Ten Things I Have Learned to Unlearn

90 Flares Twitter 0 Facebook 12 Google+ 0 StumbleUpon 5 Pin It Share 73 Reddit 0 LinkedIn 0 Filament.io Made with Flare More Info'> 90 Flares ×

One of my favorite things about Thursdays is that I get to play along with Mama Kat’s Writing Prompts, because she always gets me thinking about things that I probably wouldn’t have thought about otherwise. Take this prompt for instance: “List 10 rules you’ve unlearned (meaning 10 things you thought were expected of you or were the “right way” of doing things, but that you now ignore).”

Oh yeah. After 15 years of marriage and 13 years of being a parent, I’m sure there are a few things I have learned to unlearn. Honestly, at the onset of this post, I have no idea what those things might be. But I have faith that they exist. I am certainly nothing like the mother I was 13 years ago.

parenting - 10 things I've learned to unlearn

 

1 – “Make your kids eat all of their food at meal times.”

Blah. I have spent too many days and nights stressing over whether my kids are eating enough and have come to the conclusion that kids will eat when they’re hungry, and as long as I’m offering them healthy alternatives they will be ok. Kids will not eat cherrios and mac and cheese forever.

2 – “You MUST potty train your child at age two.”

I have a confession. I was horrified when I heard of a friend with a child older than mine potty training her child when she was 3 years old. I thought I would rather die than have a child that OLD still wearing diapers. And then I had a 2 year old who had a mind of her own, was down on the couch sick with another baby on the way….and she was potty trained right in time for her 3rd birthday. The rest followed suit. Three turned out to be the perfect age for us (the HORROR!).

3 – “Your house must be orderly and clean at all times, or at least at the end of every day.”

Whatever. Sometimes sleep and play are infinitely more important than cleaning.

4 - “Little girls should have their hair in cute clips or headbands or braids.”

You can only force little girl’s into certain hair-dos for so long. And after that, it’s a losing battle and something not worth the fight. My only rule is brushing now.

5 – “Junk food and fast food restaurants are horrible, and you will never (or at least very rarely) give your kids that kind of food.”

While it’s true that we don’t eat out very often, and I rarely have store-bough junk food in my house anymore, I have no problem with making cookies and other treats and eating them regularly…..and sometimes a day at McDonalds is just what the doctor ordered. Take today for instance. I took my laptop to McDonalds play land and left with tons of work done and a very happy and tired boy.

6 – “Laundry should be done on a schedule.”

If I did my laundry on a  specific day of the week like I wished I could, I would always be behind. There just aren’t enough hours in one day to get it all done. So daily laundry, a load here and a load there, is how we roll.

7 – “Children need baths every day and cannot miss their nap time ever.”

So what if they have dirt under their toe nails? We wash hands, brush hair and teeth, and change underwear daily. And we are just fine. Who’d have known? And as far as the nap thing goes, life must go on. Soemtimes that means being out of the house during nap time. They survive.

8 – “Never let your boys play with toy weapons!”

I hated toy guns and swords. Growing up with one brother surrounded by sisters on both sides, I didn’t get a good taste of how typical little boys interacted with each other. So I was shocked when my sweet first born son began “making” his own weapons. Cardboard, sticks, vacuum cleaner attachments all became weapons. Until one day I finally gave in and let him have the play weaponry and taught him the rules of sword and gun play.

9 – “There are certain baby items that you MUST have, no matter what the cost.”

In the end, every time we had a baby, there were more important things to spend our money on. The kids ended up having generic nurseries that they shared with their siblings, hand-me-down high chairs and strollers from the thrift store. And we never owned a Diaper Genie. Recycling shopping bags worked just fine for us. In fact, all in all, raising our kids on a budget has worked out very well. And they haven’t known a bit of difference.

10 - “You will never take as many pictures of your last as you did of your first.”

How wrong was I? So wrong. I take so many pictures of all of my kids (until of course they get old enough to know to run from me when I whip out my camera!)

What parenting or life practices have you learned to unlearn?

Mama's Losin' It

© 2010 – 2013, Lolli. All rights reserved.

About Lolli

Lolli has written 2759 posts on this blog.

I became a mom in 1996, and in 2005 I had my fifth. Yes, 5 kids. In 2007, this blog was born (my 6th baby that will never grow up) and I've been sharing recipes, photography tricks, parenting tips, and everything in between. You can also find me writing at Home Made Simple, Famous Footwear blog and P&G Everyday. *Add my posts to BlogLovin' or Feedly today!*

Comments

  1. love the idea that you will never as many pics of the last as you did the first – i take PLENTY of pictures to go around!

    [Reply]

  2. That’s a lot of good lessons for first time parents and also for grandparents.

    [Reply]

  3. You had me at #1.

    I cringe when I see parents fighting their kids, pushing them to eat ____ more bites. You’re so right, they will eat when they get hungry, they wont turn into a peanut butter sandwich, and it will all be just fine.

    [Reply]

  4. It is amazing how your thinking changes after you are married and have children. The one I have learned to unlearn is you must give your child ALL of the opportunities in life by participating in every activity there is.

    [Reply]

  5. I AGREE WITH EVERYTHING ON THIS POST. I have learned all the same lessons. Thank you for the guilt free and down to earth post. :)

    [Reply]

  6. LOL..I love this post! And it’s all very true….you have to relax and smell the roses because soon enough the children will be raised and they housework will still be there!! The boy and weapons thing cracked me up because I too did the same!! No weapons for him! But they make their own, it’s in their blood…lol!! I am pasting this on my facebook to link so people can enjoy this wonderful post!!

    [Reply]

  7. Wow I have learned (I mean unlearned) all those things too! Glad you got a 2 1/2 day break. I am sure you enjoyed it!!
    .-= Brandie´s last blog ..Movies and Nicknames =-.

    [Reply]

  8. Hi Lolli,

    This list is brilliant.

    I unlearned every single one of them, even the weapon one, and I have a girl!

    Terrific.
    .-= Brea @ Brea’s Befuddled Brain´s last blog ..Writers Workshop – Mother’s Day is Coming… =-.

    [Reply]

  9. On The Biggest Loser show Gillian said multi-grain Cheerios is a good breakfast cereal. Your kids could do a lot worse than Cheerios.

    Visiting from Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop.
    .-= Karen & Gerard Zemek´s last blog ..What Is The Joy In Your Present Moment? (Writer’s Workshop) =-.

    [Reply]

  10. I love this. I’ve been working on unlearning some of these same self-imposed rules lately. Who decided that we all needed to live by these rules anyway? I’m glad to know I’m not the only one rebelling against “the rules!”
    .-= Catherine´s last blog ..Marriage. Balance and Routine. =-.

    [Reply]

  11. Totally off topic, but….
    I’m so excited! I’m going on the photo walk on June 5th!
    Can’t wait!
    .-= Colleen´s last blog ..Every day is Earth Day =-.

    [Reply]

  12. Oh Lolli! You are so right on so many things! I think you are doing a fantastic job, either that or your kids just pose really well for pictures!
    I think I unlearned that what works for some doesn’t work for all. I had a friend who was really hard on her children and they were extremely wel behaved and I am hard on my daughter to some extent but my oldest is just a giant cuddle bug and if I push too hard, she breaks down into a sobbing pile of hurt. EVERY child is different and needs to be parented differently!
    .-= Christie´s last blog ..You have been warned =-.

    [Reply]

    Lolli Reply:

    You’ve got THAT right! I should have mentioned something like that. With each child you have to RE-LEARN everything!

    [Reply]

  13. The only think I can think of that fits in #10 is diapers.

    I love #3.

    Terrific list of lessons learned!
    .-= Gilliauna´s last blog ..$20.00 Store Credit Giveaway =-.

    [Reply]

    Lolli Reply:

    True on diapers, but I was convinced when my first was born that I MUST buy only Huggies. By the time my 5th was in diapers, he wore whatever was on sale!

    [Reply]

  14. Great rules that are made to be broken. My second has way more pictures than my first. My first was born in the digital age, but not in the frivolous digital age. We weren’t sure how long we could store the thousands of pictures or how true the color was blah blah blah. Now, snapping pictures constantly is the only way to go.

    My oldest has a certain way that she will wear her hair – any other way is sure to be a fight.
    .-= Amy´s last blog ..Me and My Mom – How Sweet it is! =-.

    [Reply]

    Lolli Reply:

    My first 3 were born BEFORE digital. Crazy. That is the single biggest reason why I have SO many pictures of my last! I take so many pictures!

    [Reply]

  15. Really? They won’t eat all mac and cheese all the time forever? Cause that’s what we had for breakfast AND lunch today. Just call us healthy!
    .-= Safire´s last blog ..We Give Books =-.

    [Reply]

    Lolli Reply:

    It’s true! Someday, they will actually WANT to eat real food. It takes time, but it happens!

    [Reply]

  16. Who made these rules? June Cleaver?

    [Reply]

    Lolli Reply:

    Well, it certainly wasn’t me! And I am no June Cleaver! LOL

    [Reply]

  17. I didn’t know that I had a twin. I AM SO UNLEARNED AS YOU ARE. I waited with all my kids to train until 3…so much easier! I figure my relationship with my daughter is more important than having a ribbon in her hair. Brushing is good enough and she is starting to come around and WANT her hair done. Having 4 boys, I can attest that boys need for weapons is innate. EVERYTHING including a carrot will make the shooting sound. No pointing at the head and no pretending to shoot when you are angry.
    Seriously, loved this post!
    .-= Stef´s last blog ..But today… =-.

    [Reply]

    Lolli Reply:

    Haha! Yes, the veggie gun. Gotta love those. Might as well let them get a little of their aggression out while eating some healthy food, right?

    I love that you relate so much with these! :)

    [Reply]

  18. The Improbable Housewife says:

    I would also add that I’m lucky to even be able to get my daughter to brush her hair! Cutting it short didn’t help, so it is long again so I can force it into a ponytail every couple of days where it stays neat.

    And… Girls will wear cute dresses so you can buy tons of cute clothes. Not my daughter. So sad because it would be so cute!
    .-= The Improbable Housewife´s last blog ..Podcast: Get Out of That Rut! =-.

    [Reply]

    Lolli Reply:

    I have tried keeping my girls’ hair short too. And while I personally think it looks better, they seem to always go back to long. They all love the ability to pull it back in a ponytail. Who can blame them?

    [Reply]

  19. The Improbable Housewife says:

    Wow- I can totally relate to every item on your list. Well said.

    [Reply]

  20. I’ve learned to make tons and tons of memories and to choose my battles. I think that’s what you alluded to :) am I right?
    .-= GrammieMommy´s last blog ..Writer’s Workshop: Joy Right About Now =-.

    [Reply]

    Lolli Reply:

    You totally read my mind. Or read between the lines. Or something like that. Totally. :)

    [Reply]

  21. If one more person tells me to put my daughter’s hair up, I might scream. Seriously? So not worth that fight. If it doesn’t bother her, then most of the time, it doesn’t bother me.

    I’m pretty sure I’m guilty of not having as many pictures of the second!
    .-= Krystyn´s last blog ..eleven shoes {Review and Giveaway} =-.

    [Reply]

    Lolli Reply:

    Haha! I’m glad it’s not just me. Some of my friends have little girls with such cute hair, and mine, well, if it’s clean we’re happy!

    [Reply]

  22. Fantastic blog post. So true for me and I’m sure so many others.

    [Reply]

  23. Hi. Found your blog through Mama Kat’s. Love it!
    Can’t wait to read more. Great list. I think I’ve pretty much unlearned all of those too :)

    [Reply]

  24. Great list. I’m totally with you on having a clean and organized house at the end of the day. Most days I just don’t have the energy to do more than the dishes. A little clutter doesn’t mean my kiddo is going to have a bad childhood. :-)
    .-= Allison´s last blog ..A Matter of Hope (Guest Post) =-.

    [Reply]

    Lolli Reply:

    That’s right! Sometimes I wonder if a little mess makes kids happier. LOL!

    [Reply]

  25. Your 10 rules that you unlearned are all great!! Each one of them is soooo true!

    [Reply]

  26. pretty much the same list you have i have unlearned too.
    .-= Julie@my5monkeys´s last blog ..Private — Book Review =-.

    [Reply]

  27. I have experienced so many of those, allow my guys are still only 2 years old so I haven’t had to make the weapon decision yet. I am sure it is coming. I enjoy your blog and I also look forward to Mama Kat’s workshop every week. Look forward to reading again next week!!

    [Reply]

    Lolli Reply:

    Lara,
    Haha! I’m sure it won’t be long before you’ve got a 2-year-old yielding homemade weapons! It happened sooner than I thought it would!

    [Reply]

Trackbacks

  1. [...] I appreciated Lolli’s 10 things I’ve learned to unlearn [...]

  2. Family Travel Links 2010.04.23 « SixSuitcaseTravel says:

    [...] Ten Things I Have Learned to Unlearn - Better in Bulk [...]

Speak Your Mind

*

CommentLuv badge

90 Flares Twitter 0 Facebook 12 Google+ 0 StumbleUpon 5 Pin It Share 73 Reddit 0 LinkedIn 0 Filament.io 90 Flares ×