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OT: What Did You Swear You Would Never Do Before Becoming a Mom?

Posted by on Jan. 6, 2015 at 1:59 PM
  • 10 Replies

Being a Mom Means Always Having To Say You're Sorry

There are lots of things parenting books don't tell you: how once you become a mom, you can recognize your child's cry at .84 miles away and it will feel, always, like a dagger in your chest. How you will sway back and forth for months, then miss it when you stop. And ... how once you bring a baby into this world, you will owe apologies to a lot of other moms.

Before having kids, I was pretty confident (read: smug) that I had the skills to be a good parent. I mean after all, I'd started babysitting at 12. During high school, I helped out with vacation bible school at my church, and had taught swimming lessons to a preschooler who insisted on picking his nose and wiping whatever he dug out onto my shoulder. I'd even been a lifeguard.

(True, I'd never actually saved someone, but I did blow my whistle a lot.)

When I saw moms raising their voices at their kids or obsessing because their baby "wouldn't go down at night" (whatever that meant!) I did an inner tsk-tsk. Obviously, these parents didn't have the babysitting/swim lessons/lifeguarding experience of moi.

And then, in a nifty narrative arc that you already saw coming but I, of course, didn't, I actually had a kid. And had to not only eat my words, but completely choke down my pride.

Parenting is exhausting and exhilarating in a way that is near-impossible to describe, or even understand, until you've been through it yourself. (Kind of like childbirth.) It's also a humbling experience (understatement) that constantly tweaks what we think we know, especially when it comes to how other moms act.

Everything I got judgy about pre-kids, I ended up doing myself. That list includes, but is not exclusive to, letting my then-toddler son rifle through my wallet in a restaurant so I could finish a conversation with a friend. Allowing for embarrassing amounts of extra screen time because I have to work. Publicly giving "The Look" and hissing through clenched teeth, "Doyouunderstandme?"

Did I mention my husband and I ended up hiring a sleep expert to help us get our firstborn to "go down" at night? (Ah, so that's what it means!) Call it karma if you want. I just call it parenting.

Two kids later, I'm a lot less quick to judge other moms. While I'm certainly an expert about my own offspring, the truth is, I don't know the first thing about anyone else's. So long as we all parent with love and patience and empathy, does the small stuff -- ie, what kind and how much candy we allow our kids to gobble down on crosss-country flights -- really matter?

The other day, I happened to overhear two pregnant women gossiping at the park, criticizing another mom for letting her little daughter wear rain boots (on the wrong feet) on the jungle gym. It wasn't a good idea, they frowned. Too dangerous. What on earth was the mom thinking?

I didn't chime in. Been there, done that. And eventually, they will, too.

What preconceived notions did you have before you became a parent?

What did you swear you would never do before becoming a mom?

by on Jan. 6, 2015 at 1:59 PM
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Replies (1-10):
darbyakeep45
by Darby on Jan. 8, 2015 at 7:01 AM

Not sure on that one...

mandee1503
by Amanda on Jan. 8, 2015 at 10:34 AM
1 mom liked this
I'm not sure I had any. I helped raise my nephews while my sister and bil worked. I was with them a lot so I knew. I do know that I was adamant about never owning a minivan. Then God gave me Jacob and laughed and laughed. Lol
SamMom912
by Silver Member on Jan. 8, 2015 at 3:26 PM

I use to think parents needed to "control" their kids... Now I think the idea that anyone can "control" another human being is ridiculous. Lol... 

Momof4AEMW
by Gold Member on Jan. 8, 2015 at 5:06 PM
1 mom liked this

Lol!  Me too on the minivan!!  But trips plus one other would not fit in my SUV!

Quoting mandee1503: I'm not sure I had any. I helped raise my nephews while my sister and bil worked. I was with them a lot so I knew. I do know that I was adamant about never owning a minivan. Then God gave me Jacob and laughed and laughed. Lol


Momof4AEMW
by Gold Member on Jan. 8, 2015 at 5:08 PM

I said I would not let my kids go out without their hair neat and combed.  And I don't.  But they are kids so the rough it up messy anyway once we're out. Lol.

N.Carter2001
by Silver Member on Jan. 8, 2015 at 9:02 PM

I would go visit my best friend Katie.  I would think to my self how can she not keep a clean apartment.  She says her place still a big mess but he she only has 1 child.   I have 2 and my place always a mess.

letstalk747
by Ruby Member on Jan. 8, 2015 at 10:49 PM

gonna have to think on this one

blondepegasus
by Member on Jan. 8, 2015 at 11:13 PM

I said I would never drive a minivan. Yep, I drive a minivan!...LOL

arkansasmama08
by Gold Member on Jan. 9, 2015 at 11:46 PM
1 mom liked this
Lol you just need 2 bigger suv 😉

Quoting Momof4AEMW:

Lol!  Me too on the minivan!!  But trips plus one other would not fit in my SUV!

Quoting mandee1503: I'm not sure I had any. I helped raise my nephews while my sister and bil worked. I was with them a lot so I knew. I do know that I was adamant about never owning a minivan. Then God gave me Jacob and laughed and laughed. Lol

HAHuskey
by Member on Jan. 10, 2015 at 12:10 AM
I don't remember swearing off anything before becoming a mom.
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