Things I said before kids that I don’t say anymore

This post doesn’t even need an intro. So let’s get to it:

My house will NOT be overrun by my kids and their toys! That’s what their bedrooms are for! We don’t have a playroom at our house. But each kid has his/her own room with all their toys. I mean…one roomful of toys is all you need, right?! RIGHT?! No. While Heidi is old enough to play alone in her room, Gavin obviously is not. So our living room is a living, breathing playroom. I can keep it somewhat tidy in summer since we are usually outside, but in winter (or on a very rainy day), you can hardly see the carpet. And there’s always the top three things: a huge train track, a fort, and leftover bowls from snacks. There are toys in my bedroom, my closet, my bathroom, my kitchen…basically everywhere. I need to get ready? Throw toys in the tub and stick Gavin in there (built-in playpen!). I need to cook? Throw toys all over the kitchen floor and let him go crazy. Need to  do yardwork? Scatter toys all over the yard and hope they don’t step in dog pies. My house…and my time and my stuff and my sanity…belongs to them.

I won’t let my dining room table get sticky and crusty. That’s just gross. Ok. So I DID scrub down our dining room table beforeIMG_8211    I had Gavin just to keep the sticky layers to a minimum. But it’s back to being a bit sticky and crusty again. And you know what? That’s fine. If you come to dinner, I hope you are so preoccupied by the deliciousness of the meal and the fun of the company that you don’t notice. That’s what tablecloths are for.

I will not give in to my kids’ fits……Until we’re in public and they’re freaking out and I’m sweating and embarrassed and have no resolve whatsoever and I completely forgot how to parent because I am so mortified and everyone is watching what I will do. Plus, I die inside every time they throw a fit. True story. It is an act of sheer will not to buckle. I’m sensitive. I take it personal. And let’s be honest…I can only resist about 60% of the time. I’m a sissy.

My kids won’t throw fits. I won’t allow it. Plain and simple. I didn’t learn until I was a parent that throwing fits is as necessary and inevitable as teething, blowout diapers, growth spurts, etc. Nothing you do will prevent it. Those kids are walking time bombs. No amount of naps, snacks, or bribing can keep fits at bay. So you might as well accept it. And try not to lose your cool at people who give you dirty looks at Target when your three-year-old is on the floor kicking and screaming. Yes, this happened to me. And yes, I resisted any kind of comeback. And yes, I wish I could go back in time and say something very smart and come-backy and make her feel so guilty and bad that she buys poor me a Starbucks.

I want at least three kids…maybe even four or five. HAHAHAHAHAHA.  We actually even kind of changed our minds about Gavin once he was here but by then it was too late.

I’m definitely letting my baby cry it out. That’s how they learn. Letting my babies cry it out is about as emotionally torturous as it can get.  For those of you with stamina, I applaud you and envy your resolve.

I’ll make my kids pick up their toys each and every day. This is just…yeah. I don’t know what to say about this one besides pick your battles. I pick this one about once a month. That’s enough for me. Life is short! Carpe diem! You won’t be on your deathbed wishing you’d picked up more, amiright?

I’ll regularly give away toys so they aren’t spoiled and overrun by stuff. This will also teach them the act of giving! This takes time….which I do not have….not to mention it’s trying to take away my kids’ stuff. That’s basically like asking them to saw off their own legs. So it’s mostly sneaking toys out one by one while they’re gone. So they don’t really learn a lesson but I DO keep Hoarders from knocking at my door.

My marriage will always come first. If you count catching up on New Girl at 9pm and passing out by 11 as quality time, we have this one completely mastered. Easy peasy.

I will limit their screen time to 30 minutes a day, and they can only watch one movie a week. Aw, wee lamb. I had such high hopes…

IMG_8338I won’t buy my kids unnecessary stuff. Just this week,we bought her new princess pajamas, new slippers, a new toy, Mario fruit snacks (daddy is teaching her to play Super Mario Bros…you know…to make sure she has EVEN MORE SCREEN TIME) and ice cream. She’s just so DANG CUTE and HAPPY when she gets presents!!!!! That face!!!! *glee* *melt* We would probably buy her a pony if we had a place to keep it.

I will NEVER buy a play yard for my baby! That is just ridiculous. Just tell them NO and they will learn what they can and can’t touch. Ok, one word for this one: Gavin. WE NEED A PLAY YARD SO BAD.

We will do many educational activities together.  No.

I will not let them play the iPad. They are children. They can use their imagination and read books. Until it’s 5:30 am, and she’s awake and I’m all of half alive. Then it’s, here’s the iPad… off to your room you go until breakfast and coffee. Note to self: get a stool and teach her how to make/pour/add creamer to coffee and bring it to me.

It will be easy to get back in shape and lose the baby weight, especially with a jogging stroller on hand…until it’s winter..and until I haven’t slept and my body craves all things sugar and salt and crap and coffee with the sugar and crap mixed in… because i’ve been meeting needs for 15 hours straight and the only way to deal with that is coffee and crap.

My parents will LOVE babysitting and will have the kids all the time. Then I realized how much work the kids are…and how much time my parents have already put in raising FOUR KIDS while I was busy just being free and having fun. And I catch little glimpses of the fact that MAYBE they want a BREAK…for a very long TIME. (For the record, both sets of parents adore our kids and they put in time babysitting!!! So I’m not throwing them under the bus….but let’s be honest…two little kids are tough to take care of, no matter how old you are, and I have realized my parents love to have their weekends off too).

I will not bribe my kids. *laughsnortlaugh*

I will not let kids keep me from doing fun, adult things! Yeah, I don’t do anything ‘cause I have kids.

I won’t be obsessed with my kids! I will be a whole person with other needs and hobbies! This was before I realized how all-consuming motherhood is. While there are days I could give you one million reasons why I’d walk away from being a mom right then and there, I also have these moments where I couldn’t possibly live without their smiles and laughter. To taste life twice by living it through the eyes of kids is something that fills me up. Even though I find myself so wrapped up in them, so meshed with them that I don’t know which way is up, I realize it won’t be forever. The things I’m missing out on right now don’t seem so important.

And I also realize they aren’t keeping me from life. They are teaching me life. Things like how to wake up with a smile and anIMG_8483 energy for the adventures of the day. (I also didn’t know you could hear someone smiling in the dark until I had kids that woke up before the crack of dawn…and if you’re a parent, I KNOW you know what I’m talking about. Gavin’s smile first thing in the morning is completely audible in the dark.) How to be brave when trying something for the first time all by yourself. How to be ok with a messy house, a dirty kitchen, and piles of laundry because we’re too busy loving each other and tasting life together.  How to be ok with a slower and simpler life. How to feel beautiful, even without a shower, messy hair, and jeans and a tshirt.  How to make the most of a rainy day with what I have instead of wishing for something more or different.

I couldn’t even begin to write down all the life lessons. It’s no wonder Jesus was always calling the children to himself and encouraging us to have faith like a child. Because kids are constantly having fun. They forgive easily. They love quickly. They delight in the little things. And all they want is to spend time hanging out together. Why wouldn’t we want to be more like that?

** This may not be necessary but I wanted to add a disclaimer. While I would hope no one would read this and think I’m an awful parent, I do feel I need to preface this by saying I’m using extreme examples here. These are not the case ALL of the time. I do ADORE spending time with my precious kids.  I do educational activities with them. I do go out with friends and have date nights and have a life (kind of ) besides them. I still have a fantastic relationship with my amazing hubs. It’s just not all what it used to be. It’s far more exhausting, chaotic and consuming than I ever could have possibly imagined. BUT. I love being in early on Friday nights, eating pizza and watching Tarzan for the zillionth time cuddled on the couch with Cody and my littles. I love seeing them experience fairs and parades and ball games for the first time. I love teaching them puzzles and letters and books and how to be a friend and how to share. I love being a parent…highs and lows included. These are just a few of the things I never saw coming. 

“People were also bringing babies to Jesus for him to place his hands on them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” Luke 18-15-17


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