According to all of the parenting advice floating around the internet, I’m a terrible mom.
Don’t get me wrong, I have happy, social, delightful children. But I do all the things they tell you not to do when it comes to raising children. All the things.
Here’s a list of my daily parental failures, in no particular order.
1. My kids have total control of the television.
My kids know how to use the remote and DVR all of their shows. They also know how to find their shows on the list and play them. They’re two and four, by the way.
2. My kids get to eat things they want.
“Can I have a cookie?” Yes.
“Can I have a lollipop?” Yes.
“Can I have some Goldfish?” Yes.
3. I am not freaked out by juice boxes.
I have no idea how many ounces they drink a day, a conversation that’s actually come up in some parenting forums I’ve participated in. How many ounces of juice are in “I don’t fucking know?”
4. Only one of my kids still naps.
Yes, it would be awesome if the four-year-old still napped. He doesn’t. I’m not spending two hours of my day trying to keep him in his bed.
5. My 2-year-old sleeps in my bed.
I never co-slept with her when she was a baby, this is a new thing. One night she climbed into my bed – now she climbs in there every night. I have no problem with this. No one else is in it.
6. I yell at my kids.
I totally raise my voice at my kids. Hell no, it doesn’t work. But I’m a human, not a bot – and sometimes, if I’ve had to repeat the word “no” 40 times in a row – I lose my shit.
7. My kids eat hot dogs.
No regrets. Hot dogs are delicious. I don’t care what’s in them.
8. My kid climbs up the slide.
Every. Day. He knows to move if someone is at the top.
9. My kids don’t have a rigid bedtime.
My kids don’t have a bedtime. They have a time when they need to be out of the common areas of the house, so I can some well-deserved relaxation. At roughly 8pm they go upstairs. They then play in their room until they are ready for bed. The two-year-old is usually ready around 8:45. The four-year-old is usually ready around 9:30. I’ve been asked, “What’s going to happen when he goes to school?” Well, I’m assuming he’ll be exhausted from staying up too late the night before, and start going to bed earlier. I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.
There’s probably a laundry list of more things I do daily that “they” tell us to never do. I’m not one of those parents who relishes in being the “bad parent” – I don’t think I’m a “bad parent” at all. I truly think I’m awesome at it: my kids are friendly, they are well-behaved in public, they say “please” and “thank you,” and the truly love being around people. They will sit through a meal in a restaurant, no problem.
One day, I just stopped feeling guilty about all the things I wasn’t doing “right.” My mom did all of the above (and more – it was the ’70’s for Christ’s sake) and I turned out just fine. I actually used to pretend my kids didn’t eat hot dogs, the television wasn’t on all day, and I never raised my voice. Who the hell am I trying to impress? This isn’t a competition. No one is winning.
Parenting isn’t in the details – it’s in the love we give our kids. Another parent may prioritize all the things I don’t – and good for them. But as for me, I’m not too worried about my failures anymore.
I’m a good parent… juice boxes and all.