If I had a diaper for every time I observed another family and thought, “When we have kids, we’ll never do that,” I’d need to rent a warehouse for storage. Oh, I had lofty plans for how we would raise Ruby. Plans and goals are great, and we achieved many of them. But parenting is a Darwinian endeavor. Adapt or perish.
Without further ado, here are a few things I swore I’d never do and why we ended up doing them:
- Bedshare – When a newborn wails every time you set them down in the bedside co-sleeper but sleeps soundly with you in bed, you do what you gotta do to survive. Bedsharing is quite a polarizing subject, but with the right setup, it can be just as safe as sleeping separately. Also, many more parents do it than would ever admit.
- Give her sweets – To be fair, she doesn’t get much, but yes, she gets a sample here and there.
- Give her fried/processed/less-than-ideal foods – Again, in moderation, but when she flings her organic whole-grain, greek yogurt fruit veg blend across the room and you have some french fries handy, a babe’s gotta eat.
- Let her cry it out – And for a long time we didn’t. It never felt right. We bought gentle sleep/attachment parenting type books and we tried our best. When it came time to transition her from our bed to her crib at around six months, nothing else worked. I put her in the crib, she cried, I picked her up, nursed her some more, put her back down and she cried. Lather, rinse, and repeat. After a couple of days of about 20 minutes of crying at bedtime, we had a routine and we were all sleeping better for it.
- Let TV/tech get in the way of giving her my full attention 100% of the time – I do. I’m trying to be more self-aware, though.
- Entertain her with TV – They say children under 2 should get 0 hours of screen time…so parents with children under 2 can never have the TV on during the daytime hours. Sometimes, a mama or a papa needs to be able to make a cup of tea or prep dinner with a sleepy/hungry baby present. If Word Girl or Sid the Science Kid can make that happen, so be it.
- Rely on smart phone entertainment when out in public – Restaurant tantrum preventer. End of story.
Do I still find myself saying, “We won’t do that with our kids?” Yep. Because establishing goals and plans is part of parenting. But at this point, I know plans change. We’re making it up as we go along, just like every other parent out there.