This weekend my daughter and I were running an errand. After I took her out of her carseat and headed to our destination, she started whining about wanting her stroller. We had literally taken two steps toward the store, and since we only had one stop to make I didn’t think a stroller was necessary. We would get in and get out and everyone would be fine. Not so. The girl demanded her stroller, even to the point of refusing to walk without it. It brought to mind all the times before I became a mom that I would see parents pushing their able-bodied, long-legged children in these strollers and naïvely vowing to myself that I would never do that with any of my kids. I have since eaten those words — and many others like them. Here’s a list of just a few things I said I’d “never” do once I became a parent:
Let the TV babysit my children. I am sorry, but when you’ve just gotten yourself and the kid into the house from a long day at work and day-care and dinner needs to get on the stove right this second, lest your stomach start to digest itself, keeping a busy toddler occupied and out of your hair is easier said than done. Nick Jr. and Sesame Street have saved my life a number of times. Admittedly, I would feel guilty at first for using the TV to pacify her, but please believe I got over it.
Let my children eat fast food. Seriously, I don’t know what I was thinking with this one. When I was pregnant, all the girl would let me keep down were pizza and french fries, so it’s no surprise that’s what she turns out to like. Granted, fast food shouldn’t be a dietary staple by any means. But if we’re running late on our way somewhere and stopping for french fries will temporarily satiate my child’s hunger while allowing us to keep our sanity, then Jesus be a Wendy’s drive-thru! I’ll make it up with some green beans and apple slices later.
Let my children run wild in the store. Sorry, guys — I’m that mom. Listen, my kid is two. Sometimes it’s virtually impossible to hold her hand and keep her in one place. She’s a ball of energy and it needs to get spent. So if we’re in Target and there is a clear pathway somewhere and I’m certain she won’t hurt herself or anyone else, then I’ll let her run a few steps ahead of me. Of course, I have my limits. You won’t see her climbing any store mannequins or pulling down merchandise. But if she can work off a bit of that energy, I find it’s easier to wrangle her in when i really need to. I’ve learned to pick my battles.
Push my kid in a stroller — even if her feet are dragging the ground. I touched on it earlier, but I seriously don’t know what I would do without a stroller sometimes. Have you tried carrying a 30lb child who refuses to walk around a shopping center or park? It’s not fun, and I’m a gym rat. I’m used to lifting weights, but children are something altogether different. And when they fall asleep, they gain another ten pounds! If you need to get in and out of a store or errand and you don’t want to have to contend with a child who is intent on running around and touchng everything that fascinates him, or if your little angel’s legs are simply tired after walking around for so long, the stroller is your best friend! Even if your child can walk, sometimes walking with him or her isn’t the easiest thing to do, especially if you’re on a time crunch.
If nothing else, being a mom has taught me to cut other parents some slack in their choices. I’m sure I’ll be breaking even more of my own rules in the years to come, so I’ll forgive other folks if they break them before me.
What are some things you found yourself doing as a parent that you never thought you’d do? For those without kids, what things do you see parents doing that simply puzzle you?16 Comments