Eating Crow: How I Became the Parent I Used to Mock

As a parent of a toddler, it can be difficult to find time and energy to create a nutritious meal.

That’s not a problem for me however, because I’ve spent the past few nights eating crow.

When I was pregnant I waddled around with such high and mighty ideas of how I would parent. Then I actually had a baby.

I remember a pediatric dentist telling us a child should ditch the pacifier by age 3. I tsked tsked that dentist.

“THREE? That is far too old. My daughter will not have a binky past 12 months!”

Now I will just be happy if CeCe kicks the habit by kindergarten.

You want your paci, kid? If it gives me enough time to make a phone call without you trying to bite me, take it.

I find myself backtracking on many declarations of my “perfect parenting plan.”

Those amazing, organic meals I anticipated making every day?

Now I salute that exhausted-looking woman in the grocery store giving her daughter a strawberry Pop-Tart.

“Yes, sister, I also count that as a serving of fruit.”

Your baby is wearing a red shirt, orange pants and two different kinds of socks? Pregnant Katie would have silently judged you.

Now I just think, “Yeah, I didn’t have time to do laundry either. Well done on remembering the pants at all.”

I don’t think that parents who buy the occasional Happy Meal or allow an extra episode of “Elmo’s World” are bad or lazy.

I think those parents have just learned to pick their battles.

If you can work all day, keep a clean house, cook wholesome meals, engage in several hours of stimulating activity with your child and enforce perfect discipline – good for you.

But just know that I won’t judge you if you don’t.

My new parenting plan is simple. If I can pull off each day where my daughter is fed, clean, happy and loved, then I’m not going to mourn the occasional Pop-Tart or pacifier.

Watch Baby Bump Editor Katie Saltz on ABC36 News@Noon on the first Thursday of each month. She shares her favorite products and resources for parents and babies, and always has giveaway prizes for viewers!