my child will never do that

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If you’ve never had kids before or if you have one excellently behaved child under a year old, chances are you’ve said this sentence before:

“My child will never do that.”

I probably said it a million times. You SWEAR that you’re never going to be that mom. I can recall one time when I was maybe 16-17 at a Pizza Hut. There was a lady there with three kids. Two of them were having a fight with the pepper flakes and parmesan cheese shakers. The other was just a little baby squalling in his mom’s arms. I just stared in horror. The mom was everything short of on her knees begging her kids to behave but nothing worked. The kids had zero intentions of letting up the bad behavior anytime soon. I just kept thinking, “Can she not control them?!” Before having kids, I was an expert at parenting.

Now I have an almost 4 year old and a 1.5 year old. I have been that mom in Pizza Hut soooooo many times. I am absolutely positive that a childless person has looked at me and thought, “Good lord, woman. Get it together. Control those hellions.” I don’t know how it happened. It’s like my perfect vision of what having kids was going to be like was a huge freaking joke.

So if you’ve got kids that are as… “spirited” as mine, here’s something to relate to. And if you’re reading this as a childless person, think twice next time you say these things. Here’s a little list of 5 things my kids were NEVVVERRRRRR going to do.

1. “My kids will never act up in public.”
Hahahahahaha. This one is probably best. You take your kids out for lunch, grocery shopping, whatever. Everything is going smoothly. But when they pass through the threshold of a public place, a switch flips. I am that mom that you can hear in Walmart offering my toddler whatever juice or candy or toys that he wants in an attempt to get him to stop losing his 💩. But toddlers can’t be reasoned with. Logic is nothing to a three year old who has been trapped in a shopping cart for 10 minutes and wants to roam the aisles. Logic means absolutely nothing to a 1.5 year old who can’t live without eating the paper from the basket of rolls. Next time you see a mom in public with screaming children who just looks like she’s over it, slide her a couple Xanax just try not to stare or judge. She’s doing the best she can.

2. “My kids will always eat what I give them/never eat unhealthy foods.”
Okay. So this one, I’m a little out of my league. I have been SO blessed with two boys who would eat anything you put in front of them. I honestly realize exactly how lucky I am. I’ve never had to worry about my kids refusing whatever I put in front of them. We have always kept up good habits with them as far as eating healthy goes and they’ve never paid any mind to it. They ask for water, rarely EVER drink juice or soda, and sweets are a special treat. They are fine with that. However, my niece is a different story. She eats like a toddler. Definitely not the worst or unhealthiest eater in the world, but at one point in her life her entire diet could’ve consisted of ketchup and she would’ve been more than happy. I just have to put myself in her parents’ shoes. Do I spend an hour trying to force food that she hates down her throat and end family dinner with everybody in a bad mood and ready to give up? Or do I just make the girl some dinosaur chicken nuggets and enjoy the meal? I’m going with the chicken nuggets. Now I’m not saying it’s totally cool to let your kids wash down their daily McDonald’s Happy Meal with Bug Juice and sodas. I can’t support a child eating nothing but junk food. But kids will be kids and I’ve learned that it’s okay to give them a free pass every now and then. Next time you see a mom giving her two year old candy or sugary juice, just assume that she’s doing it as a bribe to get them to behave and save her sanity and move on.

3. “My child will never say a cuss word.”
If you would’ve asked me pre-motherhood, I would’ve told you that my kids would never pick up swear words from anyone. I just knew that my future children’s ears would be perfectly protected from anyone who uses swear words around them or that my husband and I would always be able to censor ourselves around the kids. Well. I’ll get real with you here, so you can decide whether you want to judge me or laugh. One time we were driving when Keylan was around 2. He kept kicking my seat so I said, “Boy! Please quit kicking my seat!” Keylan of course laughs, says, “No, mommy!” and kicks the seat again. I laughed and said, “You’re gonna be missing some legs if you don’t stop!” He kind of snickered and said, “Oh, bull$h!t.” Perfect. Freaking. Context. At age three, I asked Keylan where his brother’s clothes I laid out for him went. His reply? “Uh, Mommy, dey’re right here dumb@ss.” Oh. Oh ok, Keylan. Moral of the story is, you can’t censor every single thing that your child hears. Correct it obviously. Be careful about what’s on TV when they’re around. But realize that sh– it happens. 😉

4. “I will never leave the house looking like garbage.”
If I’ve been a repeat offender of any of these things, it’s definitely this one. Pre-kids, I had all the time in the world to shower, put on a face mask while I paint my nails, dry and style my hair, then spend a really good chunk of time on doing my makeup. Now? Well, for starters, I don’t own a single pair of real jeans. Like the denim ones with the buttons… I don’t own those. I am jealous of those moms who I pass in Walmart who still look like normal, well dressed human beings wearing athleisure and a ponytail. I LITERALLY look like the Trunchbull every time I am in Walmart. It’s not that I don’t care how I look. It’s just that a trip to get groceries never works in my favor. By the time I reach checkout, I am usually sweating and breaking out into hives while both of my children scream as if they are being chased by an actual knife-wielding murderer. It’s not worth getting dressed up for. Motherhood is all about survival. I’ve got two kids under 4 and I feel accomplished just by getting my teeth brushed. And you’re welcome for always remembering to wear pants.

5. “I will never be annoyed by my children.”
Most days anywhere between 5-6 (my children’s witching hour) you can find me hiding somewhere in my house from my kids. Because sometimes they are complete psychos and I have to sneak away somewhere where they cannot find me (like, inside the dryer) and collect myself for a few minutes. Somewhere where I can bang my head against the wall without interruption. Because yes, my children can get really annoying.

The only people who are able to perfectly parent well-behaved children who never throw tantrums, eat processed foods, and quietly knit in a corner while you get dressed are the people who do not have children.

I was one of those people. A parenting expert when in reality, I had NO idea what having children was really like. Even when Keylan was ages newborn to 1 year, I still thought it was a piece of cake. Keylan was an easy baby. When toddlerhood struck, I realized that I am not the parenting expert I always swore I was. And that’s okay because there are tons of other parents out there who are the same way. After just a short almost 4 years of parenting under my belt, one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is that it’s not okay to judge other moms for their choices. We’re all just a tribe of moms and dads trying to figure this parenting thing out one day at a time in the best ways we know how.

-ASL 🖤

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