Recently, I was visiting a first-time pregnant friend and, without a second thought, I took my thumb and index finger and wiped my 2 year olds snot from under her nose. I thought nothing of it — heck, I didn’t even realize I did it — until my friend scrunched up her nose and offered me a tissue. I laughed as I politely took the tissue and promised to document the day she did that to her little one. Because I, too, thought I would never wipe snot with my bare hands. Ever.
It was then that I realized just how much of a mom I had become. And just how many “never would I evers” of my own pre-kid self that I had broken.
For instance, never would I pick up my child and smell her butt to determine if it was time to change her diaper. And I would never let poop get on my hands, arms or legs, and I certainly wouldn’t dig crap out from underneath my nails. Along the same line, never would my child be in diapers after age 2. No, they would certainly be potty trained (and wiping their own bottoms) by then.
And never would my child act out at the store. She would be a perfect angel who followed all commands and certainly would not throw a fit if she didn’t get what she wanted. Never would I let her scream and cry and cause a scene. It just wouldn’t happen. I would always be in control and not allow my child to embarrass me.
Never would my child be a binky baby. There is no way you would catch my child with a pacifier hanging out of her mouth after 6 months at the latest. They definitely wouldn’t need it for nap or bedtime at age 2, and I would certainly not use it to help soothe a stubbed toe or skinned knee.
Never would I give in and feed my child what she wanted to eat as opposed to what I cooked. Nope, they would eat what was made or they would starve. I would never make a separate meal of her favorite foods just to get her to eat something — anything.
Never would I allow kids in my bed. They would sleep in their own beds all night long. And they would just get up and go to bed when I said it was time — no complaining, no immediate onset of thirst and no lying with them until they fell asleep. After all, I would never want to spoil them.
Never would I ever catch puke with my bare hands. How disgusting! Never would I throw a towel down just to make it until the next puke or kiss those stinky cheeks.
Never would I ask the babysitter to take a picture of my child’s first solid No. 2 after the belly flu just to confirm it was “normal” again. And never would I send my husband a pic of the largest turd that ever came out of a little person. Yuck!
Never would I allow my child to dress herself when we would go out in public. She would not wear princess outfits to dinner or her Sunday best to the grocery store. No, my child would be in acceptable outfits with her hair perfectly done each time she went out.
And my child would certainly not have any electronics until she was well into her teens. I would never let a Kindle or TV “babysit” my toddler just to enjoy five minutes of sanity. That is just bad parenting.
Never would I be the one going through the playroom organizing and cleaning for them. Oh no, my kids would clean up all their toys as soon as they were done playing with them and put them back where they belong.
And there is no way that a little smile, sweet kiss or “puhhhllease” would ever work on me — not to have a cookie before dinner, not to have just five more minutes at the park (three times) and certainly not to extend bedtime. I would never be that easy!
Never would I have imagined how much motherhood would change me — especially my opinion on parenting. I no longer judge the parents out there battling in the kid-raising trenches. In fact, I’m either throwing them an “I’ve been there, you’re doing great” smile or I’m taking notes on how I can implement their style into my own.
I now actually get a chuckle out of strangers glaring at me when my little angels do something epic out in public. And I just smile when I have conversations about parenting with my kidless friends.
After all I, too, would have been a perfect mom. You know, if I never had kids.
Sarah (Pitson) Shrader was born and raised in Lima. She is a Lima Central Catholic and Tiffin University graduate. Sarah is a full-time working mama who enjoys writing about her somewhat crazy, always adventurous life as a mother. She lives in Bath Township with her husband, Paul, and their daughters, her writing inspirations, Maylie and Reagan.