Nobody’s perfect, but I was going to be the perfect mom. I had my game plan all set. Breastfeeding would be as second nature to me as breathing. I’d make my own baby food purees using only the finest ingredients.
I’d take my daughter along with me everywhere as I continued with my life as it was before. She would eat everything, sleep anywhere, and be happy to play with nothing but a ball and a stick.
All the time.
Naturally, I’d be great at motherhood, since you know, I had all this experience watching other moms. Let’s not fail to mention that this is coming from the baby of a family of five with very little babysitting experience.
Smart girl, right?
You have my permission to make fun of me.
If you’re a mom, you know that motherhood is full of surprises, not the least of which is the new persona you acquire once that baby pops into the world. (That’s how it happens, right? The baby just pops right out.)
I have surprised myself time and time again with parenting decisions I’ve made or just my new attitude toward things. I hardly recognize myself sometimes as I turn down party invitations or head home early so I can get a good night’s sleep. That baby wakes up at the same time everyday, and it’s like she depends on me to take care of her or something.
So I’m going to admit to you some of the ways in which I’ve surprised myself in the past 20 months. I’m here to confess. I’m here to tell you that (spoiler alert) I didn’t turn out to be the perfect mom.
Confession #1: I let my daughter have screen time under the age of 2
I always figured that our days would be so full of unique, educational activities that there wouldn’t even be time for a thought about the TV. Or I thought my daughter would be so happy to play by herself that she would never have days where she was clingy and fussy and virtually impossible to please.
I’m here to tell you that Curious George has saved the day on more than one occasion. I’m here to tell you that, despite what experts recommend, my 20-month-old has been exposed to her fair share of screen time. I actually let her watch at least one episode a day (gulp). It’s become sort of a routine. She wakes up from her nap and we come downstairs and sit on the couch. She often gets the remote for me herself. And she settles in for an adventure. She enters her own little world of Curious George and is virtually unreachable (like her dad when he watches sports). It’s cute and also a little guilt-inducing.
I’ve whipped out my phone in a restaurant so that my daughter will pipe down and sit still. It’s like magic. She watches her little baby YouTube videos and I can finish my conversation. It makes me wonder what mothers did before these devices. It makes me think that their kids were more well-trained. It makes me worry that I’m spoiling my kid or ‘feeding the monster.’ But I also know that comparison is the thief of joy.
So I’ll keep doing what works for us, what keeps us sane. I’ll try not to worry about what other moms are doing with their children or if I’m doing it wrong. Because if I’ve learned one thing in all this, it’s that every child is different, and what works for one may not work for another. But that’s what makes this journey so crazy, and beautiful, and exciting, and surprising.
Esther is new around these parts. Life with little Simona is taking her for a wild ride and she's documenting it in "Confessions of a New Mom". Stick around for Confession #2 or better yet join our "Cool Mums Club" and read her hilarious accounts of modern motherhood as soon as it hits our blog.