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I Used to be a Perfect Mom

Before I had kids I was a fantastic parent. I mean, the very best parent that ever did walk the earth. I knew exactly how to parent- what to do and what not to do in order to ensure that I had the best, most well rounded kids that were perfectly behaved and would make me the envy of the PTA. Unfortunately adding kids to the mix ruined it. Oh how the mighty have fallen.

Evidence of My Fall from Grace

1. I swore that my kids would go to bed on time and be great sleepers because I would embrace the CIO philosophy. Excuse me while I laugh at my former self. I’m pretty sure I must have?said this phrase a lot because apparently my kids were sent here to smite me. I declared that I would never be one of those “hippie attachment co-sleeping parents”. Sigh. As I type this, the 4 year old is snoring in bed next to me while he hogs more than his fair share of the covers and drools on my pillow. Last night the 1.5 year old didn’t go to bed until almost 10 o’clock. Not one of my kids has ever been forced to CIO and bedtime seems to be more of an abstract thing than a rule.

2. I was determined that my?kids would be well behaved in public without fail. My kids would never be the loudmouth little brats that disrupted everyone at the restaurant. Well I do pretty good at the last?part but only because we don’t go out to restaurants with the kids very often. The whole throwing rolls, licking the table, poking the waitress in the eye behavior kind of puts the kibosh on any desire to go out to eat. I remember cringing and rolling my eyes at the parents who had zero control over their kids in public places. Now…well let’s just say that last week I dragged a kicking and screaming toddler through Wal*Mart to finish my grocery shopping because there was no way on earth I was coming back later and living through the torture that is Wal*Mart twice in one week.

3. I just knew that I would never give in, never negotiate and never back down. Sigh. I just want to pat that poor, naive girl on the head and give her a cookie. Or a Valium. There is only so much a mom can take before she has to cave for the sake of her own sanity. That poor, naive girl could not imagine how much staying power an angry toddler would possess in the effort to secure their own way. A preschoolers ability to talk their way into anything is something that has to be experienced to be believed. Let’s not even talk about the tweens. Sometimes mom just has to accept that there are battles that are not worth fighting and cut her losses.

4. I was sure that I would not be that mom that dug boogers out of her kids nose or wiped their face with her shirt. Yeah. It’s amazing how fast your tolerance for the yuck factor increases when you become?a mom. I’ve dug out boogers, wiped faces with my shirt, been puked on and pretty much been covered in every bodily fluid imaginable. The yuck doesn’t even phase me anymore. Clean it up and move on.

I miss the perfect parent that I used to be before I had kids. I see other young women staring at me in horror occasionally and I know what they are thinking. I can read their minds and their sentences all start with ‘when I’m a mom, I will never….’ and I want to warn them. I want to tell them that I used to be them and now….well, just look at me now. On second thought, don’t look. Just keep on moving, nothing to see here.

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  • Just found your blog and read a few post and you are great. But can I ask a question? Whats up with all the little PTA digs? Is it just your school or all in general?

  • I never knew how those “bad Moms” could stand it when their kids were shrieking and running around being noisy. Why didn’t they just shut those kids up already?? Then I had twin boys and I learned. It’s called survival listening…if you aren’t screaming due to bodily injury, I can tune you out in a heartbeat.

  • DelilahLove

    Oh yes! My 2 youngest kids had popcicles before 9:30am this morning. Just so I could participate in a conference call without everyone hearing the screaming in the background. You do what you have to do! Haha!

  • Soonerlaura

    Love this, so true, so true. When people make statements that start with, “When I’m a parent I will never” I say, “at 3 am you’ll do whatever it takes.”

  • DelilahLove

    Haha! That is an admirable goal indeed! One that I unfortunately fall short of at least half the time.

  • I used to say, “My kids will NEVER be seen with dirty faces or anything dripping from their noses.” Now my goal is to try to keep them from leaving the house looking like orphans.

  • DelilahLove

    Yes! It is total survival mode at this point! Haha!

  • DelilahLove

    It’s amazing how hard I fell from grace. Haha! Not to mention how fast it happened. I was always anti co-sleeping. Then I had a kid who nursed every 22 minutes and wow, we were co-sleepers. Haha!

  • DelilahLove

    Hindsight really is 20/20, isn’t it?! Sigh…

  • DelilahLove

    Amen! The floor of my minivan is horrifying. I’m pretty sure people think we’re hobos who live in the van whenever we open the door and all the stuff falls out. Haha!

  • theplacesyouwillgo

    I had a whole list of “I will never” before I had my daughter.  I think I have broken most of them, and I am not ashamed to admit it.  It is all about survival!

  • I’m cracking up at this! I thought the same things… and then I had kids! 

  • Amanda Imbery

    That was awesome!!  If only we knew then what we know now. 🙂

  • Elizabeth Mudd

    #4 Your former mailman said in regards to bodily fluids, “Clean up, move on to the next route, PLEASE!!!   AGGGHHHHHHHH!!!!!” 
    Lol, mine went from: “I will have a crumb nasty free car to “Give that *amn kid whatever the H, E, double hockey stick she wants!  Just shut her up!!  AGGGHHHHHHH!!!”  What messy car?  Just snacks for the kiddos later.          Literally.

  • DelilahLove

    Yep! We often say that they own the house, they just let us live here to serve them. Haha!

    And thanks 🙂

  • DelilahLove

    Oh yes, I’ve done that too. And it didn’t bother me. Then. Now it makes me want to gag. I blame the sleep deprivation for any and all bad decisions made for the past 11 years. I wonder if that would hold up in court? Ha!

  • DelilahLove

    I know! How dare they! Haha!

  • If I only I had known that when wee bundle of joy arrived – sleep would depart; and patience right out the door on it’s heels. Can’t believe I used to frown at parents telling their kids to leave them alone for 5 minutes.
    silly me, now I know….they probably had to go the bathroom really bad due to constant potty stage fright resulting from banging and hollering of “mom, are u done yet?” from other side of door. 5 minutes would be golden!

  • Jen

    Ha! Kids kinda just ruin parenting… huh? 😉

  • Doré

    This has got to be one of my favorite posts that I have read on a blog!  My husband and I were perfect parents too before we adopted our daughter.  We have done EVERY SINGLE thing that we criticized others parents for doing and we swore we would never do.  We didn’t realize how fierce and powerful those little creatures are!  

  • Juliecgardner

    The thing I still can’t believe I did was eat food that had BEEN IN MY KIDS’ MOUTHS…
    without even blinking.

    Why was that not gross? How? On what planet?

    But I did it. All the time. 

    Thank goodness they’re in middle school now and don’t spit out their dinner anymore.Much.

  • Ah so so true! I can think of so many things I was never going to do! If only kids hadn’t interrupted my perfect parenting!

  • DelilahLove

    Haha! That sounds familiar. Being a mom sure is humbling.

  • DelilahLove

    Nope. No perfection here, just cracker crumbs and boogers. Haha!

  • Ha!  I said “I will never” sniff my babies’ rear ends to see if they needed changing.  I said “I will never” spit-clean my child’s face.  I said “I will never” allow my teenager and her friends to  take over the living room while I’m trying to watch TV.  And that screaming toddler in the grocery store that I said “I will never” condone…  Yeah.  I spent 30 minutes running around like a crazy woman cramming everything I thought I might possibly need over the next YEAR into my cart because I had NO INTENTION of ever going shopping again!

  • Mango Chutney

    yes!  That’s the key words “the perfect parent I used to be..before I had kids”, cause all that percision doesn’t exsist for us real moms 😉

  • DelilahLove

    Yes! You just have to let some things go and not stress about them.

  • “I miss the perfect parent that I used to be before I had kids.” You and me both…You and me both!

    I can so relate to this post. All of it!

  • “Sometimes mom just has to accept that there are battles that are not worth fighting and cut her losses.”  So true!!!  This is a daily occurrence for me, asking, “Let’s see.  Is this worth it?”  Often, it’s just not.

  • DelilahLove

    Haha! Yep, I have one who strips his clothes off and tries to walk around in his undies all the time. You’d think I was talking about the 4 year old, right? Nope, it’s the 11 year old. Not nearly as cute when he does it. Haha!

  • It’s so true.  And I just have to laugh when single friends tell me all the things their kids will never do.  I just smile, nod and think to myself, you just wait!

  • you make me laugh! Oh how the might have fallen! 🙂

    I was never going to take my kids to the store in pjs once they were no longer babies..and then I was gifted a kid who LIVES in pjs..seriously! Kindergarten will be a huge transition..what with having to wear clothes ALL DAy!