1. I never gave him pieces of toilet paper to shred in a hundred pieces all over the carpet just to entertain him.
2. I never sprinkled Goldfish on the kitchen floor to occupy him.
3. I never let him chew on the corners of books.
4. I never gave him a bottle in bed or whole slices of cheese.
5. I never let him eat dropped food off a restaurant floor.
6. I never let him play with my cell phone, my toothbrush, or my bra.
7. I never let him whine in his crib for 3/4 of an hour before checking on him.
8. I never got behind on his baby books or forgot to record milestones.
9. I never neglected bed time stories or nap time lullabies.
10. I never gave him ice cream at six months, and I certainly never let him drink my coffee.
11. I never let him eat without a bib, and I never gave him a bowl full of messy macaroni and cheese to eat on his own.
12. I never let him whine, cry, or throw a fit without explaining or disclaiming his behavior.
13. I never let him walk nakey in a public park with a sopping-wet diaper.
14. I never let him carry my shoes around the house and chew on their soles.
15. I never let him roll around in clean, folded laundry
16. I never let him cry in church more than once without darting to the back.
17. I never let him eat lollipops at the ripe age of 15 months…and certainly never in the car.
18. I never let him take a piece of gummy-wet pizza crust to Target with us.
19. I never left the house without an arsenal of wipes and a bottle of sanitizer.
20. I never let him drink the bath water, and I never allowed him to pour sand on his head.
I never did a lot of things.
But sister…times are changing, and I’m thankful.
1. Because you’re teaching me how to loosen up and let go.
2. You’re teaching me that my need for control can be overwhelming and even stifling.
3. You’re teaching me new priorities and how to survive.
4. You’re teaching me that “good mommies” don’t have to be “perfect mommies.”
5. You’re teaching me how to give myself grace and even fall behind.
6. You’re teaching me “freedom,” and “chill,” and “easy-going.”
7. You’re teaching me that life isn’t about the way you do it, but how you live it.
8. You’re teaching me that change is “okay” and mess is “all right.”
9. You’re teaching me that “go with the flow” feels a little bit nice.
10. You’re teaching me that “things” are just “things” and “stuff” is just “stuff.”
11. You’re teaching me that chaos and crying is not the end of your world or mine.
12. You’re teaching me that what other people think is what other people think, and what I do is what I do.
13. You’re teaching me that germs are not the enemy, but my pride is.
14. You’re teaching me that obsessive tendencies can suck the life right out of happy memories.
15. You’re teaching me that I don’t have to be who I’ve always been and thought I always should be.
16. You’re teaching me that I did a lot of unfair judging of other mommies before I had you.
17. You’re teaching me that an orderly house is fine and so is a disheveled one.
18. You’re teaching me that there are a lot of ways to raise children.
19. You’re teaching me that some of my expectations have been unfair and unreasonable.
20. You’re teaching me that being a mommy to you looks different and that’s okay…because we learn, and we grow, and we change.