This weeks topic for 52 Weeks of Blogging with a Purpose is I Said I Would Never…
This is a fun topic, because we all had a case of the I’d nevers before actually having children of their own. I was definitely one of those people.
“Her child is throwing an all out tantrum in the store! I’d never let my child behave like that!”
“I can’t believe she’s letting her kids eat McDonald’s. I’d never let my kids eat that shit!”
“I can’t believe she gave into her kid and got him that toy after that display of bad behaviour. I’d never give in!”
“I can’t believe she didn’t get that poor kid that cereal. How can she just ignore that heartbroken expression? I’d never do that!”
“I’d never forget who I am when I become a mom. I’ll still do all the same things!”
I had a lot of I nevers, I’m ashamed to admit. Those were only a few of them. There were many judgmental thoughts and I’d nevers.
Then I had my own children. My “I’d nevers” all but disappeared…well, kind of. They changed from trivial things like what kind of cereal to buy, to “I’d never let them play with knives or fire or other various dangerous maiming things. I’d never let them starve or go without basic necessities. I’d never put them at risk. I’d never let them do harm to others. I’d never let them do harm to themselves”.
The thing is, you can expect to do things a certain way…but that doesn’t mean you’re going to be able to do them that way. Children have their own agendas. They live on their emotions and react in the moment. They don’t think out consequences and frankly, they can’t until they’re older.
It’s likely that your child will throw at least one tantrum of epic proportions when you’re out in public because they want something and you won’t let them have it.
It’s likely that you will be running late, and your child will be hungry, and you’ll give in and go to the Golden Arches for lunch (unless you’re always prepared, then kudos to you – I know I’m not).
It’s likely that you’ll be exhausted and give into bad behaviour at least once.
It’s likely that you’ll “forget yourself”, even a little, during the first few years of motherhood. That’s ok. They’re only that little once, enjoy it and don’t worry about your clothes or hair. But do make time for solo dates with your special someone, and occasional outings with your friends. Once a month or so is good enough, and don’t worry about mom-guilt – that’ll be there no matter what.
My mom used to say, those without children are usually the experts.
I think that this might be because they don’t have “mom brain” (an ailment where in your brain cells go AWOL and thinking gets muddled and fuzzy, you forget things easily, etc), so they can make decisions based on ‘intellect’ and not sleep deprived desperation. Yes, mothers still have intellect but our decisions are also somewhat affected by sleep deprived desperation. At least, 95% of the time.
They also don’t know how willful children are. And boy, are they ever willful. Some of them will battle you over everything, even before you make it to that public place where know-it-all childless strangers see you and think their I’d nevers at you, so it may seem like you’re “giving in” when you’re really just “choosing your battles”. Plus, if you have picky eaters (like I do), getting them to eat is generally an all out war, so allowing them to pick out some food in the store that they’re interesting in eating is really a no brainer.
All of the things I said I’d never do, I’ve pretty much done. Sure, I’m not proud of some of them, but that’s the ebb and flow of parenting, hell…that’s the ebb and flow of being a human.
A good lesson I learned really early on is not to judge other mothers for their decisions. I don’t know what the circumstances are leading up to the decision I “saw”. Empathy goes a long way, in all aspects of this world, especially in the parenting world. We mothers are hard enough on ourselves as it is, we really don’t need anymore help.