I was unsure if I would ever have kids. I always wanted to adopt but had no idea if I would be able to do it. I did, however, have opinions on things I would or wouldn’t do as a parent. The past few years have taught me I was wrong on many of those assumptions. I’m sharing the things I said I would never do as a mom vs. what the reality has been.
- I said I would never cosleep. I never understood parents who complained about getting kicked in the face while sleeping or having kids come into their room to sleep every night. The reality: We have done whatever gets us all the most sleep. For the first four weeks of A’s life we coslept using the DockaTot after she wouldn’t sleep in her bassinet. I was also trying to increase my milk supply at the time. (Note: This is not recommended for safe sleeping practices.) We then were able to transition her into her bassinet, which made me more comfortable. After that we transitioned her into her crib successfully and had no issues with everyone sleeping in their own bed. Recently I’ve been bringing A into my bed in the mornings, though, for our morning nursing. V also comes into our room if she’s ever woken up by her sister, but she goes right to sleep, thankfully. I no longer judge parents for their choices of room or bed sharing, although I would hope everyone is being as safe as possible. Read the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendations.
- I said I would be fully dressed and ready for school pickup/dropoff. I wouldn’t be a mess, right? I wish! That would require waking up super early to put makeup on or wear a cute outfit, and I prioritize sleep in this phase of life. I sometimes throw on a tiny bit of makeup and brush my hair and teeth, but that’s about it. I have been trying to wear something comfortable but cute lately, but in the first several months of A’s life I was a mess when we dropped V off at preschool. I will not judge a parent for what he’s/she’s wearing at dropoff or pickup!
- I said I would not allow screen time. I am not super strict about screen time, though I do try to have the girls entertain themselves in other ways as much as possible throughout the day so that it doesn’t affect their sleep. I also try to have V practice skills rather than watch TV, though a little screen time doesn’t bother us. A didn’t really watch anything on TV until she was closer to 1, and now I allow her to watch a movie with her sister sometimes or watch a TV show called “Bubble Guppies.” Some people don’t allow any screen time and others allow lots of it. Parents have to make these decisions for themselves.
- I said I would not want to be a stay-at-home mom. In the past, I could not picture myself wanting to be with my kids all day, but I do now and I love it. I am grateful to work from home because I was able to witness all the little moments with A in her first year. I have seen V grow up so much and I love her personality. I’ll be honest to say I wouldn’t mind a break from work for a couple of years, but at the same time I would miss working. Does that make sense? In reality I will not be stopping work but that doesn’t stop me from daydreaming.
As you can probably tell, parenthood has been an eye-opening experience. I was easy to judge others for their parenting decisions, but it wasn’t until I found myself in the situation that I figured out what was best for my family and me.
Is there something you’ve found to be different from what you expecting from parenting or life in general?
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