When I was imagining myself as a parent, I had an idea in my head about what it would be like. I thought about the things I would do and how it would all turn out.
Well . . . . reality hasn't been quite the same.
1. I thought I would make all their baby food.
I bought some supplies and got to work. I did want them to eat organic so that means I have to drive to Whole Foods. Whole Foods food costs an arm and a leg. Then I printed the recipes off the internet and cooked up a few items.
I did this exactly once.
It was boring for one thing and I was awake when I wanted to be asleep. I'm not exactly a great cook so it also looked a little weird. I pulled my receipts and did the math. Between driving to Whole Foods, buying the expensive organic stuff and then spending valuable sleeping or baby time cooking food it just didn't seem worth it. At all. So I never did it again and just bought baby food at the store. I will more than likely do the same this time!
2. I thought we would be an a rigid schedule.
I work with kids so I know that scheduling is important and routine can make or break your day. But when the twins came, I just couldn't do it. I couldn't finish up feeding one munchkin and look at the other sweet munchkin sleeping so peacefully and wake them up. We didn't take naps on a strict schedule. We just went with the flow. We eat when we're hungry and sleep when we're tired. If we want to go to the park instead of do something on the schedule, that is what we do. As soon as they turned one, bottles would be out the door. Confession: They still get to have a bottle a day if they want one.
I know I made my own life harder. I'm going to try to do a little better this time, but in reality, probably I won't.
3. I thought I would be strict.
Tantrum? Time out! Not listening? Time out! Eat all your dinner or don't leave the table. My children would sit perfectly and quietly out in public at all times. Etc. Etc. Etc.
That definitely does not happen. One night Peanut was driving me nuts. She was being indignant, would not do a single thing I asked her. I completely freaked out. Then I cried for hours and I will never forget the look on her face when I became that strict, stern parent I thought I'd be. I've never been that harsh again. We do time out pretty frequently (I know it's shocking that the twins get a little crazy on a regular basis). I also try to remember that they are just now starting to be able to verbalize what they are needing or wanting or experiencing. We are working on sorry's and hugs and using nice touches together.
Sometimes when they are throwing tantrum after tantrum after tantrum and I want to totally freak out, I remind myself that something might be going on and they aren't trying to kill me. I pick them up and rock them in my arms and sing "it's okay, it's okay" until they are calm. I got a little teary eyed the other day when Peanut picked up her puppy and rocked it back and forth and started singing that little song softly in the puppy's ear. I had a moment of pride that I did something that stuck with her and made her feel better and she wanted to copy it, so I'm good with this too.
4. I would NEVER let the kids sleep in my bed.
My son is two and half and sleeps in my bed about three nights a week. I don't care. Enough said. Baby 3 due to space issues and my visit with reality of not wanting to go into another room all night will just have it's room in our room. Anytime they are calling for Mommy and need snuggles, they get them.
I've gone back on a lot of things I thought would lead to perfect parenting. There is no such thing as perfect parenting and I feel like we're doing pretty well and I am definitely biased, but the twins are so smart and funny and loving and awesome, so I can't be screwing up that bad and I'm not sure that making my own baby food would have changed that so much.