Seriously, I was. And let me explain.
I was 10 when my one and only brother was born, think I started baby-sitting the day after he was born and LOVED it! I baby-sat him and tons of kids, even teachers kids, I was the bomb. My first actual job was at a daycare. I worked at preschool all through college and my degrees in early childhood education! Oh yes. Expert. Then, wait for it...I went back to school while teaching preschool to get my elementary certification. I subbed for grades Kindergarten through 8th grade (PE, Art and Music included). Between all the preschool teaching, subbing, and finally 1st grade teaching, I was the expert at children rearing...a certified parental expert. And then enter children. The judgment stopped. Those looks I gave parents ended. The shock on my face when I see "things" has disappeared (well, most of the time! Some people will never stop amazing!).
This is how I was such a great mom before kids
1. My kids would never drink pop, NEVER. Reality: I was a stickler with Jack, I think he was 3 before he even tasted a carbonated beverage. Molly, maybe 2, Will was less then a year. My thoughts, it wasn't a whole 2 liter. Right? There's worse. Right?
2. My kids would never wear character anything. Please! They have shirts, shoes, and complete outfits with Elmo, Dora, Buzz Lightyear, Thomas, you name it! I can handle the pajamas socks and underwear, but it's everything else I don't like. But, there are days where it's not worth the battle, but I can't believe I am come to this point! Head to toe Dora! Dora and Elmo chairs! Blankets, tents, nightlights and clocks all with characters! Never before kids!
3. I would never drive a minivan. Well, I don't right now, but my Explorer is going on 7 years of getting our family around with only minor problems in the past 7 years. I know the time is coming in the next year or two and I really want a van. Just to push a button and the doors open, wow! Eric is pulling for a Tahoe.
4. My kids would only watch an hour of TV a week and that would start at 2 years old, no younger. Please! I was really good about this with Jack, at least while we were home. He went to a home daycare and there was TV time while she made lunch (that is how we discovered Elmo), but that was very sensible. Once I had Molly, the TV became my best friend! He didn't sit there 8 hours a day, but I would take my best naps from 6-8 in the morning while Jack watched Disney, Eric got ready for work, and Molly slept after her 4 am feeding! Molly and Will were just accustomed to the TV on in the mornings, but they of course were younger then 2 when they were exposed and the 1 hour thing has NEVER happened!
5. Observing all the stay at home moms, I would constantly wonder "what do they do all day?" I did not want to be a stay at home mom. I wanted to teach and I knew I could balance both worlds! Well, we had Jack and I balanced working and being a mom and thought I did pretty good! I enjoyed my time with Jack and my time teaching, but wished I had more time to do both! And, I was not prepared to miss Jack so much while I was teaching! I mean, my heart hurt all the time because I couldn't be with him and instead with 24 crazy 1st graders. Well, we had Molly, moved to Texas and I was planning on teaching here too! We moved in the summer, but I interviewed for a few jobs but didn't get a job. I decided to go through the sub training, get roots here in our new home and town, and get our family settled. What I didn't plan on was our Will! There was no way we could afford for me to work and have 3 kids in daycare, and I didn't want to put them in daycare! I was enjoying my time with my sweet kids and didn't want to miss out on the little moments! So, I became an unplanned stay at home mom. I love it, but it is a lot harder then any of those crazy days with the 24 1st graders! And I'm so busy all day! Laundry, cleaning, caring for the kids needs, grocery shopping, I could go on, but I'm not enjoying coffee or lunch with my friends, getting my nails done and my maid doesn't come ever! I haven't had a haircut since August!
6. I would not bribe my kids with sweets, toys, or taking them places to get what I want or need them to do. What a long sentence to but bluntly, I would not bribe my kids. Well, that's funny! That's how we survive some days! Jack finishes his homework fast and correctly because he knows he can play the Wii or go outside when it's complete! Oh, Will if you don't cry at the Y, you get a sucker! Molly, if you want to wear your tutu and cowgirl boots, you need to pick up your room! Hello! I never promise taking them to Disney World if they clean their rooms or take them bowling if eat their dinner. But, if it means your toddler will go to five stores in two hours and be a rock star, then he gets a sticker!
7. I will only cook homemade, organic foods and we will only eat out for special occasions. We must have a lot of special occasions in our family because we out more then your birthday or anniversary. I don't buy all organic. I do really like to cook but there are days where it's not in me to think, plan, and prepare a meal. And organic is expensive, but I'm working on buying more and more organic products! Baby steps!
8. My children will not be picky eaters, that is for sure! Wish this was true, but I have 3 picky eaters and of course they all choose to like and dislike different foods! Will loves beans but the other two not so much. Molly loves blackberries, Will loves blueberries and Jack loves only strawberries. I refuse to make them a seperate meal, but they have gone to bed hungry because they refuse to eat dinner. And no bribery works for some meals, Eric and I went out for ice cream one time because we told the kids that was dessert if they ate dinner. Eric and I were the only ones eating ice cream.
9. What do you mean, your kids throw temper tantrums?!! The horrors! What an idiot I was! It's a normal part of development for children, and I took child development in college. I must have skimmed that chapter or something because if I saw a kid have a fit, I would shake my head in disbelief! Must be the parents fault. Please! Our kids have thrown fits over cereal bowls, which cup their drink is in, clothes, position of pillows on their beds, changing plans at the last minute (let's go to the grocery last, that way the food won't spoil has resulted in major fits), and so on. I sometimes stare at my children in shock while fits are happening because they were so sweet and calm seconds before the cereal was poured into the wrong bowl. Will throws a fit daily after his nap over nothing! Good times!
10. No child of mine will use a pacifier or suck their thumb! Well, we have had a life long finger/thumb sucker named Molly. We had sonograms with her sucking her finger, happy as a clam! We're starting to talk about her stopping and all the advice I get is about pacifiers. Well, a pacifier fairy is awesome, but there is not a finger fairy that will come and take her finger and give her a toy in her fingers place.
11. How can a house be messing if you stay home all day? Or, my house won't be messy because I'll be at work and the kids at school all day! I wish! I spend a ton of time cleaning, just to repeat daily and not see huge results! I sweep three times a day, clean toys up constantly, do laundry daily, and you know what? There is always more crumbs to sweep, more toys to put away, and more clothes that are dirty! Our playroom hasn't been cleaned in over a week because I just don't want to deal with it, I need to wash my blinds, and I have a stack of papers to go through in my bedroom that I haven't "gotten to." But, between everything else going on, when am I going to take down all the blinds, clean them and put them back up? I thought my floors would be so clean you could eat off of them if I stayed home, but I would vomit if someone (outside of my family) tried to eat off of our floors...my kids do it all the time and they are fine! You know, they built up immunity over the years of living in filth!
12. How come your kids are always sick? Wash their hands all ready! Sadly, yes, I judged that family with sick kids, thinking it was so easy to prevent your kids from getting sick! That was until I was teaching and had my own child to care for! I've learned the opposite is true, it's easy to get sick and hard to keep your kids healthy all the time. Sad.
13. Trim those nails, why don'tcha! GROSS! Look at all that dirt under there! Guilty! Until I tried to trim those nails myself! I hate cutting my kids nails and would be willing to pay for a professional nail trimmer to come weekly to trim all 3 kids nails. Luckily, I can save my money because Eric is rock star at nail trimming! Whew! It's just maintaining those nails! I swear my kids are taking prenatal vitamins the way their nails grow so fast! (They aren't, by the way!)
14. How hard is it to wipe your kids face/nose/clean their ears, etc. Sometimes, there is no point cleaning your kids face after they eat because you know it will be dirty 5 minutes later. I mean, I do a general clean up after meals, but I've had children go out in public with obvious food on their face from a meal that was 2 hours before. I know, gross.
15. My children will sleep when it is time to sleep! Sleep is awesome and ALL babies sleep ALL the time. Learned this one the hard way! I remember a wonderfully cold, rainy day when all I wanted to do was snuggle with Eric under the covers and take a 3 hour nap. Instead, I was up with baby named Jack who was exhausted but I didn't know how to put him to sleep. I was tired, frustrated, and didn't know you have to help babies learn how to sleep. He's an awesome sleeper now, Molly has always been a great sleeper (thanks to her finger, sad), but Will is still a work in progress, he woke up at 4:30 the other morning ready to start his day and didn't go back to sleep...maybe that's why I love coffee so much!
Go on, judge all you want, even if you have kids. I'm not Mother of the Year and will never be, but I hope to think that I'm a little more open minded now that I'm a mother!