10 Ways I’m the parent I swore I’d never be

Sometimes, I just want to slap my pre-child self in the face. “I’ll never breastfeed in public.” “I’ll still go on trips.” “I’ll still be fun.” Shut up, you idiot.

1. I hate traveling. Yes, my husband and I used to go to Europe every summer, and we swore it’d continue once we had kids. Bahahaaaaaaaaaa! Here’s the deal with that. Traveling with kids sucks (so much, in fact, that I’m known to pack mini-Skyy vodkas in my carry-on). And, let’s be real. If I’m going to spend thousands on an European vacation, or $400 per person on a flight to California, I’d really prefer to enjoy the trip. And for the most part, that’s impossible with 3 boys under 4. I mean, seriously, we’ve all been on a flight with kids. You know those parents are in pure hell. So no offense, but we won’t be making it this year. We’d rather stay home and save the money for a trip we’ll actually enjoy. (Plus, diapers are expensive.)

10 Ways I'm the Parent I Swore I'd Never Be SheJustGlows.com

2. I don’t really want to call you. I love you and I miss you. But talking on the phone is one of the most annoying things ever right now. Because even when the kids are both strapped into their car seats and I call you in the car, I’m interrupted every 25 seconds by someone asking for Goldfish or wanting to ask me if airplanes poop, or why that car is yellow. And, when it’s naptime for the kids, the last thing I want to do is talk to another human. I just want to veg out and forget my morning of talking to toddlers and just watch some real civilized adult TV like Real Housewives. I want to detox from the tangle of frustrating situations I’ve dealt with so far today (and it’s only 1:30pm). Oh, and I probably only have 20 minutes while both kids are asleep at the same time anyway, so no offense, but I’m not going to be calling you.

3. I’m in pajamas by 7pm every night. And I like it that way. Yeah, for sure. The naptime explanation above made me remember how freakin’ tired I am at the end of every day. So, I don’t want to meet for drinks at 7:30pm. In truth, these days, I’m eating dinner at 4:30pm, and if I’m lucky enough to get a nightcap (before I got knocked up again, of course), that ship has sailed long before cocktail hour at that new tapas place in downtown. In fact, I’m so unaccustomed to leaving my house after dark these days that I’d probably have a freak-out moment on the way, get totally thrown off on what time it was and drive to boot camp, thinking it’s 5:30am. So, cheers to me when you drink that amazing martini. I’ll be asleep in bed, resting up for 5am demands for Octonauts and Frosted Flakes.

10 Ways I'm the Parent I Swore I'd Never Be SheJustGlows.com

4. I don’t want to “just” meet you at a restaurant with the kids. Taking the kids out anywhere is a challenge, but a restaurant might be the absolute worst. My husband and I once took both kids to a beachfront restaurant near our house, only to have to ask the server to pack up our food before we even got it. We paid the $80 bill and stormed out, each holding a screaming child. That might have been the most expensive dinner I’ve ever eaten out of styrofoam to-go boxes in the car. Yes, I want to see you. But I don’t enjoy holding one child and feeding the other graham crackers, all while trying to eat my salad and listen to what you’re talking about. McDonald’s or Chick-Fil-A is fine, but you don’t want to eat there and neither do I. Just wait for a night when I can get a sitter. Yes, it may be 3 weeks from now, but meeting today at that trendy sidewalk cafe in downtown just doesn’t work for me.

10 Ways I'm the Parent I Swore I'd Never Be SheJustGlows.com

5. Skipping naps doesn’t work. Like, at all. I’m not even a “by the book” type of mom, but if we’re gonna skip the nap, it better be for a freaking amazing reason. Like, it’s Christmas Day and the grandparents are in town. Or, we’re at Disneyland and all the cousins want to go on Dumbo. You get it? Fudging on the naptime schedules doesn’t ruin your day, it ruins mine. Because, sadly, if we miss that oh-so-sensitive 1:30pm-to-2:18pm window, I’m not getting naps out of these kids all day today. And that means I get no break from the train wreck that is parenting 2 toddlers (most days). So do me a favor: don’t judge, and don’t ask me to do anything between the hours of 1pm and 5pm.

10 Ways I'm the Parent I Swore I'd Never Be SheJustGlows.com

6. I prefer to stay home and have you over. Yes, I know. Lamest of lame. But seriously. In a restaurant, the kids will run around and throw food, and even if they don’t, I’ll be on the edge of my seat the whole time, policing them to make sure they don’t. Yes, I know. I need to bring the kids out in public or they’ll never learn to behave like real humans. But when you’re outnumbered 3 to 1, you don’t have to be a Vegas oddsmaker to know that it’s just a better idea to stay home. At least until they’re 3. So just come over, and I’ll mix up a strong happy hour drink to make it worth it. On me. ;)

10 Ways I'm the Parent I Swore I'd Never Be SheJustGlows.com

7. I’ll breastfeed or change a diaper where ever I need to. Yet another reason why it’s easier to just stay home (see item #6), but if I do happen to be out on an exciting trip to Sam’s Club or the park, I have no problem (and no option) but to feed my baby and change his diaper however and where ever I can. I will say I do have some sense of decency and usually try to avoid changing diapers in restaurants, but beggars can’t be choosers. If my kid needs a change, and the high-end restaurant at which I’m eating brunch doesn’t have a changing table in the bathroom, and I have my stroller parked right next to me at the table, you better believe I will be executing a ninja diaper change all up in there. Sorry, I’m not going to walk to the valet to do it in the car.

8. My kids eat total crap. When I was a full-time TV news reporter, pre-kids, I had visions of my future stay-at-home mom days as being literally overrun with gobs of extra time, to do things like make homemade baby food and read parenting books cover-to-cover (bahahaaaaaa!). Turns out, between the feedings, changings, cleaning up the feedings and trying to actually play with my kids (and everything else, like laundry, cleaning the house, grocery shopping and other household chores), a locally-grown meal of kale and organic, grass-fed beef just isn’t an option for me everyday. (It’s no wonder stay-at-home moms actually get nothing done all day.) I try to my best to cook clean, healthy meals, but let’s be real: when I need to, I throw hot dogs and applesauce on a plate and call it dinner. Oh, and at breakfast, don’t tell anyone but I let my kids douse their oatmeal in pancake syrup so they’ll eat it. (Our little secret. *wink*)

10 Ways I'm the Parent I Swore I'd Never Be SheJustGlows.com

(Editorial note: Since I don’t tend to take pictures of my crappy kid meals, you are getting a photo of one of my awesome ones. From the day I made homemade sushi rolls at home. Once. They were awesome, and surprisingly, not that hard.)

9. My kids watch an obscene amount of TV. I hate it, but it’s true. When I need to do dishes, respond to an email or get some paperwork done, it’s the only way that they are calm and relatively quiet and out of my hair for a few minutes. (Except, of course, for the 83 requests for snacks: goldfish, then cottage cheese, then apple, then yogurt, then graham crackers, then carrots. And, then, no joke: 20 minutes later, “Is it lunchtime yet?”) I’ll tell you what, it’s a goal of mine to cut down on TV time, and I welcome your ideas on how to do so. (Seriously, leave them in the comments below.) But for now, it’s mama survival (which is totally a thing), and I will flip on Disney Junior whenever I need to.

10 Ways I'm the Parent I Swore I'd Never Be SheJustGlows.com

10. I’m a total sissy when it comes to leaving my kids. I used to roll my eyes when friends would talk about how hard it was to leave the kid with a babysitter, or worse, they didn’t want to leave the kids at all, even for a romantic overnight trip. But it’s true. (*Tug on heartstrings*) I can’t describe it in any other way than… it’s hard and sad, and a piece of your heart is missing when those little nuggets aren’t with you. I even sobbed on my way to a dream vacation to Paris last summer. (Don’t feel bad for me.)

10 Ways I'm the Parent I Swore I'd Never Be SheJustGlows.com

Do you have any to add to the list? Share them in the comments section below, and I may write a sequel to this post!

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