This will be fun.
Since I have some time on my hands I think it’d be fun to write about my parenting views BEFORE I have kids so we can all have a good laugh when I write this again in a few years to see how they changed with the reality of little knee biters.
My kids will eat well or starve!
I truly believe that kids will eat what their parents eat and if you model good food behavior they’ll follow (actually not a “belief” per say as a well documented phenomenon). I also know that they won’t starve themselves, for very long. It is difficult to be malnourished in this day and age, especially if your mom is a pediatric RN. I will have plant-based kids! If they are a little below the growth curve I’d consider that a win. Kids are bigger these days, go through puberty earlier and it’s not helping them. The increase of childhood cancers and cancer being linked to childhood growth patterns and early maturation is well documented. A slightly smaller kid that matures more slowly is my goal. I will NEVER make more than one dinner for my family. You eat what I make or you wait till breakfast. I’m all about choices but I’ll be damned if I’m gonna play Mr. Belvedere and cater to picky ass little kids! When they cry for some crap food I’ll think of holding their hand through chemo and surgery and let that steel my resolve.
Now there are those in the family that I know will not adhere to my food rules for my kids, namely my dad. Hopefully he’s still around when my kids are old enough to eat treats, as he’s super close to heart attack or stroke at this point in time from a diet extraordinarily high in fat. I can’t control what my dad gives my kids, he’s my dad and a magical creature of fun and awesomeness. However, if any of my friends give my kids shitty food (cheese sticks, lunch meat, chicken nuggets…) I will poke them in the eye and pee in their Cheerios. If it’s obvious that one family or group of friends is not respectful of this we’ll not be spending any mealtimes with that family or group- the end. There are lots of well-educated parents I know that put health first and offer their kids great food, I don’t think this will be an issue.
It’s not going to be easy, I get that. But I will do everything humanly possible to teach my kids to love fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts, beans and legumes. I cannot imagine a better gift to give my kids than radical nourishment and an excellent relationship with food.
Along with liking a plant-based diet my kiddos will also learn to cook plant-based food. I intend on engaging them in every part of the process from dirt to dish. I want them to know where their food comes from. I also want them to love animals and look into the eyes of a pig or cow and see them like they do the family dog, a creature worthy of a nice life. I want my kids to feel animals are their friends not their food.
I’ll also be growing and making my own baby food. This year’s garden is dedicated to babyfood and at harvest, baby on the way or not, I’ll be making a ton of baby food. If we never have a baby then I certainly know people who would appreciate it.
I love my garden so much. I have for years had this vision of my little booger eatin kid rolling around on a blanket in the shade eating dirt and getting licked in the mouth by the dog while I garden (microbiome!) We eat so much great stuff from the garden I would feel very sad if kids kept me from it. I may need more help but I plan on always having a garden!
This is a hard one for me. I was bullied as a kid and not just at school. Other parents scare the hell out of me, namely parents that will judge my kid or me and project that perception onto my kid. I don’t care what people think of me but I do care how people treat my kid. Within our circle our friends this will be a non issue, but the greater public of Salt Lake City, Utah can be a scary place for the child of a liberal, Mohawk wearing older mom.
In general my main philosophy for dealing with other parents is to hold respectful non-judgmental space. You wanna feed your kids dairy that will constipate them, cause skin issues and ear infections? Go ahead, I respect that decision but I will openly and loudly judge said parent if they give said dairy to my kid.
I’d love to send my kids to a private school but since we’ll likely shell out 150k to get the little buggers here it’s not likely we’ll be able to afford private school. They’ll likely go to public school in Utah, which I’m not thrilled about. Who knows maybe one of the nice private schools needs an RN by the time my kids are in school and I can work off part of their tuition. But knowing how the state feels about the health of their children it’s doubtful. I think our public schools are shitty and I KNOW most of the things I learned as a kid came from home. At school I was bullied and learned how to call kids names, I learned how to hide during recess from the mean kids. I also learned that girls can’t math and it’s ok for boys to kick you in the shins. I hope school has changed a bit but I intend on using school as the boot camp it is. It’s a model for life. We all gotta do stuff we don’t wanna do and we all need to deal with difficult people. I intend on supplementing their learning at home (I mean we have a live-in math genius) and hopefully figuring out a way they can also study abroad. Ugh. Stresses me out to think about school in this state. (Brett can we leave the country for school time?)
This is a tough one. Not sure what we’ll do here. My plan is to be fluid to our kid’s and my needs. We know we will be super sleep deprived the first few years, that’s expected. Not set on any one philosophy or another. If the kid sleeps well on a little futon on the floor yay, if sleeping is improved with mom (in a safe co-sleeper), yay. I just don’t know what to expect. One thing I will try is the French way of allowing 5 min of fussing before picking up bebe after they are a month or so old. I want to give them the chance to self-soothe. Once we’re preggers I’ll start reading all the books again. I see on FaceBook parents soliciting sleep help after kids are several months old. In my mind it makes more sense to have a toolkit of things to try while they are tiny so you can change and evolve with them, instead of grabbing at straws in a panic. I also understand that some kids are just tough to get to sleep. Real tough. I may have a tough kid no matter what kind of tools I have studied. So I guess we’ll just see.
Ugh. Stuff! Brett and I live in an 850sq ft house. That’s TINY!! We don’t have room for a lot of baby stuff or kid stuff for that matter. We are doing a remodel to allow for a room to be dedicated to kid stuff. So if the stuff fits in the room great, if not it’s outta here! We’ll get some bins and baskets for the living room for toys and crap but really we cannot have a bunch of stuff because we don’t have space! If we have twins then we’re REALLY not going to have space. We will need to be incredibly selective on what we allow in the house. I’m a collector of stuff and am already planning on downsizing BIGTIME.
In the beginning, like 6 years ago, I was the girl who scrunched up her nose at cloth diapers. I watched a friend put her baby in them and it seemed so labor intensive and umm… gross. Not to mention they plugged their main sewage line flushing the “flushable” liners. Seemed like so much work for super little payout. But these days as I am becoming more aware of the amount of garbage we produce I am more open to the idea. I am not sure we’ll be 100% cloth 100% of the time but I’d sure like to reduce the mountain of plastic poo containers my family contributes to the landfill.
I feel like my house will be a disaster, it’s kind of a disaster now and I don’t expect that to change.
I won’t be carrying my baby while they grow in the womb so you can bet your bottom dollar I will wear the holy bejeezus outta that baby when they get here! Also I feel babies spend too much time laying on their backs, in the bouncy, in the stroller, in the car-seat and more back time means more flatheads and neck problems. Now these issues are fixed with helmets and neck injections but I’d rather just wear my dang baby and prevent these issues. I’ll also have it known I don’t buy the idea that baby wearing ensures parental attachment. You can babywear and be a dick parent your kids never bond to. I feel if you are a loving parent your kids will love you if you wear them or not.
OVERALL PARENTING PHILOSOPHY
Like my sister says, it ain’t showFRIENDS, it’s showBUSINESS!! I feel kids these days create human pacifiers out of their parents as they are so wrapped up in their happiness. As someone who’s suffered a lot at an early age I want to teach my kids how to deal with disappointment, strife, frustration, loss and failure. I don’t want to do everything in my power to keep these feelings from my kid or shelter my kid because if you never fail you never know what true success feels like. Cannot have light without darkness. I’ll buy the goldfish knowing it’ll die. Hamster? Sure! Try out for basketball where everyone is three times your size? Why not! I want to give them the tools they need to deal with the dark as it is part of life. I also don’t really care to be my kid’s best buddy, that’s what other kids and grandparents are for. I’m here to expose them to the beauty of life and deal with the horror, I’m here to ensure they learn, stay safe and healthy, have fun and understand boundaries of all types. We may end up being friends, but that’s not my goal. If they tell me they hate me at some point I’ll consider that part of the game. Now I’m not saying I don’t want my kids to like me, sure I do. But let’s not confuse “like” with “love” umkay? They’ll love me for sure, like me? Not always. Having them like me is secondary to being a good parent, their wellbeing comes first and part of that wellbeing is the long game. If I cater to stupid dietary wants as a kid I’m compromising their health as an adult and that is something I’m not willing to do. Go ahead and cry about it, it’ll help increase your appetite. I’ve spent the last 22 years listening to the crème de la crème of tantrums and I will give points on enthusiasm (and take lots of photos). Poor little bugger getting me as a mom!
Along with this notion of not catering to the little turd, I view it my responsibility to show them what silly loving adults look like. Seeing my dad breakdance on sand while having fun on a river trip affected my perception of adulthood. It’s not all terrible crap, adults have fun too.
BEING A PUT TOGETHER MOM
I’m not a put together dog mom so I doubt I’ll be a put together person mom. I plan on getting some new Kaftan’s and Mumu’s and I don’t give a shit. I may even keep my current Mohawk hairdo (I’m SOO in love with it!) I’m going to be a new mom in my 40’s who gets hotflashes from cancer meds and I give ZERO fucks what others think of my level of put-togetherness.
SPEAKING TO KIDS
I feel this is a good time to mention Brett is 100% with me on all of the above, he’s read it and signed off on it all. One thing he mentioned is the language people use with their kids. My Dad (and my mom while she was still living) were so good at this I never noticed it, same with Brett’s parents. However recently we’ve been exposed to some parents that speak rather harshly to their kids. Saying things like “kids are dumb” which has always been disturbing to Brett and I. We feel that even if you think they know you are joking insulting a developing ego is never a good idea.
If we are blessed enough to have siblings, which is super doubtful for us, I plan on doing what my parents did and take very special care to ensure I NEVER favor one over the other in any way.
So we’ll see how things go, what of these ideas fly out the window and what stays. Please please, let the adventure begin!!