Before you have kids, you have all of these grand plans. Everyone does it. I did it. But, I promise you… no matter how much you plan or how adamant you are that you will stand by your convictions, that you will do things just right from the beginning, you will inevitably lose the battle on more than one occasion.
Take this little cutie for example.
With newborn Nora, I was certain that if I made her baby food and only fed her healthy, natural foods that she would grow up to be a great eater. Reality is that she is a horrible eater, and despite all of my efforts, she regularly wins this battle. It is exhausting, but she would rather go without eating at all most nights than even try something new or different. So, I have to pick and choose when to fight her and when to let it slide. And I often bribe her with chocolate.
I was going to follow all of the recommendations regarding wake time and sleep time from the beginning and create great sleep habits. I tried. She had other plans. She was a horrible napper, we eventually let her cry it out and she gave up naps all together shortly after she turned two. She does sleep well at night, but her bedtime is way past the recommended time frame.
I was going to baby wear. She hated it. I swore she was not going to watch TV until she was two. Her father introduced her to Dora. I was going to have babysitters on a regular basis. Instead, I am too tired and it’s easier to stay in. I am sure there is more that I am forgetting.
But despite all of my derailed intentions with Nora, I still found myself setting goals when Meredith was born.
With newborn Meredith, I was going to try to not use a pacifier at all. Note there is one in her hospital bassinet, so obviously I gave that idea up quickly. And when she forced my tired hand on that one, I swore I would get rid of it before she was one year old because I wished I had done that with Nora. We finally pitched them a few weeks ago at almost 28 months of age, which is in fact later than we pitched them with Nora.
I was going to have my girls share a room as soon as possible after Meredith was born and just handle any hiccups that arose from that. Instead, Meredith’s crib was in my room until she was well over a year old and we finally moved into a house where they could have their own rooms.
Other things I swore to before I had kids:
I would never drive one of those car carts at the grocery store. (We use one almost every time now… and I do hate every minute of it.)
I would not have an Elf on the Shelf. (His name is Chocolate.)
I would not let my kids watch more than an hour of TV a day. (I still try to keep this limited, but there are many days that I fail.)
I was not going to buy clothing with commercialized cartoon characters on them. (Nora has a Disney princess bathing suit and several Dora shirts.)
My kids were going to watch wholesome television, such as Sesame Street and Disney movies. (Their favorites are Dora, Diego, Peppa Pig, and the Barbie movies. Although, I will say I have stuck to my guns about no Spongebob.)
This list is not complete and as the years go on, I am sure I will add more and more to it. I think the lesson is that as a parent, you will have good intentions, but you will inevitably fall prey to reality and the unexpected influences of your children’s personalities and desires. You can not know how things will play out, despite what you think or feel before it all happens. This doesn’t mean that you have failed. It just means that you were naive.
And for those who do not yet have children… never say never.