I’m sure every parent, before becoming a parent has a list of things they swear they will never do, or never consider doing as parents. But, I have realized that what you believe before you have kids and what you believe after kids is quite different. Here are a list of things that I never considered I would do as a parent.
- Pick my kids noses – It’s funny how something so ‘socially unacceptable’ to do yourself is totally ok when you do it to your kids. I can’t stick my own finger up my nose (which I think everyone does anyway), but I’m allowed to stick my finger up someone else’s nose. And you’d think I’d be disgusted to do it. But nope. It’s actually an accomplishment and an exciting challenge to get the boogers out of their small noses with my big fingers. So, when I succeed without too much struggle from my kids, it’s a great feeling. Like when you get a winning prize from the fishing game. Yes. I just compared a booger to a winning prize. Yay for parent hood.
- Smell my kids bums – This also falls into a similar category as picking my kids noses. If anyone came up to me and sniffed my butt, I’d hit them. But, I can pretty confidently say I don’t think that would happen. Yet, as a parent of babies, it’s TOTALLY NORMAL. You pick up your kid, and think “Hm… I wonder if they need to be changed”. And then you smell their butt. Not a small sniff, but you get right up in there. And it happens multiple times a day until they are potty trained. That’s on average – two years per kid. Bet you never thought about doing that before you got pregnant!
- Leave your children unattended – It took me until I had my twins to be ok with this one. With Jack, I always made sure he was in my range of vision. If I had to go to the bathroom, I’d move his chair to the door. When I went upstairs, he went upstairs. When I went downstairs, he went downstairs. I was never alone, and neither was he. Until I had twins. It is IMPOSSIBLE to be able to see all three children at once when your are at home by yourself. When Jack has to go to the bathroom, the girls are left to play on the floor by themselves. When I have to change the girls or give them baths, I leave Jack downstairs to play by himself. I used to thing I would be a bad parent if I didn’t watch my children all the time to make sure nothing happened to them. But, the reality is, you can’t always be there and you just have to make sure they are in a safe environment when you leave them. So, if you are like I was when I had my first child, its ok. You can use the bathroom without them watching.
- Use the TV as a babysitter – Everywhere I look, there are studies and articles talking about TV and how bad it is for your kid. Well, if you can clean your house, do your laundry, cook the meals, AND entertain your kids without the use of TV, then you are a magical parent. And kudos to you. I am not that parent. Even when I cook with Jack and get him to help with laundry, I still need time to get things done without him. So, TV is the answer. I think the key is everything in moderation. If you are worried about the effects of TV on your child, there are many TV shows you can put on that help them learn concepts like colors, numbers, songs and phonetics. You can combine the learning shows with fun shows or movies, but at least you can fell a little less guilty leaving your kid in front of the TV. Some of Jack’s favorites, which you can find on Netflix are the Color Crew (or any of the Baby First tv shows) and Word World where they break down words into letters and pictures.
- Using your phone to entertain your child – This is something I SWORE I would not let my child use before I was a parent. But, when Jack was little, I would use my phone as I breastfed him, and by the time he was 6 months old, he was enamored by my phone. By one, he could use my phone on his own (with parental controls) and now at 2 and a half, he is better at using youtube then I am. Like TV, I justify the use by the fact that he watches educational videos that teach him counting, nursery rhymes, colors. I actually think he started talking because of all the videos he has watched. He knows all his colors, can count to 12 and 18, 19 and 20… (the 13 to 17 is a little hard) and he also knows a bunch of letters. Oh, and multiple vehicle names as he is super into trucks, cars and trains – specifically Thomas and Friends. Videos I recommend are Sesame Street ones, anything Baby Bum, or Choo Choo videos. I don’t usually let him use the videos out in public, just at home. But it gives me an extra 30-45 minutes of time in the mornings to shut my eyes while he sits beside me watching videos. To me? Its totally worth it as sleep is still not a consistent thing in my life.Am I a bad parent? I don’t think so, but if you think so, that’s ok too. I’m sure you do your own things you swore you’d never do.