Oh the things we promised ourselves that we would never do. It’s almost as long as the list we promised ourselves we would always do. Both need amending with a tiny footnote called, “Notwithstanding moments of #parentfail. Because that happens. Not only did a huge tectonic shift happen sometime between being on round two of the baby-making ride and now on round three, but this shift brought with it unplanned moments of #parentfail. On all fronts of the parenting terrain.
Sleep training must never be diverted from.
My ever-loving partner in life and I were on the same page. We swore by Ferber and then found ourselves in the kids’ bedroom – with my husband rocking our one-year-old son and me stroking our three-year-old daughter’s hair. We didn’t make eye contact – it was too dark for anything other than a jumble of gestures. But we knew. We both knew we our system had gone into fail mode. How did the night end, you ask? With the utter silence of boys in one room and girls in the other. Yup, my husband spooned with our son; and I had my daughter’s feet in my face with a pillow as a shield of protection for my bump.
I will never feed them anything fried. I will only give them junk food at birthday parties.
Any parent who has been to a birthday party can tell you that it is the most stressful thing if you’re an OCD, nutrition-obsessed parent. If you’re relatively chill with your kids ingesting fries half-eaten by some other kid and cake chocka full of sugar and refined flour then you’re okay at such events. If you’re more like me and a little freaked if your kid gobbles up their playmate’s leftovers he’s been dunking in Oasis and sucking for a bit before she attempts to eat it, well, then perhaps you should be a bit more selective with how you RSVP. That was me. Fast forward to 3 years of birthday parties and I am now that parent who helps her kid find those gross soggy fries and who asks for the extra helping of rainbow cake with E-ridden sprinkles on top. We are just going with the flow of fats, sugars, and additives.
Bath time will remain a sacred moment of mommy-child bonding.
Sure, I too thought I’d never leave my daughter’s hair with leftover soap residue as I’ve witnessed my sister do when she’s been too tired to endure another two minutes of “Mommy can I?” Yeah right. Rushing is now a part of my every day routine mostly because we’re either late or I’m too too exhausted to deal. Very often it is both.
I shall never bum-rush my kid through storytime.
Again, I vowed to read for at least 20 minutes per night to each child. Lovingly letting them choose the book and cuddling as close as APA safety precautions on smothering can allow. Nope. I often….rush through it all just to get some “mommy time” in other words a chance to shower and get the pasta sauce off of my jeans and out of my hair. I’m hoping that these moments are only visible to us, the parents, not to the kids or to the rest of the world.
And despite all the rushing and parental failures I’m really never too tired to rush through those precious bunny and kitty kisses and the silly night-night I-love-yous, which has got to count for something, right? I really hope so.