Friday, June 15, 2012

Never and Always

Two commonly used words in the English language.  Not dangerous, profane or offensive right?  

However I have learned in my 13 years of parenthood that I have eaten them MANY times because I was the perfect parent before I had children.

Here are a few examples of my statements over the years:

  • My child will NEVER run around in just a diaper (this 2 year old is vehemently opposed to clothing)
  • My child will NEVER have crusty boogers all over his nose
  • My child will NEVER throw a tantrum in the middle of the store.
  • I will NEVER go out of the house without a bra on,  in my pajamas.
  • I will NEVER yell, scream or spank my child.
  • I will NEVER have a nasty toilet with dried urine on the seat and base (4 boys...enough said)
  • I will ALWAYS read my children bedtime stories and sing them lullabies before bed.
  • I will ALWAYS bathe my children every day.
  • I will ALWAYS have a clean car and NEVER allow for there to be nasty crumbs and garbage throughout the interior.
  • I will ALWAYS have a nice yard and NEVER allow for weeds and grass to overtake it.
  • My children will ALWAYS sleep in their own beds.
  • I will ALWAYS breastfeed my children until they are a year old.
  • My children will ALWAYS nap until they are three years old.

You see what I mean?  It is a teensy bit dangerous to make such generalized statements because these statements are usually made before one is in the circumstance.  They can also be dangerous in that they can be used to judged others.  

It is also dangerous to use them with your children.  In fact this morning my son got out chocolate chips and asked if he could have them for a snack.  He started to open them even after I said No.  I said to him...."If you open that package and disobey me you will NEVER get to eat chocolate chips."  Yes in his whole life he will NEVER eat chocolate chips if he opens that package.  Wow, a shining moment in my mothering.

The longer I parent the longer I realize how things are constantly changing.  Each of my 5 children have such distinct personalities that what works for one child will not work for another.  Something my 13 year old would NEVER have said or done 5 years ago has certainly changed as he hits puberty.  Most of all I think we need to be kind to others, ourselves and our children and not generalize or judge a situation we aren't in.

There are two NEVER and ALWAYS statements I can say with conviction:

I will NEVER abuse or neglect my children and
I will ALWAYS love them fiercely!

What Never and Always statements have you said and look back on and laugh?


Venessa said...

I said I would never be like my mother! If anyone were to tell me that I was like my mother today....I'd take that as high praise!
I also said that I would always be the mom who gives little treats and gifts for all the holidays to the kids teachers. That ended about three years ago...not enough time and it started adding up! Christmas is as good as it gets now.

Sarah said...

I distinctively remember seeing a little boy with long dirty fingernails and admit to thinking a small bad thought about his mother. Then I had a little boy who at times has long dirty fingernails. Whoops.....Learning experience.

Rachael said...

Great blog post Cheryl!!! I can't think of any off the top of my head of things I said my Kids will NEVER do...well...besides what is already on your list! Its so really can't claim you or your child will NEVER do something!

Kathleen said...

I've said many (okay, most) of the ones on your list. I can also add that I'd never let my child sleep in bed with us but guess what....
Another great post. Have a great week.