Pre-child, I was righteous. I believed that while parenting was hard, I was going to manage to conduct myself well at least the majority of the time. Ha. Ha. Ha. Now I know that I'm more likely to high-five myself on very rare occasions of almost accidental successful parenting, than to reflect every night on my serene and superior mom-skills. And the list of things I thought I'd never do and still find myself doing? It is very long. Here's just five. Maybe you've done some of these as well.
1. Lying to the kid. Oh, gonna be honest all the time, right? Mmm hmm. Let's see, there's the lies because the truth would hurt ("You do have a lovely singing voice"); the ones about things I can't control ("I swear, no one in your class will throw up today, now get dressed for school!"); and the just plain self-serving stuff ("No, that isn't chocolate, it's mama's medicine.") If my nose grew, I'd be poking the Olympians in Beijing with it right now.
2. Yelling, throwing stuff, and generally losing it. Because I have a pretty firm grip on my temper, I believed I'd have this one in the bag. But who knew I could get so angry at my kid, even when she was a baby? There's nothing like a little sleep-deprivation and a ton of stress and some well-timed whining to help you see the darkest sides of your personality. Good times.
3. Feeding her crap food. I've found that this one varies from person to person, but I doubt many of us imagined we'd simply wipe an apple off on our shirt after it fell to the floor and hand it back to the child, let alone serve boxed mac and cheese five nights in a row. And yet, my child has sampled all kinds of bad-for-you things on occasions when expediency trumped nutrition. I've held the line on fast food, but basically that's just holding up the bank at gunpoint but leaving forty bucks in the till.
4. Making hollow threats. I am a real firm believer in consistency, and I try to cash the checks I make with my mouth. But I've totally done this when I made a threat I didn't want to keep. "If you don't stop, we are leaving the pool right away." Yeah, except for the fact that we carpooled with two other people. And you aren't stopping the behavior. Ooops. Point goes to kid, mama miffs the serve.
5. Talking about things I shouldn't in front of the child. Whether it's a frustrated moment of disparaging someone, or mentioning a friend's not-yet-public pregnancy to a friend with my kid in earshot, I've sometimes fooled myself into thinking she can't hear or won't understand. Ha. Children hear everything and understand twenty times more than we think. And I'm not even talking about the pre-verbal baby stage, because I still catch myself doing this today. And when it leads to an awkward conversation when my child blurts out the tidbit later, I have no one to blame but myself. Parenting is grand like that.Click here to read more