Ten Ridiculous Things I Said Before Kids

thoughts2We all know how irritating it can be to receive parenting advice from someone who doesn’t have kids, no matter how well meaning they are. But what about the advice or promises we made ourselves before embarking on the motherhood journey? Here is just a modest selection of the things I thought (and often said!) during life BC (Before Caterpillar):

1) I’ll never use a licked finger to wipe my child’s face

We are all understandably disturbed by the memory of a parent or worse, an elderly aunt or grandmother, doing this to us as a child, and I swore I would never subject my child to such a vile action. What need could there be when we are awash with baby wipes? And yet, when my son was about six months old, I found myself licking my thumb to swipe a streak of dried yoghurt from his chin before catching myself in horror. I’d love to say I’ve never done this since but that would be a lie. Just last week I actually licked chocolate off his arm.

2) My child won’t overuse technology

What a ridiculous concept. I now allow Caterpillar to watch plenty of TV and films and often let him have my phone to play games or obsessively watch toy unboxings on You Tube (seriously, what’s that about?). I know some mums limit television and entertain their child for every minute of their waking hours but I’m afraid I’m definitely not one of them.

3) I’ll never sit with my child until he falls asleep

For the most part, we’ve stuck to this. We’ve never co-slept or cuddled to sleep, it’s just not our style. However, when it’s 2am and nothing will settle him I’ve been known to sit next to his bed, stroke his head…and then wake up myself two hours later.

4) I will love playing with my child all the time

I believed being a mother was my calling and that I’d love every moment of imaginative play. Turns out, much as I enjoy a lot of aspects of playing with Caterpillar now, there is no getting away from the fact that it can be repetitive and boring. To counter this; we go out a lot and see friends, join toddler classes, do creative play, read lots of books and…well, see number 2.

5) My child will have to eat every bite on his plate

Again, I pretty much half-arse at this. I don’t cook separate meals and I don’t panda to his food desires very often. He eats what we eat for the most part. However, lately I do find myself negotiating on the amount of food. If he has left all his vegetables I insist he eats a certain number of bites rather than the whole plate. Negotiation is basically the backbone of parenting a pre-schooler, right?

6) Life will be perfect when I have a baby

This laughable misconception was one of the main triggers for anxiety and postnatal depression for me. We had spent so long planning for marriage and kids that when we finally got our wish the pressure was just too great and my expectations were way off. Parenting is hard work. And I know we know this before we have kids but we don’t really know it…you know? Thankfully, it’s also rewarding, unique and incredible but my illness prevented me from seeing this for a while.

7) I’m scared of my child making a scene in public

This was the case for probably the first six months, now I’m much better at not caring. Babies cry, toddlers tantrum and mums meltdown – sadly, strangers judge, but that is their problem, not ours.

8) I will never shut my child in their room

I still believe a child’s room should be their relaxing refuse so I try to avoid this where possible. We’re big fans of the ‘naughty step’ and usually this works. However, there have been several occasions where we’ve needed to escalate to another level and his bedroom was the only option we had left.

9) Kids TV is painfully mind-numbing

Largely, this is true. But, I’ll confess, I have been known to secretly chuckle at Gigglebiz and pay attention to Mister Maker for the ideas.

10) I’ll want to be a stay at home mum

I imagined I would go back to work part-time through financial need but I had no idea how much I’d want to go back.  I didn’t realise how paid work after having a child would become so important to my sense of identity and emotional health.

What did you think or say about becoming a parent that turned out to be utterly wrong? 

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80 comments on “Ten Ridiculous Things I Said Before Kids

  1. Great post – and yes I’ve probably muttered all of these things B.C. (before child). Gigglebiz is brilliant – I love watching it with my son! Technology will be the way forward so I want my son to understand it and have a good grasp on it (which he does – more so than myself). At the end of the day, you do whatever you can to make sure everyone is happy and healthy! #bestandworst
    Rach recently posted…Mission Impossible: Week 3My Profile

  2. I was adamant no child of mine would ever have a dummy. my first sucked his thumb and now my two year old daughter has one in her mouth constantly. I’m with you on the screentime too – we are often now watching videos of random american families going about their daily lives. what? #bloggerclubuk

  3. Haha this is a great post, I’m sure I’ve said each one of these points too. I am a stay at home mum, and I think you are so right about work, I would secretly love to go back but for us it just wouldn’t work out.


    1. I am so lucky that I’m able to work, must be really tough when it’s simply not viable. Thanks so much for reading and commenting xxx

  4. Oh I completely agree with this. We live in such a fairy land before we have kids, not really knowing of the barriers and obstacles we will face. Technology. My gosh, I love this thing! It’s amazing what I can get done whilst Bing Bunny is on in the background. My main one is the creating a scene when we are out. I mean my little one is 19 months now so you can imagine tantrums are beginning to appear (with certain triggers), so only now am I comfortable with handling an outburst in public. It’s not the tantrum that makes me uneasy, its the onlookers. Like they haven’t got children and know the drill hehe! #BloggerClubUk

    1. The onlookers are the worst! They are very hard to ignore. 19 months is a rough time for tantrums as they are a little too young to be bribed or threatened lol! At 3 I can sometimes now talk my son down from the tantrum ledge or coerce with a bribe or threat of punishment. But not always! Keep on keeping on, lovely xxx

  5. Sooooo true so many of these!! I adore playing al the role play games with my daughter but after 30-45 mins it starts to get tedious but I’m aware how much I should be cherishing it! Now I’m expecting and tired more – the TV is coming on a bit more. You just can’t imagine what it is like until you have kids! Thanks for sharing with #bestandworst x
    Sarah Howe @runjumpscrap recently posted…Best and Worst Week #60My Profile

    1. I think so much of it is about expectations and us unnecessarily beating ourselves up. The TV is vital when you’re pregnant too I’d say! Thanks for commenting xxx

  6. I’m right with you on so many of these! I was the worst for insisting my child would NOT use an Ipad until they were at least 10…HA! Then YouTube surprise eggs came along and saved me from YET ANOTHER BORING GAME OF LEGO PEOPLE WHERE I’M NOT ALLOWED TO BE WHO I WANT TO BE and that was that! The ipad is now my saviour whenever I just want a wee in peace #bestandworst xx

  7. My mummy had said a couple of these to herself when she was pregnant with me! Things change and parenthood isn’t as rosy as people believe. You do what you can to make it through the day 😉 my mummy is glad she went back to work though – for her own sanity! #SharingTheBlogLove xx
    Baby Isabella recently posted…Camp Bestival Review 2016My Profile

  8. Great post and I am sure alot of people will resonate with what you say. I know I certainly said a few of them… 3 children later my perspective of parenting has completely changed… and do you know what I don’t say this often but I’m a plenty good enough mum. I’m not perfect they all enjoy playing on their tablets watching very random you tube videos, they eat junk food and have had to learn to entertain themselves instead of having my constant attention 24/7… but they also play with actual toys run around in the garden looking for snails eat healthy food to balance the junk and have learnt those essential skills of entertaining themselves and each other when Mummy has something important to finish (or a magazine to read for just 5 minutes of peace haha) xx #Sharingthebloglove

  9. We just don’t have a clue what life will actually be like with a baby! We do what we need to do to get through! I really enjoyed this! x


  10. Oh I can relate to this! My daughters seemed to enjoy creating a scene in public – great for a total introvert like myself (!) Nothing like a screaming toddler – due to not being allowed to take their shoes off in Asda – to attract attention! The amount of times that I let me toddler sleep in my bed is vast after I claimed; ‘MY CHILD will never sleep in my room….’ Ha! Lisa x #stayclassymama

  11. Completely agree with everything you’ve said!! I too said I wouldn’t lick my fingers and wipe food away from my children’s mouths. I too said I wouldn’t let them watch too much TV. Both have gone out the window as has caring what people think when my kids are having a tantrum! I also prefer the naughty step to shutting in bedroom. And like you I find outings, classes a necessity to avoid boredom! Great post! #BloggerClubUK X
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  12. Oh gosh, number 10! I thought I would love to be a stay at home mum and didn’t intend on going back to work for a bit. After a year of maternity leave I realised that it definitely wasn’t for me. I feel so luck to have found a part time job, and I love that it allows me something other than being ‘mummy’. I had no idea how much my job shaped my identity and how I feel about myself – turns out I enjoy working much more than I thought I did! Thanks so much for joining us again at #SharingtheBlogLove
    Katy – Hot Pink Wellingtons recently posted…#SharingtheBlogLove #6My Profile

  13. Lovely post. I think, like you, I’ve mellowed since becoming a mummy. Before, I had all these ideas about how strict I’d be (limiting technology, no tantrums, no nonsense at bedtime, etc) but now I see that I don’t need to be so strict. Everyone is happier that way. We still have rules and our kids know what is expected of them but I don’t need to be a dictator. #TheList
    Lucy (@Lucy_at_home) recently posted…‘Am I fat?’ asked the 5 year oldMy Profile

  14. Great post, I could have written the exact same list, as could most mothers I’m sure. Also the dummy thing that themotherhub.ie mentioned. We had real problems getting my oldest to stop sucking his thumb, so second time round when my youngest kept comfort feeding and them getting bad colic I tried the dreaded dummy and never looked back. She only has it to sleep now and has never sucked her thumb once, yay! As for technology? I honestly do not know how I would cope without it! How naive we were.

  15. Yes I said all these things!! Although I’ve never shut my kiddies in their room (maybe they’re still to little and it’s something I have to look forward to) and I do enjoy being a stay at home mum, no matter how often I say otherwise! There are so many things we say before kids, but we never really know until we’ve experienced it do we. We at least had the best intentions!

  16. This is sooooo true. I said some of the same stuff and some completely different, but I’ve probably gone back on a good fifty percent. One we didn’t go back on was giving him a dummy – which was avoided with such devastating success that our boy doesn’t know what to do with the ones he finds at his cousin’s house! #MarvMondays
    Amy @ Mum’s The Law recently posted…BLOGGERS: FIVE OF MY FAVOURITESMy Profile

  17. Number four – thanks for saying this – sometimes I feel like a crappy Mum because I literally get bored of playing with my Son! Not at first – at first we have a great time but he just wants to do the same thing over and over and its so repetitive I can’t take it lol #stayclassymama

  18. Haha! I think I said most of these before having a child. I now let her watch tv/play on the ipad just so I can have five minutes to myself/grab a shower/eat something whilst it’s warm. I’m definitely guilty of the finger lick to clean up yoghurt etc.. I always swore I wouldn’t do it.x #marvmondays

  19. I am so with you on a lot of these points. Number 4 in particular had me nodding along like a maniac. I think I remember once saying that in school holidays we would have a different theme for each day – so like today might be “Mexican Day” and we will make a cactus out of tissue paper and go for a walk to look for wildlife that might also live in a dessert and make a sombrero and listen to Mexican music and eat enchiladas for lunch etc etc. My eldest is now 4. We still haven’t done this, or anything remotely like it. Not once. Thanks for linking with #fartglitter x

  20. I think I thought most of these before my came along. I was adamantly he wasn’t going to watch TV and he was never going to have chocolate for sweets. Obviously that didn’t last long..one of favourite things to do is to watch films and eat chocolate buttons. I will also never going to shout at him as he was obviously going to be a perfect child, I now realise it’s impossible to raise a toddle without getting shout occasionally otherwise all hell would break loose xz #blogginggoodtime
    wendy recently posted…A very cakey day at The Cake CollegeMy Profile

  21. Loved this post. So true!!! I honestly was so smug to believe I would have perfectly behaved kids and definitely turned up my nose and licked fingers/ hankies and too much technology. It has definitely come back to bite me now… Thank you for linking up to #ablogginggoodtime
    An imperfect mum (Catie) recently posted…A Blogging Good Time #11My Profile

  22. I really enjoyed reading this. I can relate to so many of these points, and I admit I do the licked finger thing too (as much as I find it a bit disgusting). Sometimes there’s just no time to reach for a wipe!

    I’d like to say I’m no longer scared of my toddler making a scene in public, but I still get worried about it (although that could be because I’m still recovering from the trauma of a full on mega-meltdown in Sainsburys a couple of weeks ago!). #ablogginggoodtime

  23. At least several times a week, I make a right turn to get to my kids school to drop them off. Thing is, they ve been out of that school for two years now and their current one is to the left.

    1. Ha ha – oh yeah, the McDonalds one! I remember saying my son wouldn’t have it until he was at least 6. He’s 3 and he’s had at least half a dozen

  24. Its amazing how much we think we know about something we have no experience in. My daughter is only 9 months old and I’m the complete opposite mama than my inexperienced persona perceived. It happens and we can laugh about it now. You are on point with each and every one. Thanks for sharing! #EatSleepBlogRT

  25. Oh my gosh. This is totally me!! My theory is completely: do what you gotta do

    Funny that you said their games are boring. After pretending to be a robber chased by cats ten times I think was thinking exactly the same thing this morn…

    Loved this piece

  26. I said many of those things before having children and most of them flew out the window withing the first few months. Parenting does give you some great skills though, negotiating, wrangling, diplomacy, refereeing the list is endless and there should be a PHD in it. #TuesdayTreasures
    Angela Webster recently posted…Comfort Food For AutumnMy Profile

  27. Yep, I definitely recognise a lot of these! Especially the licking finger, screen time, and food ones. Nowadays when pregnant first-time mums say that, I just smile and nod knowingly. They’ll learn. #chucklemums

  28. Oh I love this – whenever I send my toddler to her room as a punishment she’ll climb into bed with a book! I’m now THAT mum who holds their baby aloft and takes a really good sniff at their arse to detect a poo. What have I become. Thanks for linking to #Chucklemums!

  29. Haha, I never said number 1. I knew it was an impossible dream! I do that ALL THE TIME. I know what you mean about the “life will be perfect when…” one. I went to what I guess you could say were quite extreme lengths to have a child, and it was all I wanted. Luckily, I do feel much happier with my life now than I was beforehand, but it’s hard to get out of that mindset, and I do find myself thinking “life will be perfect if….I have ANOTHER child! Oh, and a husband too this time please!” It definitely pays to remember that life is never perfect.

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