Mommy Memoirs: Is Parenting By The Book Total Crap?
As a mom of three, some might call me a parenting veteran. But that would imply I've retired from the field of battle, which would be wrong. I'm still deep in the trenches.
When I was pregnant with my first child, I read the books. I wrote out schedules. My favourite show was A Baby Story (minus the gross bits). Dr. Jekyll was large and in charge. For example:
1) My kids will only eat organic food that I cook myself from scratch, probably even grown in my own garden (which would have been tricky since we lived in an apartment at the time, but in my defense I did have an indoor composter which is kind of the same thing isn't it?)
2) I will only use positive reinforcement with my kids, and no, that will not include bribery.
3) I will never drive a minivan. Ever.
Luckily for us, our first child was a very easy-natured baby, able to fall asleep anywhere and never played strange with Grandma or the cashiers at the grocery store. She was a little living doll that let me dress her up in any outfit I chose and only fussed when I tried to feed her that green goo masquerading as baby food (in fairness, I wouldn't eat it either).
We congratulated ourselves on our most excellent parenting. What pillars of the community, what role models to others we were! We felt free to pass on our tried-and-true advice to any and all who were around us. In short, we were a pair of sanctimonious you-know-whats.
In the height of this glorious parenting, we naturally chose to build on our excellent success and expand the family. In due course, I was pregnant with my son.
In due course, I turned into Mrs. Hyde. For example:
1) Since my kids hate some of those organic foods which, let's be honest, can occasionally be blandly coloured and taste a little "off," I will buy the cleverly marketed stuff that gives me that feel-good assurance and goes on sale regularly (hint: an out-of-control grocery budget will do wonders for your re-evaluation of what you put in your cart). I still buy plenty of fruits and veggies, but am willing to peel the skin, soak it in sauce, and use a flip-flopping barrage of cajoling and threatening for the mandatory take-one-taste-of-everything-on-your-dinner-plate rule.
2) I use positive and negative reinforcement, and yes, that most certainly does include bribery. McDonald's, for instance.
3) I have been the proud owner of a Honda Odyssey for five years. It has a snack caddy, a DVD player, and enough storage space to cart around a wide variety of toys and gizmos to make any outing tolerable. I am so over my once-beloved VW Golf, I don't even remember what colour it was.
Yet even in the midst of this most attitude-altering experiment, we felt our family was not quite complete. So we conceived again...and then we were outnumbered.
But that's another story.
Which "rules" have you broken as a parent?
More by Claire
More on Relationships, Parenting
@Ali - Hahah! Mommy-to-be, I saw your list right after reading Nora's piece of high expectations. My immediate thoughts were: "Ah...here's a mom with high expectations who is setting herself up for disappointment." Then, I thought, "Maybe she's joking...?" As I login to type my response, I went through your list again and saw that perhaps your expectations are not so unreasonable after all, joke or not. Let's review:
LOL Ali! You're hilarious.
@mamaluv your Golf was white. I and do remember how you used to cook in those days. Right now I'm remembering your made from scratch tiramisu. Drool. Your kids certainly turned out adorable regardless of which rules you ended up throwing out. I have one main one for my baby right now:
Yes! Love this post - so utterly true. If theres one thing I've learned as a first time mom its that rules are malarkey - you end up doing what works for you and your family! We went from a subcompact car to an SUV, have foam play mats all over our previously spotless dark hardwood flooring, and are on a nap schedule as much as I hated that concept before having a kid.
McDonald's! I remember when I was young (I was the first born) my mom didn't know what to do when I have a temper tantrum so she would use McDonald's to bribe me.
I rented a minivan for a friend's stagette...and I loved it! It had so many amazing features, I am now jealous whenever I see moms driving around in them.
Join Our Newsletter
Best of Beauty (65)
Blogs We Love (61)
Career & Finance (65)
ChickAdvisor Events (103)
ChickAdvisor Newsletters (17)
ChickChat TV (8)
Eating Out (73)
Eyes, Lips, Face (472)
Fan Mail (14)
Gadgets, Media (37)
Gift Guide (69)
Hands & Feet (96)
Makeup Tutorials (52)
New Features (27)
News & Issues (119)
Parties & People (80)
Posing Wall (120)
Product Review Club (74)
Runway Fashion (195)
Shop ChickAdvisor (6)
Skin Care (157)
Street Style (44)
Style Guide (352)
Videos We Love (58)
Weekly Roundup (79)
Would You Wear This? (51)
Articles ArchiveBrowse articles by date
MyStyle commented on We're Obsessed With... Leopard Print