I think you can easily guess the topic for this blog post. Through the years, especially prior to becoming a parent, there are things I swore I would never do. This involved a certain amount of pride (are my standards really that much higher than everyone else’s?) and just some general ignorance about why I might make decisions in one way versus another. In the interest of full disclosure and my constant pursuit of humility (and humor), I thought I would look back on some of the things I promised not to do…and have since decided there is a better way :) Enjoy a blog at my expense!
1) I swore I would never be religious about nap time. Oh, boy. This is kind of hilarious, especially given by Type A nature. I knew I wanted my kid to be on a schedule, but especially when she was younger and napped 4 times a day, I was willing to give up one nap time per day if it meant doing what I needed (or wanted) to do. I did not want to be a parent who had to be on a certain schedule and was blocked off from leaving the house at certain times.
Um. I was wrong. While I do my best to stay flexible, I did not factor in how children act when naps are delayed or missed. It is FAR less productive to skip a nap to ‘get stuff done’ than to just keep Willow on her schedule and plan my activities around whether or not I’m in the house. I just laugh at this one. Fortunately, I have amazing friends who are willing to come visit me for afternoon coffee and work around my child’s nap times with no complaints. In that regard, I am extremely lucky.
2) I was going to always refuse childcare. Part of the appeal in being a photographer is the fact that I could do all my work from home, no issues, with as many children as I wanted. HA! This admittedly worked for quite awhile, but as Willow has gotten older, she not only has needs, she has wants. She wants mommy to pay attention to her, and I honestly don’t want to always ignore her or have her get used to me being inattentive and frustrated at constantly trying to work and never being able to. It took far too long, but I’m finally getting some help…and it has been life changing. More on that another day :)
3) I was determined to always work just as much as I did before kids. Some days, I’m still not ‘there’ yet with this - the fact that I have to work less now than before. I am the type A, driven kind of person who has the tendency to become a workaholic. I thought I could do it all, and do it the same way I did before. But the truth is…I can’t. I have a little one who I love with all my heart vying for my attention. I have the desire to be a good mom while still running my business. So this is a daily struggle, but overall I have to focus on the things I need to do to keep everything going and do it well, and let go of the extras that I would like to do. It’s just not the right season, and I’m learning to be ok with that :)
4) I didn’t want to let go of all the ideas and principles I had when it came to child-rearing, even if some of them were unrealistic. And yes, some of them were unrealistic. I don’t want to get into details online (though I’m always happy to speak in person!), but there were so many little things I swore I would never do, and now I come to realize why so many people say yes or no to this or that. It’s hard. I struggle and fight within myself, and sometimes Nathan and I struggle as we both came into the marriage and parenthood with different ideas of what it looked like. Yet again, I am learning to let go and trust that God made us parents to Willow, and it’s better for me to not do it alone.
I’m sure by the end of this journey I’ll have a laundry list of things I never thought I’d do that have now become part of my routine. And that’s ok. There are some things I have decided not to compromise on, but all of this is a learning process that I will continually be in until the day I die!
If you recently walked into marriage or parenting, what are some things you do now that you promised you never would? I’d love to hear!