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10 Parenting Moves You Swore You'd Never Make—and Did Anyway


Everyone who isn’t a parent has said, “I would never…” before they had kids of their own. It’s easy to judge when you’re not the one dealing with a toddler 20 minutes into an epic meltdown.

Let’s have some solidarity and confess to 10 of the things we swore we’d never do, but wound up doing anyway.

1. Use Spit for Cleaning

a young boy with food all over his face

Come on, that’s totally gross, right? Spit is nasty, and definitely not something to rub all over your baby’s face. Except when you’re in a hurry and your baby has a stubborn glob of pureed apricot in her eyebrow. She lived inside your body for 9 months, what’s a little spit?

2. Give In to a Tantrum

a boy crying

You’ve been waiting in line for 10 minutes and it’s finally your turn to put your items on the belt. Of course you’re also squished next to a giant stack of delicious candies. Sometimes it’s easier to stop the whining and crying by giving in to a bag of M&M’s than it is to try to work through it. You have to pick your battles.

3. Co-sleep

a mom and dad lying in bed with their young son

Sleep is a simple concept, right? You lie down, close your eyes, and voila! But wait a minute—it’s not really that easy after all, is it? So for all of the swearing that you would never bring baby into your bed, you have to admit it’s totally worth it just to sleep for more than two hours in a row.

4. Buy a Minivan

a young family hanging around their car

But they’re so uncool! Of course once you have more than one kid, and they have friends, and equipment, and you’re tired of being cramped into a tiny sedan, you’ll know it’s time to trade up. It’s OK to love your minivan once you get one—we know they rock, no matter how dorky we all used to think they were.

5. Lose Contact with Your Childless Friends

a mom and her two sons lying in a park

Did you pinky swear with your BFF that you’d be the cool mom who would still go out and party? If you’re like the rest of us, you’ve suddenly realized that a perfect night involves eight hours of uninterrupted sleep instead of clubbing until the sun comes up. It’s tough to make plans outside of the mommy set. Once the fog of early motherhood lifts you’ll be able to reconnect, but it’s normal to have some distance from those who aren’t in the thick of parenting.

6. Yell at Your Kids

a young girl crying while being punished by her mom

So many of us plan to be gentle parents; no yelling, no spanking, no harsh words. Well, the first time you’ve had three hours of sleep and your precious angel is sticking her fingers in the cat food for the 10th time, you’ll probably find yourself yelling. We’ve all been there, and we’ve yelled about it, too.

7. Feed Your Kids Junk Food

a selection of candy

Those of you who were able to maintain an organic, vegetarian, and/or whole food diet for your little one, we salute you. The rest of us have slipped and let our babies have ice cream, candy, and chips. Moderation is key, but giving in to a sweet treat on occasion is part of the fun—especially since we usually get to finish their serving, too.

8. Talk About Poop (with Strangers!)

a mom changing her baby's diaper while wearing a gas mask

We don’t know what exactly it is about baby poop that is so fascinating, but it is the common language of all parents. Before kids, you’d never dream of holding a feces symposium at the playground, but now that you’ve got your own little pooper you’ve got a PhD in poopology.

9. Overshare on Facebook

a facebook like symbol

Before you were a parent, chances are you would usually skip over your friends who did nothing but brag about their children. Now you’re one of them. It’s OK—those of us who have our own kids will delight in your kids’ milestones and commiserate with the hard times. Share away. Like Dr. Seuss said: Those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind.

10. Let the TV Babysit

a young boy holding a remote control

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that young children watch less than two hours of TV per day. Yeah, well, did the AAP only get two hours of sleep last night? I didn't think so. Go ahead and put up the baby gates, put Frozen on, and take a quick nap on the couch—we won't judge.

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