I said a lot of stuff before I had kids and I’ve pretty much just eaten all those words. I mean I even bought the minivan! Another was making my own baby food… because that’s super easy and convenient. I did it once. And she refused to eat it.
But there are still some things that I just won’t do. Either they aren’t for me, I think they are ridiculous, or I don’t have the time or mo eye for it. And I’m sure it is partly because of my own childhood. Isn’t it said that we all become our parents? And this isn’t a commentary on anyone else. Because really, you do what is best for your family, and I’ll do what is best for mine.
Big Birthday Parties Every Year – absolutely not. I loved my family’s tradition of a family dinner (chosen by the birthday boy/girl) and homemade cake. I know I had a few parties. I have pictures of a co-birthday party with my cousin Eric (maybe around age 6) and I remember a sleepover party in middle school with a bunch of friends. I’m sure I had one at age 1, but that was really it. And I haven’t been harmed by not having a big birthday party each year. Even when I only had one child, I felt this way. But with three, I know for certain it’s not going to happen. And I’m not looking forward to the girls going to school and being invited to a billion parties each year. I can only hope that they’ll be antisocial and won’t get invited. Just kidding. But who has the time or the money to do all that? I certainly don’t.
TV all day. Before having the twins I would have said no TV at all. Evie rarely ever saw the TV on for her first whole year. But now? F that. I need it to calm them down before I lose my sh*t. The TV in my house usually goes on twice a day. It goes on in the early morning for the twins before Evie gets up. This gives me the time to dress them, give them their bottles and get breakfast ready. We watch the 1983 taping of Raffi in Concert which we bought from Amazon after the YouTube user who had uploaded it canceled her account. And then it goes on around 4:30-5:00pm. This is when dinner and bath happen, and this is when I use the ‘magic,’ or Frozen, to keep them all sane through the witching hour. We had to buy a digital copy through prime because our DVD ended up scratched. We have a DVD player in the car so when I’m trying to keep Evie awake so she doesn’t screw up her nap time, she watches a Disney movie. I still feel like a horrible parent for turning it on but I. Just. Can’t. Deal. Sometimes.
Be dirty. I slack on housework ALL the time. All the time. Some days I’m too tired and some I’m too lazy. But 99% of the time, everyone is dressed and washed every single day. Even if we aren’t going out, I make it a point to make sure we dress. Clothes are always clean. I do dishes multiple times a day. When I go to bed, the stovetop and the counter are cleaned, the bath toys are put away and the playroom and living room are put back in order. Would I rather be doing something else? You bet your ass. But my house is always presentable and organized. Could it be cleaner? Of course. I’m not that good. I love having people over and want to show them all that I take pride in my home. Now, vacuuming is another story. I hate it with a passion. But I will use my hand held dirt devil in a pinch!
Homeschooling. The education system as a whole in this country is sh*t. I understand. And I’m planning a post on that topic soon. But I would never ever homeschool my children. There are some people out there that are dedicated and probably fantastic educators for their children. I know I wouldn’t be. I’m too easily distracted in my own home. And that’s just one in a long list. And I’m pretty sure there are a handful of homeschooling parents that are really doing a disservice to their children because they aren’t qualified to be teaching them. Just as an example – there has been an ad in my local free paper looking for a tutor. A homeschool parent put an ad in to find a tutor for his/her two children, for 10-15 hours a week. If you need someone else for 10-15 hours a week for your homeschooled children, you obviously are not qualified to be homeschooling parent.
Not prepare for the unknown. We live paycheck to paycheck, like so many others. Could we cut back? Yes. I know we could cancel a few things (prime, Netflix, medium data plan) but we balance this by not having cable, not having memberships we won’t use and by limiting what we buy for ourselves. Part of our monthly expenditure is dedicated to the girls. There is no choice here. Our girls will be protected if something happens to one of us. We all have health insurance, we have Aflac, and the girls all have savings accounts and college accounts. Money they receive as gifts is deposited within a week and it’s not touched. I had money issues when I became an adult but I worked hard, paid off my debts and now have excellent credit. Now we have one credit card with a revolving balance, and that’s it. I will not let my girls make some of the same mistakes that I did. I am dedicated to preparing for my children’s future and making sure that they have what they need should they wish to buy a car or pay for a wedding and that they don’t have to rely on loans to get an education. Maybe it will just put a nice deposit on a car, or their college fund may just fully pay for state school, but it’s better than nothing at all. I give them expensive gifts or multiple vacations but in the and long run, this is the best choice for my family.