I remember the days of post baby mentality when I thought I had it all figured out. I had a laundry list of items I swore I was never going to do as a parent. TV....nope, Sweets....heck no, Fast Food....over my dead body! I told myself these were non-negotiable and our kiddo was gonna get fresh cooked healthy meals every day with all dem' veggies and protein with a structured schedule and sleep routine. It all sounds super easy and I'm not saying its impossible. There are definitely some parents that can make it happen and I bow down to you for that. However, it doesn't always happen or work for everyone and what I want to say to that is, IT IS OK!
I'm not saying all the things I wanted to be as a parent were thrown out the window once the time came. It just didn't work for us and particularly me to be as consistent as I had hoped and I've learned to accept that it doesn't make me a bad parent.
I wanted to share the top 3 things I swore I'd never do as a parent before Q was born.
1. Screen Time
The "elephant in the room", the thing most mamas are afraid to admit to, the devil.....that damn screen. I'm raising my hand way the hell up there because it was the #1 thing I said HELL NO to before Q was born, I feel like I tried my hardest to make sure it didn't happen, but this mama needs to get dressed and make some meals in peace, so I did it, I turned on the screen. I'll admit, it still bothers me that I resort to this form of distraction to get my shit done, but in the end 30 mins is not the end of the world. So I'm here to reassure you mamas who feel the guilt maybe like I do that it is OK. We need a minute to breathe, to return an email, or to just use the damn bathroom! I found the stage of resorting to screen time came around when Q started walking and getting into parts of our apartment he shouldn't have and I couldn't keep my eyes on him at all times. One thing I've done to ease the guilt of turning on the screen is to make sure it's something educational and helps him learn about the world. Some go to's for us are; Daniel the Tiger, Word Party and a recent Pixar movie that helps you learn about your emotions called Inside Out.
Up until recently Q hasn't gotten any sort of refined sugar in his diet. We've done a relatively decent job to stay away from the candies, cakes and cookies. We don't tend to have this stuff in our house much anyway (well besides the odd stash of sour patch kids I hide the back of the cabinet), but both my husband and I have made an effort to change our eating habits to a certain degree since Q was born. We definitely have a lot more work to do in this area, but these things don't change overnight. Also we've learned you can't always say no to your toddler, especially when you're at a birthday party and all the other kids are eating cupcakes and candies. So to say Q has never had a taste of a cupcake would be a lie. I've come to realize there are going to be times in his life where whether we directly expose him to it or not, it will be right in front of him and it's ok to have a slice of cake or scoop of ice cream. So even though my original thought before Q was born was "no sugar...EVER." it has changed to "all things in moderation are ok." As long as he's not having a piece of candy or something sugary a couple times a week, I'm ok with a dabble of sugary goodness once in awhile.
3. Sleeping in Our Bed
The first 6 weeks of Q's life this theory was a write off! In fact, if I remember correctly I'm pretty sure Q and I took over the bed and my husband ended up taking the couch. In the end it was important to me and our relationship as a married couple to have our private space and still is. I struggle with this one every day cause there are times when I just want to cuddle him during his naps and have him sleep with me in the bed when daddy is at work, so I do it. In fact, I would say for the first year of his life he only napped in our bed, which caused some issues of early morning wake ups from the crib, but I swore to myself my kiddo would only and always nap and sleep the night in their crib. I haven't wavered away from the nights since he was 5 months, but as much as I may try to do the naps at home in the crib, I just found it difficult to completely have to alter my schedule around being home for naps. So we ended up with naps in the stroller, in the car and even at times when we were at home and it was just easier to cradle the dude to sleep in my arms. So we had those cuddle naps ....for hours...and it was EVERYTHING!
These 3 things were my top "no-no's", but that doesn't mean there is anything wrong with them or parents who don't have issues with any of the above are doing it wrong. There is nothing right or wrong about parenting, we're all just taking it one day at a time trying to raise kind, healthy, smart, sweet humans.
This post is to share that you're not alone when you feel like you're giving into things you once swore you'd never do. Your particular "swear I'd never do this" item may not be on this list above, but it's more about knowing we all bend the rules sometimes and that it's our choice to parent the way we want to which and keeps us happy and proud.....and sane!
Throw away the guilt and know you're doing the best job possible.