I'm not ashamed to say that in my silly, naïve mind, (the one that wasn't always occupied with thoughts of play dates and characters from Disney Junior) I had all these great notions about when I had kids.
How I would raise them.... Things I saw other parents do, that I instinctively reacted with, I will never let my kids do that! Who allows that kind of behavior?! I know now how insanely ridiculous that was. So here are a few scenarios that have changed for me after having kids:
Before Kids: My child will never eat something that falls on the floor. There are way too many germs floating around, and who knows what kind of deadly virus their little bodies could pick up?! NO. NO. NO.
After Kids: The 5 second rule is cool with me.....oh wait, you think that grape is from yesterday? It's not fuzzy right? Ok, cool, go for it. YOLO!
Before Kids: *Shoots judgmental glances at the lady who let her kid open a bag of pretzels in the grocery store* Who does that?! Does her child have no self-control?
After Kids: "What would you like, kids? Teddy grahams, cheerios, a rotisserie chicken? Which one will keep you quiet the longest?" And yes, I have checked out empty boxes of food before. Don't judge. I just wish it was acceptable for me to crack open my bottle of wine while I shopped too.
Before Kids: Do people not know how their kids look when they leave the house?! I mean, come on. A princess dress, rain boots, and a parka in the middle of July?! WTH.
After Kids: Unless we have family pictures scheduled, I don't really give a crap what my kids are wearing. A tank top, sweatpants, and cowboy boots? Works for me.
Before Kids: My kids will only eat organic, nutritious food. They will have 3 meals a day, with 2 healthy snacks, at reasonable times of the day. They will always ask me politely for food, and they're body will reject any sugar intake.
After Kids: Yeah, so the oldest had 4 popsicles today and 3 juice boxes. The youngest had 3 packs of fruit snacks and half a loaf of white bread. They also stole the jar of peanut butter and proceeded to see how far they could fit their face inside the jar. This is normal, yes?
Before Kids: Our kids will not sleep in our bed. Our bed is for rest and relaxation, not little children.
After Kids: I got kicked in the face by a 5 year old last night and the toddler peed on my side of the bed. Need I say more?
Before Kids: I realize kids can be messy, but good grief; do these people NEVER clean their house?
After Kids: *Cleans frantically with baby wipes, 10 minutes before guests arrive. Apologize in advance for the resemblance of a tornado flying through the house. Tell them if it they step on a Cheerio they get 2 pts, and finding a fruit snack in the couch is bonus points.*
Before Kids: I cannot stand when people with kids are not on time! How hard is it to start getting ready a little early and anticipate the extra time?
After Kids: *Starts getting ready 2 hours before arrival time* The oldest won't brush his teeth, he wants to wear the shoes he hasn't seen in 6 months, and he's looking for the 2 cm sword from his LEGO character. The toddler took off all her clothes because they felt "weird", she wants to do her own hair, and she just rubbed half a bottle of lotion all over herself. So yeah, that's that.
Before Kids: Man, I am so busy lately! Work is completely exhausting, and I just don't have enough time in a day. I haven't watched Grey's Anatomy in like 3 weeks!
After Kids: My oldest is 6, which means I haven't slept in about 7 years. The toddler did, however, sleep in until 6:45 on Saturday, so that's always a bonus. What season is Grey's Anatomy on now? I can't keep up with it, but I do have every episode of Paw Patrol recorded on my DVR!
When I hear soon to be mothers or those with newborns go on and on about how they will parent, I have to laugh just a little. Because I was that mom. So sure of myself and how I would parent my child.
I know now that until we encounter each new scenario with our kids, we really don't know how we will react, and that's okay. Life with kids is often spontaneous and uncharted territory.
The best philosophy for parenting is to simply learn how to roll with the punches. I mean, you could buy the thousands of parenting books out there, but what fun would that be?
There is one thing that hasn't changed for me since having kids though:
Before Kids: I will be a great mother.
After Kids: I am a freaking amazing mama!
(Ok, so maybe it changed a little, but you get the point...)