Mar 4, 2016
No really, they are. And let me start out by stating that I was one of these parents, if you now have kids you were too. All varying degrees, but all soon to be parents acted like this at one time or another. Hell, even after multiple children you still act like this.
(I tried to find the most staged photo of us as new parents. Like one of those photos in a newly purchased picture frame.)
You know the thought process....the... "I am going to raise my child like _______" "My child will never ______" (insert whatever naive statement you want). Now, I have a theory that this line of thinking is purely hormone induced, but my OB has yet to confirm my hypothesis.
So, a couple weeks ago a friend of mine who has two sons, both around my boys ages, wanted to get together with her friend who is about to have her first baby. She thought it would be fun to have her meet me and hang around the kids. Which I mean, bad idea all together! I should never be allowed to hang out with anyone BEFORE they actually have children, nor should anyone take anything away from watching me parent my kids! But, I said "sure, why not scare the shit out of her?".
We got together and all was good, she asked lots of questions, I gave probably one too many sarcastic answers. And I listened! I listened to a lot of crazy. But, I really didn't say too much. Which was much of the same when I was pregnant with Ace, I asked a ton of questions, but no one seemed to tell me the real deal. She asked me when all of my babies started sleeping through the night, I'm sorry, what? Sleeping through the night? You lost me. She asked when I moved them from the bassinet to their crib. Again....not following. Currently Odette, and Avalon reside in my bed. She looked at me like, well clearly you suck at this!
Then at some point Pierce walked up to me and said "mom can I play a game on my iPad please?" my response, sure. Then this glowing gestating beauty in front of me was like, "he has his own iPad?". We kind of touched on the whole screen time conversation, and I was just like, yes. Screens bad. Books good. In my head I was saying....okay homie, call me when you haven't showered in three days, your husband texts you that he won't be home until after nine, and you just remembered that you volunteered to make cookies for the kindergarten class party tomorrow. Here small child would you like a cold glass of milk to go along with your movie?
Soon to be parents are not bad in this thinking, it is good, we all want the best for our children. I can remember being 21 and pregnant with Ace, reading books, talking to any mom who would talk to me. Spewing my opinions left and right. And no one said a thing. They let me live in my unrealistic parenting fantasy until BAM, I was covered in my own regurgitated breast milk trying to finish an occupational therapy final online and calling my mom like, he doesn't sleep, the child just doesn't sleep!
And that is the truth of it. You, your friend, your sister, will never know until you go through it. So you can have all the opinions in the world like, I'll never feed my kid fast food, or spanking is bad, or my child will never misbehave like a heathen in public, or my lawd who is that child screaming through the aisles of Target? I will never allow that. And then you will eat your words, in the best way possible because you will find a happy medium as a parent. You will learn to bend and flex to the insanity that is the minds of small beings. You will learn to lower your standards and go with the flow. And most importantly you will learn how much of a jackass you looked like when you thought you knew what kind of parent you would be.
So shoot for a realistic parental outcome, like teaching your kid how to peel their own Cuties! Now that is a parental milestone!!