I'm A Hypocrite Parent & No, I'm Not Sorry
Confession time, my friends: I'm a lying liar face. I straight say I'll do a thing, then I don't it. Or I will swear, up and down, that I won't do a thing, and then I do it over, and over, and over again. In short, I am a hypocrite parent. But I can't apologize for it. I won't. Because being a so-called hypocrite mom is really being a mom who is learning, growing, and figuring out newer and better ways to parent her kids.
I think we're all in this boat, to some extent. Our pre-baby selves made all this idealistic plans about what kind of parent we would be, and then we actually became parents and realized that we had no clue. We swear we'll have drug-free births, then we find ourselves in the throws of labor demanding an epidural. We promise we'll only buy cloth diapers and make our own organic baby food, only to find ourselves drowning in a sea of disposables and empty Gerber baby food containers. We thought we'd be a certain "type" of parent, only to realize that we're just a bunch of different types rolled into one, borrowing from this parenting philosophy and that parenting philosophy until we find a way that works best for our unique children and our unique family dynamic.
So, yeah, I probably looked like a raging hypocrite when I swore I would have a drug-free, home birth, then had an epidural and gave birth in a hospital. And I bet I looked like the worst kind of human when I promised I would sleep train my baby and get my bedroom back, only to have my 4-year-old still come in my bed at night. But I can't say sorry, but in the middle of all that hypocrisy are the following truths:
Because Every Mom Uses A Mix Of Styles
There is truly no "one way" to parent, and I honestly don't believe there's a single parent out there who only subscribes to one specific type of parenting style. We borrow from all kinds of styles, my friends! We'll babywear but we'll also sleep train, then we;ll use cloth diapers and push our kids in strollers. In my experience, using a little bit of this and a little bit of that from a variety of parenting styles is the best way to raise a kid.
Because You Don't Know What Doesn't Work Until You Try...
How was I supposed to know that when I said I would *never* use formula, that supplementing with formula would actually prolong my ability to breastfeed?! How could I have known that my son would love babywearing may more than he would love sitting in a stroller?!
In short, I couldn't have possibly known... not until I tried my hand at the whole raising a kid thing, learned what didn't work rather quickly, then adjusted accordingly.
... & What Does Work Until You Try
It's so easy to say "I will never use an epidural" when you've never experienced the pain of childbirth before. And sure, there are plenty of people who say they are going to have drug-free births and do, but there are a lot of us who make that claim and then, in the throws of active labor, change our tune. And. That. Is. OK.
My epidurals made it possible for me to have two vaginal births. My epidurals made me feel empowered and strong and capable during a time of immense pain and vulnerability. I had no idea they would work so well when it came to my personal labor and delivery experience... until I did. And if that makes me a hypocrite, well, so be it.
Because Mistakes Make Me Better
I have learned way more, as a parent and just as a person, by my mistakes than my successes. It might look like hypocrisy, but really it's just me falling on my face, picking myself back up, dusting myself off, and learning not to fall in that very specific way again. This is what learning on the job looks like, my friends, and there is no steeper or more unforgiving learning curve than parenthood.
Because Pre-Baby Me Was A Noob
Oh sweet, little pre-baby me, with my grand plans and idealism and little-to-no knowledge of how difficult it truly is to raise another human being. Of course I made these grandiose statements about my parenting plans! They're easy to make when you're not a parent! But when you're face-to-face with a tiny human who has plans of their own, it's kind of astounding how your mindset changes and what you thought you wanted to do, as a parent, is no longer even in the realm of possibility.
Because I Deserve To Be Kind To Myself
Why would I waste precious time beating myself up over the things I swore I'd never do that I have absolutely done, or the things I promised I would do that I haven't even attempted? That time is better spent sleeping, my friend.
There is enough mom guilt to go around, enough pressure to be perfect, and enough unrealistic expectations I will never live up to. I don't need to add to all that toxic sh*t by being mean to myself. I have made mistakes. I have changed plans. I have done things I never thought I would do. I haven't done the things I swore I would do. I probably come off as a hypocrite, but you know what? I am also an incredible mom, my boys know I love them fiercely, and at the end of the day I am always and will always do the very best I can.
Because You're A Hypocrite, Too
Just admit it, mom. Lean into it. Own it. Because to err is to be human, to change your mind is to be a parent dealing with a million different and equally demanding responsibilities at once, and to be a so-called hypocrite is to be a person who is constantly learning, evolving, and figuring out ways to do something better, easier, and with greater success.
Yay for hypocrite moms! May we know them, love them, and be them.