Parenting Karma

A wise woman once told me, “Your children will make liars of you.” I remember holding my tiny firstborn closer and thinking, not me. But of course, truer words were never spoken. Since then, I’ve become a believer in what I like to call Parenting Karma. I’ve discovered that it’s a really bad idea to make statements about what you will or will not do as a parent. Because as soon as you say, “I will never (fill in the blank),” you are doomed.

While pregnant with my first child, I said I would never let our baby sleep with us in our bed. As a result, all three of our children slept in our bed for the better part of their first year. I swore I would never nurse a child past the age of one year. Meet my son Rylan, my 20-month-old nursling. I declared that I would never reward my children with food, yet I find myself slipping my son skittles for going potty and promising ice cream for good behavior.

Although my lack of willpower is frustrating, I take comfort in my belief that Parenting Karma is universal. In other words, what goes around in the world of parenting, comes around. This is especially useful to remember when dealing with “those” parents, the ones who are judgmental of your parenting skills. You know the type – if your kid got an A, theirs got an A+. They are the ones who offer to loan you volumes from their home collection of parenting books, or innocently inquire if you’ve thought about having your child tested for ADD. Or they might ask, as they watch your kid pick his nose, if you caught the latest episode of Supernanny. Then there are those who just straight out tell you that you’re doing it all wrong.

I’m sure “perfect” children do exist…somewhere. However, I’d bet every one of them is an only child. Their parents were smart enough to stop while they were ahead.

What I’ve learned in my short decade of motherhood is that parenting is more art than science. Babies come with their own personalities, and they probably won’t be like yours. Although the multimillion-dollar parenting industry would have us believe otherwise, a lot of this is out of our control. Despite your best efforts, your kids may not turn out as planned.

So here’s my advice. First, never, ever say out loud what you will or won’t do as a parent. That’s just asking for it. Secondly, the next time your child embarrasses you in front of one of “those” parents, just know that someday their perfect kid will humiliate them. It may not be until much later, when that kid returns home from college sporting a rainbow-colored Mohawk and multiple body piercings, but something will happen. It has to… it’s Parenting Karma.

Tiffany Doerr Guerzon
About Tiffany Doerr Guerzon

Writer Tiffany Doerr Guerzon is a stay-at-home mom of three children.

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