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20 Things We Swore We'd Never Do as Parents That We Totally Did

Photograph by Twenty20

I was an amazing parent... before I actually had any kids.

As a 27-year-old with a degree in early childhood education and a wealth of experience working with children and families in various capacities over the course of my 10 years of employment, I had seen and done enough to become quite the parenting idealist. I had seen the folly in many parenting approaches and promised myself I would never repeat those things and I also had a laundry list of what I liked to consider "parenting best practices" that I planned to abide by. Some of these included gender-neutral clothing (ha!), no plastic toys (haha!) and elimination communication (hahahahahahahahahahahaha!)

Ummm... yeah. As you can imagine, I've experienced a wake up or two over the course of these past four years of actually raising tiny humans who apparently have little minds of their own. *GASP!* Who knew? Apparently all the other parenting vets out there.

Because we can all laugh about our ridiculousness at this point, I asked a group of parents to share what things they had said never to before becoming a parent, but have totally done since.

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1. "I swore I would never let my kids wear costumes out in public, but I've come to realize that sometimes having a battle with my 3-year-old wear a Princess Elsa dress to the grocery store just isn't a hill worth dying on." - Laura

2. "I said I would never co-sleep, but I totally did when necessary. Anything to get some sleep!" - Kristel

3. "I said I would ever let them eat in front of the TV or watch TV for that matter! Haha! The naivety of new parenthood!" - Ellie

4. "I said 'my children will not use sippy cups; they need to learn to not spills their drinks!' Yeah. Right." - Jennifer K.

5. "I said I'd never, ever, drive a minivan. Ever. There's a Honda Odyssey parked in my garage as we speak." - Emily

6. "I said I was never going to serve boxed macaroni and cheese and it's now a fixture on the meal circuit at our house. Oh, and I wasn't going to have picky eaters either." - Jennifer R.

I said I would never use the TV as a babysitter... oops.

7. "I promised I would never change my child in a public place, but I changed Baby #2 in a diner booth at a truck stop. #getsomechangingstations." - Karissa

8. " We said that we wouldn't allow our children to use electronics when you go out to dinner, ha! Now if we don't have them, we question if we should really go out." - Nicole

9. "We said we would never let them sleep in our room. Now there's usually one at the foot of the bed every night." - Yanira

10. "Never let my son play guns. Ha! Little did I know that any and every toy can become a gun. Including your own fingers." - Pam

11. "I said never would I stop doing grown-up things and we would just take the kids with us! Now I look at young idealists and try not to have that 'Oh, that will change when you experience real life" attitude." - Elisha

12. "I would never cut the crust off sandwiches! Now I get it." - Julie

13. "I said I would never use the TV as a babysitter... oops." - Rebekah

14. "I thought the people that were in LOVE with Amazon Prime were crazy! Why would anyone buy everything online and never go to a store for their Christmas presents and most of their goods?! Two kids later, and now we have Amazon Prime and Thrive Market accounts amongst other online shopping accounts." - Barbara

15. "I swore I would never be a slave to naps and their sleep schedule. With three kids under four, I live and breathe by our nap schedule." - Sarah

16. "I said I was never going to have kids. I have four! Haha!" - Heather

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17. "I said I would never keep shopping with a screaming kid. I would leave my cart, walk out of the store and teach my kid manners. Now it's a regular occurrence to have my kids screaming through the aisles because there's no way in hell I am going to try to make a second trip!" - Lauren

18. "I said I would never say 'Because I said so.' My mom used to say it to me all the time and I hated it, but I've totally said it to my own kids." - Monique

19. "I said I would never do licensed characters on anything for my kids. Then I took my kids to Disneyland and they fell in love. Now licensed characters are on ALL THE THINGS." - Rose

20. I would never breastfeed. One went 16 months and the other three freaking years! I would never let them have candy in the morning (um, yeah, OK), never go to McDonald's, never be a SAHM, never buy character clothes, never let them have a billion stuffed animals. Yeah, so pretty much everything I do, I said I wouldn't. #shouldakeptmymouthshut." - Stephanie

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