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When I have kids I will never
I read a story years ago, when I was teaching and it has stuck with me:
It was called the cookie theif (I tried to find the author for you online, but it has been re-written by so many that I have no one to give credit to…) To sum it up:
A lady is at the airport & buys a bag of cookies to eat while she waits for her flight.
She sits down, pulls out a book and starts reading. She remembers the cookies & reaches into the open bag of cookies beside her to grab one.
While she is eating, she notices a hand, out of the corner of her eye, reaching into the same cookie bag! The man sitting beside her is eating her cookies!
She is astonished!
She takes one, he takes one. She takes another, he takes another! This complete stranger is eating all of her cookies!
She never says anything, but does not talk to him and is just shocked at his rudeness.
They get down to the last one and she wonders what this selfish man will do.
Eat HER last cookie?
Well, he takes the last one, looks at it and laughs nervously. He then breaks it in half and hands her half.
She grabs it from him and eats it. She is relieved when her flight is called and she doesn’t even look at that thief!
Later, on the plane, once she is settled into her seat, she reaches into her bag to grab something and finds her completely unopened bag of cookies! She had eaten the other man’s cookies- who is the thief now?
How does this relate to us? We often judge others before we know the full story. Similar to when we judge other parents or others in our profession or in our lives. Before we have kids (or that job or that house or that car or that etc…) we judge. Lets break that cycle, shall we?
I wrote a post a while back about how it is possible to afford to become a stay at home mom on one income. After I wrote the post, I received a few comments from people that DID NOT HAVE CHILDREN, stating that it isn’t right to have only one person work or how selfish they thought that I was to make my husband work while I stayed home and worked only part-time. “When I have kids, I will never…”
Well, I love being home with my children and my husband and I both feel that I am helping our family by doing so. Some people disagree, but to each their own…
I just want to talk to those people that say “When I have kids, I will never… ”
I was one of them. (insert blushing face here)…
Before: “When I have kids, I will never bribe them with… (snack, toy…)”
Now… “If you are quiet, Mommy will give you a lollipop when we leave! ”
Before: “When I have kids, they will never eat fast food in place of a good meal”
Now... By the way, was that you that I saw at McDonalds yesterday?
“When I have kids, I will never put them in their room with a gate on their door just to give them quiet time!”
… as my three year old is now sound asleep beside his gate because he “doesn’t want to nap today” but fell asleep in about two minutes during his ‘sit-in’ on the floor by his gate.
“When I have kids, I will never tolerate talking back”
… I try to stick with this one, but I also have learned that my children have an opinion, too. My friend Samantha gave me this advice: Picture someone coming up to you RIGHT NOW and saying “Get off of your computer/phone/tablet and clean the kitchen. ” You say: “Wait- I just want to finish reading this.” and you were punished for saying that… how fair does that seem? Our children deserve the same respect that we would give to anyone. I have come to learn to try to say “Finish up what you are doing. You have chores to do.”
Being rude is not acceptable and I do not tolerate it, but they do deserve to be given respect. This is how they will, in turn, learn to give respect.
“When I have kids, I will never let their toys overtake the house.”
... what was that I just tripped on trying to get to the computer? Oh- yet another piece of a light-bright, hidden in the carpet, because our 5 year old “buried the pirate’s treasure” in our carpet today.
“When I have kids, they will never play under the table at a restaurant!”
…Ok- crawl under to go to Daddy’s side- grab your toys that you dropped while you are down there!
“When my kids are five, they will not cry about silly things. That is toddler behavior.”
… kids are kids and they all cry about silly things… and so do I.
“When my kids are teenagers, they will never stay out past 10:00”
… I’m sure that is yet to be broken. haha!
We all think that we know what we will do when we have kids or when our kids are a certain age, but do not judge because in the blink of an eye, you are that parent raising that child.
If I could give (and take) any advice, it is to be grateful and not judging.
What was something that you never thought that you would do as a parent?
Image source: the orange press