Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Five Things I Wish I Had Never Said About Parenting

I wish I had never said never. Before I had kids, I used to look at other people and how they dealt with their kids, and think I would never do that. At times, I even made the worse mistake of saying it out loud. The problem is, I didn't know. I didn't have a clue what it would be like when I had my own kids.

These two have showed me just how wrong I was...

Things I Wish I Had Never Said
  1. I would never let my children leave the house with messy hair. Boy was I wrong about that. My daughter has curly hair and she does not like having it combed.
  2. I would never let my children eat that (whatever it is). Turns out, I would. As long as it's fit for human consumption.
  3. I would never let my children watch television all day. Wrong again. Sometimes, they watch television all day. We watch together. We run around, dance, climb, learn, get inspired while we watch. Or we just sit and watch.
  4. I would never let my home be taken over by toys. That was just silly. It's their home too. And it's quite small. And toys are fun!
  5. I would never let my home be a mess. Yes. Yes I would. Cleaning up is just not as important anymore. And sometimes, the mess is beautiful. The mess means the kids have been enjoying themselves.
What I failed to realize when all of these ridiculous things came out of my mouth, is that my children might strongly disagree. Each one would have his or her own taste in food and media and hairstyles and toys, even from a very young age. And I didn't realize how much I would care about their preferences. How seriously I would take them.

Their preferences matter to me. They matter more than the vision of an "ideal child" I used to cling to. I know now that am not here to make my children into who I want them to be, but instead to let them be who they are. I don't worry about who they will be someday, I just enjoy who they are. Right now.

I also don't worry (much) about what other people think of me as a parent, or at least I try to take the criticism in stride (some days I'm better at that than others). I know some people will find things to criticize no matter what I do, and I can't please everyone. I find that my husband and children are the ones I really care about pleasing, and other peoples' opinions just don't matter as much.

Above all, I try not to say never too much these days. Because I never know.


  1. Excellent Job Vickie! Keep it coming!

  2. Yes to the last paragraph!! Love you, Vick :)

  3. Sandra Dodd has a great quote - well, she has many! - but I love this one in particular:
    "If your child is more important than your vision of your child, life becomes easier. "

  4. Yes Caren! I love that. Thanks for sharing. :)