I was the BEST PARENT EVER...before I had kids.
No, really. I worked in a daycare for several years up until Ethan was born, and I felt it taught me everything I would NOT do as a parent, because darn it, I would do better!
HAHAHAHAHAH! Are you laughing at me yet?
One of the greatest things I have learned since becoming a parent is this. "Never say never."
I am that mom with a kid who is DEFINITELY old enough to know better, throw a whopper of a temper tantrum throughout the grocery store.
I am that mom who allows sugary cereal and cartoons.
I am that mom who said "No more binky after she turns 1!" ...which turned into "No more binky after she turns 2!" ....and now she is 2 1/2 and guess what? She is still going strong. Maybe when she turns 3?
I remember the first time I saw Yo Gabba Gabba. I thought, "OH my goodness, this show is MESSED. UP." Guess what? My daughter has all the stuffed characters, along with character shirts and blankets. Girlfriend LOVES her some Muno and Brobee.
My kids both only drink chocolate milk. They both HATE white milk (and yes, I offered white milk first).
Both of my kids were formula fed. Allison had a few slurps of breast milk, but...yeah, it didn't work out so well.
I pick my battles with my kids, and sometimes, from the outside, it might look bad, but you know what? It's working for us.
I think the WORST thing parents can do is judge others without knowing the whole story. That is the beauty of BEING a parent. There are so many ways to do it, and there isn't one way better than the other. Is the product happy, healthy, kids? Then you are doing it right!
You'll never see me cloth diaper. And I hate to cook, so making baby food is out. Breastfeeding didn't work so hot. Co-sleep? Good heavens, NO! Sleep is precious to me and I'll be damned if some squirmy little human is going to interrupt that. That's what their crib is for! I tried a baby sling ONCE and felt like my child was trying to strangle me. That was the end of that 4 minute adventure.
But you know what? Ethan is doing AMAZINGLY well in school. He had some maturity issues in preschool, but since then, he has grown so much and he is extremely smart. He has a very close bond to both his father and myself. Bottom line? He is one loved little boy and he knows, without a doubt in his mind, that we adore him, no matter what. He has always been extremely healthy. His "worst" illness was maybe an ear ache?
And Allison. Sweet Allison. That girl is FULL of life and spunk. She has the most beautiful smile, and she will give anyone a hug when it is time to go, followed by a "have a great day!" She loves to eat, and is willing to try almost anything. She is doing amazingly well with potty training, and I have to say, she has done most of it on her own.
Both of my kids love books. Ethan loves to read, and Allison loves to be read to. We are regulars at the library and every night before bed, Ethan and I have a routine we developed, after hearing that President Obama does something similar with his girls. We tweaked it a bit and not a night goes by without us doing it. We'll say "What was your rose, daisy, thorn, and prickly thorn today?" to each other. Your rose is the best thing. Your daisy is the second best thing. Your thorn is something that upset you, and your prickly thorn is something that hurt you or made you angry.
Allison loves Yo Gabba Gabba and Sesame Street. She loves Dora, Diego, and Wonder Pets. But she also loves to sing and dance. She is FULL of animation
My kids are happy. They still have not learned that the world does not revolve around them, but we are working on that. They are healthy. They are well-rounded. They have traveled, and when we travel, we make it a learning experience. They are wonderful, wonderful children.
Never say never. Don't judge. You are judging based on very superficial things.