The Dumbest Pre-Parenting Promises You Made To Yourself


Have I mentioned yet that my oldest daughter turns 7 tomorrow? That means that tomorrow will mark 7 years since I became a mother for the first time. My husband and I have officially been parents for 7 years. That’s kind of a big deal to us. And trust me when I tell you that this week has been a bit bittersweet. She is our oldest, our twins are our last babies and they’re 16 months now. There’s a lot of change this year in terms of the kids, and things are feeling very real. Time is passing so quickly. We’ve been reflecting a lot (and by reflecting, I absolutely mean mocking ourselves endlessly about the stupid promises we made to ourselves before our oldest was born). We have four kids now, so we know that most of the things we say about our kids before they arrive will turn into empty promises. I mean, seriously; empty.

We made a lot of broken promises and stupid pre-parenting decisions that we were sure we’d keep, and we were wrong. And while I’m happy to say that we’ve managed to keep some of the promises we made (I still do my hair, makeup and get dressed every single day no matter what, we still do date night at least twice a week and will still travel without the kids so that we can be married people from time to time, oh, and we do not let our kids control the house), most of them fell to the wayside about a half second after my first contraction. Fellow parents, I’m sure you can find a pre-parenting promise or two you also let out the window on the way home from the hospital with your new bundle of joy, right?

My baby will never, ever look anything less than adorable

Until she’s 2 and throws a dramatic meltdown fit in the middle of the living room when you are already late because she absolutely cannot wearing matching clothes when she could wear something like her swimsuit coverup over a pair of jeans with cowboy boots and googles in the middle of July. To the park. When it’s 98 degrees outside. Whatever. Dress yourself, look like a freak. Don’t care. Don’t have time to care. Over it.

We will take family road trips and beach vacations all the time

We do take a lot of family vacations, but we do try to avoid the beach since 1 – we live in Florida and find it overrated and 2 – we do not like road trips. On that note, our kids are really great fliers. But the family that road trips and does stuff like that, we are not.

Family photos every six months are an absolute must

We haven’t even had family photos since our twins were 4 months old. Before that our last family photos were taken when our 4-year-old was 10 days old. Do you know how much work family photos are with kids that don’t like to be in photos? We will just look at iPhone snapshots of the back of their heads 20 years from now.

Our baby will go everywhere with us except date nights

Let me make the laughter stop. Okay, no, okay. I laugh every time I breeze out the garage door the second my husband gets home from work so I can go to the supermarket all by myself. Every. Single. Time. The kids aren’t bad there, but the public is. So, yeah, we leave them behind.

We will not talk about the baby on date night

Except that we will only talk about the kids on date night. It’s like an addiction. You cannot wait for grandma to arrive so you can get the heck out of the house, away from the kids and into the peaceful sanctuary that is a car without a back seat and without a DVD player and without the sound of anything other than music you love. And then you’re in the small car, the music is up and you suddenly want to talk nothing but baby. Come on.

We will coach every single team all the time so we can be super involved in our kids’ lives

Until we actually did coach our daughter’s cheerleading squad for two years and realized that parents are just plain old annoying and awful and they suck the fun right out of everything. Sorry, but not interested. My life is about more than answering your calls and listening to your complaints about the league and the schedule and all the things that I do not control. It’s stressful, and I don’t enjoy it. Oh, and when I have to take your kids to the bathroom 45 times during a game because you suddenly disappear when you notice they have to pee, I don’t get to watch my own kid. I don’t love that.

We will never yell

Except when we are really angry, when the kids aren’t listening or when we’ve heard, “MOMMY!” for the 700th time before breakfast. But I promise, I’m really, really sorry for yelling.

We will cook healthy, wonderful foods for our kids all the time

Do dinosaur chicken nuggets from the frozen food section and grapes count as cooking a healthy meal? Because my kids love that stuff, and I’m okay with it. And does giving my kid a cucumber, a green bell pepper and edamame for breakfast count? Because that is, I swear on my life, her favorite breakfast meal.

We will use positive reinforcement rather than discipline

Or we will realize that sometimes kids just need to go to time out, think about it and then suck it up. Or to their rooms for the rest of the night. Or they will lose that favorite toy for the rest of the day. Positive reinforcement doesn’t always work, so you know.

We will never give in to our child’s demands

Except when we do because we are tired, in public, over it or in the middle of something else and we just need some peace and quiet.

The moral of the story – we are liars.

Photo by Clemens Bilan/Getty Images


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