones).

  • No counting to three in an intimidating way.

  • Keep an identity outside of motherhood.

  • Freedom to learn through play in a safe environment. Batteries included.

When I see another parent doing something I would never do I try to unscrunch that face of mine and remind myself that they're doing what works for them. It might not be my way or your way but it's theirs and as long as everyone is safe that's all that matters.Who knows how many more words I'll eat over the next 16+ years. I'm saving room for dessert.

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