I was the best Mom ever. Then I had kids.

I have been reflecting a lot lately since Luke was born over a year ago & thinking about how much my mothering has changed since I had him compared to when I was a first time mom with Kate.
Then I started thinking about how my parenting has changed since before I had Kate, when I had no kids.
Because before I had my own kids, I was the best Mom EVER.
I wasn't a mom myself yet, but let me tell you, in my silently judging mind, I was the best. 

Oh, how funny that is to think back on in my carefree, childless days. 
I had NO clue. No clue, I tell you.
It's hard being a mom. Sooooooo hard.
Harder than I ever, ever thought it would be.
And, when you don't have kids of your own it is easy to judge and say to yourself,
 "When I'm a Mom, there is NO WAY I would do that (or let my kids do that)"

Let's take a look at the Top 10 things I said *I* would never do when I had kids.

1. Wear Pajamas/Costumes in public
I remember before having kids I would see kids at the store & they were wearing costumes (and it wasn't Halloween) or they were wearing pajamas!! Oh, the horror! I couldn't believe that their parents let them out of the house like that and took them to the store in a costume or pajamas! Then, I had my own kids and realized that sometimes it's just not worth the battle. Claire went through a phase when she was 2 and thought she was Belle. She literally wore her Belle dress every single day during the summer of 2010. And sometimes, I let her wear it when we went out on errands. It just wasn't worth the battle.

2. Watch TV before they were 2 years old
 I said I would NEVER let my kids watch TV before they were 2.  Then I got pregnant with Claire when Kate was 11 months old. Like all my pregnancies, I had 24/7 all day morning sickness. Soooo many times I would strap Kate into her high chair, toss some cheerios on the tray, wheel her high chair in front of the TV, turn on Sesame Street and then go puke in the bathroom. Good times, I tell you, good times. Sesame Street saved me during those times.
3. My kids won't be picky eaters.
I always said they will eat a variety of foods and I will make sure they have vegetables each day. 
I never understood why some kids were picky eaters. I am not a picky eater and neither is Kevin.  Surely our kids wouldn't be picky....

Boy was I wrong. Our girls are so, so, picky.
They have gotten better over the past year, but they are still picky and rarely eat what we eat for dinner, so I make them different meals pretty much EVERY.SINGLE.NIGHT.
I know this is a bad habit, but they were so low on the weight percentage (and still are) that I just wanted them to eat, so when they refused our meals, I would make them something different.

4. Wear mismatched clothes and/or character clothing
Let me be honest here, I despise character clothing. Not my thing. At all.
I said I would never, ever buy that stuff for my kids.
My girls would always beg for the Princess/Hello Kitty/Minnie Mouse shirts at Target & I would always say no. I finally gave in a couple years ago when Claire wanted to use a Target card she got for her birthday (Thanks, Kelly) on a Princess shirt. That shirt brought Claire SO much joy. I realized that it's okay to let your kids wear character clothing. 
While Claire loves character clothing, Kate loves mismatched clothes. Stripes, polka dots, 5 shades of purple? She doesn't care. The more mix-matched the better. And, you know what? I have let it go! Just as long as she is dressed.
Pick your battles, that is my motto.

5. I won't let the TV/Ipad/Iphone be a babysitter for my kids
 Again, rewind to when I was pregnant with Luke. Morning sickness 24-7. Soooo tired. Soooo sick. Teaching full time. Coming home and having two girls who were 3 & 5 and didn't nap anymore. They needed constant entertainment. Enter the TV and iPad. I am not kidding when I say that Luke's pregnancy was brought to you by the iPad. I let my girls play on it almost everyday after school so I could nap or barf. #Don'tJudge
6. Let my kid have a meltdown in public
 Pre-kids, I would see kid throw fits in the grocery store or at Target and just think to myself
"These parents have NO control over their kids. I will NEVER let my kids do that"
Yeah. So naive of me.
My girls have had so many public meltdowns.
The most memorable one was 2 years ago in the check out line at Safeway and one of my students mom was in line behind us.
Good times, I tell you, Good times.
I'll never forget what my students mom said to me with loving eyes.
"Hang in there, you are a great mom. It happens to all of us"
Amen, sister. Amen.

7. Bribe my kids
I said I would never bribe my kids.

I pretty much bribe them on a weekly basis.
I bribe them when we go to the go grocery shopping so that they don't have meltdowns.
I bribed them this past weekend when we had our family photo shoot.
 If you have ever done a family photo shoot, you know that bribery is necessary.
They got candy & a promise of a new toy if they cooperated.

8. Yell at my kids
 I remember going to the Mom's group at our church when Claire was a baby & Kate was almost 2. There was a speaker & she was talking about how you need to have patience with your kids and not yell/get angry with them. My girls were so young and Kate barely talked. I couldn't imagine ever losing my patience with them. How could I ever get angry or loose patience with my kids?
HAHAHAHA. Wow. As my kids are older I resist the urge to yell on a daily basis.

9.  Let my kids have a pacifier after 12 months old.
I took away the girls pacifers when they were 12-13 months old.
Easy peasy. It was 1 or 2 rough nights, and then no big deal.
I didn't want them to have pacifiers longer than 1 year old.
Luke is now 15 months old and he still has his paci.
He only gets it in his crib.
I just can't take it away yet because he is such a good sleeper (12 hours a night) and I am scared that if I take the pacifier away, then it will ruin his great sleep habits.
But, I know the longer I wait, the more attached he will get to the pacifier and the harder it will be to get rid of it. Ahhhh!!!!
Decisions, decisions. 

10. Take my kids out of school for a vacation in the middle of the school year
When I first started teaching, I would get so frustrated when parents would take their kids out of school for vacation in the middle of the school year. I mean, why couldn't they take their vacations during Summer, Thanksgiving, Christmas or Spring Break?!?!
Then, I had my own kids and realized that sometimes things come up and that you might need to take a trip or vacation during the school year. For example, in March, we had a wedding to attend on a Friday in Southern California and we decided that we better extend our trip and take the kids to Disneyland while we were down there. Yes, I missed 2 days of school & so did Kate. I said I would never do that, but you know what? YOLO. You only live once! Do what you gotta do.

Oh, I was so naive.
So, so, so naive about all these things before I was a mom.

Motherhood....It's all about survival.
And, being the best mom we can be to our kids.
And you?
If you are doing YOUR best, then you are the Best Mom Ever for your kids.
Here is an award, from me to you.
You are the Worlds Best Mom to Your kids.
Why? Because you are YOU and no one loves them like you do.

Since becoming a mother, I've realized I'm not the best mom EVER, but I'm the best mom I can be for *my* kids.
Each kid is different, even my 3 are SO different from one another.
Who I am to judge how you parent your kids?

Number one rule of parenting? Never say never.
 Chances are, you'll end up doing it.
And, try not to judge other moms who may do things differently than you.
What have you said that you would NEVER let your kids do & then ended up letting them?

And, thanks for all your support with my Rodan + Fields announcement!
I am excited about it!
Enter the giveaway HERE to win a skin regime of your choice!


  1. I really love this!!!!! So much! :)


  2. You and I were the exact same awesome mom (before we had kids!). Seriously! I thought the exact same things and now, I do all of them. Every single one of them. I loved this post girlfriend!! XOXO

  3. I love this and I have done all of those things!!

  4. Word. Hey, quick question for you since you've been thru this rodeo twice before and Luke is the same age as my kiddo.. How much does Luke eat for meals? I've been packing what feels like a ton for daycare and he usually eats it all and we lost our fantastic 12-hr sleeper because I think he wakes hungry at 4 am (bedtime is around 6:30) but I feel like he's totally overeating at dinner! Sorry for the tangent but I'm lost and exhausted and need mama wisdom!

  5. here's mine: Using devices in public/at restaurants to get through a meal, etc. UM. Yea. I love having that iphone in my back pocket to distract and mainly just so I CAN EAT A BITE OF FOOD, for the love. And also? It is sometimes for the sake of those around us. So stop judging me (even though I totally did), and eat your meal in peace, please ;)

  6. I loved this post! I used to be the best mom ever before I had kids too! My number one thing was kids out in public in footie pjs! It drove me nuts! I have five kids and that was one rule I managed not to break until the fifth one came along. I took my 18 month old to Target in her footie pjs! I was horrified by my own actions but it was just one of those mornings and it couldn't be helped. I even sent my husband a photo...he laughed and laughed because he understood what that photo meant. :) I have since thrown all of my pre-kids out the window. As long as they are happy and safe the other stuff just doesn't matter.

  7. I had to chuckle as I read these - sooooooo true! I think the same goes for marriage too - I thought I knew it all about how to be a good wife - ha! Thank goodness we are willing to admit we don't know it all now! :-)

  8. My biggest was that my kids would NEVER have snotty, messy, food covered faces. I mean why couldn't their moms just wipe their face? Ha! My kids have a constant stream of snot.

  9. LOVE this! I could have written all the things (except my daughters refused pacis)!

  10. You are a great mom! And my son kept his paci until he was 3 and then the Paci Fairy came and took it. It was actually much easier than I thought and I say, just do what works for you.

  11. I had my paci or "town" as I called it until the first day of kindergarten. Not the second day, just the first. The public humiliation was enough for me to throw it in the street on the way home from school. HAHA.

  12. Soooooooooooo true. My facebook status update the other day was, 'Today my child ate French fries for dinner that were not homemade, organic or from a recipe I found on Pinterest. #keepinitreal."

  13. Love this post! I totally relate to every single one! One idea that worked for us for getting rid of the paci for our little guy (also baby #3 with 2 big sisters), is that we just took it away when he switched to a toddler bed. I think the novelty of the bed was enough for him to just completely forget about the paci. I was SO nervous about it...more nervous than I was about the bed! But then he blew me away but not even batting an eye and sleeping all night just fine.Those third kids are way more flexible and easy going than #1s or #2s so try not to worry too much. :)

  14. My husband and I said we'd NEVER let our kids eat in the car. No cheerios or goldfish or sippy cups of milk spilled all over the car seats. HA HA HA! Its either snacks or screaming for 2 hours on road trips.

  15. I am with you on the picky eaters - both of mine are and I don't get it at all because I love vegetables and will eat just about anything. People kept giving me "advice" and telling me that back in the day, you ate what was put in front of you. One night I finally made 5-year-old Cooper sit at the dinner table and eat a pork chop. He cried for two hours and finally gave in and ate it - only to immediately throw it back up. I said, I'M DONE. They will eat what they eat, as long as it is not junk food.

    The good news is that as he gets older, Cooper is becoming less picky with his eating and I bet the girls will too.

  16. This is sooo true! Before becoming a mom I was horrified at women who nursed their babes in public. After becoming a mom I not only did it, sometimes I wasn't very discreet. (you do what you gotta do to feed your babes!) The second thing I said I would never do is let my kids play a sport that required them to miss church and sunday school...yep, ended up doing that too (although I held out until 7th grade). It's amazing how becoming a parent can change your entire view of life and the world we live in. But, I wouldn't change it for ANYTHING!!


  17. Yes, yes and YES!!!! I was the BEST MOM EVER up until my first child was about 1. I had all of the answers and my child was NEVER going to do X,Y,Z. Then she turned one and humbled me to my face. PS- GIRL! Evie who will be 3 in March is still hanging on to her paci. We took it away and she spent her nights wandering through the house and waking us up to play. We've also got Zoë who is 1 and not sleeping through the night either. So, paci it is. She can sleep with that thing until she's 5 if it means we get to sleep. Just saying...

  18. So very true! I was and am the "best mom ever", best grandmom, and best great-grandmom...but OMG, if I had only known then what I know now I would have relaxed alot more. My youngest daughter has no children and has chosen a career over being a mommy, but she is the best "auntie" to all of her nieces and nephews that her siblings are happy to share with her.

  19. I said some of those same things before I had a kid. My child is so picky with eating that I'm just happy if she eats at all. She wants chocolate for breakfast then fine--at least she is getting the calories. And oh yeah, my 2 year old (same kid) still has a bottle. There I said it! It's a battle that I'm not ready to fight yet.

  20. I love this post Mel, so honest and real! I think every new mom should read this as well as all mommy's out there doing their best to be the "best mom for their kids". I am Heather G's mom of Glitter and Gloss and I still try to be the best mom to Heather and her brother, Ryan. They are both parents themselves now. I think as a mom we always tend to beat ourselves up at times no matter how old our children are. My greatest hope was that my children always know that I love them no matter what, always be there for them and would walk through fire for them. Thank you for sharing your family and your heart! <3

  21. I don't even have kids and I just LOVE this post!! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your life!


  22. YES, to all 10 :) BTW, don't sweat the small stuff with Luke and the bink! If he's sleeping great, and that's the only time he has it, let him! Liam has it during the day and night. I will let him have it until he is 2 and then behold, the binky fairy-if we even get that far. I took Anna to the game store and said I'll exchange you your binky for squishy princesses. That was that. :)

  23. Love this! You are a great mama :) ...and an honest one! ;) Hope you are your sweet family have a great weekend, Mel!


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  25. Wow! You read my mind. I had one of those nights yesterday where it felt like I was scolding (and yelling at) my kids constantly. I thought to myself this morning that my pre-kid self would never have approved of my behavior last night...heck, my friends without kids, wouldn't have approved. Oh well. I guess it's easier to be a mother when you don't have children;) Thanks for being so honest.

  26. How funny! I was the same way, before I was a mommy. Four kids later, I've done just about all of my nevers. =)

  27. I loved this whole post but especially loved the end. We are the best parents to our own kids and just because we parent differently doesn't make me better or worse. Honestly sometimes I forget that so always love to be reminded of that. Thanks for the post. The thing I always said I would never ever ever do is drive a minivan. No way! Well I have been a proud owner of a minivan for 2 months now and can't imagine life without it. :) never say never. Thanks for the fun, real post as always. Love your blog!

  28. I'm not sure anyone could write a more honest or dead on post about motherhood. I think everyone I know was 'the best mom ever' before kids. I do every single one of these points and I swore I wouldn't. Love this

  29. Cute post! a great reminder as I still have flashes of "when I have children" as I am in the peak of my 'future best mom ever' phase ;)

  30. I actually thought if I did everything the books said, I would have the perfect baby/toddler/preschooler... HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  31. For the record, you are the first person to try to bribe MY kid, lol... Mason's 1 year photo shoot and mini M&M's. :) I can't believe I'm saying that and he is going to be 5 in two months...

    P.S. We had our family shoot today and I bribed both kids with fruit snacks and ice cream. FTW.

  32. I loved this post :) This is a topic I actually think about a lot. I am not a mother yet, but most of my friends are. I am 31 and this is the wonderful path that the great Lord has chosen for me. If it were up to me, I would have been married at 23, having my first child at 25, but I'm not and I trust that God knows what he's doing. I was married at 30 and still don't have children. When my friends say stuff along the lines of "you wouldn't know" it hurts me, but your post is encouraging to me. It helps me to know expectations that I shouldn't have about raising children without feeling condemned for not being there yet. Though I know it will be hard, I can't wait to be a mother!

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