never will i ever: baby edition

my favorite google search since this pregnancy was confirmed has got to be, hands down, “useless baby gear”. but that’s probably a post for another day. what i really want to write about is my second favorite google search: “things i said i would never do before i became a mom” (& variations). so many people out there have written blogs or posted on messageboards, making fun of themselves for their naive beliefs about how they would parent. it’s like the old saying goes: “i was a really good mom…before i had kids.”

i feel that i have about as reasonable a set of expectations about what parenting will be like as i can, given that this is my first baby, i have almost no close friends with children, & i haven’t even touched an infant in like ten years. i’ve decided to tempt fate by compiling my own list of stuff i don’t think i will do, & then maybe i’ll revisit it in a year or two to see if i actually had my head screwed on straight or if i was as hopelessly naive as i sometimes feel.

i won’t let my baby play with my cell phone. cell phones are expensive! even though i just have a crappy $20 kin one & not an expensive iphone. i still don’t want to risk my baby breaking my phone or accidentally texting someone i don’t like but haven’t deleted from my contacts. i almost never use my phone anyway, so i’m hoping that my baby just won’t realize the phone exists. jared never uses his phone either, so we’re a good team in this respect.

i won’t let my baby bang on my computer & pretend it’s working with me. i DO have a very expensive computer, & i already managed to break the track pad & had to shell out $75 for a “magic track pad” (basically just an external track pad–a mouse would work just as well). i don’t want to take the chance of the baby doing even more damage. i have this fantasy that i will only use the computer when the baby is asleep or having daddy-only time, so maybe it won’t even realize i have a computer. but that is unlikely to work. i spend WAY more time on my computer than i do on my phone, & jared is the same way. we’ll just have to teach the baby that computers are for grown-ups or something.

i won’t let my baby have noisy electronic toys. this is more for my sake than the baby’s. i don’t care if my kid wants to bang pots & pans together, kick its feet on the floor, scream, whatever. i just don’t want all the electronic noise & lights in the house. i prefer my noise natural, & therefore beautiful. or at least not elmo-themed.

i won’t enroll my baby in any weird enrichment classes before it develops its own interests. no baby yoga, no baby karate, no baby soccer. if my kid starts to show some kind of burgeoning interest in the mandolin or french cooking or something, then we’ll see, but i’m not going to force my kid into the kiddie achievement rat race just to compete with other parents. if i am going stir-crazy & want the company of other moms, i’ll try going to the playground more often or something.

i am going to try really, really hard not let my kid have “screen time” before the age of two. meaning: no TV, no checking out movies from the library & letting them watch on my computer, no youtubing “the wiggles”, etc. we already don’t own a TV & i don’t want the kid messing with my computer, so hopefully this will just be a continuation of other policies. i know i won’t have control over what happens at other people’s houses though, & once the kid gets a taste of that sweet, sweet screen, all bets are off.

i won’t try to force or trick my kid into wearing gender-conforming clothes if it doesn’t want to. some people have said that i’ll feel differently someday & do anything to keep my kid from being picked on, but i feel that if my kid is picked on for being gender-non-conforming, it’s other kids & their jerk-ass parents who taught them shitty values that need to change, not my kid.

i will not intentionally introduce my child to disney…EVER. i know eventually the kid will find out on its own, from its friends or whatever, but i’m not going to be the one that brings that evil into my child’s life. what is it about disney? whenever someone tells me they love disney, i just know they vote republican & probably own a texas tuxedo.

i won’t go nuts about organic food & be that mom who won’t let her kid eat birthday cake at a party. i think this one will be pretty easy. i mean, pregnancy hasn’t stopped me from drinking coffee, eating sushi, & snarfing the occasional frozen pizza. i doubt i’ll flip the script where the kiddo is concerned. we eat pretty healthfully; i think we can just stay the course.

i will not post about poop on facebook. i recognize that no one wants to hear about my kid’s diaper incidents, not even other parents.

i won’t beat myself up if i fail to have a natural birth or breastfeed my child for as long as i would prefer (i’d like to do baby-led weaning). i also won’t act like a superior jackass if i do have a natural birth or do extended breastfeeding. my choices are my choices & they’re not for everyone. & if they don’t work out, they don’t work out. the kid will probably be okay either way, which is what matters.

i won’t get rid of my cat just because i have a baby. even if the cat scratches the baby…it’s a good lesson. animals aren’t toys. as my sister put it when my cat slashed her child in the face: “pain is the teacher.”

i’ll probably think of more stuff as time goes on. any experienced parents reading this–what do you think? do i seem to have reasonable expectations or am i utterly deluded?

Published by Ciara

Ciara Xyerra wrote zines for the better part of two decades. She has a brilliant & adorable preschooler named Ramona & sews as much as she possibly can. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas with her boyfriend. She enjoys catching up on "The New Yorker", meatball subs, keeping it cranky, intersectional post-third wave feminism, dinosaurs, & monsters. If you have nothing nice to say, she recommends that you come sit here by her, so you can say not-nice things together.

One thought on “never will i ever: baby edition

  1. I think these seem like pretty reasonable expectations. The screen one was the one I failed at in an epic way. I was so against it, and still am in principle! But sometimes I just need to put my pants on or go to the bathroom and a magic glowing screen is the only thing that makes this possible. You’re right on though about not beating yourself up for “failing” to meet any of your expectations. I think this is very important. Goals are important, but its not the end of the world if you don’t always meet them.

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