Raise your hand if you ever judged a parent and swore you would never do the same thing when you have your own kids. Now raise another hand if you’ve done the exact thing you said you would never do after you had kids. Are you raising both hands in the air? So are we! It’s not uncommon to underestimate the wonderful world of parenting. Of course you imagine an almost perfect picture of you raising kids—making all their meals from scratch, listening attentively when they tell you about their day, reading Goodnight Moon before bedtime at eight on the dot—but it doesn’t always turn out like you planned and that’s totally okay too. It’s always good to have a goal in mind for what kind of parents we want to be, but it’s also just as important to accept when we need to adjust our expectations. Here are just some of the things I said I would never do as a parent, but ended up doing with my kid. No regrets from this enlightened mama. Go on and let us know about some of your “I would never’s…” in the comment section!
I used to roll my eyes at moms and dads who were slaves to a sleep schedule. I always thought, “why can’t the baby just sleep a little later then?” Little did I know just how important wake windows were. The first time I ignored my newborn’s sleep cues just because I wanted to socialize a bit more, it took about triple the time to get her to settle down again and sleep. When the baby can’t sleep, mommy and daddy won’t get any rest either and we all know that never ends well. I am now a firm believer in prioritizing my baby’s sleep (unless it’s Christmas or her birthday, that is).
I’ve seen a number of girls transform their Instagram feeds from a curated collection of different interest to an un-filtered,un-aesthetic montage of baby content. I’m talking birth stories, monthly milestone photos, and videos of babies doing practically anything. I’ve always loved babies, but even I have thought some moms could tone down on the play by play. Fast forward to a year after I gave birth to my daughter, I must admit—I am so guilty of the baby fever flood! My current grid is 80% my baby and 20% family photos I forced my husband to pose for. Not to mention my Instagram stories, which are filled with my favorite moments with her everyday, and I wouldn’t have it any other way, not even if it means I lose a follower or two.
I used to think the bed was sacred. No eating on the bed. No outside clothes on the bed. No baby sleeping on the bed. I wanted it to remain mine and my husband’s since we would be sharing every other part of our lives with the baby. Turns out it’s easier said than done. When you’re both fighting exhaustion, you’ve tried all the tricks in your bag, and all the baby wants is to be close to mama and papa, you cave. She slept so peacefully in between us the first time, so the next time she was uncharacteristically fussy, you bet I chose to co-sleep, and the rest is history.
Parents are always happy to drop off their babies at Lolo and Lola’s house, at least that’s what we see in the movies. I always wondered what the fascination was and why parents always looked so excited to say goodbye. It turns out it is possible to want space but to miss your baby at the same time. I carry my daughter to feed her and when I’m putting her to sleep. She’s always either playing with me or laying with me. When she’s not crying for me, it’s either she found a new person of interest for the next five minutes or she’s asleep. I now totally understand why you look forward to leaving the kids with the grandparents. There are times you’re just overstimulated and you need to do things for you too.
Before I was even married, I knew I wanted to make all the food my future kids eat so I could be 100% sure of what goes into their mouths. I would buy only organic produce and check all the nutritional information labels to check salt and sugar content. That regimen lasted for all about 3 weeks before I decided it wouldn’t be the end of the world if she tried packed, off-the-grocery-rack snacks for babies. She loved the taste and I loved the convenience. I still make sure to plan healthy meals for my daughter, but at the same time, I’m more than happy to have her try the not so good stuff too.
If you’ve ever been on a flight with a screaming baby, I’m sure you made a promise you would never fly with your kid unless they’re at an age where you’re certain that wouldn’t happen. I always thought I would be too embarrassed with my fellow passengers should it happen to me and to make things worse, there’s nowhere to run or hide to. Turns out I was willing to take the risk to go on a family vacation. I just told myself that some of the passengers would be parents who understood and as for the other passengers who felt disrupted, I would likely never see again, so it was worth a try. In the end, I told myself that as long as I prepared and did my best in keeping my baby fed and entertained, that would be enough. C’est la vie!