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Mommy Mommy, Quite Contrary - Or How Motherhood Makes Me a Hypocrite

I'm exercising my parental prerogative to change my mind. Or maybe I'm backpedaling. Perhaps it's the same freakin' thing.

In taking a walk down memory lane to a time when my mornings involved 25-step make-up routines and my sleep was abundant, I recall having particular ideas about what my parenting life would look like, and making lots of "I will never..." and "I will always..." statements in blissful pre-baby ignorance. You know, the kind of assertions that make an a$$hole out of me now.

Anyway, I was afforded that sort of stubborn know-it-allness because my interactions with kids up to that point were limited; I taught, I had babysat, and I had a nephew. None of these experiences compares to having a baby of one's own, no matter how much anyone tries to assert that they are. I can say that now with absolute certainty because I do have a child, and the feelings (some hormonally-induced) that accompany this relationship with my own little girl are quantitatively and qualitatively different from any other relationship I've ever had. Until a person has actually assumed the responsibility of raising a child 24x7 with the expectation of "forever," it is impossible for them to truly "get it." They may kind of understand based on what they've seen, read, and experienced in their own interactions with kids, but there are limitations owing to the lack of extended and involved presence and responsibility that comes with being a child's primary caregiver and/or parent.

Although I'm loathe to name it (because I'm a hypocrite now), a few areas where my views have taken a slight detour (if not a complete 180'), have been:

- amount of TV/technology time during a day (more than I thought initially)
- exposure to junk food, namely McDonalds (again, more than I thought at first)
- spanking (I've moved from entertaining it as a last-ditch possibility to completely eliminating it as an option)
- preparing specific toddler-friendly meals (I used to say, let the kid eat what we eat, but now I will make specific things to ensure that Little L has a choice that she actually likes and will consume)
- sleeping arrangements (from dreams of a toddler bed to still co-sleeping at 2.5)
- breastfeeding (the plan was 6 - 12 months, but here we are at 30 months and going strong)
- juice (from watered-down, "Asian" style to full sugar, straight out of the tetra box)
- staying "put together" as a mommy (dreams of full make-up and hair to go out have been replaced with the reality of ponytails and bare-faced raggedness)
- toys (we have more of them than I thought we'd buy)
- sleep training and sleep schedules (from pro- to anti-)
- traveling significant distances with a little one (from anti- to pro-, complete with multiple Edmonton flights and several roadtrips and a flight to Oahu, with a second one to come)

I'm sure there are a billion other areas where I've completely contradicted my former self, but those are the ones that first came to mind. It's amazing how this parenthood thing continues to totally humble me; I hate eating crow and I try very hard to have integrity, so it really sucks when I completely make an idiot out of myself and have to admit to being wrong. But alas, 'tis the nature of "live and learn," n'est-ce pas?

How has parenthood made a hypocrite out of you? 


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