August 13, 2021
What You Said You’d Never Do
Even just the title of this post makes us chuckle, because we know full-well what’s coming: humility. The humility that comes from lived parenting experience and erases all former judgments about what we’d surely never do when we have kids.
Now we’re outright laughing. Because we’ve done it all. An incomplete list of our real-life parenting in a real-life world includes:
Murphy says: ugly toys in primary colors
Makenzie says: a semi-permanent ball pit in the living room
Ben says: letting the baby sleep in our bed… every night
Sarah says: using a toddler leash
Cassie says: tiny clothes with characters on them
Hadley says: children wearing costumes in public when it’s nowhere near Halloween
Jess says: being “that mom” who forgets to pick up her child from school
Maddie says: princess nightgowns
Devin says: going through a list of names before hitting on the correct one
Caroline says: being unprepared, so the baby comes home wearing only paper towels (!)
Chelsie says: driving a minivan
Every single one of us at some point: too much screen time; McDonald’s Happy Meals; dino nuggets; using ketchup as a veggie disguise; jarred baby food; pacifiers; matching outfits; changing a diaper on a gross public floor; being the one with the wailing baby on an airplane; having a supermessy car; serving ice cream before dinner and/or treats for breakfast. We could continue.
Oh. You too?
With the passage of time and innumerable opportunities for humility ― no, we’re not calling them parenting fails ― we’ve learned a few things. The most important takeaway from all this low-level disappointment with reality is that truly great parenting can happen over dino nuggets or while wearing costumes, and being the kid whose mom is sometimes late builds character.
Do we adore our kids, and do they know it? Do we care about their development and growth? Do we meet our children’s needs, apologize when needed, play with them, read to them, lovingly discipline them, teach and guide and walk beside them?
That’s the stuff that matters.
So feel free to give yourself some grace for leashing your runner in an airport. He’ll grow up feeling loved and safe, and will buy ugly toys for his kids, too. And it will all work out just fine.