Things I said I’d never

Cheap thrills (Photo by Tseen Khoo)
Cheap thrills (Photo by Tseen Khoo)

There are things you say you will never do when you have kids, when you haven’t actually had kids yet.

As I’ve mentioned before, I have no credibility about many things.

Parenting two young kids made me realise how much more credibility I still had to lose.

Here are some things I said about having kids before actually having them:

1. No way would they ever have separate meals from the rest of us. 

After a few late night cry-fests because one of the kids realised they were hungry just before bed-time, the ‘eat it or you’ll get nothing’ approach was as much a lesson for us as it wasn’t for them. New aim: as balanced as we can get it, as much as can be done before derailing evening routine. Occasional cereal dinners for all.

2. I would never have the “yes,  you do”/”no, I don’t” argument (or versions of it) with the kids.

You don’t know you’re there till you’re there (cf. boiling frog syndrome).

3. I wouldn’t keep telling my (girl) child that she’s beautiful.

I say “Hello, beautiful” to her all the time. As well as, “Hi, gorgeous”, and a whole slew of other pet names. I also flag ‘clever’, ‘thoughtful’, ‘polite’, and ‘you’re a risk-taker!’ (this latter one is totally unlike me or anything I would say but it’s something she’s picked up from school as a Good Thing – I’m adaptable). Also, bringing up girls? It’s complicated. If you’re in the same boat, help a researcher out with her survey on Raising Girls.

4. I’ll be really involved in their kindy/school activities.

I’m really not. I’m awful. I’m one of those ‘do we have to?’ parents whenever my earnest and uber-helpful hubs flags a fundraising event or working bee. Mostly, this is because they are on weekends, and I like having weekends with the fam, hanging out and doing what we do. I’m not a good participator on this front.

5. I wouldn’t nag them about practicing instruments, doing homework, or cleaning their room.

Or, if I did, it would be with a knowing smile and light humour (rather than emotional blackmail and getting louder + louder). Oh, well.

I think I’ll just stay in a no-credibility zone because I’m sure their teens are going to be a whole other kettle of shouty, passive-aggressive, and maddening episodes. No pretensions on my part about what I’ll be doing with them at that point. 

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4 thoughts on “Things I said I’d never

  1. sommystar 09/05/2013 / 8:23 pm

    I have good friends who before the had two kids would only eat sustainably sourced food – organic, free range, within 10km etc. After their second child my friend was serving up frozen fish fingers for dinner! I won’t name names but you know this person;-)

    • Tseen Khoo 09/05/2013 / 9:34 pm

      Hah! I’ll have to confirm my suspicion next time we meet. My sis has been outraged about how McD’s can be viewed as a ‘treat’ when the food was so bad, but it’s precisely because one tries to keep the kids away from awful food that they think it’s special!

      I spent much of my later childhood and early teens eating stupid amounts of flourescent chicken-flavoured chips, Nutri-Grain, and chocolate doughnuts as part of my tuckshop lunch (admittedly, once a week). I’m actually not too anxious about food purity – I’m a great believer in moderation in all things. 😉

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