Can’t win ’em all!

Mother of the year

Mother of the Year!

Before I get pregnant, I know exactly what kind of pregnant person I’m going to be.  I’ll lose weight at first (from the nausea. Oh, and the not drinking), and I’ll stay active, going to the gym or to yoga or whatever.  I am not going to let pregnancy turn me into a super lazy fat person.  As it turns out, I LOVE being pregnant, largely because it turns me into a super lazy fat person.  I go to the gym exactly once and yoga three times. I eat whatever idiotic thing pops into my head (three words: Totinos. Party. Pizza.), and take a lot of naps.  I do walk, mostly out of boredom and restlessness, and I eat a metric shit ton of citrus fruit, because that’s what I crave.  Still, in the end I gain 45 pounds.  And I would do it again in a HOT second.

Another way I spend my pregnancy, since I’m clearly awesome at predicting the future, is deciding what kind of mother I’ll be.  Piece of cake.  Here’s what I will and will not do, what I will be fiercely committed to (no tv!) and what I don’t care that much about (germs. meh.)

In a SHOCKING twist, I turn out to be wrong about some of these things.  In spite of my best intentions, my most militant based-on-nothing opinions, there are things I cannot stick to.  It’s hard to be rigid about stuff while covered in spit-up, trying to identify cry-sounds and hunger cues, and running on adrenaline and fumes.  In no particular order:

I will never, ever let my baby “cry it out.” This concept terrifies me from early on.  I cannot, will not allow my poor little nursling to scream in his crib, abandoned and alone in the dark. I stick to this for a long time.  Don’t get me wrong, when we finally cave and do it, I hate every second.  But at some point I realize, dude, my poor little nursling is totally screwing with me.  When I’m getting up with him every two hours and he starts laughing the second I walk in the room, it’s time.

I will never, ever let my baby eat junk food. So ambitious.  I do pretty well at this– he eats mostly organic, but not being a billionaire, I can’t make this happen all the time.  Sometimes I envy how clean his system must be– no Taco Bell!  No cheap champagne! No Halloween candy from 2007!  On the other hand: restaurants, airplanes, crowded rooms, screaming baby?  Here kid, have some french fries.

I will avoid toys that have batteries. Babies are entertained by tupperware and uncooked pasta.  Pulling kleenex out of a box is like the height of amusement.  Why do I need things that light up and sing songs? All wooden toys for me, thanks.  Not being a billionaire, however, means Melissa & Doug gets miiiiighty pricey after a while. Also, one look at my child’s face when he discovered the Fisher Price Baby Grand Piano, and it was all over.  For that kind of smile, I can almost forgive that horrible woman for singing “Can you hear the RHYTHM? Can you hear the BEAT?” to the tune of the fucking itsy bitsy spider.  I’m lying. I hate her.

My baby will never, ever see TV.  We are still doing a solid job with this.  I hate the idea of him just staring at effing Dora and effing Boots (I can’t even believe I know that Boots is a thing), when he could be interacting with a living human.  This is not to say, however, that I don’t understand the urge.  Whereas before I thought my baby’s brain would remain unpolluted because I am a shining example of motherhood, now I have to fight the impulse several times a day to plop him down in front of the Real Housewives of Miami and make myself a martini.

I will use cloth diapers.  Sigh.  I’m bummed out about this.  I really, really wanted to do this one.  I did a ton of research, hounded my mommy friends who do it for reassurance that it was easy, and cheap, and totally doable.  All of which it is.  And I am SICK thinking about those awful diapers taking 500 years to biodegrade.  It kind of fills me with self-loathing.  Next kid, maybe.

I will do my best not to swear in front of the baby.  Yeah. Pretty sure we can all guess how well that’s going.  20 bucks says N is the first kid in his pre-school class to drop the f-bomb.

How about you?  What did you swear you’d never do that you totally went back on?

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5 thoughts on “Can’t win ’em all!

  1. We did pretty well with #1. With #2, all bets are off – at 20 months he is eating, playing, and watching right along with the four year old … we do stick with all organic produce – I refuse to be ‘that mom’ who won’t allow her kids birthday cake at other kids parties, but if you think I’m letting them near those pesticide-coated apple slices … oh wait, they’re eating them anyway. While watching another Thomas video. Ooops.

  2. My son didn’t sleep through the night until age FOUR!! So I pretty much blew through everything I had ever said I wouldn’t do in an effort to get sleep (cry it out, put him in my bed, sleep on the floor in his room while nursing, whatever it took). But I would have to say junk food is the one I regret most. I ate so healthy during pregnancy and I was determined after nursing for a year that he would only eat healthy foods. But alas, Coca-cola, Cheetos and McDonald’s had all passed through his lips before age 5.

  3. He’s not yet at the point where you are going to see the television as a magical, fantasmic babysitter whereupon you can get 15 minutes of sanity. Trust me. We did no tv until about 18 months and then? Forget it. Also, you have plenty of time to still curse.

  4. I was sooooo adamant against cry it out. I was gonna be the earthy crunchy breastfeeding mama that soothed her baby back to sleep, but not let her fall asleep on the nipple, of course, just drowsy again. But at 8 months even my pediatrician said, this is not working. I was an emotional wreck. Josh was in charge of letting her cry it out and he would hold the video monitor and watch her and I would sit in the basement with my earphones plugged in and blasting my music so I couldn’t hear it but crying the whole time. Yeah, it was sooo worth it. I love my sleep too much.

  5. 1. Sleeping in the bed with her. Oops. // 2. Watch TV with her (at least its Downton Abbey?) // 3. Giving her the boob for some peace and quiet. Oops again? // 4. SO with you on the big, loud, plastic toys…there is currently a bouncing, singing, light up toy in my living room thats about as big as me and that laughs at me in my sleep. // 5. Watch her in the video monitor when my husband and I are out on a date. We couldn’t help it.

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