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.
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.
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
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