I Was a Really Excellent Mom Before I Had Kids

We all have those things that we said before we had kids- the things we imagined we’d do, say, be. And then when we actually have kids, many of those things change.

Mandy-Red-Stick-Mom-16 copy

Here are 10 things I thought I’d be like as a mom and how they’ve changed now that I actually am a mom:

1. I thought I was going to be so tough. I had a long list of “my kid will never” and now I’m a total pushover. Sure there are limits, but pretty much if he wants something within an inch of reason, he gets it. Life is short- a grilled cheese is not worth a battle. Plus, I’m pretty sure he waits until he knows I’m most exhausted and then goes in for the “kill”…3-year-olds are great at manipulation.

2. On that note- As a person that eats pretty clean and mostly vegetarian, I had a vision that I would only feed my child the healthiest and most wholesome foods. See point above about grilled cheese- I’m talking about a grilled cheese made from Kraft singles, on white bread, drowning in butter. Y’all, wholesome would not be a word used to describe this grilled cheese. But there’s calcium in it, right?

3. I had this notion that I wouldn’t care what anyone thought of my parenting style, but parenting opens you up to a whole new level of criticism and it can feel super personal. I’m not sure why it stings so much when a stranger offers unsolicited parenting advice, but it turns me into the Hulk, y’all.

4. I told so many people that I would never lie to my child and now a day rarely goes by that at least one lie isn’t told. Why can’t we go to McDonald’s? They are out of cheeseburgers. Why can’t you play on my iPad? The battery is dead. Why can’t you have some of my drink? Because it’s mommy’s “medicine.” Whatever it takes to maintain my sanity.

5. I imagined being the mom that did all these Pinterest perfect projects with her kids and now I’m just happy if we get out the door with his clothes on. The thought of planning a project, gathering the supplies, and then him even caring about it at all seems totally laughable. He doesn’t want to help me make sensory play dough. He’d rather watch Mickey Mouse, run around the house naked, and hide all of the remotes in an effort to drive me insane.

6. I thought my kids would clean up after themselves. HAHAHAHA. I can barely walk from the sofa to the kitchen without stepping on a toy and cursing. Now I just kick things into a pile as I walk through the house so I can have a semblance of a pathway.

7. I thought I’d be a bit of a tiger mom with a super-achieving kiddo since I was “that kid” growing up and then the universe laughed in my face. As a special needs mom, I’m excited when my almost 4-year old uses a two-word sentence. And potty-training isn’t even on the radar for us, but he’s super achieving in his own way.

8. I believed that I was going to hate losing a bit of my identity and becoming known primarily as “Jo Jo’s mom.” But being Jo Jo’s mom is the greatest privilege I have, so I don’t really care if anyone says my name ever again. Well, except my husband. There are certain scenarios that if he called me  “Jo Jo’s mom” it would be awkward for everyone.

9. I swore that I would never subject other adults to watching videos of or looking at pictures of my kiddo because that is so annoying. I’ve seen a kid walk before, I’m not in awe of your child reaching a milestone that literally millions of other people have already done. But now I find myself thinking,”this is the most adorable thing any person has ever done in the history of the universe, the world must see it!”

10. I thought that motherhood would just be another title I had in my life. I never imagined I’d love being a mom as much as I do or that I could really love another person as completely and unconditionally as I love my son. I’m so glad I was wrong about this one. He is more than I could have ever hoped for and I love the person I am as his mom, even if it’s not who I thought I would be.

In what ways has motherhood changed you? Are you the mom you always imagined you’d be, before you had kids?

Mandy was born and raised in Shreveport and married her best friend, Dustin, in 2008. When they moved to Baton Rouge in 2010 for graduate school, they had no idea how much this city would change their lives. After meeting some incredibly inspiring people, they decided to become foster parents in 2011 and adopted their bundle of energy, Joseph, in 2014. Mandy works part time as the Safe Families for Children Coordinator, a program that aims to support and stabilize families who are experiencing a crisis. She spends the rest of her time managing Joseph's therapies for autism and living out the gift and honor of being a mom. When she has a few minutes of spare time, Mandy loves to bake, draw, hit the pavement for a run, or even better- NAP!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here