As a parent, I’m running on empty on so many things. I’m short on time and energy. It feels like we’re bleeding money on things like summer camp, dentist appointments, and lost library books. And never mind the constant lack of sleep. In fact, I think I spend more time thinking about sleep than I do sleeping.
There just never seems to be enough time, energy, money, or sleep.
The same is true for fucks. There are only so many fucks a person has to give. As parents, our children take up a good chunk of them, which means that we need to be pretty selective about the rest of our fuck-giving. If we don’t allocate them appropriately, before long we’ll find ourselves without any left to give and in hock up to our eyeballs—or, in other words, crying in a Target bathroom on a Tuesday afternoon (or maybe that’s just me).
In any event, every once in a while we need to take stock and make some adjustments to our fuck-giving budget. Every once in a while we need to remind ourselves to get rid of the fucks that don’t matter so that we can save the ones that do.
Here are 20 things I won’t give a fuck about anymore:
1. My son eating three carrots for dinner before declaring he’s ‘full’
I wasted approximately 43 minutes preparing a well-rounded meal of dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets (chicken nuggets that my son just had to have), tater tots, and baby carrots, so I vow to not waste one extra fuck on what my children eat or don’t eat.
2. My son asking for a snack approximately 90 seconds after dinner because he’s ‘absolutely starving‘
Perhaps you’d like a fourth carrot, sweet child of mine?
3. Photos on social media
I see the photos of your adorable kids smiling at me from my newsfeed, but I suspect that two seconds earlier one child had his finger up his nose, the other child tried to bite his sibling, and you were muttering through gritted teeth something along the lines of “for the love of all things holy, can’t we have just one fucking family photo?!” before the camera went click–click–click. Immediately thereafter, one child burst into tears, another one pulled off his pants and peed on the floor, and you raced out of the room to pour a glass of wine before editing the shit out of that photo with an Instragram filter. But, don’t worry, even though I know this, I’ll still like the hell out of your photos. #rulesofmomclub
4. Bullshit of any kind
I generally try to give people the benefit of the doubt, assume good intentions, and let shit go. But sometimes you just gotta say, Fuck this shit. Life is short and ain’t nobody got time for bullshit.
5. Binging on electronics
Yes, I know that I “should” limit screen time and TV time and video game time and iEverything time, but I also know that sometimes I need to give all the shoulds the middle finger and do what is necessary for my sanity, and that means binging on screen time.
6. Being nice all the time
There is a difference between being nice and being kind. Sometimes they overlap, but sometimes in order to be kind you have to say fuck “nice” and let your inner bitch take over—because, let’s face it, bitches get shit done.
7. What my kids wear
Heck, if they get themselves dressed in the morning wearing something reasonably clean, I’m happy. These days I’m saving my fucks for the teeth-brushing battle each night.
8. What I wear
Sometimes I wear trendy jeans and heels. Sometimes I wear sweats and a baseball hat. Most days I wear stretchy pants with an elastic waistband. Either way, by the end of the day, whatever I’m wearing will have ketchup, kid snot, and some mystery sauce on it.
Parents miss out on shit. Lots of shit. It just goes with the territory. Besides, one of the best things about getting older is realizing that everyone I know is probably in bed at 10:00 on a Saturday—or wishes they were too.
10. Cellulite and wrinkles
I am a woman of a certain age. I have cellulite and wrinkles. End of story.
11. That my home doesn’t look like something straight out of HGTV
I have pets. I have children. “This is why we can’t have nice things” is basically my motto.
Whether it’s fashion, music, or lingo, I don’t really keep up on trends. In fact, I recently had to Google “bae,” and I still don’t understand what it means. Fortunately, I know what IDGAF means.
13. Ditching my friends to stay home
Sometimes you just need a night at home, alone, in your fleece pajamas and bunny slippers.
14. Ditching my kids to go out
Sometimes you just need a night on the town, away from your kids, while you shake your ass to loud club music.
15. Planning out my kids’ days
A little boredom never hurt anyone. In fact, didn’t Albert Einstein say that boredom is the birthplace of some really fucking interesting ideas? No? Not him. Well, he should have said it because that’s some seriously quotable shit.
16. Getting it all done
Sometimes you need to scrap the to-do list, take a nap, and binge on Oreos instead.
17. Different parenting philosophies
Parenting is a petri dish of opinions. And you know what they say about opinions, right? Well, if opinions are like assholes and everyone has one, opinions on the internet are like assholes after a trip to Taco Bell—everyone has one and they hurt like a motherfucker.
I have wasted far too many fucks in my life wondering how I measure up to other people, focusing on their various “bests” until I built in my mind a real life Barbie doll who meets all the criteria of perfection. But who can compete with that? No one—because it doesn’t fucking exist!
19. Worrying about whether my kids are extraordinary students, athletes, musicians, or artists
Extraordinary takes time and effort, like 10,000 hours of time and effort. And let’s be honest, I’m too damn lazy to spend 10,000 hours on just about anything. I’d much rather give my fucks toward raising good and kind people even if that means they are just meh at all that other stuff. Because you know what? Good and kind is pretty fucking extraordinary all on its own.
20. Having all my shit together
I used to think that grown-ups had it all figured out. That they had all the answers. That they had their shit together. Then I realized that no one has all the answers, and most people are just pretending to have their shit together. We’re all just winging it.