Life with two boys 19 months apart has resulted in what seems like a never-ending phase of what moms like to call “survival mode”. Hectic days and sleepless nights result in traveling through the week on board the hot mess express and truthfully (other than the lack of sleep), I wouldn’t have it any other way.
The other day I found myself chuckling at the memory of my old self – a girl who thought she had it all figured out; a clear-plan for parenting her imaginary kids, a vision of being that perfect mom and flawlessly balancing the countless roles of home, work and life in general. And now that I am here (exactly where I always wanted to be), I realize that most of us have no clue what we are doing. If you are like me, you are just trying your absolute best to raise happy, healthy and educated kids, who will one day be respectful and productive members of society. Other than that, the goals for each day are to show them love and keep everyone alive and well. That’s it!
With that being said, I thought it would be funny to highlight just a few examples of the things that I swore I’d “never do in parenting”.
Co-sleeping: While I highly respect the National Association of Pediatrics as well as other collaborations founded on research for keeping our children safe, co-sleeping is something that any sleep deprived parent will resort to when it provides a chance for sleeping a minute longer at night or in the morning. Nothing is more trying than walking down the “long” dark hallway at 2 am, only to return again and again and again. On those hard nights it is often far easier to scoop up that baby and bring he or she into your bed, where everyone can quickly drift back to dream land. And who doesn’t enjoy the extra cuddles at the same time?! That is until said child smacks you in the face or manages to consume the ENTIRE king size bed, which is absolutely bound to happen.
Sleep Training: Yes, I am going there… yet another controversial parenting topic! Sleep training is something that I said I would never do. I said this before kids and even after having Mason. I heard the term and instantly thought of harsh cry it out (CIO) methods, which at the time seemed both cruel and unnecessary, because it was (unnecessary). Mason was fantastic sleeper and transitioned from our room to his, without hesitation and spent the majority of nights from birth to 2 sleeping through the night. BUT after bringing baby number two home, I quickly realized how rare that was and how easy we had it. After 6 months of waking up every 20 minutes from sun down to sun up with Gavin, we had nowhere else to turn. My husband and I would think of bedtime as the plague, knowing that on any given night we were in for 15 or more wake ups. It was brutal! Finally, we pushed our pride aside, along with any preconceived views and hired a sleep consultant. Together we established a new routine for meals, napping and bedtime and also implemented a modified CIO method. My reluctance was short lived, as on night 5 the “worst sleeper in the world”, slept through the night, uninterrupted and in his own room. Although we’ve had a few setbacks along the way, sleep training has been a god send for us. I no longer view it as the ridiculous act of “training” your child but rather an act of teaching your baby the value of sleep and helping them sleep peacefully and independently in their own space. AMAZING!!!
Screen Time: Ah yes, I remember the days when I said “My kids won’t watch TV” or “I will never give my kids an iPad”… HA! When you have an attention seeking toddler and a hungry baby that needs to eat, guess what? That toddler will probably end up watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Or when you drive 5 hours to visit family, guess what again? That toddler and yes that baby will each have their own iPad to pass the time with as few meltdowns as possible. And yes, when you make that horrible decision to take 2 under 2 to a restaurant for an impromptu “date night” and said toddler causes a scene (and crayons just aren’t cutting it), you will probably break out your phone to stifle the situation until the food arrives. And probably the most important “guess what” of all… if you do all of this, your kids WILL BE FINE! Like anything else, moderation is key!
What are some things you’ve ever said you “wouldn’t do in parenting”? I‘d love to hear from you!
Until next time,