Before and After

It is amazing how your mentality and thought process changes from before you have kids to after. Do you recall a time when you inwardly critisized a mother for something you saw her do, only to find yourself doing the exact same thing with your own child? Or did you ever sware you would never do this or that, say this or that, or act in a certain manner, yet now as a mother you feel totally opposite about these same things? I know I have.

I remember watching mothers give in to a child’s demand, thinking I would never do that – yet I have. I swore I would never get upset and would always be calm with my children – ha. If you have never in your life gotten upset and yelled at your kids, please let us in on your secret!

Below I’ve listed just a few of the things I see I have changed from before I had kids to now.

Before: “That child is so picky. His mother really should have made him eat all that food. Mine will always finish all the food I serve them. And like it or not, they will eat their veggies!”

After: “Oh, you don’t like that any more? Ok, I you can leave it.” Forcing my child to finish food he doesn’t want is stressful for me and ends up with both of us upset and frustrated, him to gagging point … and the food still on the plate.
Somewhere around 2 1/2 – 3 is the magic age when kids begin to eat less and get pickier. Logan  was a great eater until almost 3 1/2, then he got super picky and I wore myself out trying to force him to eat. He is eating better  now at 4 1/2, and also because I no longer force him to eat. Lila is almost 3 and is getting pickier, and no amount of cajoling will work if she doesn’t want something. If they don’t want it, they won’t eat it, so why stress over it?
Right now, the only veggies they both really like are carrots and cucumbers; anything else they pick out of the meal. So as boring as it is (for me), I make sure they have what they like at least once a day so that they are getting some veggies in their diet. I still serve other veggies, often mixed with another dish or in a salad, and once in a while they will eat some of them, but if they don’t, I leave it.

B: “That child is a brat because he doesn’t get any discipline. Mine will be properly disciplined and will always listen to me.”

A: I am still figuring this one out. My kids have thrown tantrums, screamed at me, demanded treats and t.v., and they most definitly do not always listen. Maintaining proper discipline is one of the most stressful and exhausting parts of being a mommy. I find that I have to change my approach every so often, especially as they get older. Rules have to be adjusted or adapted, punishments changed or dropped.
One thing I have learned is – if a punishment no longer works, it is time to change it. Stop and evaluate why it isn’t working and don’t be afraid to experiment to see what does. It is also good to inform your children when you are changing something so that they are aware of it and you don’t surprise them with it at the moment when they are acting up.

B: “Look at the time. Shouldn’t that kid be sleeping now? She just has her mother wrapped around her little finger. My kids will always nap and go to bed at a decent hour.”

A: Now that I understand how sleep works a little better, there does come a point when children no longer nap. Or if they sleep late in the morning, they won’t nap. Or if they nap too long, bedtime will be late. And it can vary with each child in the family. I’m definitly more relaxed with this one now.

B: “I will be the only one to care for my child. I will never let anyone fill in because only I will know what they need and will be able to give it to them in the right way.”

A: How wrong I was on this one! Now I would give anything for a chance to get away and get a break. Often when my husband has a holiday from work, I find a reason to get out of the house and always make sure I am not able to take one or all of the kids with me, just so I can have a break.
I also love preschool because it gives me a few hours where I am not monitoring fights or listening to whines and demands. I can’t wait until June when both Logan and Lila will be in school in the mornings. It will be wonderful!

What is something that you thought about one way but then changed your stance on once you had kids?

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2 Comments

  1. OMG these are all so true! I remember babysitting a young boy about 7 years old, while I was pregnant with my first child. This boy would NOT listen to his parents at all, but he did listen to me! I just kept thinking to myself that I had the power! My kid(s) were going to be the best behaved kids ever. Then parenthood, I mean real parenthood happens and you realize that kids are going to be kids. Kids will listen at times, and not listen at other times. It doesn't mean that they are bad kids…but just kids. And you also learn that there are times that kids will listen better to someone else other than their own parents!!

    Reply
  2. Yep. Pretty much everything that I said I wouldn't do or let my kid do, I've done.

    Reply

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