Give yourself a break, parents. Who knows where all of these parenting stigmas came from, but if you believe all the things “perfect parents” brag about on social media, you’re going to start feeling like a failure. We’re all in the same boat, doing a lot of the same things. So many of the not-so-glamourous parts of parenting happen to all of us. They just aren’t really brag-worthy, so you don’t hear about them as much. No one Instagrams a photo of their kid’s wet bed — or the Twinkie they let them eat.
Parenting would be a heck of a lot easier if we could all stop freaking out about a few things.
1. Giving kids non-organic fruits and vegetables
When did the grocery store become so confusing? You’re not the only one who can’t afford to constantly purchase organic vegetables. Wash them like our moms did in the olden days, and stop feeling guilty.
2. Letting kids watch TV
Can we all just admit that letting a kid watch TV is totally normal and something we all do? My son speaks Spanish thanks to Dora, and my daughter has an English accent thanks to Peppa Pig. Okay, maybe I shouldn’t brag about that. Note to self: TV is great, but screen time limits might be a good idea when your kids start asking if you’ll be taking the trolley to work.
Is there a child who becomes potty trained and then never has an accident at night? If that child exists, I’ve never met them or their #blessed parents. One in 6 kids ages 4 to 12 wet the bed, and for those of you who just mastered potty training it’s even more — 1 in 4 kids ages 4 to 6. So, let’s talk about it folks! I know how exciting it is to be done with potty training and you want to tell all your besties the good news, but be sure to let your little ones know it’s okay if they still wet the bed at night. Their bodies are still growing, and they will get there. They need support just as much as much as you do, so throw a pair of GoodNites on them and post those big kid pics on Instagram!
4. Giving kids sugar
I once went to a 4th birthday party where the kids’ cake was made from beet sugar and some other horror that will not be named, but the parents were supplied a cake made from actual sugar and chocolate! Relax, parents and friends. A little sugar isn’t going to hurt — like the old saying goes, “Everything in moderation.” So don’t let anyone make you feel like a terrible parent because you hand your child a lollipop. Lollipops made my childhood.
5. Letting your kids go up the slide
When did this become a playground crime? Trust me, if your kid spends any time at the park with bigger siblings and cousins, trying to stop this is a lost cause. Teach your kids to wait their turn, whether they go up the slide or down. Problem solved.
6. Milestones, milestones, milestones
We all know what it’s like to anxiously compare our children to the milestone charts on parenting sites and other children at the park. Why is there a stigma around admitting that our kid isn’t actually great at something yet? We’d all be a lot less nervous about these things if we opened up about them. You’d be surprised by how many parents are in the exact same place as you — anxiously waiting for their kid to “catch up” — whatever that means.
7. Letting kids entertain themselves with a screen
Lay this guilt to rest, parents — we all do it! My 3-year-old knows how to navigate my phone better than I do. I’m not ashamed. Again, moderation. Sometimes as a parent, you may find yourself needing a moment of solitude that only a screen will afford you. Enjoy it.
Our kids need love, affection, and attention — not perfection.
This post was sponsored by GoodNites Bedtime Pants. They are discreet and easy to use, and they are designed for kids like mine who need extra nighttime protection. To learn more about bedwetting and hear tips from other parents and pros, visit GoodNites.com.