I’m sure you’ve said it before children and I know you’ve heard it many, many times from people without children or those expecting their first baby.
“I’ll never let my child do that.”
“I’ll never give my baby/child that.”
“I’ll never do that with my baby/child.”
The “nevers” are endless before you have kids. It’s entirely way too easy to judge someone and to say you’d never do something with your child or let your child have or do something. I’ve done it and I can guarantee every parent-to-be has, too. But once baby is here and baby gets older, your whole perspective changes. Those “nevers” turn into “okay, just this once” then they turn into “sure, whatever it takes to shut you up”. Here is a list that I swore I would never let my kids do or have but instead are now regular occurrences in our house.
- Co-sleeping. I said I would never ever co-sleep with my children. My motto used to be “my baby sleeps in her crib and only in her crib”. With my oldest, she only ever slept in her crib. Baby number two changed everything. She started sleeping in our bed around 2-3 weeks old, when we learned she slept much better with me. My husband has been sleeping on the couch for the past 3 months but as long as we’re all able to sleep, we’re totally fine with her in our bed with me. **The AAP does not recommend co-sleeping with baby. Visit the American Academy of Pediatrics website for the recommended sleeping guidelines to prevent the risk of SIDS.
- Formula. Nothing is wrong with formula, as both of my girls have strictly been formula fed. However, when I was pregnant, I was hell bent on breastfeeding my first. It would have saved us a ton of money which was another reason I was determined to breastfeed. Fast forward to my emergency c-section and pneumonia after my surgery, I didn’t care how baby was fed as long as she was fed. I tried for the first day but it was just too hard for me so we immediately went with formula. My now almost four year old is a 40 pound, perfectly healthy little monster. With my second, I tried breastfeeding for two days but ultimately switched to formula as it was extremely painful. Kudos to all of those who kick ass at breastfeeding!
- Pacifiers. I never wanted my babies to use pacifiers. I hated (still do) seeing older kids using them when they clearly didn’t need them anymore. I’m okay with infants having pacifiers to help sooth them, but I didn’t want to go through the weaning once they were older. So with my first, I chose not to use a pacifier. However, the nurses in the nursery at the hospital gave her one (eye roll) but she gave it up on her own at 3 months old. With my second I gave her a pacifier right away, as I learned with my first that it is a little silicone savior. She’s not crazy hooked on it, but it has saved several meltdowns at naptime and bedtime and I am totally okay with her having one.
- iPad/TV. We’ve all heard it, TV rots your brain. So when I was pregnant, I was adamant about not letting my kids watch too much TV, let alone have a tablet or iPad. Fast forward a few years and my oldest can work the iPad better than me. She can navigate through Netflix and Hulu to find her shows so fast, it’s kind of crazy. I swore my kids wouldn’t fill their time just watching TV but when you have a wild toddler to occupy and you’re tired from said toddler being up half the night, you cave. You give her the iPad to hopefully get a few more minutes of sleep. It’s happened more times than I like to admit but hey, TV has helped keep this mama sane.
- Junk food. Another thing I swore I’d never let my kids have is junk food. McDonald’s, pop, stuff that’s plain bad for you. “I will never let my child have McDonald’s!” is something I know I’ve said quite a few times. And now, my oldest gets a Happy Meal once or twice a month. When we’re out running around at dinner or lunch time or she’s been an especially good girl, she gets one as a reward. The same with pop. We let her have a little bit of Sprite (and only Sprite – no dark pop) for special occasions, like at the movies or sometimes with dinner at a restaurant. It’s not the end of the world but I remember judging other parents for it and I’m sorry for that.
- Calling my oldest Sissy. One thing that always irked me (for no real reason) was when older sisters were called “Sissy” by her parents. I would always say to myself that I’d never call my oldest Sissy when she became an older sister. Welp, that’s exactly what I call her when talking to her baby sister. I actually have a million cutesy, probably annoying to them (or they will be annoying in the future), nicknames for each of my girls which I never thought I’d do.
- Spanking. This is a huge one. I never thought I’d be the one to spank my child. Growing up, my brother and I were never spanked by our parents. My dad always yelled, which can still make me cry at 28 years old. Our three year old is a wild one and sometimes nothing else but a little spanking on her behind works. I don’t do it to hurt her, I do not do it hard enough to leave a mark or when I’m angry. It’s more of a swat to get her attention.
- Become a liar. Since becoming a mom, I’ve also became a pretty good liar. I never thought I’d lie to my own children, but it is so necessary to be a liar. Just little, harmless lies like when the ice cream man’s music is playing, it means he’s out of ice cream or their teeth will fall out if they don’t brush them (my personal favorite).
If you’re an expecting parent, you’ve said you won’t do at least one of these things. At the time, it’s nice to think you won’t. But trust me, you will break and you will cave and you will end up doing things you never dreamed you’d do just to make life easier. And an easy life is a good life.