1. The Future Parents Phase – Couples with babies on the mind hear from or observe new and/or seasoned parents whose parenting style appears weird, gross, lazy, strict, etc. Those couples then take a firm stance on their own parenting style and state they will never do this, that or the other.
2. The New Parents Phase – Couples with a new baby and about 30 seconds of actual sleep catch themselves doing the very things they said they would never do. In the past, going back on a promise may have bothered these particular couples, but now they’re simply too tired to care and just want to drink a single cup of coffee without reheating it 6 times in an hour.
3. The Seasoned Parents Phase – Couples with multiple kids/grown kids have an overwhelming desire to pat the Future Parents on the head and say, “Just wait. Never say never.”
Will and I are in Phase 2, looking back at our Phase 1 selves. There are specific moments during my time in Phase 1 where I remember thinking various things that parents did were gross or not for me or not my style. But now, as I casually pick my son’s nose for the 4th time today, I’m reminded of a whole list of things that I either said I’d never do as a parent, but now absolutely, totally do. So to start us off:
1. I said I’d never… pick my baby’s nose.
Obviously you’re now aware I pick my son’s nose.
Before babies were even on my mind, I saw a friend of mine do this to her kids. It grossed me out. What was wrong with Kleenex? Well, sometimes Kleenex isn’t readily available. Actually it’s never readily available. And now I know why God gave us fingernails.
2. I said I’d never… cut my baby’s nails with my teeth.
I feel like 98% of my readers just grimaced. It’s okay, I did too when I first heard that was something [some] moms did. Ever heard of nail cutters? Maybe even a nail file? Well I used to use those tools back in the glory days when Elliott laid in one position and stayed wherever I put him, but now that he’s an 18 pound roly-poly who constantly pulls his hands away during his manly manicures, it’s just easier and safer to cut them with my teeth. If I didn’t, I would have scratch marks all over my face because though God may have given us fingernails for better nose-picking, I still don’t understand why He made them start out as razor-sharp steak knife-swords.
3. I said I’d never… have the TV/iPhone on around the baby.
Yeah, well, I have to take a shower every now and again, and those bizarre, have-I-been-accidentally-drugged Baby Mozart videos allow for that. And sometimes I just need 5 minutes to myself. Just 5 beautiful minutes.
4. I said I’d never… talk about poop all the time.
I can’t help it. Poop is my life, especially now that Elliott has started eating things like carrots and blueberries. The diapers that followed those first few solid food days will haunt me forever, but aren’t they great conversation starters? Or enders? Sometimes when I hear myself say things like, “Will, can you come get the baby so I can find his poop? I seem to have misplaced it”, I wonder if I’ll ever say anything remotely romantic to my husband ever again or if I’ll simply be able to not talk about poop for a day. I mean I feel like if you reach a point in motherhood where your husband has to ask you not to hug him until you’ve cleaned away your baby’s diarrhea from underneath your nail, you might need to relearn how to be romantic. Don’t worry – I reached that point 2 months ago.
By the way, I did locate the misplaced poop. Crisis averted.
5. I said I’d never… be late.
I was clearly not thinking when I said that. I’m late all the time – even to things that take place in my own house. Part of me does hurt a little when I’m late to anything because before Elliott entered my life I was always very much on time. But now I’ve just embraced it. Late is the new on time.
6. I said I’d never… wear mom clothes.
When I was pregnant, I found this awesome blog called The Mom Edit. A group of way too fashionable moms teach readers how to dress nicely without succumbing to the dreaded mom jeans and other fashion faux pas. I devotedly followed their suggestions but felt I could only go so far before dressing like a real person didn’t make sense anymore. Though I haven’t succumbed to mom jeans territory, I do wear the same outfit every day: Jeans, button-up shirt. Sometimes I get crazy with my wardrobe and surprise everyone with a sweater, but usually I’m rocking my flannel. And my jeans aren’t so much of a fashion statement as they are paper towels/wipes/kleenex. It just seems pointless to dress up when I know some foreign liquid in a new color is going to end up on me during the day.
**The following is for Vienna-based ladies**
Liebe Frauen! Vergiss nicht!