Now that the kids are getting older (funny how ages three, five and eight seem old after the baby/toddler years), I’ve found myself looking back and wishing we’d done some things differently.
For the most part I try to be a “no regrets” kind of person but I definitely think that a few small changes in the early parenting years may have simplified things at this stage of the game.
I wish I’d never cut off a crust.
I didn’t do it for our first so why I did it that first time for our second is beyond me. What was I thinking? Years later I am still living with requests for sandwiches shaped with cookie cutters and crusts left on plates when I take a stand and just cut the sandwich in four. I wised up and recognized the addiction in time for our third but he seems to flip depending on the day. Lunches are fun (insert sarcasm here) with one kid who eats crusts, one who doesn’t and one whose mood defines his crust-eating choices.
I wish we’d had a solid chat about our discipline strategy shortly after our first was born.
What requires just a talk? What requires something bigger? Do we agree with time outs or sending kids to their rooms? Should we take things (toys or privileges) away from them? What do we use when? Although we don’t let our kids get away with things, I don’t think we’ve been as consistent as we could have been with what their consequences are for behavior. If they had a solid knowledge of what would happen if they behaved a certain way, it may have better helped them think about their actions before executing on them.
I wish we’d always eaten at a proper table.
We do always eat together but our house has a countertop with stools and more often than not, we eat there. As they’ve gotten older, we’ve realized that we’ve let them down a little in the table manners department because we’ve been so casual at mealtime. I felt like eating together as a family meant we were doing a great thing but have since realized that’s only half the battle. They need to learn to sit. They need to learn to set tables. They need to learn to wait patiently until everyone else is done. They need to learn to serve their own salad from the bowl in the middle of the table. We left it a little too late – even one or two consistent days a week at a more formal table would have helped (which is what we’re doing now).
I wish I’d taught them that my name was Gorgeous or Hot Stuff.
I couldn’t even begin to count the number of times a day I hear the word, “Mom”. It also comes in the form of Mama and Mommy and usually I don’t think twice about it. There are those days, however, when the word seems to be on repeat and is most often put at the beginning of a question, yelled at me when I’m talking on the phone or being screamed by three kids who all want the last bit of cereal. Those are the days that I want to sit in the corner and plug my ears. Perhaps I’d feel differently if they were screaming, “Hey gorgeous where are my grey yoga pants?” or “Hot stuuufffffff, he just wrecked my work!!!” or “Can I have a snack beautiful?”
Dare to dream.
Deanna is a Mom of three, wife, marketer and blogger – lover of travel, morning coffee, family time, belly laughs, good friends and uninterrupted showers! Follow her on twitter @DeannaCMiller