The Mother I thought I’d be vs The Mother I am
Do you remember when you were a young, carefree non-parent yet hypothetically the best parent in the world? You no doubt uttered expressions such as “When I have kids I’d never let them…” whilst looking on eye rolling at the parent chasing their screaming toddler down the fruit and veg aisle of the local supermarket.
I was one of those eye rolling tutters and cursing screaming toddlers in supermarkets was just one of my many thoughts – before I procreated; here’s my before children vs post children reality.
‘They’re screaming the place down and the parents are just ignoring them – I would never let that happen. It’s not only embarrassing but it’s inconsiderate for others around them’
I am so guilty of bribing/silencing them with treats to get them to calm down/do as they’re told. So why do we do it? An easy life, we’re knackered, we need to get the shopping done and if stuffing our child full of sweets and chocolate shuts them up for 5 mins, I’ll take it.
I’ll worry about the e-number repercussions when they take effect…hopefully after we’ve left the shop.
‘Why would you choose not to breastfeed if you have the option?’
I come right back at that one with ‘why wouldn’t you choose to formula feed if you have the option?’ I feel really strongly about this subject, so much so that I wrote a post about it.
I’ll never turn onto one of ‘those mums’ who go to baby groups. Pur-lease.
Two weeks in, I was sat at a baby group. With my new ‘mum friends‘. And I can confirm that baby groups aren’t full of hippy chick mama’s who only talk about their babies, how they feed their babies, how amazing their babies are….we talked about our first nerve wracking poo, the even more nerve wracking first bonk after birth and everything in-between.
Over five years on and we’re still thick as thieves…and the kids are too!
I’m definitely not ever going to shout at my precious baby, or lose my temper.
f I’m honest, that lasted about ten days into Sofia’s life, where one night in the middle of yet another half hour wake up call I shouted a lot of expletives only to look up and see Stuart appear from nowhere, remove her from my arms and tell me to go back to bed and he would ‘get her off to sleep now’.
Over five years on, I still haven’t mastered the art of gentle parenting.
‘I’ll spend hours playing and crafting with them’
When I’m feeling particularly Pinterest I’ll often pop to Hobbycraft, The Works or Home Bargains and stock up with glue, paper, pom poms, sequins and stickers galore. Only to get home and put the TV on for the instead.
Who wants to be clearing glitter and glue out of the carpet anyway? I’ll leave nursery to entertain with that.
‘I’ll keep every bit of artwork my children ever bring home’
The recycling bin’s never been so full. Two weekly collections? I’ve got a forestation after just three days.
‘My kids will never have snotty noses or crusty faces. I was adamant about this one’
I may have been adamant, but I was also wrong. I am also that mother that wipes said snot away with my sleeve.
‘I’ll always cook organic, healthy meals from scratch’
Lets just say Arlo had his first cheeseburger happy meal just before he turned one and I’ve never been prouder than seeing him demolish the plastic cheese, chopped onion and gherkins. Our household is pretty beige; if it’s not a chicken dipper or a cracker with spread cheese, they ain’t eating it.
‘When we have children they’ll fit in to our lives not the other way round’
To an extent, they do. We are lucky to have great grandparents who are always on hand to help us out if we have date nights to go on. We still do things we want to but our eating out now consists of any restaurants that offer colouring sheets, crayons and fruit shoots.
We are also completely and utterly ruled by our children.
‘They make great little fashion accessories’
Unless you class accessorising as having a tantrumming, snotty nosed brat attached to your leg, this could not have been more of a naive statement.
My child’s not going to have sweets or chocolate until they’re at least school age.
I soon realised that chocolate and sweets were amazing bribery tools and I haven’t looked back since. Want to get somewhere quick? ‘If you sit in your pushchair you can have some chocolate’, ‘If you just sit quietly for three minutes you can have some Haribo’.
Yep. I’m all about the e-numbers.
I will never give my child a dummy
Arlo relies on his dummy like he relies on air to breathe. I will never again judge a parent for giving their child a dummy. We tried to get rid of it when Arlo was about six months old – and it was the longest, loudest week of our lives.
It’s fair to say he’s now two and he’s still surgically attached to it
‘I’m going to get my child into a strict bedtime routine’
Admittedly, I was a lot stricter with getting Sofia into a bedtime routine, I visited a sleep nanny and did a controlled comfort routine with her; I honestly couldn’t cope with the sleep deprivation and it was the best thing we ever did – Sofia’s been a dream sleeper ever since.
Her younger brother on the other hand, he’s a whole other stubborn story and we often find him in between us in bed. Firstly, because it’s easier than trying to get a loud lunged back to sleep again, secondly because he isn’t as cooperative with sleep training as Sofia was and thirdly by putting him into our bed in the middle of the night means we all get a good night’s sleep and fourthly, I secretly quite like it.
I will never be that mum that post pictures of every little thing they do on social media.
I went one step further, setting up a blog and daily uploading all over Instagram. Move over nights out, there’s a new subject in town.
‘I’ll never just leave my child wily-nily for no reason’
Before kids, I always imagined I would struggle to let them be anywhere but with me. And yes, with Sofia I dreaded it. I knew when I was pregnant that I was going to leave her as we were invited to a ‘no kid’ wedding when she was three months old so I had time to pluck the courage up to spend a night away from her. When I say a night, I mean my parents came to stay at the venue we were staying at and we excitedly ran down the corridor to get her at 9am the next day with our first parent hangover.
We are lucky that we have such helpful grandparents who always want to have the kids..and we do make the most of it. I really believe that time away from the kids is so important, you were a person before you became a parent – you are still that person underneath the tired bags and mum bun.