Parenting: 6 things we swore we’d never do but do

Essex Kate of Counting to Ten blog with children

Kate with her children

Becoming a parent is a life-changing event that nothing really prepares you for. BritMums’ Kate Kirk at CountingToTenBlog (pictured here with her children) reveals some of the things she and fellow bloggers have found themselves doing as a parent that they swore they never would from bribery to raising their voices.

Judge and be judged?

When I walk past a child in the supermarket dressed as a superhero I smile. When I see a child sitting down on the pavement having a tantrum I breathe a sigh of relief that it isn’t my child this time. When I hear a parent offering their child sweets if they “just get a move on” I don’t judge. Why? Because I have been there. Many, many times.

Back in the days when I looked youthful and my tiredness was self induced I had ideas about what it was like to be a mum, but it turns out I was wrong. I didn’t realise how hard it can be at times to look after little people, how they often ignore you and how you’ll pretty quickly change your approach if it leads to an easier life.

I asked some fellow parent bloggers what they have found themselves doing that they didn’t think they would do before they became a parent.

1. Use a dummy

It turns out that many of us started with the U turns right from the beginning with the introduction of dummies. Dummies have a bad reputation which is unfair really given that The Lullaby Trust suggest using them at night could reduce the risk of SIDS. Many people, myself included, thought we would never use them and then we had one of those babies that need to suck and we needed a break. The only problem then is you have to ditch the dummy at some point.

2. Offer bribes

Giving children something to put in their mouths works with older children too. Whether it’s bribing with chocolate or with not yet paid for food in the supermarket so they can make it through the family shop.

Jo from A Rose Tinted World shares: “I said I’d never let my child eat things before paying for them at the supermarket. Now we hand at least one empty packet to the cashier at each trip.”

Of course none us thought we would use bribes because we all thought we would have perfectly behaved children. And we don’t.

3. Shout 

Jess from Beauties and the Bibs wrote: “I said I would never be that shouty mom, I didn’t think there was need for it. Now I have a nearly 2 year old that’s pushing boundaries all the time I am that shouty mom which I really hate.”

4. Co-sleep to get some sleep

Tempers are always short when we are tired and many of us struggle to get enough sleep. Co-sleeping is another strategy we use to get by. Sarah from Run Jump Scrap didn’t think she would let her children sleep with her at any age: “I was against co sleeping with a baby and never wanted to sleep with older children. But I’ve co slept with my third child from 0-6 months and my girls are in and out of my bed like a yo yo! Anything so we can sleep!”.

5. Use screen time as me time

Tiredness during the day can be one of the reasons we use more screen time than we thought we would. Sarah from Arthurwears (who has written lots of brilliant posts on early education play ideas) says “When Arthur was little I only ever let him watch a bit of ‘something special’ because he learnt Makaton from it. Now I let them both watch the iPad at breakfast so that we can crack on and get ready whilst they are distracted and I often resort to CBeebies as a babysitter when I’m too exhausted to do anything else. Not an ounce of guilt about it either – we all have to do what we can to get through the days and I like to think I balance it out on my good days.”

6. Feed the kids junk food (occasionally)

We all take short cuts and time out when we can. Sometimes that means the home cooked meals we thought we would be making go out the window and junk food walks in the door holding a bar of chocolate. Well there isn’t always time to cook from fresh and children soon discover that chocolate is pretty delicious. Laura from Five Little Doves said “I swore mine would never eat junk food. Oh how we laugh about that these days.”

There’s a funny side to parenting

It’s good to have a sense of humour and we all change in ourselves when we become parents morphing into what might be seen as a stereotypical mum. Abi from Something About Baby has written a post about how she has found herself talking about poo with a mum hair cut while Natalie from Confessions of a Crummy Mummy blogged about wearing comfy leggings and refusing to go out at nap time.

As Helen sums up in her post on Twins, Tantrums and Cold Coffee:

“I was such a perfect mum before I had children!”.

It’s not all negative though. We can find that we are actually better parents than we thought we would be. Kelly from Life Through The Eyes of a Rebel Tribe shares: “I think I’ve evolved as a parent and I like that they make their own choices/have opinions, and that we allow them the space to voice them. I started out thinking we’d be quite strict and old school haha! I’m glad we changed.”

What do you do as a parent that you never thought you would?

Also on Britmums:

Scary parenting moments

Green parenting: How to adopt a plant-based diet

Charity: Raising awareness and funds for good causes

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About Kate Kirk

Kate lives on the border of London and Essex surrounded by the chaos caused by her two daughters, cat and partner. When she can distract her toddler for long enough she blogs at www.countingtoten.co.uk about honest parenting. As a co-parenting, non-dairy eating, occasionally depressed and often shouty mother of girls who love toys, books, going out and mess she covers a bit of everything and is often covered in everything. You can find her chatting away on Twitter (EssexKate), Instagram (EssexKate) and Facebook (CountingToTenBlog) when she should probably be tidying the house.