The Bad Parent Chronicles: Things I Thought I'd Never Do

Although this isn't true as a rule, I believe there are few people as judgemental as pre-parents.  As in, "I have no real experience as a parent yet, but you're doing it all wrong.  When I have kids...."  

Even at only two and a half months in, I'm so much more open-minded than I was a year ago.  Because a lot of those things I was thinking from the window of my pretty, dual-income-no-kids-ivory-tower...mmm, yeah.  

So here's my mea culpa.  Here are some of the things I thought I'd never do as a parent, but have most certainly done since the Kid's arrival....

Go to Target all the time for plastic kid gizmos.  Before the Kiddo was born, we went to Target maybe once every three months.  Now it seems like there's something we want from there at least once every few weeks.  And I purposefully said "want" there, not "need".  No one really needs a special dishwasher basket for bottle nipples or a plastic dispenser to hold formula on-the-go.  You can be fine without both.  But they do make life just a teeny bit easier.

And far as big-box stores in general go, I can see the allure to moms everywhere--the shopping carts in the parking lot mean that it's super easy to get the Kiddo in and out without waking him up.  (Pop car seat into cart--voila!)  And it's one stop instead of three or four--again, a much better chance of getting through your errands without baby unhappiness.  

Nonetheless, I'm hoping the Target runs will lessen as the Kiddo gets older.  Even with the magical gizmos, I had forgotten how much I hate the place.  

Purchase an Urban Assault Stroller.  Pre-the-Kiddo, Sweet Husband and I often joked about those crazy people with "urban assault strollers"--i.e. what a stupid thing to have a hulking vehicle for such a small person, when you can just strap him to your body and go.  

I'm so eating crow on this one.  

The thing is, I love our baby carriers for certain situations--when it's not too hot, when both of us are going out at the same time (one parent to carry the Kid, one to carry his stuff)--but when it's just me, and I want to go for any kind of extended walk, the stroller is incredible.  It is hard to navigate through stores, but not more so than when I'm being a human pack mule.  And the big wheels?  So necessary for our bumpy neighborhood sidewalks.  

Urban Assault Stroller=Freedom Baby!

Feed the Kiddo formula.  Unlike many, perhaps, more sensible new mamas, I hadn't done any research about formula.  I didn't have a can tucked away just in case.  I barely had bottles, in fact.  Had anyone even suggested it, I would have probably accused them of being in cahoots with Enfamil.  I was all set to be a long-term breastfeeder--a year, at least, maybe two years if that's what the Kid wanted.  

We didn't even make it to two months before I sold my breast pump and gave up completely.

Sometimes when the Kid is screaming as I'm trying to carefully measure out a bottle, I can't help but think it would easier if my boobs had just worked.  And I'd still much rather they did.

On the other hand, sleeping all night while Sweet Husband feeds the baby is nice too.  Not having weird aches and pains in my breasts or sore nipples?  Lovely.  Being done sharing my body...fitting into my pre-pregnancy bras...going to the park instead of spending every free moment with my chest plugged into a pump....you get the idea. 

Buy clothes for the Kid instead of myself.  I hate the idea that you have to be a martyr to be a good mother.  Which is to say, moms get to buy new clothes too!

However, I can't tell you how many times in the past month, I've gone into a store to buy something for myself--a new Spring dress, a pair of jeans--and come out with nothing for me, but three or four new things for the Kiddo instead.  

The baby weight is coming off slowly and surely, but my stomach is still just...well, it's the wrong shape.  I can't go up a size because then xyz garment is too big in other areas, but to wear my normal size I'd need a corset.

Faced with this complication, it's simpler to just buy clothes for the Kid.  Because--if I do say so myself--he's adorable.  The clothes they make in his size are all adorable.  It's one big adorable-fest.  And--as Megan discussed in a post I loved, but cannot now find--at least for awhile, it's easier to let his adorableness distract from my lumpy tummy.

Become a pack rat with outgrown baby clothes.  On one of the aforementioned Target trips, I bought a big plastic tub.  It's currently about a quarter full of the Kid's outgrown clothes.  We're not planning to have another anytime soon, probably even never.  There is no sensible reason for those clothes to be moldering in my basement when some other child could be using them.  

No reason, except that I can't get rid of the outfit we brought him home in, now can I?  And that little knitted sweater--I worked hard on that!  Oh, and those tiny footed jammies...they're my favorites, we can't get rid of them!  And so on.