Life before parenthood was completely different for me, for many obvious reasons. One thing I noticed recently, is how much I've contradicted myself since giving birth two years ago. Go-2-baby is my everything, she's opened up a whole new world for me and shed new light on my purpose in life. All that said, she's also made me realize how little I knew about parenting before she was born. There were many things I said I'd never do, or allow her to do way back when, that now seem like a complete contradiction. While I could probably write a laundry list of these things, I chose to stick with the top 5 for the sake of this post. I' m sure many other parents can agree with me.
5 Things I Said Before I became a parent:
Insert my child into random conversations: Before I became a parent, I noticed that no matter what the subject matter was, parents would always find a way to insert a story about their child/children. It never bothered me per say, but its something I said I'd never do. Now, you can't mention anything without it leading to a story about Go-2-baby. I guess it's a parent thing.
Compare my child to others: I'd always say that I didn't want to be the parent who compared the things my child could or couldn't do to what other kids do or don't do. Now, I find myself going back and forth about what my child should be doing that other children are, or what other children are not doing that my child is. I don't make a big deal of it either way, but I always said I wouldn't let it cross my mind.
Seek a sitter for social purposes: One of my biggest pet peeves as a non-parent was to see so many parents always out on the town while someone else were watching/keeping their children. I vowed to only find a sitter when I needed to work or handle business for that reason. For all other things, I'd either miss out or take my child with when possible. Now I understand that sometimes it's ok to have a break, especially when you work hard and you're dedicated to your child. I still don't have people watching my daughter all the time for me to hang with friends, but I don't mind finding a sitter for a few hours for me to catch a little bit of air.
Spoil my child: So I saw one too many spoiled brats in my day and I promised myself that my child would never be one of those children. While my daughter has heard the word no come out of my mouth, I have to admit that she more than likely gets what she wants within reason. She's not spoiled to the point where she's out of control, but she definitely has us wrapped around her little finger.
Last but definitely not least, I swore up and down, and up and down that my child would never BE THAT KID. We all know who that kid is, its the kid who shows out in public, falls out in the store, throws a temper tantrum over what he/she can't have and runs away from his/her parents while laughing hysterically. As much as I dislike to admit it, I have that child. Go-2-baby gives me a run for my money each time she's not secured in a shopping cart. I don't care how much raising of the the voice or threatening to spank, our child is that child who makes you regret every single time you may have even thought about talking back to your parents. She's only two now, but she's completely a handful.
I'm sure there are many things I said I'd never do that I do without thinking now that I am a parent. The point is, never say never until you've experienced something first hand. I always thought children who misbehaved were the result of bad or mediocre parenting, now I see that some children are just built to test limits. It's important for parents to shape behavior early on to prevent more serious issues later in childhood.
I'm still pretty new to this parenting thing, but I've already learned that I'm going to eat many of the words I spoke before becoming a parent. I guess the best teacher in most scenarios truly is first-hand experience. I'd love to know what things you may have said you'd never say or do that you've noticed yourself saying and doing. Don't be shy, share your stories.