The Mom I Thought I'd Be

During pregnancy -- and even before -- I had an idea about the type of mom I'd be, which is a long, long way from the mom I am. Let's count the ways:
  • I thought I'd use cloth diapers. I knew one baby wasn't going to make a big difference in the amount of disposable diapers going into the landfills, but I was going to do my part. So I stocked up on cloth diapers. (I liked the Flip brand.) We had two dozen when my daughter came home from the hospital. We didn't use them right away because they didn't have a notch for the umbilical cord like the Pampers the hospital gave us had. We gave it a shot once the cord fell off. The problem, though, was that she still needed disposables for day care, and in switching her back and forth, I had a constant reminder of how much easier it was to toss them, especially the poopy ones. By the time my daughter turn 9 months old, the cloth diapers were forgotten in a drawer. On a related note ...
  • I thought my daughter would be potty trained at age 2. My sister-in-law was very relaxed when it came to potty training her kids. She basically changed diapers until each kid decided he or she wanted to start using the potty. I remember thinking to myself that if I ever had kids, I'd be more diligent. Now that I am a parent, I see that being a diligent potty-trainer is easier said than done. Chores and other obligations (not to mention the occasional tantrum from the child who just doesn't understand why she needs to stop playing to go sit on the toilet) make telling yourself, "Oh, we'll focus more on potty training tomorrow," all too easy to do. My daughter will turn 3 in less than a month, and I'm still putting pull-ups on my grocery list. I now have great admiration for any parent who gets the potty-training chore accomplished by the time a child turns 36 months.
  • I thought I'd make time to exercise. I want to set a good example for my daughter, so I want to be physically fit and able to keep up with her for years to come. In reality, though, I still baby weight (plus some extra weight) to shed, and with everything else I'm trying to juggle, getting in workouts falls by the wayside. I'm still working on this one, though.
  • I thought I'd read to my child every day. On the days when I feel like reading, I let her pick the book (or books). What I've found is that she can listen to the same book time and time again without getting bored. That is not the case with me. Once I can recite those books from memory, I'm ready to put them on the shelf for good (or hide them somewhere way up high). Perhaps regular trips to the library would make this goal easier to accomplish.
  • I thought I'd cook more. I used to cook a lot -- before I had a child. Now, I'm the queen of opening cans, popping foods into the microwave and buzzing through fast-food drive-throughs because putting forth more effort than that, especially when I'm "cooking" just for my daughter and me, feels like a waste of time. I'll eat it, but my daughter will just pick at most foods. This, like the exercise, remains on my list of the mom I strive to be, though, because I want my daughter to get used to eating as healthily as possible.
I'm sure there are more things I thought I'd do differently that I have long forgotten. The idea of motherhood is a lot less messy than the reality. But hey, I like the mess, and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Are you the mom you thought you'd be?

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