Monday, February 28, 2011


When you see those two pink lines, you spend weeks with a goofy smile on your face and big dreams in your heart.

As expectant parents, we imagine our rosy, giggle-filled lives with perfect babies and attainable ideals.  We plan the kind of parents we will be. We absorb information from books, doctors, and other parents.

But the "rules" of parenting seem to change daily.  The books and doctors and studies can't seem to agree. But we absorb and we set our own standards.

There isn't a woman out there that hasn't said "oh, I'll never ______."  {Fill in the blank with "let him cry it out," "let her watch tv," "feed her formula," "let him sleep in our bed," or what have you.}  We all have our "never-evers."

And then a sweet baby with tears and snot and dirty diapers enters your life.  And while you mostly stick to your guns, you also learn the necessity of compromise.

You learn to roll with the punches and do what is best for your family.

I wanted to try cloth diapering and baby wearing, and I did.

I promised myself I would try breastfeeding for at least 9 months, and we are still going strong at 13.

I vowed to read to our daughter every day, and I do. And sing.  And dance.  And pray.

I planned to talk to her often, like an adult, to increase her verbal skills. We do.

But sometimes the best laid plans need to be reevaluated.

I didn't want Kherington exposed to TV for her first year or two.  But I soon learned that it was a bit unrealistic for our family.  I never leave her sitting in front of the tube.  But sometimes nick jr. is on as I cook dinner and she plays with her toys.  Sometimes we watch Christian worship videos, dancing around together. And sometimes adult shows are on, that she just ignores.

I promised to always feed my kids a healthy diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and lean protein.  And I do.  But when she isn't feeling well, my kid refuses anything but yogurt... and I just keep on spoonin' it in.  And she's tried baked cheetos, and lived to tell about it, too.

I didn't plan on having a bumper in her crib after reading about the dangers of SIDS and suffocation.  But after doing some research, adjusting our bumpers to allow air flow, and knowing my child's sleep habits and abilities, I allowed them and never looked back.

I swore I would keep her carseat facing backwards until the very DAY she reached the maximum weight limit and had to be turned around.  But when strapping her in became a daily battle, I turned her around, put her very safe carseat in the middle seat of my safe vehicle with latch, and drove happily on.

I'm flexible. I make compromises. 

Some parents would not agree with my decisions.  But I'm very comfortable in my parenting skin. I feel solid in my decisions and in the way our daughter is flourishing.

Something I will still never-ever do?  Use a toddler leash. ick.  Never-ever, ever... unless I have 14 month old triplets at Grand Central Station.  and then I'd probably need some xanax, too.

I'm a good mom and I make compromises.

What compromises have you made as a parent?


Kouper Shane said...

Lol! I've got LOTS of those. One I almost succumbed to was the leash! I swore that there was no good reason to have a child on a leash... but...

For a good spell, Kouper would take off sprinting from me. And I would be out in public, like at the library (with automatic doors). Before I could scoop up Kylar and haul butt after him, he was out in the middle of College Street. Scared me to death. This happened at the grocery store too. It was a game to him and he didn't understand the danger he was in. I guess we made it through that period, but I seriously considered a leash. Oh and you're a GREAT mama!

Mel Bowman said...

I also failed to keep my child from TV. We were doing fine here, but with three other family members watching him each week (who all love TV) it was a battle I lost before it began.

3 dogs and a baby said...

Definitely the eating thing. Kate has, in her 3 years, had sugar even though I swore I wouldn't let her have any refined sugar for 3 years (what the heck was I thinking?). She's also had food that comes from a package and wasn't bought at a farmer's market. I should be ashamed of myself! :-)

Bobbie said...

This is exactly why I don't like to give mom "advice". EVERY kid, parent, family, etc. is different and short of pure neglect or abuse, there's not much that can really harm a child. Yes, some things better or worse than others, but unconditional love goes a long way.

I don't bathe my 3 as often as I'd like. Pre-motherhood, I swore I wouldn't feed my kids McDonald's and now my 22 month olds, know what to ask for at the "Don-dold's" drive-thru! I too, turned car seats a little early, pop in a Veggie Tales to get through dinner prep, and "crying it out" was a necessity with the twins!

You are an INCREDIBLE mother! Love you!

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