When I first found out I was pregnant, I was convinced that I had it all figured out. I kept talking to other people about how I was going to raise my son and every time, I saw their eyes roll as they told me “just wait until you bring him home” or “good luck with that.” It infuriated me! How could somehow else tell me my plans to raise my little boy were only just dreams that would never actually happen…and then it hit me…one year post baby I am seeing exactly how many times I have put my foot in my mouth.
He won’t sleep with us!
For the entire 9 (or lets be serious, 10) months of my pregnancy I vowed that my son would be in his own room, in his own bed from day one. I have seen firsthand the horror stories of beginning the habit of co-sleeping where your child is still sleeping in your bed 7 years later; or when a baby gets so attached to sleeping next to mom and dad that when you try to move him to his own room it’s like fighting World War III….yep, that was NOT going to be me. Things changed our first night in the hospital. I couldn’t sleep because I wanted to watch him breath, to make sure he was ok. Twenty. Four. Seven. While that is obviously unrealistic (even super mom needs to sleep occasionally), the thought of him being 15 feet away in the next room was horrifying. So, when we came home he immediately started out in our room, and then since the only time he sleeps is if you are holding him, he magically made his way into our bed. Thankfully, we have since moved him to his own room (thank God for video monitors) but there are still those rare nights when he sleeps with us, and it is my husband and I that are having a hard time letting him be in his big boy room.
I will not feed him formula
After all of my reading and planning, I was set on breastfeeding for as long as possible. I didn’t want my son to be eating some manufactured formula that I really didn’t even know what was in it. Unfortunately, my son had a lot of trouble breastfeeding. We had to give him formula in the hospital so that his jaundice would improve and then, since he wouldn’t latch, I resorted to pumping. I felt like I was permanently attached to my pump and man was it exhausting!! I think half my day was spent pumping and the other half was spent feeding him the milk I had just pumped. Since I couldn’t pump fast enough I was not able to store enough for when I returned to work, so after 6 weeks he was a full-time formula feeding machine.
I will never own a mini van
When I think of minivans, I immediately see the soccer mom with so many kids she doesn’t even have time to brush her hair. (What I didn’t realize is that even as a mother of one tiny little person, I too do not have time to fix my hair, half the time it’s still dripping wet when I head to work.) I wish I had a penny for every time I swore that I would never have a minivan, I would probably be richer than Oprah. I thought when I bought my Honda Civic five years ago that it would make a great family car in the future but it was a pain in the neck! The car seat would only fit in the middle seat, which means at 6 feet tall I had to stoop down and try to maneuver a 30 pound car seat into the middle and “make sure it’s latched” as my husband tells me every time we get in the car (as if I don’t know that). Now, I am a proud owner of my first minivan and I don’t think I will ever have another vehicle. It has everything I could possibly want and more.
My kids will not be addicted to technology
It has always made me sad to see a family out at a restaurant and their kids are glued to an iPad or portable DVD player. What happened to enjoying time as a family? Are we really that lazy that we can’t have a conversation and keep our kids entertained without having to give them a game to play? When did coloring on the kids’ menus become a thing of the past? I learned the answer to these questions quickly. My son was around 4 months old and we were going out to dinner with some friends that were in town. Since we chose a fancier restaurant, I tried my best to plan our meal around the time my son usually took his nap. Well, it just so happens that that day nap time was cut short. We had just barely sat down to dinner when the screaming started. We tried everything to get him to calm down, his pacifier, toys, making faces, silly voices…nothing worked. So I resulted to the interactive Itsy Bitsy Spider game on my phone. It worked like a charm and gave me the insight to the fact that sometimes you just have to do whatever it takes to make it in public.
Within the last year, I have learned exactly what people meant when they rolled their eyes at my adamant plan to raising my son. I’ve also learned that sometimes you just have to do whatever it takes to make your child happy. I’ve also learned to sit back and relax more, and just let life happen as it will, because trying to control the uncontrollable is like trying to swim up Niagara Falls. I can’t wait to see what the next year or even 16 years brings and hopefully I can keep my foot out of my mouth a little better.
Did your parenting expectations change after welcoming your little one? Share with us in the comments!