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Good Parents, Bad Habits

I have a confession to make. My husband and I aren't perfect; phew, I said it. And we're not exactly what you'd probably consider "conservative parents," at least not in the traditional sense. We use expletives from time to time (him more than me); we watch too much reality TV (me more than him); and we drink way too many glasses of wine during the week (ummm, that one's all me).

Since Preston is still an infant (he's almost 8 months old), it's not like he understands the swear words my husband mindlessly blurts out at sporting events, nor does he understand the trash talking among the women on The Real Housewives of New York City. (Or at least I hope not...because that would give him a seriously warped view of women at such a young age!) And the glasses of wine I have when the babe has gone to bed -- they help me unwind after a stressful day of work, and I'm not ready to give them up either. We're only talking maybe 3-4 glasses a week, tops.

I give Jay a hard time about the cursing. Not that I never do it, but I'm a lot more conscious of it now that there's a baby around. Call me boring, but I'd rather Preston's first words not start with "F" or "S," thank you very much. It's only a matter of time now until he can understand the words we're saying, and try to mimic them. He's a very verbal baby to begin with -- he already studies my mouth when I talk (it's so cute). But every time I tell my husband to clean up his vocabulary, he makes me feel like I'm being one of those moms, you know the overly neurotic types.

I'm no angel either. The television is always on in our house, and while one is permanently fixated on Sportscenter the other is almost always tuned to Bravo, Oxygen or E! -- Real Housewives; Tori and Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood; Kendra and Keeping Up With the Kardashians are on rotation on my TiVo right now. (Hey, at least they're all family-oriented reality shows, right?) And they're a lot better than the crap I was watching before -- A Baby Story on TLC was my shameful addiction while I was pregnant and on maternity leave. I could not get enough of it while I was knocked up -- watching those C-sections in gory detail was how I mentally prepared myself for my own scheduled C. I watched so much of it, I'm certain Preston recognizes the sound of babies crying from hearing it in the womb.

It drove Jay nuts, to say the least.

I can picture some of the moms reading this blog shaking their heads in disapproval right now, not that I necessarily blame them. After all, babies understand a lot more than what we often give them credit for -- they know their own names by the time they're 4 months old. And while we want to set a good example for our child(ren), that goes without saying, we're not quite ready to give up some of our old vices. The adult language and trashy television shows are like remnants of what our old lives used to be before we had kids. But I should also tell you, neither one of us were raised in houses were cursing was considered appropriate. I almost never heard (or hear) my parents use language like that. And I find myself shaking my own head every time my husband says something I deem inappropriate, but I feel like a hypocrite since I have other vices (like the aforementioned) that are also not necessarily kid-friendly.

The cursing, crappy-TV watching and glasses of wine aside -- Jay and I have given up quite a few other things since we became parents. Considering in my former life I was a nightlife reporter, I used to go out 5-6 nights a week to social events where a hard cocktail was like a third arm. A few glasses of wine during the week pales in comparison...

Side note: It's my 36th birthday this Thursday, and Jay's taking me out to a nice dinner (Nanny is watching Preston for us), and we're also going out on Saturday night with a group of friends where there will definitely be some adult beverages consumed (Preston is staying with his grandparents for the night). Maybe I'm having another identity crisis: Can a mom have fun once in a while, and still be a good example for her child? (Saturday night is the 2nd time in almost 8 months that we've even had Preston sleep over at his grandparents house, the first time was for a wedding.)

We are just getting our heads around the fact that we're going to have to baby-proof our condo when Preston starts crawling, but when is the drop-dead date for baby-proofing ourselves? When did you start limiting the TV watching in your house, the cursing and/or drinking, and all those other common adult behaviors (CAB) that sort of defined your freedom as adults? Does your husband still do things that make you shake your head? Maybe bad habits don't have to be completely broken; maybe that's part of balancing being a parent with keeping your identity as an adult. But when do those bad habits start to blur the line between bad influences?

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