When I was pregnant with my daughter, I took on the challenge like I do my career. I managed the project with lofty goals in the pursuit of something great. The difference between my career and child-rearing? The former allows me at least a sliver of control whereas the latter is more like a game of blindfolded dodge ball.
Here is my scorecard of expectations vs. reality:
My home will be an educational haven. I had visions of effortless, imaginative tea parties and cardboard forts used to teach the basics of psychics before age two. (This might be a slight exaggeration but I did buy a bunch of Baby Einstein DVDs. Same, same.) Within approximately 27-seconds of walking in the door yesterday, my child was happily seated in front of
her babysitter Moana. Haven yes, educational notsomuch.
I will breastfeed exclusively for one year. Well, turns out when your body stops producing milk even after you’ve performed every voodoo trick known to the Internet, you make it nine months. Also, turns out baby still needs to eat after nine months … so formula (gasp) it is! We of course resorted to drug-ring-level smuggling to buy German formula (thanks, FDA) because spending triple the price of US formula each month made us feel less guilty about a decision that shouldn’t involve guilt in the first place. (Wow, I unloaded a LOT in one sentence.)
I will read all the books about all the things and become a momming expert ASAP. I can recite The Gruffalo from start to finish. I’m giving this one a check mark.
I will be a master organic chef. My children will crave my creations and scoff at the sight of a nugget. My child has cereal-bar-spidey sense. The mere crinkle of processed food packaging will send her into a drool-inducing hunt from which she always emerges victorious. If you’re looking for mediocre, kid-friendly meal planning tips, just refer to this previous post.
My example will nurture a loving and calm environment, and my children will reflect this. I mean this one was dead in the water based on my natural demeanor alone, not sure what I was thinking. And just to further illustrate the “calm, loving environment” I’ve built – last weekend I had to pull the (toy) hammer out of my daughter’s ruthless grasp as she went all fight club on a friend’s jugular…
Each day will bring a new opportunity to show off adorable baby fashion. Ummmmm, could have just stopped that sentence at “opportunity” and it would be a more accurate statement. Diaper + stained onesie = outfit. Don’t worry though, I have an entire closet full of pristine, brand-name clothing that she’s already outgrown because evidently “baby galas” aren’t an every weekend kind of thing.
I will make sure this baby knows every single day that she is loved. No amount of mac and cheese or screen time can ruin this one. I’m knocking it out of the park. Check, plus.