Before I had children I definitely had an idea in my mind of what kind of parent I would like to be and how I would raise my family. I would watch children when out in public or even when I helped to look after my friends children and often I would think ( but obviously would never say) that I wouldn’t do it that way or I won’t let my kids get away with that.
And then you have kids of your own and all those silly ideas go right out of the window. For example…
Sleeping in our bed
Oh no no I thought…we surely won’t do that. I’ve seen enough episodes of Supernanny to know how bad that can get so no we definitely will always put them back in their own beds and never let them stay in ours. And then you have a newborn that won’t sleep as they want to be close to you or a 10 month old that is teething or has an ear infection….or a toddler that ‘wants to sleep in the big bed’ and you are so tired or so fed up of arguing or offering bribes, that you just give in, then viola… there they are for the next 3 nights (or weeks….eek) until you can muster up the energy to remove them once more…
I’ll be honest and say I have never really liked the look of dummies and swore I would never use them. I thought they were for lazy parents! I didn’t actually buy any before having Max and I’m not exactly sure what made me try them with him when he came along but we did and they were a bloomin godsend! He then decided at 6 months old that he no longer needed them and spat them out whenever I tried to pop one back in. To be honest I am really glad now because it meant I didn’t have to try and take them away! We are currently still using them with Harper and this time round I’m not embarrassed by that as I was before. If she wants one, she can have one and if we have to arrange a visit from the dummy fairy in a year or two then so be it! I definitely care less about other people’s opinions this time round!
I remember seeing children out in restaurants being occupied by Ipads and thinking to myself how bad it looks…can’t they just put them away for one meal? Then I had a toddler….and I understood. You will do anything for a moment of peace around a table when in public with someone who has the attention span of a gnat.
So yes Max uses it…like a lot…but I’m ok with that. At almost 3, he has an amazing vocabulary, he can count, he knows colours, shapes and all manner of animals and yes some of that is down to books, life experiences and us teaching him things, but a lot has been reinforced through good old Cbeebies, YouTube videos and Ipad apps. Now he has mastered how to turn it on and even click off the ads…it also means that I can, on occassion, have a shower in peace!
Snacks in the pushchair
One day (pre children) I went shopping and bumped in to someone I knew who had a toddler in the pushchair in tow. Said toddler was scoffing a rather large bag of crisps so was quiet enough, but I remember thinking when I walked away…god what lazy parenting. That poor bored child being dragged around the shops and kept quiet by unhealthy, messy food. Ha ha how I now laugh. This mother is now very much me and I will bring out ALL the bribes if I need to take the toddler shopping with me. Obviously I will start with the healthy stuff…would you like a box of raisins poppet?…organic fruit wafer was it my darling? (saying it loudly so passers by know you aren’t the kind of mom to feed your child any old crap) Of course an hour in to the experience and you will need to break out the bug guns and the child is now covered in chocolate and has a lollypop stuck to his tooth….you just have to do what you gotta do to survive! Now when I see a child in a pushchair in a shopping centre munching on a bag of Haribo….well I just stroll on by…
Sometimes I just don’t want the fight. You want another pack of sweets?…go ahead, You want the Ipad in bed?…knock yourself out…You want to scream the house down rather than clean your teeth?….ok then, let them all fall out, see if I care! Of course I do care, a lot, and I don’t give in all the time but sometimes I really do and then I feel like a crap mom that only ever feeds her child rubbish food (mainly because that’s all the will eat and I just don’t want to put MORE uneaten vegetables straight in to the bin!)
Some days you just have to pick you battles and move on…as tomorrow is another day and who knows what delights it will bring…or which coloured cup your toddler will want his drink from!
I’ve certainly learned to ‘parent like no one is judging’ as we are all just doing our best to survive!