I can’t count how many times I have judged someone for a parenting choice they made before I had Tucker. Maybe a million, or a jillion times I said, “When we have kids I’m never gonna do ________” or “my kids will be looking good all the time, they won’t have snot dripping or googey hair and their clothes will match when we go out in public.”
Man almighty, I can’t even tell you how many times these words have bit my butt in the last 16 months. It really hit me when I was volunteering at a Little Warriors Event and I saw a little boy (maybe 4) running around in cowboy boots, a baseball cap, plaid shorts, a superhero t-shirt and a weird belt. Pre-Tucker I would have raised my eyebrows at the parents and commented that OUR child will never leave the house like that…fast forward to now – I wouldn’t say that, and now I think “she picks her battles and this obviously isn’t one of them.” I’m really working on not judging but watching. Although my current battles are not what Tucker is going to wear, but more so what he cannot have, he cannot have the remote or knives or our glasses full of liquids. He cannot watch ELMO 24 hours a day, he cannot climb on the dishwasher door, he cannot hit the dog and he cannot have cookies for every meal. These are my battles I face daily (well we (Eric, the babysitter and grandparents depending on the day) face daily). I hope that someday a mom can look at my kid dressed array, or eating cookies, and realize that wasn’t the battle I chose today.
Although there comes a point where I have to choose the battle that Eric and I deem important. I got a daily parenting tip from one of my favorite websites iMOM. Inconvenience the Price of Good Parenting. I feel like enough homage cannot be paid to my parents…I never paid it growing up, but I never knew how smart they were until I was a grown up. They didn’t do everything right all the time, but they chose their battles, and battled each of us as a united front. We also grew up in a very close knit family – our whole family. Here is a picture of us – heading out on our second Disney family vacation and our first Disney Cruise. I’ll never forget that trip, I had spaghetti every night, and Giuseppe cut it up so fast and so cool, I just had to see it done again and again. And yes that is me the ‘star’ in the front middle…I loved to be me!
Eric and I have talked about family trips in the future with the kids, Disney is a must, I loved Disney and I want our kids to have a life as wonderful as we both did. I chatted with my mom and asked why we never did anything like a timeshare and more far distance family vacations, (we went up north to our family cottage every year and did Six Flags, and other things) and she very promptly explained that we we drove them nuts at home and local vacations fighting for much less money. Why pay for something if we weren’t going to enjoy it, your father and I chose vacations that we enjoyed and you guys were you guys wherever we were – always at eachother’s throats. She was right, a key point in my Maid of Honor speech at LeAnne’s wedding was about how there were at least 3 babysitters sitting in the audience who I can’t believe went on to have kids after babysitting for us (: hehe!
I ponder what my mom said, and I can’t help but wonder if it’s a pipe dream to think that this perfect little family we’re almost done creating can live happily ever after and enjoy wonderful family vacations together and they will be perfect angels and we’ll just float around loving our little perfect family vacations? The reality is: Yes Patty that is a pipe dream…this is what your future holds:
Reality, karma, they’ll never stop kicking my butt – but if they did, what would I blog about? Here’s to choosing our battles and planning vacations that Eric and I enjoy – and hoping that our enjoyment will spread to our kids the way it did for us.
Dear Tucker, You sure are growing up fast! Your dad I are learning everyday about how strong willed, determined, and smart you are. Those darling brown eyes will only work on this tough mom for so much longer (: I think I might be a mean mom, but my favorite face you make is your pouty one – the one you give me when you don’t get your way or you’re in bogey’s food again. It’s the cutest little face with so much expression, I just can’t help but giggle…I need to work on tough love parenting! You’re getting faster on your feet everyday, and although you have no idea what to think about this baby growing inside my tummy – you always get a big smile when someone asks you if you’re going to be a big brother. I adore that smile too, that pure, sweet, contagious, effervescent smile – it’s contagious we can’t help but smile right back at you! You’re a treasure to us, and we love you so much my little monster. ♥ mom