8 Things My Parents Did That I Didn't Understand Until I Became a Parent

When you’re a kid, not everything your parents did always make much sense to you.

I remember staring at my parents with confusion — wondering why they thought that hiding cookies in their room was okay  (as in hiding them from yours truly) or what the big deal was if I stayed up just a little bit later.

Then I became a parent and nearly everything my parents did started to make complete sense. As my kids get older, I find myself doing some of the things that made me question my parents’ sanity when I was a kid.

They all seem to make such logical sense now.

  • 8 Things My Parents Did That I Didn’t Understand Until I Became a Parent 1 of 9

    It all became clear to me when I had kids of my own, but not a moment sooner. 

  • Insisting on Holding Hands 2 of 9

    When I was a child, my parents would insist that I hold their hand while we crossed the street. In my big 6-year-old self, I wondered why they treated me like such a baby. My middle child is 6-years-old and I still insist that she holds my hand crossing the street -- makes sense to me now, but I can hear the words in her head wondering why I'm treating her like a baby. Um, it's safety little one!

  • A Clean Face 3 of 9

    You know that gross thing your mom used to do when you were out in public and your face is a little dirty. She'd use a little saliva or a water bottle and clean your face up, right there? Hello, mortified! I didn't understand what the harm was with a little dirt. The first time I caught myself doing that to my child, who insisted it wasn't that bad, but the dirt was all-consuming her face -- I turned into my parents and it made sense to me now. 

  • Hidden Treasure 4 of 9

    When I was a child, I loved cookies (okay, I still do) and wondered why we didn't have any in the house. Was it that my parents didn't like them? Nope, turns out they kept the fun goodies in their room and all to themselves. I didn't understand that at all -- until I had kids and realized, if they were downstairs, they would eat them all and I would be out of luck. 

  • Bedtime Countdown 5 of 9

    I would always ask my mom when I was younger to stay up just 5 more minutes. You know, it's not that long and I just wanted to hang out and tell you all the things in my brain. I didn't understand why she was so insistent on that 9 pm bedtime, not a moment later. Now that my kids are at the age where they're doing all they can to extend their waking hours, I get it mom. I soooo get it and I don't let my kids stay up even a minute late. I need some quiet time and that's what bedtime brings me.

  • Dinner Woes 6 of 9

    I was a VERY picky eater as a child. I had very specific things I would eat, some things I would never touch and a lot of foods I said I tried and didn't like, when I was too afraid to even try them. I know it frustrated my parents and they felt at times they were running a restaurant for all my food quirks. I didn't understand what the big deal was, but now that my daughter is so picky she won't eat much more than peanut butter, I so get it!

  • Done Packing Yet? 7 of 9

    Planning a day trip as a kid took forever. If we were going to the beach, the whole set-up to get there seemed like the biggest production ever. There were talks of the menu weeks ahead of time, asking days before I had to pack if I knew where my swimsuit was and then the morning before we left, it was chaos. I didn't understand why we needed all that planning -- surely it wasn't that hard to plan it. Then, I had kids and realized that if all that planning didn't go into it, oh the horror that could, and likely would happen with kids and being away from home -- was real. 

  • Bath Night, Oh NO! 8 of 9

    When I was a child and my parents would bathe me, I could see this sigh in their eyes when they told me it was time for my bath (or one for my siblings). I mean, why did it seem to stress them out so much, I wasn't sure. Until I had kids. Bath time is never simple when you have kids -- you fight through the getting naked stage, the hair washing through screaming, trying to convince them not to take their entire Barbie collection into the tub, then hearing the tantrum when it was time to get out only to fight with them about brushing their hair. I am exhausted just thinking about it all now. 

  • Those Juice Boxes 9 of 9

    My parents banned juice boxes and straws from the house when I was a kid. I didn't understand -- I mean, was juice really that bad? Was it too expensive? What was the problem with the hand-sized boxes and straws? You know, I get it now -- the kids NEVER clean them up and my living room is littered with boxes under everything and straws all over the place. They're banned here too, except for school lunches... so far. 

Photo credit: photostock

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