Never Say Never

Here’s a guest post that I did for Amanda over at In Between Together.  She’s a fellow working mom who I “met” on Twitter.  Her little guy, Marley, is just about the cutest thing I’ve ever seen (next to CJ, of course).  Being that we are both working moms (she as an attorney and I as a legal assistant) and moms of boys, we can commisserate on a lot of trials (har har) and tribulations.  Head on over to her blog and give her a read!

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I’ll never do that.

We’ve all said it.  I know I have.  But as my mother always told me, “oh, be careful little mouth what you say.”  And I think I’ve eaten nearly every I’ll never do that I’ve ever uttered.

Before I had a child, I had a certain mindset that there were some things I would never do or allow as a parent.  My child would be breastfed and never touch a drop of formula.  We would never give him a pacifier and teach him other methods of self-soothing.  He would also not watch television because it would rot his little brain and give him ADHD.  I would also never let my child cry it out because I found it cruel unnecessary in my case (because my child would be a wonderful sleeper, of course).

But I soon found that these little rules I had made for myself were being broken at a rapid clip.  No formula?  Had to supplement in the hospital.  Give a pacifier?  He had one before he was 48 hours old.  Let him watch television?  It’s the only way I could cook dinner or use the bathroom.  Cry it out?  We recently had to start doing this.  So things don’t always work out the way we plan.

Now, in all my infinite wisdom as a mother of a one-year old child, I think it is silly to make definite decisions about how you will parent before you even have a child.  But boy, did I have things planned while I was pregnant.  My mom would always tell me, “never say never!”  My mom is full of little platitudes, and pulls one out whenever it is applicable to my situation.

Turns out, my mother is always (ALWAYS) right. 

So one by one, my never-will-I-evers became just-this-onces and then not-too-oftens and then I-hope-nobody-ever-finds-out-we-let-our-child-do-this-all-the-times.  Sometimes I get a little embarrassed about the things that we do as regards the child that I said we’d never do.  And sometimes I get judgmental over the decisions that other parents make.  But then I say screw it, we’re all just trying to survive here. 

The nevers that have been broken don’t just apply to child-rearing.  They apply to me as well.  I would see a frazzled mother in the grocery store, hair unkempt, no makeup, in sweats and ::shudder:: Crocs, trying to fill her cart and occupy a fussy baby.  Oh no, not me, I’d say.  It takes 20 minutes to fix up and put on a decent outfit to go to the store, I’d say.  I’ll never set foot outside of the house without any makeup, I’d say.  But you know what?  It’s hard to fix up and look cute when your baby refuses to be put down.  There were days when I did good just to take a shower before I had to go out.  So you know what?  I went out with no makeup, in yoga pants, hair in a knot.  And I would see seasoned mothers looking at me with “bless your heart” in their eyes, and I would appreciate their sympathy.  I would also see put-together childless women or pregnant women with their adorable first-time baby bellies looking at me with disdain, wondering why I couldn’t put a little effort into my apearance before heading out.  “I’ll never be like that,” their faces said.  Outwardly, I smiled and said thank you when they complimented me on my cute baby.  But on the inside, I screamed “JUST YOU WAIT!!!”

But I never wore Crocs.  A girl’s got to have standards, right? 


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