Before my daughter came along there were a lot of things that I intended to not do with her. Some I had done with my son, while some were very specific to having a daughter. Many of us early parents have been there: we’re drunk on our love-soaked, naive parenting ideals when we’re expecting. We totally think we have everything figured out before we have kids, vowing we’ll never do any number of things.
After you’ve had one, reality sets in. Many, many things I thought I’d never do flew out the window when I had my son and I laughed at how naive I had been. But there were still a few things in my well-intentioned mama brain that I vehemently believed I wouldn’t do with my daughter. And right now? I am currently eating crow.
1. Negotiate with her
I don’t know why I even bothered to avoid this, negotiation comes with the parenting gig. But I like to think of it as just talking with my kids — explaining the situation as well as the consequences. Well, mostly. OK, sometimes it’s straight-up negotiation and I’m starting to accept that. I’ll negotiate the shizz-nit out of getting my daughter to not lose her mind when she wants to wear the same pink tutu for the third day in a row and I tell her no. I will negotiate (oh alright, bribe) her throughout dinner with the frozen yogurt that’s waiting for her if she has just three more bites. I could go on and on.
2. Buy her all the dresses
A few dresses, sure. But the amount that I continually keep buying her every time she grows an inch (or doesn’t grow at all)? Heck no. Someone has a problem and it’s not just her.
3. Call her beautiful. A lot.
I tell her she’s smart. I tell her she’s strong. I tell her she’s kind. But I also tell her she’s beautiful, every dang day and I don’t see the problem with it anymore. She is feisty and witty already, so I’m not worried about her development as a feminist. After all, I am her mom.
4. Put her in full-time daycare
For some ridiculous reason, I struggle with this one a lot. I want to be with both of my kids as much as I can. I don’t think this is uncommon. While there are many parents who can rock working full-time from home while taking care of their kids (and not plopping them down in front of a screen) I am not one of them. I’ve tried (a couple of times) and I’m just not that super-human.
5. Swear in front of her
To be clear, never AT her. But my predisposition for using more colorful vocabulary when experiencing an extra douchey driver on the road or someone doing something moronic out in public is a known occurrence.
6. Let her watch TV before I blow a gasket
Television is the best babysitter around, who am I kidding?! (Just kidding, not kidding.)
7. Go out in public with her looking like a hot mess
I swore I’d get better at it with two. Nope, not yet. I’ll let you know if I ever get there. Fashion mommy blogger I am not.
8. Buy her princess stuff
This one is a biggie that I still struggle with. This princess business? It’s everywhere! I can’t go to Canadian Tire (a retail store we have up here in Canada) without seeing tons of bouncy balls, crayon packs, arm floaties, etc. with Cindrellie’s face on it. I’ll admit that I’ve lost some of my panache for princess hate. How can you when you see that gleam in your daughter’s eye while she’s reading a princess story or twirling around in one of her (now many) princess costumes? Next up is Barbie. At least she still likes dragons —even if they are princess dragons. Someone, hold me.
9. Let her eat crappy food
Although I’m one of the biggest advocates for eating healthy and as pesticide and hormone-free as possible, we still eat our fill of pizza and grilled cheese. Sometimes life is just too crazy to make meals from scratch every day — and sometimes I just don’t want to.
10. Use expressions I hated as a kid
Otherwise known as “making idle threats.” You know what I’m talking about. Spouting off golden nuggets like, “Because I said so!” Or, “Stop [insert whatever maniacal thing she is doing] right now or no more [insert show or a toy].” Or, “If you didn’t finish your dinner, no dessert!” Or, “I am not your maid.” (This last one has backfired. I hear the kids saying this to each other all the time now like it’s funny. FAIL.) And finally, “If you keep making that face, it’ll freeze that way.” (She thinks that one is hilarious. Yet another fail.)
What about you? What did you swear you wouldn’t do before you had kids that went out the window?More On