Before you’re a mom you think about all these things you will and won’t do as a mother. You won’t feed your kid sugar or foods with high fructose corn syrup. You will make your own organic baby food and will always have a month supply in your freezer. You would never be the type of mom who lets her kids eat marshmallows or fruit snacks. You will start teaching your child sign language and colors starting at 4 months old. You will have your baby perfectly sleep trained by 6 months old. The list goes on and on…Except then you actually have a kid and everything changes. What was so easy to pass judgement on another mom you witnessed in the grocery store (giving into their child’s fit and handing them the cookie they wanted?! Never!) becomes totally different when it’s your child screaming in the grocery store and you know opening those animal crackers and handing her a few will make the world right again. So here they are…my mom confessions:
1. Leah plays through my bathroom cabinet while I’m doing my hair. And when I look down and see her smiling while shaking a bottle of hub’s allergy pills I just smile back at her and sing, “That’s right! Shake, shake, shake!” (side note, obviously-and I shouldn’t even have to say this-I would never leave her alone with those same items).
2. I feed my kid sugar. Lots of sugar. Besides animal crackers being the bribe to keep her happy in the car…at the grocery store…while mommy’s washing the dishes, she also enjoys bites of mommy and daddy’s ice cream, licks of frosting, jelly, smoothies, juice….etc. According to a lot of mommy/baby websites, I may have set my child up to become obese.
3. I started giving her “no no” foods before she turned one. Peanuts anyone? This kid has been enjoying a peanut butter (and almond butter) and jelly sandwich for months now.
4. We’ve used bumper pads in Leah’s crib since she was born. It never occurred to me NOT to, even with all the “bumper pads will suffocate your baby” articles on the internet. And Leah survived.
5. On the same token, Leah has always slept with a knit blanket in her crib and sometimes has even slept on her tummy. (Gasp!)
6. I use TV as a way to get things done. When she’s just having a plain old fussy day and I REALLY need to get that laundry done? Sesame Street to the rescue.
7. I’m not one to drink alcohol often at all, but sometimes I have a glass of wine at dinner and then nurse Leah shortly after before she goes to bed.
8. I don’t quiz Leah on colors/numbers. I’m kind of in the camp where I feel like she will learn at her own pace, on her own time, regardless of what I do. (And I’m a TRUE believer of play being the largest way for a child to learn on her own-hello, child life. I play with Leah constantly and through that play I feel as though I am encouraging her to learn and reach developmental milestones on her own, but that’s just my belief!)
But on top of all of this, I never doubt my ability as a mother. Because I love Leah with all my heart, care for her, pray for her, and think of her needs above my own every second of every day. This child means the world to me and Brett and I know she will survive just fine on a few cookies and an episode or two of Sesame Street. One things for sure though, becoming a mom has taught me to not be as quick to judge whenever I see another mom having a tough time. Now I just tend to give her a smile of understanding, because, let’s be honest, haven’t we all been there before?