Being a parent is probably the most humbling thing I have ever been a part of. I said to my mom the other day, “I wish I could go back in time and punch my pre-mommy self in the face for some of the things I did (or didn’t) do.” We all did it before we had babies–said, “My kids will never do that!” or rolled our eyes at the mom with three screaming kids in the middle of Target. Just the other day, I saw a comment on Facebook that said something to the effect of, “My kids will NEVER do that in public. They will know better.” The comment came from a girl in her early twenties, and I had to smile and shake my head. Her time is coming, just like mine has.
So, today, I would like to issue a series of apologies to all the moms who came before me.
Moms before me, I’m sorry for…
Parking too close to other cars.
You know the feeling–you’re pushing a cart full of an infant seat and groceries through three inches of slush. You get to your car only to see that some jerk has left exactly six inches between your car and theirs. Not going to lie–when this happens to me, the only thing keeping me from opening my door right into the car next to me (as hard as I can) is knowing that it will chip my paint. So to all the moms I have done this to in the past, I am sorry.
Not holding doors open.
Getting a stroller through a door that swings out instead of in requires skill. Lots of skill. I am so grateful to those strangers who graciously hold open those doors so I can easily wheel my stroller through them. I don’t blame the ones who don’t–it’s clearly not their job–but I apologize to all those moms that I didn’t hold the door open for in the past. I can promise you that I will try my best to not miss a chance to hold a door open for an over-loaded mom again.
Giving parenting advice (when my only source of parenting was my two dogs).
Owning dogs did not give me the right to chime in on how to raise your child. While in some ways, I think dogs are harder than infants (have you ever tried to explain to your boss you can’t come in because your dog has explosive diarrhea?), it definitely did not give me any grounds to offer advice. Being in the trenches with a baby with an ear infection is much different. There is no handbook and we’re all trying to do it right.
While we’re talking about dogs, I am sorry for rolling my eyes when you told me my dogs would take a backseat when my baby arrived.
(When I say back seat, I mean the trunk.) I thought I knew what it meant to love a child before I got pregnant, because I loved my dogs. No, I mean I really LOVED my dogs. I still love my dogs, but I actually asked the question, “Do you think we should find them new homes?” a few weeks ago when my husband, the baby, and myself were all sick and the dogs were driving me crazy. Clearly, we are not going to re-home them, but you were right, my love for my dogs is nothing like the love for my child.
Not realizing kids have minds of their own.
This goes back to the whole, “My kids will never do that!” thing. My child is only eight months old, so we are barely to the starting line of him having his own mind, and I can already see that karma isn’t messing around. I now realize that you’re letting your child scream in the middle of Hy-Vee to teach them that just because they really want that bag of cookies, doesn’t mean they get them. It’s not bad parenting; it’s the exact opposite. Kudos to you for standing your ground. I hope I have your strength.
So what about you? What things would you like to punch your pre-mama self for doing or saying?