As a childless twenty-something year old, I thought I had the answers to everything relating to parenting. I knew exactly what I would do. My baby would sleep in 3-4 hour intervals. I would breastfeed for the first year. They will never have a pacifier. They would never eat a diet that consisted of chicken nuggets and spaghetti. They will be potty trained by 2 1/2 and of course, they will be behaved children. And one of my favorites, I will never give my child chocolate and candy until they were about age 6.
Fast forward a bit… I am now the mother of one beautiful daughter who will be 10 (double digits baby!) in October. As she is a great child, she never quite managed to fit the mold I created in my naive head as an adult who didn’t have a child yet.
I speak of this because I just finished reading Lose The Cape: Never Will I Ever (and then I had kids!)
edited by Alexa Bigwarfe and Kerry Rivera.
This book is a hysterical conglomeration of 32 authors depicting what they “never would do”. I found myself laughing through each and every story as I had the same ideas as most of these contributors… and then I had my daughter.
I found myself highlighting certain areas that I really related to and soon enough almost half the book was highlighted. Some of my favorites were:
“After all, I had wanted to have children my entire life – of course I was going to love every minute of watching them grow. I was certainly not going to be the mom who snaps at her kids in the grocery store checkout line.” – Karen Johnson
(Yep, thought that. Just ask my daughter about yelling at her while shopping. She doesn’t grocery shop with me because of that.)
“It took me a moment to understand what I had just said. I threatened to keep a refined sugar product from my son if he didn’t eat a calorie-laden grease-fest carbohydrate smorgasbord. It wasn’t as though there was a single crudite on his plate, but I was so tired of our table battles I went all in. Over pizza.” – Allison Barrett Carter
(Been there, done that. My daughter is such a Carbs Diva.)
“As I promoted from position to position, I started to notice more and more women leaving once they had children. The mothers who did return often struggled to keep up with the demands of our industry and balancing the work with being a mom they’d always wanted to be. I, foolishly, thought it wouldn’t be a problem for me – the over-achiever. I would be able to do both, seamlessly. I was determined to have the highest executive position, maintain the perfect marriage, raise the perfect children, have the cleanest house, and of course sport the perfect manicure and blow-out.” – Holly Rust
(Oh yeah. Definitely had that belief.)
I think Jennifer Collins is living with my daughter as she describes her perfectly… “My daughter has so many stuffed animals that they cascade from her bed to the floor and into her closet… She is also and aspiring jeweler, honing her craft with the making of loom-band bracelets. There are tiny colorful bands everywhere.”
“My routine won’t change just because I have a baby… I’ll never use the TV as a babysitter… My child will never discover fast food… My kid’s going to learn to sit and wait patiently…” – Andrea Bates
(I thought all of these, and have caved to all of them.)
And then some honest accounts that I could relate to:
“I would rather have a messy house and a career than a clean house that makes me feel empty, like I’m wasting good talent and skills I’ve spent decades developing. I’d rather have kids with healthy psychological foundations because I can focus on their needs as opposed to the expectations of society.” – Michelle Grewe
(Right on, Michelle!)
“My body was failing her. I was failing her. I know now that wasn’t the truth, but in the midst of sleep deprivation, postpartum depression, and a slight Sunday buzz, I was a wreck – and stayed that way well after the champagne wore off.” – Kimberly Zapata
(I understand, I’ve been there.)
What did you tell yourself “Never Will I Ever” before you had kids? I bet you’ll find yourself laughing while reading this book.
You can find this great book at: