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Before I Had Kids (I Was Kind Of Clueless)

Earlier this year, I was asked what I had sworn, before I became a mom, that I’d never do when I did become a mom. I think that I might have laughed out loud. Because, seriously: what hadn’t I said I’d never do?

I went through my short list:

“Wear yoga pants out of the house / co-sleep / use the television as a babysitter / curse in front of children / keep the baby weight / eat Goldfish crackers / watch Barney / know the words to any, let alone all, of the songs on Barney / say the words “because I said so” / wear maternity pants post-maternity / stick my hand in a suspiciously bulging diaper / discuss, seriously, the contents of such a diaper / keep a poo diary / bribe my children with food / thank the heavens for Happy Meals / eat the remains of an unfinished Happy Meal…”

And that really just is my short list. My long list – which gets even longer if you include broaden the question to include ‘things I just never, ever imagined I would do’ – would include:

“Watch Dora The Explorer / sing along with Dora The Explorer / utter the words, in a sing-sing voice or otherwise, ‘FIND THE MAP FIND THE MAP FIND THE MAP FIND THE MAP’ / scoop turds out of the bathtub / sit in a bathtub with a creature that produces tub-turds / say the words ‘THERE ARE STARVING CHILDREN IN AFRICA’ / go days without washing my hair / go days without washing my anything / choose shoes for comfort before style (see also: own a pair of Birkenstocks/Uggs/Crocs) / go years without seeing a movie in a theater / spend an evening talking about nothing but children / spend an evening wishing that I could talk more about my children / feel out of sorts in spaces where there is no trace of children*…”

… and so on, and so forth, ad infinitum.

Pre-Mommy Catherine did not see this guy coming, or his sister. Or Dora, or tub-turds, or Uggs.

(*this is my current dilemma. I divide my time between our chaotic, toy-strewn home and a Spartan, toy-free loft, and spending time in the latter space is profoundly disconcerting for me, because child-free spaces now feel just so alien.)

So, yeah. As I said in response to that original question: “is it even possible to narrow it down to one? Basically, everything that I said I’d never do as a parent, I’ve done, and many of the things that I insisted I would do, I haven’t. My future self was laughing her ass off when pre-parenthood me made statements about what I was and was not going to do as a mother. Laughing. Her ass off.”

And I expect that she’ll be laughing for a long time to come.

What did you swear, before you had kids, that you’d never do when you had kids? What did you never imagine you would do? Is your current/future self laughing at your pre-mommy self as hard as mine is?

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