Before I had Rhys, I had all my parenting philosophies figured out. I did my research. I read the books. I researched the articles. I believed I would learn from my parents’ mistakes and do better. I had friends who were parents already and I had things I liked and didn’t like. There were things I swore I’d never do as a mother.
For the first few month’s of Rhys’s life, I was very stringent–I let my Type A, anxiety-ridden, first-mom-self take control. It was hard. I absolutely loved every moment I spent with Rhys, but it was hard to change my philosophies. It kept happening and happening throughout Rhys’s life and now even during Evelyn’s short 6 months!
Here are things I never thought I’d do as a mother
Let my child watch TV before one-year-old…and numerous hours afterward.
Well, that happened. Ha! Sometimes, the TV is a babysitter, I’m sad to say. But, I love watching TV with Rhys and interacting with him during the shows. It helps him learn! I even let him fall asleep to TV for his nap. It’s been that way since he was about one years old.
Let my child cry it out.
We decided to Ferberize Rhys. He responded pretty well with it…especially after we bought a music machine. But, there were some nights we just had to let him cry. Same with Evelyn. She doesn’t respond to the Ferber Method at all. Sadly. It breaks my heart. But I’ll let her cry 30 minutes before going in to try to rock her, pat her, sing to her, and reassure her back to sleep.
Give my toddler candy and soda.
Halloween. Can you blame me? Cookies. A sip of sprite. Ice cream. Whatever Justin and I were having, we’ve given to Rhys. Now, every time we go grocery shopping, if Rhys is well-behaved, he gets to chose either a hot wheel car or a candy bar (they’re the same price!). Evelyn has even had a bite of cake and ice cream before.
Take my children out in public in pajamas.
There have been days I haven’t felt well–I’ve barely gotten dressed. But, I decided to just let my kids wear pajamas. This only happens once in a blue moon though.
Take my children out in public without socks.
When Rhys was a baby, I put socks on him every single day when we’d go out. A very tiny part of it was being afraid of germs. Another tiny part was what other parents would think of a baby just in a onesie (“white trash”…I know, I know…first time mom…). But, mostly, I was always afraid he’d be cold. Even during the Utah summer. However, here in Texas, now that it’s consistently over 90* each day the past few months, I never put socks on Evelyn. She wears sleeveless rompers or onesies with shorts. I will put cute little shoes on her for church because, well, it’s church.
Not buckle my infant into the swing.
Evelyn had a really hard time sleeping the first four months of her life because of her infantile dyschezia. So, she’d sleep in the swing. But, since we swaddled her, we couldn’t really buckle the 5-point buckle. I know–terrible decision. She started twisting and turning, partially due to the bowel movements, partially due to development. One night, before I fell asleep, I heard her fall out of the swing. Never again. I’ve always buckled her in since then!!!!!
Go out in pajamas or without a bra myself.
That’s happened. Especially on hard days. I’d grab the kids real quick, run over to Wal-Mart or CVS down the street, and grab a chocolate and a Pepsi. Embarrassing.
Never Co Sleep with an infant.
I thought co-sleeping was dangerous. And, who in their right mind would want to share a bed all night, every night with their child? When would parents….you know!?!? Well, with Rhys and Evelyn, if they are having a hard time falling back asleep in the middle of the night, had a nightmare, are scared, are sick, or if we are traveling, then I’ll co-sleep with them. And, I love it. I love cuddling with my children and falling asleep to the sound of their breathing. But, I would never fully co-sleep with them. No. I need my space and my sleep and my spouse.
Nap when a kid was awake.
My pregnancy with Evelyn was rough–especially since we moved when I was about 20 weeks pregnant and had to deal with a wild toddler in a new state while my husband traveled for job training. I would get tired early in the morning or in the late afternoon…so, I’d put Rhys on the bed with me and turn on Nick Jr or give him my phone and I’d fall asleep for about 40 minutes. I still do it sometimes. I’ll take a nap with Evelyn in the morning and let Rhys play Wii-U while we sleep.
Let my child have a pacy after they were two-years-old.
I’ve seen older toddlers, even preschoolers stuck on their pacy. Their words were jumbled. Their mouths had an open bite. They were just too old for pacies. And, I knew it would be harder to get rid of pacies the longer I waited. Well, when Rhys turned two, we wanted to. But, we were also transitioning him off bottles completely, into a toddler bed, and moving! So, we just dropped pacies to naptime and bed time. But, we’ve stopped the pacy cold turkey when he turned three years old two weeks ago. We try to keep the pacies limited to naps and bed for Evie, but now that she’s teething and has separation anxiety, she’s using more. Our goal is to get rid of it by the time she’s two, but if not, we’ll follow the same we did with Rhys.
Allow electronics at meal time.
Sometimes, it’s hard for Rhys to focus on eating. He’d rather play than sit and eat. So, we take out Youtube. It works, he sits and eats a full meal, and Justin and I can talk to each other.
Yell at my kids.
I wish. We all do at some point in time. It’s human nature–but a terrible part of it. But, I think if we keep “no yelling” as our goal, we’ll do better than otherwise.
Share a million photos of my kids online.
Sorry, not sorry. =)