My family is different than yours — and that’s okay. I guess maybe I should care about this…but I don’t. I love my kick-ass kids, and we’re not trying for perfection. Not even close. Because I realize we represent so many families out there who aren’t represented. Because people don’t generally take to Facebook to brag that their kid doesn’t have a bedtime, or Instagram their dinner that consists of boxed macaroni and cheese, again.
There’s a new comedy premiering in a couple weeks that many of us will be able to relate to. ABC’s American Housewife introduces Katie, a down-to-earth mom raising her “imperfect” family in a wealthy, cookie-cutter town filled with “perfect” mommies and their “perfect” offspring. Her family is “different.”
Well it turns out a lot of us are “different.” So maybe we should start bragging about it more. “Different” usually implies “imperfect,” but that’s a crock. What it should really mean is “honest,” because I may do things that not every mom owns up to, but I bet there’s some solidarity out there.
My kids eat whatever they want!
“Can I have a cookie?” Yes. “Can I have a hot dog?” Yes. “Can I have a lollipop?” Yes. I don’t exert maximum-security-prison-level control over my pantry. And I’m okay with this.
My kids have total control of the television!
There is currently only 17% of free space on my DVR, and the only thing I record is Scandal and The Bachelor, when it’s on. So yeah, my kids are 5 and 3, and they totally know how to navigate cable.
My kids don’t have a rigid bedtime!
My kids don’t have a bedtime, they have a time when they have to leave me the heck alone. They go up to their rooms at the end of the day, we get them into their pajamas, and they entertain themselves until they’re tired enough to climb into bed.
My kids listen to age-inappropriate music!
My kids sing along to everything on the radio. I mean, everything. Is most of it appropriate for a 3 and 5-year-old? Heck no. But who would you rather listen to: Barney or Beyoncé? Enough said.
My kids decide what they want to wear!
My kid is a kid, not a J.Crew model. She gets to decide what she likes to wear, and often that means purple socks over red tights with a brown T-shirt. Who cares? Contrary to popular opinion, kids actually have likes and dislikes — and are totally capable of dressing themselves. We let ours beat to their own drum.
My kids drink juice boxes — and they’re not organic!
Don’t tell the neighbors! My kids drink juice boxes. I really have no idea how many, because they help themselves sometimes. I’m not their servant. But apparently these things are just loaded with sugar, and it’s amazing my kids are alive.
My kids are into screens — and I’m not bothered by it.
My 5-year-old has been reading since he was 3. I don’t freak out about screen time. His LeapPad is basically what taught him to blend consonants. I wish I could take the credit.
I actually used to lie about this stuff, until I realized they don’t hand out any trophies for perfect parents. Did you know that? Not even a ribbon! If your family looks different than everyone else’s, you may be surprised to learn that we’re all not too far apart. We’re all doing our best — it’s just that one person’s “best” may look wildly different than another’s.
And that’s okay.