Things mothers do
Let’s face it, we were all much better mothers and fathers before our children were born. We all made a mental note every time someone else’s kid did something or got something that we knew — we knew — we weren’t going to do the same thing. We weren’t going to make the same mistakes. Because we were better parents; we knew better than the people around us raising those little monsters. And we knew this because. Things mothers do!
we were objective — they were not our kids so we could see the negatives. Apparently, our friends were just way too close. I was no different — I was a world-class, award-winning mother before I ever gave birth. I had a list of things mothers do that I swore I never would…and then I caught myself doing all of them!
Things Mothers Do
1. Never let the television serve as a babysitter. This might have been one of the first parenting rules I broke. However, when I was home alone with a 2-month-old, wiping tears from my eyes brought on by my desperate need for a real shower, crayons dancing and singing on Netflix seemed a Godsend. I could count on at least 10 minutes of quiet time — maybe more right after a meal — and know that everyone was safe and happy.
2. Never let my daughter eat in the car. As soon as she learned how to feed herself, this rule went right out the window. When you’re running late and your kid still hasn’t eaten breakfast; or when you’re facing a long drive, and your kid gets hungry halfway there…it’s much easier to break this rule and let your kid eat in the car than it is to try to drive while the kid is screaming from the back seat.
3. Buy a bunch of Disney Princess…stuff. It seemed like before I had my child, everywhere I looked was Disney Princess this and Disney Princess that. Moreover, everything was pink and glittery and absolutely everything I did not want littering my family room floor. Moreover, yet, I still have no regrets for that first pair of pink (ack) Disney Princess pajamas — because the smile on her face when she put them on made it look a lot less pink.
4. Buy my kid fast food. Especially McDonald’s. McDonald’s was the worst — unhealthy, high in sugars and grease. Before becoming a mother? I could not even tell you where the closest fast-food restaurant was to me. However, now? Boy is it convenient to see one on just about every corner of every street ever. A long ride in the car and I forgot to bring snacks? I am saved. Running late and need a fast breakfast — saved. Moreover, excuse me, but sometimes you just have to have that Egg McMuffin…
5. Let my daughter watch anything other than educational television. I do not even know who I thought I was kidding with this rule. I mean, when was the last time I sat down to watch a genuinely educational program on television? Sure, I enjoy the occasional documentary, but I do not typically sit down in front of a television to learn something. I sit to veg, to relax, and to unwind after my day. Moreover, you know what? My kid liked songs, and talking bears, and dancing mice. Also, I am entirely okay with that.
Moreover, if I am sincere here…there are even a few other promises I made to myself that I broke along the way.
When we find out we are about to bring a child into this world, we all make these sorts of lists. Lists of what they will need, lists of what we will need. We start dreaming about the kind of child we are going to raise, the kind of parent we are going to be. We know it is not a competition, but at the same time, we secretly hope that we will be able to show up our friends and cousins and that whacko from high school who used to bully us all the time. That our child will be the better child simply because we were, the better parent. We dream of a lot more than just their potential…we set expectations for ourselves. We start to define what the perfect mother looks like, and then we try like heck to meet those expectations.
However, guess what? Most of the time we fail. Moreover, that is okay. It is important to realize that those expectations were never realistic, to begin with. You were pretty much setting yourself up for failure right from the beginning. New parents strive to live as they did in the 50s and 60s when everything was smiles and dinner conversation and homemade desserts. However, it does not work that way anymore. Society is different; demands are different, schedules are different. I have not met a mother or a father yet who have been able to live up to the expectations they set for themselves before birth. The most important thing is to remember you are doing the best you can with the resources and information you have — and anything else would just be a bonus. I say, if your child grows up healthy and your relationship healthy, then you have definitely done a bang-up job.
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