10 Ways I Lowered My Parenting Standards While Pregnant

by Holly Loftin
parenting during pregnancy
RapidEye / iStock

If I’ve learned anything, it’s that parenting and pregnancy do not mix. It’s just impossible to be on your parenting A-game with a , I mean, a beautiful bundle of joy sucking the life out of you 24/7. I’m not saying that my parenting game has ever been strong, but this pregnancy has brought it to an entirely new level. My current condition has forced me to stoop to a whole new low when it comes to the things I will allow and turn my head from on a regular basis. I wish I could say I am embarrassed, but I’m really just not — I’m in survival mode.

My pregnancy parenting confessions:

1. I let my son eat a Taco Bell burrito, while on his iPad, in his bed. And when I saw pieces of ground beef on his sheet in the morning, I just brushed them off and didn’t even think about stripping the sheets to wash them.

I realize there are many things wrong with this confession and frankly, I just don’t care.

2. I let my son pee in a cup then dump it in the toilet, repeatedly. Because it gives me 30 extra seconds to lay down, and it makes him excited to use the bathroom without me nagging. Potty training at it’s finest.

3. I lie about everything being closed so I don’t have to leave the house. I’m talking everything: the park, the playground, the ice cream store, the pool. I even lie about Target. As far as my child is concerned, the whole damn town is closed. Except for my favorite Mexican restaurant — it’s mysteriously still open for business. Funny how that happened.

4. I hide and throw away any and all toys that force me to do any sort of labor. This especially goes for any and all toys with tiny pieces. I simply do not have the energy to clean that crap up. This is not limited to Legos, puzzles and anything that involves tiny figurines. I could trip on them after all, and in my eyes, that is a pregnancy hazard.

5. I lie about his friends being busy so we don’t have to have playdates. To be clear, I lie about hosting playdates, not him being invited places, because I am all for that. Just the other day, he begged for little Suzie and Johnny to come play but I just knew in my mind how things were going to unfold. They would arrive, appearing to be angels, and in five minutes they would need a snack, take out every toy from my organized toy bins, beg to build a pillow fort, then decide to poop and need me to wipe them. It doesn’t matter how many times Suzie and Johnny have had a bowel movement that day, they are always able to produce one on demand at my house. It’s some sort of party trick they have learned.

I literally cannot.

6. I got an email about my son’s behavior from his teacher and I just didn’t respond. I read the email, processed it, forwarded it to a girlfriend so she could basically tell me how to handle (because I lack the mental capacity for any logical thoughts at this point), and then I did nothing for seven days. Usually I would cry, then be up at the school ASAP, making a game plan, etc. But I just didn’t want to deal with it, so I sent the email to my trash folder and prayed it would work itself out. I figure at this point, his behavior at school needs to be deal with at school. This just isn’t my problem.

7. I saw that my son had peed his pants a little and instead of being a responsible parent and changing his clothes, I told him not to worry about it and that it would dry. I even suggested he go outside and get some sun so it would dry faster. In my defense, he didn’t have one single pair of clean underwear (my fault again) and I didn’t have the energy to search the house to locate some. Oops.

8. The other night, after my son had been swimming all day, and was covered in sunscreen and insect repellent, I told him that he didn’t need a bath. And then I didn’t strip the sheets the next day. I think we are seeing a theme here with his sheets. I’m scared to see what is living in those things.

9. Instead of going to the store when we were out of toilet paper, I tore off tiny pieces of paper towels and put them on the back of the toilet for everyone to wipe with. This went on for two days. I know, parent of the year. I figured in the olden days, they had to use leaves. Paper towels seemed like a step up in my book.

10. I’ve told my son that doing chores around the house will make him bigger and potentially turn him into a dinosaur (his whole life’s dream). Things like, “If you bring Mommy a water, you will grow an inch.” Or “I bet you will start to grow a tail if you fetch me that magazine.” “I know I saw a bag of Cheetos in the cabinet. I bet you will start to sprout wings like a velociraptor if you get me those.”

I’ve had to get extra creative to survive this pregnancy and let’s be honest, I need all the help I can get.

I realize that the things going on at my house during this pregnancy are borderline despicable, but I’ve learned to accept my slacker style — for now. My son is going to have a rude awakening when the strict mommy who cares about eating organic meals and limited screen-time comes back.

Or maybe she is gone forever, because who the hell can be rigid when she has two kids? Maybe this is just my new “don’t give a shit” parenting style. I’m just hoping I don’t scar my child for life and he isn’t reliving all of my parenting failures in therapy in 10 years.