Thanksgiving Football shopping pumpkin pie fall leaves turkey dinner Family pilgrims blessings cornucopia peace love thankful
Thanksgiving Football shopping pumpkin pie fall leaves turkey dinner Family pilgrims blessings cornucopia peace love thankful
Thanksgiving Football shopping pumpkin pie fall leaves turkey dinner Family pilgrims blessings cornucopia peace love thankful
Thanksgiving Football shopping pumpkin pie fall leaves turkey dinner Family pilgrims blessings cornucopia peace love thankful
Thanksgiving Football shopping pumpkin pie fall leaves turkey dinner Family pilgrims blessings cornucopia peace love thankful
Thanksgiving Football shopping pumpkin pie fall leaves turkey dinner Family pilgrims blessings cornucopia peace love thankful
Thanksgiving Football shopping pumpkin pie fall leaves turkey dinner Family pilgrims blessings cornucopia peace love thankful
Thanksgiving Football shopping pumpkin pie fall leaves turkey dinner Family pilgrims blessings cornucopia peace love thankful
Thanksgiving Football shopping pumpkin pie fall leaves turkey dinner Family pilgrims blessings cornucopia peace love thankful

One empowered woman's struggle against the world
Monday August 19th 2019

Twenty Years Ago I Knew It All And Was Going To Be The Perfect Parent

mom says

Twenty years ago, I had parenting all figured out. That was, of course, before I actually had any kids. I spent years telling myself and my parents exactly what I would do and wouldn’t do. I was going to be the best mommy on the planet and have the perfect family. I would do a much better job than my parents did. I mean how hard could it really be, people had been having babies and raising kids for centuries. Plus there was that maternal instinct thing that would also kick in so I was set.

You know how it goes. No bottles after 1 year old. No binkies and no thumbsucking at all. Rotate the toys and blankets so there is no attachment to them. No sugared cereals, snack foods or sodas. No fast food ever. The TV would be no babysitter in my home. Video games would be for weekends only if that. The kids would be potty trained early on. The kids would always be dressed in clean, pressed and matching clothes. They would be straight A students. There would be no yelling, no spanking, and no lying to my kids. Perfection that is what it would be and I was so sure of it.

I was living in a fantasy world. I was believing in a perfection that doesn’t exist. The mommy and daddy with 2 kids and a dog. Living in a nice home on a quite and safe street with the white picket fence. Fresh baked cookies and home cooked meals for my family that is what it would be all about. No headaches, kids that talked back, no drama, no heartache, healthy kids that never got injured and kids who always made the right choices. I was fed this fantasy version of motherhood and family from Disney films and unrealstic family TV shows. And my parents sat by and said nothing. Well they actually said, “just wait till you have kids of your own.” But I was a teenager and that went in one ear and out the other.

Then I actually had kids and all that went out the window. I don’t want to say that I was stupid but I look back now and wonder how I could ever have believed it all. Twenty years later, I am not the perfect mommy. I am divorced, 4 kids three different fathers, no white picket fence and I don’t even like dogs.

My family is so far from those unrealistic images that flashed across the screen it is laughable. The baby years did go easy compared to other moms I know but still nowhere close to perfection. Now that the kids are older I thought it would get easier because I could reason with them but that is not true either. Kids have their own logic and we did too when we were there age but for some reason we still can’t relate.

Here I am twenty years later writing about parenting and giving advice the best I can. Even I know that there is nothing that can prepare you for what happens once you become a parent. I don’t even see it as advice sometimes more like stories that other parents can relate too so they know it isn’t just them. They weren’t the only ones who thought they knew it all only to find out they didn’t know squat.

So how far off the mark was I?

Well, I will lie to my kids in a heartbeat and feel no guilt at all. My kids not only know where all the fast food restaurants are, they can recite the menus from memory. I believe one of my kids will be sucking his thumb well into adulthood. Clean cloths – yes. Pressed and matching – not even close. Straight C’s and B’s is more like it. I don’t think the TV off button has ever been used. We have a Wii (that is more mine than theirs), Playstation, Playstation2 and a X-Box 360 hooked up to three different TVs. We have two DVRs to make sure we (yes we) don’t miss any shows. I got the fresh baked cookies, unfortunately they have been used for breakfast and bribes to make life easier. Sugary cereals are a regular breakfast staple (I couldn’t give them up – so I blame that one on my own mom). Sodas make a regular appearance in the fridge but I do limit them.

All of that is just the easy stuff. We don’t even think about and no one warns us about the hard stuff. The backtalk and smart remarks that make you want to choke the life out of them. The constant fighting over the most trivial stuff. The constant drama where there should be none. Then comes dating, sex, drugs and alochol and driving. Yes I have driving right up there with those because they are all scary to parents.

I am managing to wade through the harder things but it is not easy. I think our own parents don’t ruin this disillusioned view of parenthood because they know if they did, they would have no grandchildren to spoil and make things even more difficult. I also think they sit back, talk and laugh, amongst all the other parents, at us because we put them through the same kind of stuff. Remember when we were teenagers and thought our parents didn’t have a clue…well now we know it was us who didn’t have clue. The funny thing is we will pass it down to our kids.

I am not a perfect mommy and no one is going to hand me the Mother Of The Year award anytime soon…who I am kidding, “ever”, they are not going to hand me that award ever. I fretted and worried with each child and swore I would do better with the next one but I think I actually did worse. As I get older, I care less about the little stuff and just focus on the big stuff. I pick my battles. I thought it would be so easy but truth is this parenting stuff is hard work. I thought I knew it all. I thought I had it all figured out. But that was twenty years ago when my biggest concern in life was who was going to drive us to Halloween Horror Nights and what would I wear to impress the boy of my dreams who was supposed to be the daddy in my disillusioned visions of the perfect family with the perfect mommy and perfect kids.

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One Response to “Twenty Years Ago I Knew It All And Was Going To Be The Perfect Parent”

  1. Dawn says:
    I really like your sentiment in this article, about being a perfect parent BEFORE you were a parent. I laughed out loud at your first paragraph of examples, because that was totally how I was, too! Now I have a baby and we do watch TV and we do eat sugar, etc. Thank you for being honest about “then” and “now” and keeping me laughing about life’s hardest challenge…parenthood!

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