Before I had kids, I possessed many ideas about what kind of parent I would be. Below are ten of those assumptions -- and the reality that followed, post-kids.
1. I will not bribe my kids. They will behave because they have such great internal moral compasses, and complying will be what they want to do.
Reality: I will let you eat Hershey's Kisses for breakfast if you stay in your bed tonight. I will take you anywhere you want to go if you will just stay in your bed tonight.
2. I will maintain appropriate boundaries in the bathroom.
Reality: Most days, I use the bathroom with three little faces watching my every move. The upside? There is always someone nearby to run and get a new roll of toilet paper when I'm stranded.
3. My kids will leave the house with their hair combed neatly and wearing clothes that match.
Reality: We hit a low last summer when Annie Rose insisted on wearing one snow boot and one flip-flop to Target, happily limping her way through the aisles. An astonishing number of old ladies asked if I was aware that her shoes didn't match. "Yes, thank you for your concern," I replied.
4. I will control my potty mouth in front of the kids.
Reality: Oh shit, the fire alarm is going off again! Damnit, the dinner is burning. Shit! Shit! Shit! My girls reply, "At least it's better than Christmas Eve, when Daddy caught on fire." (True story.)
5. I will spend time taking care of myself even after I have kids.
Reality: I take a shower every three or four days, if I'm lucky. A brown Crayola marker is a lot faster and cheaper than getting my roots colored (but try to explain to a 4-year-old why Mommy is allowed to scribble with markers in her hair). And my health club might as well apply for 501c3 status, since I give them a monthly donation.
6. I will model healthy conflict resolution skills, and I will be gracious when I am right.
Reality: I have been known to chant "I was right! You were wrong!" to my husband as I sing and march around the kitchen, doing a victory dance.
7. I will share, and thus my kids will be good sharers, too.
Reality: Get out of my makeup, girls! It's mine! Get out of my toiletries!
8. My kids will only eat wholesome, balanced meals with one reasonable dessert after dinner.
Reality: Fine, you may have a bowl of ice cream for "breakfast dessert." It's got calcium, right? And all the good milk fat that your growing brain needs! Here, have a second helping.
9. We will be on time for school, appointments, classes and playdates.
Reality: How is it that everyone is up three hours before school starts and we are the last ones to arrive?
10. My kids will see me as an empowered woman and a role model of how women can achieve success outside of the house.
Reality: If I got hit by a bus tomorrow, my tombstone would say, "Here lies Carrie. Now who will do the laundry?"
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