I’ll never shout at my children, not I…
Parenting the right way…already you laugh and I have to completely agree with you. There isn’t a right way. However pre-children I ridiculously thought there was. I vividly remember having all the ideals planned in my mind of what sort of parent I would be. All the things I wouldn’t succumb to and all the things I would ensure I did in order to do the best for my children. I look back and laugh at how naive I was to think that you can actually plan your parenting style. I still try to loosely stick to my ideals, because ideals aren’t a bad thing. I just now accept that to constantly reach them is very unrealistic.
Here are some of the ways that I thought I’d parent vs actual reality.
I’ll never use my phone or a tablet to keep my children quiet.
What a shame those parents are having to give their children a tablet in order to keep them in check, can they not be bothered to talk and interact with them? Thought a younger naive me.
Well, what on earth did our parents do before this amazing, magical invention? Don’t get me wrong, I do limit the time my daughter spends on them and I don’t like giving her the tablet but oh my, they are a lifesaver at times. Not that I’m wishing time away and is it really that wrong that I can’t wait till Pud can be distracted just for a little time with my phone.
I’ll never use food to bribe them or pacify them.
If I’m going somewhere for more than an hour or two I won’t leave the house without a pack of baby biscuits or a pack of sticky annoying raisins. Seriously those things get everywhere. I walk around the supermarket trying to wait until the foodstuffs are really called. Then one by one I’ll fish out a tasty treat. Sometimes it’ll be a nice healthy banana, sometimes a biscuit and sometimes those darned raisins!
My children will not get into the bad habit of sleeping in our bed.
What a bad habit this is, you’ll be making a rod for your own back I would snigger as people confessed to co-sleeping.
Now with my midwife hat on, I have to be mindful of reducing the risks of SIDS and in certain circumstances I think co-sleeping with small infants is still a big no no. However, after being fairly strict with my daughter I quite like it when she jumps in bed with us in the morning. She only ever gets in with us in the wee small hours if she’s poorly. She’s nearly 5 now and I don’t mind that a bit.
Pud is a different story. He has just turned 1 and doesn’t sleep through the night. Most nights we manage to keep him in his own cot and he’s ok with this. Again he only really sleeps in our bed when he’s suffering either with a bug or his teeth. Yes, I don’t get much sleep when he’s in with us…but I don’t if he’s up all night either! I have to admit I’m much more relaxed about co-sleeping second time round. Do you know what, I don’t think it does them any harm.
I will love spending all day playing my children, who wouldn’t.
Don’t get me wrong, I really do love playing with my children and listening to their infectious laugh but I need time out too, sometimes of the naughty step kind but mostly a bit of me time. I think a bit of me time does us the world of good as parents. I used to think of myself as selfish for wanting this. Now I see it as recharging!
I’ll make all their food from scratch
I’ll be the next Annabel Karmel I thought, whilst pregnant. Not a scrap of pre prepared food will pass my baby’s lips. Nothing but the best for my little ones. Well, if I could have duplicated myself and my other self did all the cooking, then maybe this would have been the case. But it wasn’t. I tried my best and made as much as possible from scratch. I adapted our meals so that I could use parts/all of it for Pops. However pouches and jars are so convenient for when you are out and about. When Pud starting weaning, again I tried to make as much as possible from scratch. Though I am not ashamed to say that I always had a few jars in the cupboard for last minute meals and journeys out.
I won’t shout at my children
Oh how I wish I didn’t shout. But I do. I get frustrated. I get annoyed. I’m very impatient. These are not the best traits to have with children. Especially when it takes 10 rounds of ‘please put your shoes’ on before she actually puts her shoes on. I do try my best to be mindful that shouting won’t encourage good behaviour.
On the odd occasion I think you need to shout, for example despite discussing the rules of crossing over a road numerous times, children are very easily distracted. One day Pops was happily skipping down our road. I leant into the pram to pick up Puds hat which he had already whipped off and spot Pops continuing into the road with a car hurtling down our road. I shouted and shouted again whilst grabbing her back onto the path. If I hadn’t shouted, she wouldn’t have heard and I don’t really want to consider the consequences. I shouted at her after, telling her off for not stopping. My heart was racing and that moment scared the hell out of me. I apologised to Pops for shouting but explained that I was scared and I just wanted her to be safe.
I’ll definitely breastfeed my children.
If it was only that easy! I tried. It didn’t go well and I really beat myself up about it. I’ve discussed this in my post ‘struggling as a new mum’. Formula wasn’t the enemy, expectations were.
With my second baby, breastfeeding went so much better. However, I had already learned my lesson that it would ok if it didn’t go well. I’m now a big believer that fed is fed.
What ‘ideals’ did you have before becoming a parent that were unrealistic or downright daft?