Top 5 things you should NOT do when around young children

So this past weekend as I was feeding my 1 year old daughter, I was reminded of what not to do as I forgot to change out of my crisp white shirt into something more worn.  Of course not only did the shirt get completely soiled, but so did my pants, shoes and somehow, bits of my hair had gotten food on them.   So here is my list of what NOT to do when around these glorious little beings.   I hate lists, but such is life.

Curse

Of course everyone KNOWS not to curse in front of small children, but do you really know why?  It’s not because they will curse.  Every parent knows that eventually children will grow up and use a curse word or two, or three, or ten.  But it’s because these little sponges will embarrass you in front of other people before the legal curse age limit.  Ever heard a 1, 2, or 3 year old spout off curse words in inappropriate times, without context, and to other people?  Yeah, it’s embarrassing.  Don’t be that parent of that child.  Not only will other people look at you and question your parenting skills, but they will look at your children and judge them too.

Be on your laptop/IPad/smartphone all the time

It’s hard to get away from the screen, I know, I know.  But when you are in your child’s presence and you are not required to do work, do not use that time to go check Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Linkedin, Vine, Gmail, etc., etc., etc.  I swear I can’t even keep up with all of them anymore, it’s too much.  But use this time to face to face play an activity with your children. You are your child’s first teacher.   I swear they will appreciate that more than you sitting them on your lap or leaving them on the floor to check the internet.  Because this is what you look like.  And yes, I’m judging you.

Wear white, or anything that you actually like

This should actually be called ‘any of your clothes’ but I know some people would do a double-take if I said be naked around your children.  But parents of small children know what I’m talking about.  Don’t you really just want to be naked around your children all the time???  Except for the fact that they might be traumatized later by loose images of mommy and daddy’s body, I swear a majority of us would just not wear clothes.  Because it seems like every time you go to put on that favorite (insert piece of clothing here) no matter what you do, it gets messed up just before you go to work, a luncheon, church, a date anything.  Sometimes you don’t even need to hold said baby for the clothes to get messed up.  These babies are magicians.  They know how to mess up clothes from afar.

Forget snacks, drinks when you go out

Forget diapers/underwear/wipes when you go out

Everyone knows babies eat all the time.  So to neglect this small fact when you go out, even if you feed them before they leave, can sometimes be a travesty beyond compare.  Epic fallouts can happen, meltdowns from parents and children, and whatever you were doing immediately has to be shortened or you end up being that parent at that function.   DON’T. FORGET. SNACKS.   Just don’t.  Don’t also forget diapers/extra underwear.  I would make this a separate bullet point but the same can be said for both so it doesn’t need a reiteration of the same point.  Just don’t forget them.

Talk about grownup issues

*Raises hand* guilty over here.  I know it’s hard.  Sometimes conflicting schedules and busy lifestyles only permit those adult conversations to take place in the presence of children.  But if it can be avoided, please do.  I was raised in an era where adult conversations happened all around me.  It was definitely entertaining, and in doing that I developed an ear for listening instead of talking, but the downside of that was that I became privy to times when my parents struggled and times when they disagreed with each other and I internalized it.  As a child, the ramifications of that led me to believe we were worse off than we were, and that my parents absolutely hated each other.  So if you can avoid the heated debate in front of your children, do it.  For your sake and theirs.

(My parents did eventually get divorced, but I still believe the nuances of a relationship caused their rift apart, not an argument or two.)

Alright so here’s my list of things you shouldn’t do around children.  Got any to add to my list? If you do, drop me a line or two!

I Might Quit or get Fired, and That Might be a Good thing

Let me begin by saying this is extremely difficult to write. But maybe if I do this, I’ll be free from the shackle that has blocked my writing stalemate for the past 2 years. See, I’ve been afraid to write about depression because I’ve been in denial. I’ve been in denial that I have been suffering from post-partum depression for 3 years. See, the world that I live in doesn’t permit me to wallow and be depressed. The world I live in is filled with daily tasks that need to be completed at home and at work. I can’t pause and tell everyone “excuse me while I work out my depression”. I have kids to feed, baths to give, groceries to buy, dishes to wash, hair to comb. I have guests to book, reports to fill out, news clips to pull, interviews to conduct. There’s no time for depression when you have so many people counting on you to be at your best game at all times.
And I’ve heard the, “don’t be so hard on yourself”, “let some of that stuff go” ” you don’t have to be perfect”. Well tell that to my boss who has told me for the umpteenth time that my reports are late. Tell that to my kids who don’t have clothes to wear because I haven’t washed them. Or don’t have food because I haven’t cooked it. Please tell me then that “everything doesn’t have to be perfect”.
Young kids demand so much, and there are no provisions in the workplace, for women of small children. This proves to be a very volatile time for women. I have known several who have given up on work to stay at home full time because there was no leniency at work. These are smart, professional women who could add so much to the fabric of a workplace, but because most jobs see women who have children as a personal issue instead of a workplace adjustment, these women are either thrown out like yesterday’s trash, or forced out like an involuntary sneeze. And I am one of them who is currently in the middle of an involuntary sneeze.
I love my job, I really do. The ability to be creative everyday and to display that creativity in the form of a program that many people listen to is a gift that is only given to a select few. I get to challenge myself, I work really well with my co-workers ( which also doesn’t happen often) and I enjoy doing something outside of the home because it gives me something to talk about other than baby stuff. But I feel the sneeze coming. For the past year, my depression denial has gotten worse, resulting I some mistakes, big and small, where I have tried to cover up my memory loss. My inability to concentrate, my daydreaming, and my general difficulty completing small menial administrative tasks. The result has been a running tab on these personal issues.
So we’ll see… i’ve faced adversity before and came out alright …I’ve been fired before and been fine, and I’ve also quit before and it turned out to be one of the best decisions I have ever made.

Car Assholes

Every once in awhile I’m a car asshole. You know, the kind of person who doesn’t let you in when it’s clearly your turn, or the car that zooms in front of the bus/truck/van/large vehicle because I know that my little car can get by. Yeah that’s me. So if you see or experience a car asshole on your commute home, or if that’s you, throw a pound in the air for solidarity. Not always, cause I don’t want you to get carried away with it, just occasionally. You don’t want to be an asshole in real life, just sometimes :). Hey, getting these kids home for dinner, bath and bedtime is REAL. I gotta schedule we need to adhere to.

Late

So I’m always late to everything. Today I was late to work, late to pick my kids up, I missed the breakfast hour at all the fast food spots so that was a fail. I want to say to people, “I swear, I’m not really like this, this only started happening since I got married and got worse when I had kids!” But I know no one would believe me nor would they care. He’ll, I wouldn’t. But for a Type A personality like myself, this drives me crazy. I want to be able to accept the fact that I’m always late, to accept this new part of early childhood woes and take it in stride. But it’s a work in progress…