when parenting meets reality

reality

Have you ever met the perfect parent? Well I have to say that before I had kids, I was the perfect parent. In my pre-kids era, I had a big old list of all the things my kids would NEVER ever do, say, or wear. Here are some examples:

  1. My kids will always listen.
  2. My kids will never have snot hanging from their nose.
  3. My kids will always be respectful and use “inside voices” in appropriate places and situations.
  4. My kids will never hang off the shopping cart crying at Target or run away from me and hide in a sea of clothes racks.
  5. My kids will never have meltdowns in public places.
  6. My kids will never jump on furniture or on each other for that matter.
  7. My kids will always say “please” and “thank you.”
  8. My kids will always be dressed neatly and will never “wear” their breakfast, lunch, or dinner or eat off of the floor.
  9. My kids will never push, hit, or pull the hair of another human being.
  10. My kids will never throw things while having a tantrum. Oh heck, my kids will never throw a tantrum.
Then reality set in when I became a mom. I had to tweak my list a bit. Here goes:
1. My kids will always listen. Except when they don’t and I have to send them to time out.
2. My kids will never have snot hanging from their nose. Except when they’re sick or when I haven’t gotten around to wiping them yet or when I forgot to use my sleeve/shirt,pants,etc.etc.
3. My kids will always be respectful and use “inside voices” in appropriate places and situations. Except when they shout and I have to remove them from said place (museum, movie theater, grocery store, library, etc.).
4. My kids will never hang off the shopping cart crying at Target or run away from me and hide in a sea of clothes racks. Except when I lose sight of them for one second and I start frantically calling their name and searching for them, only to find them hiding in a sea of flannel pajamas. 
Can you find my kid? Yeah, me neither.
5My kids will never have meltdowns in public places. Except when they are cranky and they want something and I say “NO!”
6My kids will never jump on furniture or on each other for that matter. Except when they get excited about something and decide to celebrate by cannon-balling off the sofa.
7My kids will always say “please” and “thank you.” Except when they forget or don’t want to and I have to remind them. {again and again and again and again}.
8. My kids will always be dressed neatly and will never “wear” their breakfast, lunch, or dinner or eat off of the floor. Except when they are babies and toddlers and kids, because HELLO- kids are messy and get dirty.
9. My kids will never push, hit, or pull the hair of another human beingExcept every so often when said human being steals their toy and I can’t get in there quick enough to prevent the pushing or hitting or pulling from happening. 
10My kids will never throw things while having a tantrum. Oh heck, my kids will never throw a tantrum. Except when they do. Because kids are kids and sometimes they get upset and don’t have the capacity to control their feelings. After all, they’re just kids. 

As you can see, I had extremely high parenting expectations before I had kids. I think a lot of (first time) parents do. But now that they’re here in the flesh, I have succumbed to the reality that I can’t control everything. Really. My family is not perfect. The best I can do is teach my kids right from wrong, instill proper values into their lives, and above all else, love them unconditionally. Oh and hope for the best.

Reblogged from February 2012 archives by Mommy OM.

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4 thoughts on “when parenting meets reality

  1. Oh man this made me LOL!!!

    My kid set a RECORD for Code Adams in Walmart one summer. SIX TIMES in a MONTH. I was near hysterics a couple times when I couldn’t find him… For three years I refused to take my children shopping. I hired a sitter if I had to go to a store.

    I also said my kid would never get kicked out of school… I’ve been homeschooling my son for two years after he was expelled in the 5th grade.

    And I said my child would never… yeah. Pretty much everything I said my kids would “never”… except, thank God and knock on wood, teen pregnancy. I’d say we have a decent relationship… in part because I learned, quite often the hard way, to let go of some of my expectations… I still have high expectations for my kids… just different ones than I had before I had them. 🙂

    -Mary

  2. I had my first real taste of reality when my lil guy, who’s typically a good flier, became THAT baby on the plane. It was along day, he was on a nursing strike, and we were flying by ourselves. It was overwhelming and humbling. Thankfully I had a wonderful woman and her daughter as my seat mates who took turns passing him around.

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