Anyone who knew me growing up knows I don’t put up with a lot of nonsense for very long and second chances are rare. I’m not usually outwardly sentimental and I’ve developed the habit over time of thinking rationally instead of being ruled by my emotions. I was a hard worker, very organized, stylish, and very sure of myself.
This was the attitude with which I entered parenthood almost 14 years ago.
So imagine, to my chagrin, that parenthood threw all those traits down the sewer.
Nothing, absolutely NOTHING, in my life ever prepared me for being a parent. I’d never been around little kids before and most of my close friends became parents in their 30’s like I did. And all of us around the same time.
I’ve seen myself and my strict organizational skills wither away from the moment I arrived home with my first bundle of joy. I had to learn to live on 5 hours of sleep…or less…and not the good kind like in my 20’s after a late night party. I also had to dispel all the strict Caribbean upbringing I grew up with and just r-e-l-a-x.
Here are a few things I’ve learned about myself and about my children since they’ve entered my life:
- FORGET everything I thought I ever knew about child rearing before. It’s useless now.
- My kids aren’t perfect and I don’t want to hear about your perfect kids.
- Babies cry. That’s what they do. And sometimes you will NEVER have a clue what the crying is about.
- Sometimes I’ll cry for no reason and I will NEVER have a clue what the crying is about.
- If no one takes a shower on a Saturday, it’s not the end of the world.
- It’s okay to have cereal for dinner. Or a sandwich. Or a slice of cake.
- Sometimes I’ll prepare a gourmet meal and the kids won’t like it. It’s not personal. (right?)
- My kids will not necessarily have my taste in clothes, food, or TV shows. (Although they should…)
- Sometimes all the kid wants at snack time is juice. So stop bothering me about it, Mrs. Harding!!
- It’s okay to be silly with my kids. (Yes, I actually had to learn this one.)
- Kids, your cuteness might work on someone else, but not with me.
- Sexy time with hubby has become such a f**ing chore!! Hurry up! I have laundry to fold!
- Forget organization, timetables, homework reading for 15 minutes every night. If it happens, it happens.
- Apparently, I will never have good furniture 😦
- Kids watching TV and playing video games are not so bad (within reason)
- The dining table will NEVER be rid of assignment papers. Just suck it up and push them aside when it’s dinner time.
- I am not now, nor will I ever aspire to be, a supermom.
- Don’t try to guilt me about shouting at my kids. You deal with your cherubs your way; I’ll deal with mine my way.
- Some days I do wish I never had children. Doesn’t mean I love them any less or that I want to get rid of them.
- Not everyone will love or like my kids. Just as I don’t have to love everyone else’s kids.
- My mom was actually more lenient with some things than I am now.
- Pick my battles. Not everything is worth fighting for.
- I ENJOY my quiet time and I look forward to it every night at midnight.
- I miss them dearly when I’m home and they’re not with me. Just feels weird…