Monday, December 7, 2009

Perfect Parent

A few weeks ago, I mentioned in an RTT post that parenting is not a theory; it is a practice. The funny and insightful Jan from Jan's Sushi Bar commented that the only time you are a perfect parent is before you become one, and that made me laugh out loud because it rang so true. I had a lot of Ideas about Parenting before I actually became a parent, and when I think on them now, many of them are pretty laughable. Here's a few of my ideas that turned out to be complete crap:

1. No TV until they are at least two (HA!)
2. No sugar until they are at least two (double HA!)
3. No processed foods EVER
4. No giant pieces of colored plastic-type toys
5. No battery operated toys
6. No bringing small children out to restaurants until they are at least ten
7. No co-sleeping
8. No giant, sidewalk-taking-up stroller
9. All organic, all the time (though we do do mostly organic for the kids, I'm not nearly as strict as I imagined I'd be)
10. No cry-it-out sleep training
11. No McDonald's or other fast food EVER (he only gets it rarely, but he does get it)
12. No carrying used tissues in my pockets
13. No going out in public covered in children's' bodily fluids
14. Keeping children impeccably groomed at all times
15. Always traveling with a fully stocked diaper bag (still a good idea, I think, but hard for me to put into practice)
16. No character themed clothing, sippy cups, or other accessories

There you have it, a list of my parenting Ideas before I became a parent. How about you? Are there things you said you'd never/always do as a parent that just weren't practical in practice? Or, maybe they just weren't as big a deal as you thought they'd be? Regale me with tails of your parenting naivety.


Aliceson said...

So true!

Along the same lines as #12, I swore I would never use my own saliva and thumb to clean my child's face (in public!) like my mom did. Every time I do it, I cringe, yet do it anyway.

Anonymous said...

It's been a very, very long time, but I believe I swore I'd never be the mom with the screaming kid in the grocery store.

My youngest is almost 15, and I still have to yell at him to shut up in the grocery store:

"Moooooooommmmmmm - did I HAVE to come?? Why can't I have 3 six packs of Mountain Dew? I can TOO live off of frozen pizza and Nestle crunch bars! Waaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh!!"

The Army ain't got nothing on parenting for adventure.

Jan from the Sushi Bar

Sprite's Keeper said...

Fully stocked diaper bag? MAJOR FAIL THIS WEEKEND! I'll unload that burden in tomorrow's RTT.

Strawberry said...

Same here on the tv thing. We also said we would make all of his baby food purees. ha. just bought a few jars of earth's best this weekend and i doubt it will be the last time.

Rachel said...

I swore my child would never be allowed to throw a fit in public.. or anywhere else. LOL what was I thinking? I also swore that my child would not tell me NO. Hahahaa. Although I discipline for both of these offenses, they happen to everyone and I will admit that I was horribly naive!

Cara said...

Heh. This is perfect for today. Growing up I hated "Don't make me pull this car over" yet found myself saying & doing that this weekend. I wasn't going to bottle feed, I'd make my own baby food, we wouldn't cosleep, my kids would NOT use pacifiers (Claire still takes them at nap/bedtime, Carter will be 17 before he gives his up), we would never go out in public with snotty noses...the list goes on & on

Becky said...

OMG, so true. And a great list. I would add:

No yelling at the kids.

gretchen said...

I had that fully stocked diaper bag for about 6 months. Now I'm afraid I'm the mom always searching for the water fountain for her thirsty kid and digging an old bag of airline peanuts out of the bottom of her purse for his snack.

Suga T said...

i'm not a parent. but i'm curious as to what made you drop the issues you held so close.

was it not convenient to keep them away from the TV? did you not want to fight about not having X, Y, or Z thing?

what i'm trying to see is, what made you NOT do the things you thought you'd do (or, do the things you said you'd never do)? was it too hard to toe the line? too tiring? what's the factor that makes you change your mind and decide not to do what you thought was important before you became a parent?

Anonymous said...

I had a fully stocked diaper bag and now I have a fully stocked HUGE purse. Growing up with my dad who was gloriously unprepared for everything and always late made me want to not be like that :).
I also have a fully stocked minivan, mom stains on my clothes, a TV that is on more often than it is off, dishes in the sink, toys on the floor, a pair of Brody's underware IN my bed, etc, etc.
Honestly, I thought I would be the worst parent ever but seeing my kids grow up I know that I am not. Especially when they hug me goodnight. There was never a plan and I have no goals for them other than for them to be happy, well adjusted and doing what they love. As long as we laugh more than yell I feel the day is a success and I do love SpongeBob so it is win win, lol!

Michele said...

No toy guns. Only to have the boys turn any stick, toy, legos, you name it into a gun. Yeah I won that one. HA!

Lady Mama said...

I laughed reading this because I too had all these ideals long ago. I've given into most of them now for the sake of my sanity.

Keely said...

If it were just up to me most of those toy restrictions would still be in place, but you can never control what OTHER people give your kid. And then it's a slippery slope.

Also, the TV thing. Ha.

Otherwise, I'd watched enough of my friends struggle with parenting to know that I didn't know much.

Big Mama Cass said...

HAAAAAAAHAHAHA!!! Ok I am laughing because I SWEAR that *I* wrote that list not you! Cause that was SOOO me. And now I have failed all of them. *hangs head* Oh well. At least he is happy, right? :)

Mrsbear said...

I think my ideals started to crumble with the delivery of my first daughter, that went nothing like the plan I'd had in my head for a perfect delivery. After the c-section it pretty much went downhill from there.

Jenni said...

@Suga T - it's not so much giving up on things, or thinking things are too hard. It's more once you have kids, your perspective on what is important changes. None of that stuff mattered nearly as much as I thought it did.

kelsey said...

Your list is so true! Mine would include a filthy carseat, full of crumbs from food I wasn't going to bribe my child to stop screaming in the car with.

Stimey said...

I was never going to lift my child by one arm. Past me didn't know that sometimes that's the only way to lift a kid. I was such a good mom before I had kids.