Changing diapers: leads to changing minds
Childfree people in glass (and tidy) houses shouldn’t throw stones. In other words, Moms and dads don’t take kindly to kid-less others who wield child-rearing advice and tsk-tsks like Platinum American Express cards on Rodeo Drive. That’s not to say non-parents can’t recognize a spoiled child or permissive parent; however, soapboxes dissolve like the soap formerly inside them once you disembark in never-say-never land.
My son would never do that. I won’t allow it. My daughter will know better. A trio of BS, as in Before Spawn, if I ever heard it. My sister used to offer unsolicited BS advice about raising my kids, but now that she’s a mother of two tween daughters, not so much. It’s easy to be judgmental standing on the vacuumed, orderly side of life, but step across the odiferous, jelly smeared threshold of parenting, and BS verdicts vaporize with your social life and sound sleep. In fact, BS opinions are like babies: Sooner or later, they’ll need changing.
Now that I’m somebody’s mommy…
• I believe in love at first sight. It happened to me three times.
• Breastfeeding was for me after all.
• Schedules can be ruled by a 7-pound (baby) blob.
• Natural childbirth … ha, ha, ha! (I signed up for an Alternative Birthing Room with my firstborn, but 24 hours into a 40-hour labor, the no anesthesia proviso wasn’t working for me. And unlike breastfeeding, no one attempted to change my mind.)
• Disposable diapers are nonnegotiable.
• Ice cream calories ingested a spoonful at time between tending a sick child, cleaning up after an untrained puppy and/or pacing with a colicky infant don’t count.
• Watching the sunrise isn’t so spectacular when it’s not your idea.
• Pets aren’t children, which no doubt offends parents whose babies sleep in garages or eat from dishes on the floor.
• Lice don’t discriminate.
• Parents with screaming children deserve empathic smiles, not death glares.
• “Zipper” isn’t an inspired baby name.
• Infants aren’t entirely “blank slates” upon arrival. (Translation: Don’t underestimate DNA.)
Carol Brady did drugs.
• A long checkout line plus a cranky toddler call for limitless refined sugar and/or saturated fats — for child and mom.
• My child would ... and did.
• Three children are more than enough. (Confession: It took me five years to agree to No. 3.)
• The three-second rule is scientific fact. (See “spit” below.)
• Spit is an all-purpose cleaner.
• It’s OK that I’m not the coolest parent.
• People with messy homes aren’t necessarily slobs (but they usually are parents).
• Some kids really do reveal private info in public places and throw Academy Award worthy tantrums when they don’t get their way ... and sometimes they live with you.
• Much of childrearing is luck.
• TV as a sometimes babysitter isn’t a mortal sin, particularly when mom wants to accomplish something, like go to the bathroom. The bonus? You don’t have to drive it home after.
• White isn’t a color; it’s a colossal mistake.
•“Having it all” is an illusion. Helen Gurley Brown didn’t have children — or a clue.
• One “yes” or “no” may profoundly affect an immature mind.
• I morphed into one of those parents who put silly headbands on a bald infant daughter, could be heard above all other parents on the sidelines, and quit watching TV news because seeing the world through a mother’s eyes made me either fearful or broke my heart.
• Going to the grocery alone on occasion can feel like a good time.
• I had a smokin’ pre-kid body.
• The sacrifices I made to have kids don’t seem like sacrifices anymore.
Shauntel Jennings has never slept like a baby. Even as an infant, her mother stood guard over her crib, waiting for her daughter to stop breathing. She shook Shauntel’s tiny body several times each night, rousing her from her breathless sleep.
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