Top Ten Ways I Was a Perfect Mom Until I Had Kids

Top Ten Ways I Was a Perfect Mom Until I Had Kids

1. I will not bribe my kids.  They will behave because they have such great internal moral compasses, and complying will be what they want to do.

Reality: I will let you eat Hershey kisses for breakfast if you stay in your bed tonight.  I will take you anywhere you want to go if you will just stay in your bed tonight. 

2. I will maintain appropriate boundaries in the bathroom.

Reality: Most days, I use the bathroom with three little faces watching my every move.  The upside?  There is always someone nearby to run and get a new roll of toilet paper when I’m stranded.

3. My kids will leave the house with their hair combed neatly and wearing clothes that match.

Reality: We hit a low last summer when Annie Rose insisted on wearing one snow boot and one flip flop to Target, happily limping her way through the aisles. An astonishing number of old ladies asked if I was aware that her shoes didn’t match.  Yes, thank you for your concern, I replied.

4. I will control my potty mouth in front of the kids.

Reality: Oh, shit the fire alarm is going off again.  Damn it, the dinner is burning.  Shit! Shit! Shit! My girls reply, at least it’s better than Christmas Eve, when Daddy caught on fire.

5. I will spend time taking care of myself even after I have kids. 

Reality: A shower every three or four days, if I’m lucky.  A brown Crayola marker is a lot faster and cheaper than getting my roots colored (but try to explain to a 4-yr-old why Mommy is allowed to scribble with markers in her hair).  And my health club might as well apply for 501c3 status, since I give them a monthly donation. 

6. I will model healthy conflict resolution skills, and I will be gracious when I am right.

Reality: I have been known to chant “I was right! You were wrong!” to my husband, as I sing and march around the kitchen, doing a victory dance.

7. I will share, and thus my kids will be good sharers, too.

Reality: Get out of my makeup, girls!  It's mine!  Get out of my toiletries!

8. My kids will only eat wholesome, balanced meals with one reasonable dessert after dinner.

Reality: Fine, you may have a bowl of ice cream for “breakfast dessert.”  It’s got calcium, right? And all the good milk fat that your growing brain needs! Here, have a second helping.

9. We will be on time for school, appointments, classes and playdates.

Reality: How is it that everyone is up three hours before school starts and we are the last ones to arrive? 

10. My kids will see me as an empowered woman and a role model of how women can achieve success outside of the house.

Reality: If I got hit by a bus tomorrow, my tombstone would say, “Here lies Carrie.  Now who will do the laundry?”

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  • Noooo!!!! Don't rob me of my delusions! My children will be wildly sophisticated, eating quietly at restaurants and putting away all of their toys at the end of each day.

  • That's right, you just keep on believing that! Here, have a xanax . . .

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    In her defense, Annie Rose is totally wearing coordinating shades of pink.

  • In reply to AnneMarie:

    She does look very fetching!

  • Number 3 ended it all for me. My daughter's mismatched outfits show her character and creative side. And she will not allow me to brush her hair. ever.

  • In reply to Yoga Mom:

    Yes, we do battle over hair-combing too, as well as hair-washing. But I stopped making them wash their hair every day when I learned that dirty hair is a good natural defense against lice (they can't lay their eggs easily on hair that is oily!).

  • In reply to Carrie Goldman:

    I know. I'm so relieved my kids are not canidates for lice as they have greasy hair!

  • That was great! Thanks for the laugh. I have boys. A lot of them and boys smell. Most of the time. I used to think to myself that I will raise well groomed, non-smelly, boys who know fashion and how to match, blah, blah. The older one is turning out ok so far because he has discovered girls but that's a whole new nightmare! (mid high school) but the middle one I have to send back to his room to change one part of his ensemble for school at least 3 times a week. Also I wonder if he actually washes the hair in the shower ?? My little one knows what words are bad that he hears fly out of my mouth and when he hears them he is not going to "copy". Good idea! Yikes, this is not easy!

  • In reply to Deanne:

    Deanne, hang in there with those boys! Several of my good friends are raising all-boy families, and the stories make me laugh!

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    This was wonderful. Loved that you not only allowed your girl to wear the mis matched shoes but you also took a picture. Classic. I made my daughter walk to Kindergarten with only stockings once because she was always taking her shoes off and had lost every single pair she owned. Her teacher made me come and get her, and wasn't the least bit amused at my "stop-losing-your-shoes-or-you-will-have-to-go-to-school-barefooted" object lesson.

  • In reply to Andrea Karshner:

    Thanks, Andrea! I love the idea of "natural consequences" whenever possible! Glad you enjoyed the article. Carrie

  • Very funny stuff. I'm going to have to try that magic marker trick. My kids are older now and I still can't manage to keep up with the roots. If this makes you feel any better, my kids used to walk around town in their dress up clothes/old Halloween costumes/Easter dresses and crazy shoes and mismatched socks, too. Eh, who cares if they look liked one of the teletubbies; John Smith; Pocahontas; Ariel (complete with long, red wig; Madeline; Sonic the hedgehog. At least we were all happy. Imperfect as can be. :)

  • Jackie, I love when I see kids wearing Halloween costumes in June! It feels so familiar to me! Yeah, magic marker works and so does mascara for quick root fixes!

  • I loved this!! I'm with you. When I had my first kid I would look at other moms and think that will never be me. Now with four, I look at myself and think, I've turned into them!
    I just found a link about talking with kids that had some great tips and i wanted to share with other moms.

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    Haha so true, sometimes i'm thankful we made it out of the house at a reasonable time. I had the same blury belief until 1 turned into 4 lol.

  • I don't have children and don't want children, but I am totally entertained by the tales of motherhood. I think if I saw your daughter with two different shows on, I'd think it was cute. She's rocking 'em, too, like she absolutely couldn't care less that they don't match. I must give her credit for keeping it in the pink family though. Great post! I found it through "Best Posts of February 2012."

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