“I would rather die than let my kid eat Cup-a-Soup.” ~Gwyneth Paltrow
I admit it.
Before I had a kid, I was 100% one of those judgey, know-it-all jerks who made grand proclamations about all the things I’d never do when I became a parent.
Which was pretty bold considering that, for years, I’d known nothing about raising children. Like, literally nothing.
Was it acceptable to put Kool-Aid into a baby bottle?
Did you wait to change a child’s diaper until it had reached maximum capacity? I mean, diapers are expensive and if you can make a 24 pack last 24 days, that’s practicing good economics….no?
And, it’s not that big a deal to leave a toddler in the car if you’re just running into K-Mart for ONE thing, right? So long as the kid is strapped down somewhere and unable to reach the lit cigarette resting in the cars ashtray?
What can I say? I didn’t have the best example.
It wasn’t until books and television taught me that I was basically a degenerate, that I began to form loftier opinions about things.
The police never showed up at the Seaver residence because Maggie was in the backyard with an ax hacking up the lawn furniture after a fight with Dr. Seaver.
Mrs. Walsh, of Beverly Hills 90210 never hissed at Brenda, “I am going to kick your ass so far up around your neck, you’ll have to spread your butt cheeks to sneeze!”
And not one of those chick’s from the Babysitter’s Club, had to take their earnings and immediately spend it all on candy at a sports bar/grocery store called Smokies before their mother could steal their wages.
So, it’s really thanks to the likes of the Tanners, the Camden’s, The Huxtables, Mr. Belvedere and Beverly Clearly, that I became self-righteous AF.
10 Things I Swore I Would Never Do When I Became A Parent
1. Let my kid eat a hot dog
Fast forward six years:
Me: Hey Snugs, want to have a hot dog and mac & cheese for dinner?
Snugs: I had that yesterday!
Me: I know, but it’s your favorite!
2. Leave the house in my pajama’s
Post Kids: Ok, I’ll never leave the house in my PJ’s without a bra.
A few more years post kids: Well, if I’m staying in the car and just going through the teacher assist drop-off line, it’s not like anyone will notice I’m not wearing a bra.
3. Let my kid buy school lunch
Me….Every Day: Oooh, buddy! French toast sticks are on the menu at school today and tomorrow, it’s nachos!
4. Allow screen time
A hot minute after giving birth: Get ready! To Wiggle!
5. Forego my personal hygiene
Post Parenthood Google Search History:
- How many days in a row can you use dry shampoo?
- How many days in a row can a person go without showering before the smell is too great to mask.
- Is Listerine an acceptable alternative to teeth brushing?
6. Give-up my corporate career for family
My employer (a year ago): You haven’t made a career move in five years and we’re going to eliminate your current position. You’ll need to either move up, or move out.
Me: Cool, should I go ahead and start packing now?
I know I’m supposed to be leaning-in and pulling up a seat the table and bursting through the glass ceiling and blah, blah, blah, but I was over my career. OVER IT.
I didn’t want to spend my time traveling all the over the place, working insane hours, while someone else raised my kid, all for the privilege of helping to stuff the already bulky pockets of the executives and shareholders of corporate America.
I decided I didn’t want to pull up a seat their table. I decided to build my own table. I’m sorry if this isn’t the choice I was supposed to make.
Actually, no. I’m not sorry.
7. Participate in the Elf on the Shelf
Before my son was born, I considered the tradition to be an unnecessarily stressful addition to parenting and the holiday season.
Actually, I think I was just really jealous that I hadn’t thought of that bajillion-dollar idea myself.
After my son was born, I jumped right onto the Elf on the Shelf bandwagon and I’m not getting off anytime soon.
Quite frankly, I participate in the tradition for one person and one person only….and that person is me.
My childhood had all the magic of life at Spahn Ranch with the Manson family, so it makes me feel good to sprinkle my son’s youth with wonderment.
Also, that little Sprite gives me a whole month off from parenting….and I’m not going to lie, I can use the break….especially during the holiday season.
8. Formula Feed
To be clear, it never crossed my mind to judge another mother for the way she chose to feed her kid. If it hadn’t been for Hamburger Helper, Chef-Boyardee and Tang, I might not have survived my own infancy.
So, fed is best, as far as I’m concerned.
But I had a lot of guilt about being diagnosed with cancer while I was pregnant and so I felt like if I couldn’t breastfeed, I would essentially be a worse mother than Susan Smith.
Mom guilt. Am I right?
I wanted to breastfeed, but I couldn’t.
To make a long story short, my son was born premature, I had to finish chemotherapy and it wasn’t safe for my son to breastfeed while I was pumped full of R-CHOP.
I tried to “pump and dump,” but my body was all, “F-You. I’m not cooperating.”
Since starvation is, in fact, the worst of all options, I decided that what was best for my son, was formula. And what was best for me, was to stop torturing myself.
PS….to that lady from the online La Leche support group I reached out to for advice on stimulating my milk supply, the lady who told me I should really consider stopping cancer treatment because, Breast is Best!
I still know who you are. My social media stalking skills are on point and oh honey….time has not been good to you.
9. Subscribe to a parenting philosophy
Me, today: I’m the I Don’t Give a F*ck Mom.
The IDGAF mom is the one who can’t even commit to the long term implications of a bumper sticker, let alone a parenting philosophy.
She’s the one who sometimes feels like she’s got all her shit together and then other times isn’t so sure, because she can’t find her shit.
The mom who roots for other mom’s, (except that bitch from the La Leche support group….I never let go of a valid grudge), because she knows that parenting isn’t actually a competition.
We’re all just doing the best we can to roll with the punches of parenting and life and in the end, we all want the same thing. Nice kids who are healthy and happy and who go on to be productive and kind members of society.
But let’s face it, none of us know really know what we’re doing.
10. Allow my kid to throw a tantrum in public
I really thought I would have this one down. I assumed that I was the adult, the one in charge. I thought my firm, but loving approach to child rearing would be thing that would separate me from the mom with the toddler sprawled out and screaming on the floor at Target.
I thought that right up until the time my son was about three and I told him it was time to leave Chuck E. Cheese and he looked at me and said, “Over my dead body.”
Ok, so he didn’t actually say that, but trust me, his wails and feet stamping and fist pounding on the Skee Ball machine made it clear that I could suck it.
So, now I just like to tell myself that he’s strong willed and that strong willed children become adults who change the world. I high five myself and hope that he’s at least a good dictator someday.
Then, I take another helping of humble pie with a side of crow, pull up my yoga pants and tell myself that, at the very least, I’m still way better than that La Leche lady.