Never Say Never – My Mom Wars Surrender

I was never going to let my kids draw on our walls. Opps!

I was never going to let my kids draw on our walls. Opps!

Last fall I was at a play date at the park with my friends just weeks before my fifth baby was due. I was shocked to find out that most of the other women didn’t bath their kids every night.

Say what?!? They skipped some nights? They let them go to bed dirty?

I was never going to do that.

Then our baby was born. Suddenly our family was transformed into an every-other-night-bath household – and that’s being optimistic. I just can’t get it all done every… single… night. Between breastfeeding, potty training, homework, reading time, cooking dinner, basketball practice, scouts, ninjastics, family parties and church meetings, we have NO time sometimes.

And that’s OK.

The older I get, the more “I’m never going to do that” promises I’ve broken.

When my oldest was about 6 months old we took a mommy and me sign language class together. One day a little girl in the class had a horrible runny nose. I’ll never forget when her mom used the hem of her dress as a Kleenex. I was horrified! She wiped her nose with her dress?

I was never going to do that.

Now when I need a burp cloth or tissue I often use the nearest baby blanket or sleeve for a catch-all cloth.

And that’s OK.

There are so many nevers that I’ve turned into sometimeses and even some into alwayses.

I was never going to have food crumbs on my mini van floor.

I was never going to carpool to school in my pajamas.

My kids were never going to fight or pester one another.

I was never going to take my kids to the store in a costume or let them run around naked.

And you better believe that I was never going to yell at them.

HAHAHAHA!

I have been highly unrealistic and naively judgmental.

I’ve read some really great blog posts lately about ending the mother wars and I’ve decided to join in. I’m going to end my “I’m never going to do that” mentality.

From now on when I find myself thinking, “I’m never going to ___________,” I’m going to STOP.

Because honestly how can I know that it will NEVER happen? How can I be sure I won’t WANT it to happen someday? And is there something WRONG if it does happen?

People deal with some aspects of parenting differently than I do, that doesn’t mean they do it wrong. That doesn’t mean I do it right. And it doesn’t mean I won’t change and do it like they did someday.

Who knows, maybe they never wanted it to happen to them too. And maybe their way is better! (Driving to school to pick up my boys in my pajamas is actually pretty liberating.)

Every one of us has strengths and weaknesses. We all have different hobbies and interests. We have different kids with different personalities. We have different homes and different decorating styles. We have different political opinions and heaven knows we all shop at different clothing stores.

But when it all comes down to it we are all just doing the best that we can.

Parenting is hard work. I feel like we all could use a little more love, support and understanding instead of I’m-better-than-you judgments and comparisons.

If you find yourself looking at others and thinking, “I’m never going to do that,” or if you are feeling inadequate and stuck in a “my kids WERE never going to do that” funk, just remember, I said my kids would never wipe boogers on the walls. And that’s what started this whole blog.

Never say never.

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