Monday, May 23, 2011

"When I'm a mother, I would NEVER ______"

If you are a mother, you know exactly what I am talking about.  I could fill in the blank with a hundred things. I would NEVER let my child have a pacifier. I would NEVER let my child eat chicken nuggets.  And and on and on and on. Like the saying goes, "I was a perfect mother. Until I had kids."

Well, Amy Wilson understands completely and has written a smart, funny book When Did I Get Like This? The Screamer, The Worrier, The Dinosaur-Chicken-Nugget-Buyer, And Other Mothers I Swore I'd Never Be (HarperCollins).  This book sheds the bright light of humor on the reality of motherhood. I only wish she had written it BEFORE I had my 4 sons - so I 'd know from the beginning that I was not alone.

We are thrilled to be giving away a copy of her book. To enter the drawing, simply become follower here on 16 Balls in the Air and/or our Facebook page. Then leave a comment before Friday with an example of what you THOUGHT you would do as a mother versus what you REALLY did. Please include your email address in your comment.

Em's Before and After: I have a hundred stories of how my perception before kids changed after I was actually dealing with real live human children. The most obvious to me is how I THOUGHT I would dress my kids - in cute, matching, clean, ironed, fashionable clothes.  Don't get me wrong, they don't look like ragamuffins all the time. But now, in Realityville, I am much less concerned with what they are wearing and much more relieved that they actually picked out and put clothes on themselves without my help. Sure the 3 year old may wear Star Wars t-shirts and sweat pants three days a week. Or The Kindergartener might wear red, Lightning McQueen socks with dress shoes and a SpongeBob T to school. But they managed to find clean, right-sized (80% of the time) clothes and get dressed without involving me. The benefit far outweighs the end result.

Lib's Before and After: I never thought I would be so exasperated by an inconsolable, crying child that I would walk out of the house to smoke a cigarette.  And I never thought I would warn them so often they might get hurt swinging, climbing, wrestling, jumping. I planned on being a much more adventure-promoting mamma, but the realities of co-pays took that instinct down a notch.  And I never thought I would use the arm-grab-hissing-voice ifyoueverdothatagain threat.  I never thought I would be the kind of mamma who wants to tell every little story about her youngest, or talk incessantly about how the rollercoaster of mom-hood moves at the speed of light.

You can read more about Amy, her blog, her Broadway show at her website.

Another day, another story,
Em & Lib
The big D(isclosure): we did receive a copy of When Did I Get Like This.
**linked to Kristen


april said...

Ha! I could fill a freakin book with things that I knew I would never do as a mother. I will preface my "answer" with this: I have a huge amount of respect and admiration for working moms now, regardless of what I used to think. Before I was a mom, I knew that I would never put any job or career before my children. I would never sacrifice family time for money. I would be a mom first, always. 3 years ago, I began the launching of a career as a photographer. While I am able to make my own hours and largely work from home(because shooting is only half the job, the rest is done at my computer), my job takes me away from home more than I thought it would(most weekends, when family stuff happens). The more my business grows, the more I am away. While I miss being available to attend every event that my kids participate in, I feel fulfilled and happy now, where as I really didn't before. My children and husband make sacrifices for the sake of my job, but I can honestly say that I don't feel guilty about it anymore. I always thought that career moms had to be incredibly selfish and/or money hungry. I now realize that sometimes having a job that you love and enjoy can make you a better mom, even if it means that you miss out on a few things here and there. Children don't just need a full time mom. They need a happy and well rounded mom and my job provides that for me and I think it makes us happier.

MissyP said...

I swore I would never say "we'll see". I HATED that response as a child. I mean, how hard could it be to give a "yes" or a "no" instead? But I have found it to be a valuable tool for prolonging having to either: say yes to something you have no desire to say yes to, or say no and face the arguing and whining and repeated asking that is bound to follow, until you say yes. "We'll see" is, to my dismay, my first response 90% of the time.

Alana of Taylor Made Home said...

Thanks for stopping by Taylor Made Home. I am your newest follower. :)

As for what I swore I'd never do, I guess my answer would be: I swore I'd never let my kid eat junk food...of any kind. Though he doesn't eat it all the time, he does eat it more frequently than I'd like. I am working on reducing this but he loves fruit so he is getting some nutrition.

More of my regrets are things I thought I would do but don't, such as make my child lunch from scratch daily and have planned activities scattered throughout the day. Working on improving though.

Laura, Todd, Mary Todd and Miller said...

I never thought that I'd discourage my children from participating in any activity. Then again, I never thought backstage at a 4 year old's ballet recital would scare the life out of me.

Patti Adley Bryan said...

When I was a child, I always wanted to know 'why' - Why do I have to eat eggs? Why do I have to wear an itchy dress to Aunt Ruby's house everytime? Why do I have to wash my hands, again? Why can't I pick blackberries in the ditch? Why do I have to......why, why, why! I'm sure I drove my mother crazy! Her standard answer was, 'BECAUSE I SAID SO' and I swore I would NEVER say that to my children. I held true about 90% of the time, but realized quickly that 'BECAUSE I SAID SO' was a much easier answer.


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