Calm, Cool and Committed

Three Moms and a Dude

You Are the Parent You Want to Be

on August 2, 2012

One of the best movies ever, The Wedding Date, has a line where the lead character (Dermot Mulroney) says, “Every woman has the exact love life she wants.”  The heroine, a single lady played by Debra Messing, takes umbrage at this, saying she didn’t want to be single.  Our boy Dermot counters that it IS true, and when she’s ready to not be single, it’ll happen.  Watch the clip here.

I think this line of reasoning applies to parenting, too.  Every mother has the exact life she wants.

Now, yes, I know there are some things beyond control.  I’ve tried to will, coerce, trick and drug* my three month old (known to this blog as “Bud”) into sleeping through the night.  It’s just not happening.

However, most other things ARE in your control.  When I was pregnant, every time I casually mentioned something I did that day, at least one person would respond by telling me I would never do that again after I had the kid.

Some examples.

  1. Me – “I slept in today.” The Hater – “You’ll never sleep in again!”
  2. Me – “I just saw that movie.” The Hater – “You’ll never go to the movies again!”
  3. Me – “We went out to dinner.”  The Hater – “You’ll never eat out at a restaurant again!”
  4. Me – “I just found a penny.”  The Hater – “You’ll never find money on the sidewalk again!”

That third one?  Several experienced moms informed me that it was simply im-poss-i-ble to take babies and children to restaurants.  They said I should resign myself to Lean Cuisines and the occasional Chinese delivery.  They said that if I was super lucky, I might be able to scarf down a chalupa at Taco Bell before my child melted down and I resigned myself to never eating outside of my house again.

And that’s when I decided to be exactly the mom I wanted to be – one who eats out.  Since his birth, Bud’s been out to eat dozens of times.  Sure, we’ve had to adjust.  Sometimes we wait an extra half hour to leave so he can feed before we go.  We mostly pick kid-friendly restaurants.  On our anniversary, we took six-week-old Bud to a really nice Italian restaurant… with bad acoustics, so if he started crying we wouldn’t bother anyone.

Many of you are probably saying, “She has a three month old, give it some time before she eats these words.”  And that might be.  I have 6 nephews, though, ranging in age from one and a half years old to 18, and I’ve seen each of them, at various stages of their lives in restaurants.  I know it can be done, and by heavens, I’m doing it!

Sure, there are several habits that the hubby and I are cutting out.  Like going to the casino at 2 am.  We’re actively choosing that adjustment because we don’t want to be the kind of parents who take a baby to a casino.  But we could be if we wanted to.  Because, yes, every parent is exactly the parent they want to be.

If you don’t like something about your life, it’s not your kid’s fault.

*In case you weren’t sure – I’m kidding about the drug part…

Isn’t this the creepiest rattle/toy ever?


3 responses to “You Are the Parent You Want to Be

  1. sara says:

    I thinkyour post applies toblife in general. people will alwaya scoff and say because of your job, age, relationship, whatver that you’ll nevwr be able to do that againm it is a matter of personal preference and perseverence. people think because they made one choice that they can never make another or that it will only lead to one path instaed of several, that just is not so. life is what you make it, sure there will be sacrifices but not everything or every adult choice has to be.

  2. Mea says:

    Am I the parent I want to be? No, not really!!! I have a temper and am not nearly as patient as I’d like to be. In addition, I really want to be a stay-at-home-mom, with my own part-time gig on the side, but I don’t have that either. As far as going out to eat, it TOTALLY depends on the child! Child #1 had no issues when going out to eat. Child #2, though…watch out! BUT, we are working on #2, and every time we go out, he gets better…as long as the timing is right!

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