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.