Motherhood is a balancing act between keeping the kids healthy and keeping them (and therefore you) happy. The problem is that a state of happiness is generally swirling around requests for gobs of sugar, dangerous activities, or insane ideas. So it comes as no surprise that moms get a rep for being the hard ass who constantly says no to all the whiz-bang impulses that kids come up with in a day.
Moms should lighten up. For the record, I say this as a total hard ass mom who puts up with almost no shenanigans. Sometimes the best way to get through the day with sanity intact and keeping the elusive balance of healthy and happy is to just say yes to these 10 crazy things (although probably not all at the same time!).
1. A day of TV
Once in a blue moon, just say yes and allow the kids to watch an entire day of TV. WHO CARES! Their brains will not melt. Besides, imagine how much shit you can get done while they are happily zoned out.
2. Gobs of sugar
OK, maybe not a whole day of junk food, but why not let the kiddo have a double deluxe fudge brownie sundae just once?
3. Jumping off the couch
I think I say no about 6,000 times a day to my kids leaping off the couch as if they have wings and are about to fly off to Mom Doesn’t Give A Damn Land. So last week, I threw all the pillows on the floor and told them to have at it just this once. It was awesome.
4. Shirking the chores for a day
No parent should be a cleaning, diaper-changing, meal-cooking machine 7 days a week with nary a break in sight. Throw in the dishtowel and move on to number 5.
5. Playing with your kids
Admit it, sometimes you cringe – and maybe even internally panic – when your wee ones ask you to play. Let them paint your nails, chase you around the kitchen while wearing bath towels as superhero capes, or color on the floor with washable crayons.
Sometimes you just have to let your kids destroy the house or run around like maniacs in the yard. Just sit back and let it happen. Here, have some wine. You can do this.
7. Letting your kid win an argument
The fastest way to end an argument with a little one is to just smile, nod, and say, “You’re right!” Otherwise you will spend the next two hours listening as your preschooler describes, in great detail, how great white sharks could totally fit in the bathtub and they would make great pets. Mmm hmm … OK, dear.
8. Wrestling with sibling
They’re going to do this anyway, especially if they are boys. Just stand by as the ref and make up some silly rules to keep the crazy to a relative minimum.
9. Eating ice cream for dinner
Really? You would say no to this? Oh, come on … ice cream for dinner sounds awesome and you know it. Wait until a stupidly hot summer night and whip that magic suggestion out. You will win at parenting (in the eyes of your kids).
10. Staying up past bedtime
This one is tricky because if your kids are like mine, then they turn into ogres when they get tired. But sometimes letting them stay up to see the stars come out or watch some seasonal Charlie Brown special is totally worth it because they are just so darn happy.
You never know which goofy, awesome memory will stick in your child’s memory, so why not be that parent who says an enthusiastic “YES!” once in a while?