I can’t be the only woman who once made assumptions about what I’d be like as a mom. Here’s a sampling of the things I’m (barely) willing to admit I’m guilty of and that I thought I’d never do as a parent:
Calling my husband “Daddy.”
I always thought it was weird, lame, and even a little creepy when wives called their husbands “Dad” or “Daddy” (or some form of the equivalent). But our girls were confused for a while as to whether they should call us by our first names or by Mommy and Daddy, so to reinforce the latter, I started calling B “Dad” or “Daddy” when the girls were around. This still happens out of habit — and I still cringe inside when I do it.
Allowing my kids to take physical risks.
I thought I’d be way more cautious as a parent, afraid my kids would get hurt — maybe because I’m a scaredy-cat myself and thought I’d project this onto my children. But I’m much more relaxed about their taking physical risks than I thought I would be. (My husband, on the other hand…)
Continuing to be a night owl.
I truly thought I could turn myself into a morning person when I became a mom. Instead, I’ve simply become a very sleep-deprived woman. Parenting makes you appreciate every single second of quiet time you have to yourself (and with your spouse), and that tends to come late at night around here. I’ve always come alive after dark, had my best ideas at night, and been very productive in the late hours, but man, morning comes too soon now.
Using bribery and threats.
I’m against this in principle; it seems so low on the evolutionary parenting scale. And yet, before I can hold my tongue, I find myself telling one of my daughters that if she doesn’t do this or that, this or that will happen. I’m still looking for better ways to encourage and discourage behavior, and maybe that’s the problem: In the absence of a better plan, I resort to bribes and threats. (Don’t tell!, or I’ll…)
Sitting on the sidelines clapping and cheering for my kids.
Every now and then, when B and I are sitting poolside watching S and H learn to swim, it occurs to us that we have become those parents. Of course, we confuse people, because they don’t know who the pale people are actually cheering for, since there are only two brown-skinned girls in the water…
Never failing to find my daughters endlessly fascinating.
I’m super-conscious of not talking friends’ ears off about my children and maintaining adult conversation whenever possible, but I assumed I’d find it boring to talk about my kids all day. And I really don’t. Okay, maybe not all day, but you get the picture. I feel like I have a perfect right to be amazed by my children, because they are objectively amazing, but I’m guessing all parents pretty much feel this way.
There’s more, but I think I need to turn this over to you now and see if you’re willing to admit to anything you thought you’d never do or be as a parent. Spill the beans!
Image: Zoe Saint-Paul