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Kirsty McCabe: "When I'm a parent, I will never…"

'I will never bore my non-parent friends with stories about my children' - Our weekly columnists remembers the resolutions she made before her children came along...

Posted: 11 July 2014
by Catherine Hudson

Kirsty McCabe and family
'I will never let my child sleep in my bed...'

"When I was pregnant, I would look at other parents to see how they dealt with their offspring. Along with my husband we discussed what other people were clearly doing wrong, and came up with our list of things we will never do as parents. Turns out our 'I will never' list has had a lot of similarities with our New Year's resolutions. We had really good intentions... and then the reality of 'having children' kicked in.

The very act of giving birth to my eldest Ethan led to an 'I will never'. As in, 'I will never do this again'. My husband found the whole thing so overwhelming he too declared 'never again!' Yet a couple of years later along came Logan. Things were much easier second time around, but it still made me reaffirm my original 'I will never do this again' vow.

After years of working shifts, I place great importance on getting my sleep. I love my bed and I would happily take naps during the day. So obviously, 'I will never let my child sleep in my bed' made the original list. However, it turns out that when you get fed up settling and resettling an upset or poorly little one, that sometimes the only way everyone gets some sleep is when you are all in the same bed. But I never sleep that well and the following night everyone must be back in their own beds. And I am getting fed up of changing our sheets because someone has drawn on them, spilt their milk. Or worse.

Still on the subject of sleep, let's discuss: 'I will never nurse, or rock, a baby to sleep'. I actually wish I had stuck to this one, as it makes life much easier in the long term. I've been reading up on routines and getting babies to self-settle in Fi Star-Stone's The Baby Bedtime Book. If we ever have a third child, it will be a dream baby. Of course, there will be no third child unless we can skip the whole labour part and the baby comes with a larger house, bigger car and a monthly allowance.

'I will never let my child use a dummy': Turns out these 'pacifier things' are fabulous devices if you want your boobs to yourself in the evenings or indeed need a mute button. Apparently they even reduce the risk of cot death. Though I do try to make sure Logan only gets his dummy for naps or emergency situations (stuck in traffic with a fractious teething one-year-old definitely meets the emergency dummy criteria).

'I will never bribe my children with food': In fact, 'they will never eat treats or junk food': Yeah, that's until you're on a long-haul flight with your little ones, or trying to convince your toddler to do what they need to do in the potty.

'I will never let my children watch TV': I soon changed my tune on this when I discovered that Ethan would happily snuggle in our bed early in the morning (I know – a child in our bed, shocking!) and watch cartoons while we dozed for a little bit longer. Then when his little brother joined the family the TV was extremely handy. I know I can get 15 minutes to myself if I pop on CBeebies' Andy's dinosaur raps. I'm pretty sure that counts as educational.

'My home will not be cluttered with toys': Obviously I could stick to this if I had a larger house, but such is life in London. I do try to tidy everything away and donate old toys to charity but it's a losing battle. My only consolation is that at least boys' toys are not garishly pink.

'I will never bore my non-parent friends about children': In fact, 'my life won't be that different once children come along'. Turns out, children become your world and quite frankly that's how it should be. But I do make a really big effort not to talk about the boys unless I get asked. I'm still capable of talking about other grown-up things, mainly weather-related, to be fair.

How many 'I will never' resolutions did you make, and break? Let us know by commenting below...

Kirsty McCabe writes her weekly column here on www.juniormagazine.co.uk every Friday. Follow us on Twitter: @juniormagazine and watch out for the hashtag #somethingfortheweekend to join in with the conversation

Read Kirsty's columns: 

blog, advice, support, something for the weekend, kirsty mccabe, problems, resolutions, parenting

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