OK mamas, admit it... we have all at one time or another done something that might make us question just how "down" we have this parenting thing. There is no such thing as a perfect parent, and I don't care who you are, there are times that try you... times that make you want to crawl into your closet and shut the door and wonder, "was having kids the best decision for me?!" (I do understand it's not always planned, our second two were very much a shock and surprise lol). Here's the thing though, we love our kids, they are the absolute best part of us... but sometimes they drive us nuts. If you read my other piece than you'll get a bit more detail on that topic. This post piggy backs off that one but in a more humorous but totally honest way.
I've come to realize that there is no reason to hide anything I do when it comes to how I raise my kids. I don't care what other people think, in any aspect of my life. You shouldn't either! In our home, we try to bring our kids up in a more "natural" lifestyle. We are pretty careful about the foods we eat, we want them to respect and love nature, I make most of our home products because I dislike chemicals, etc... It's just a passion of mine and something both me and the hubs share an interest in. HOWEVER, it does not mean there aren't things we do and let our kids get away with every now and then. On those crazy days, or during those busy weeks... or sometimes if we are just feeling plain lazy we give in to whats easy. Not to mention, once in a while ya just gotta let kids and yourself off the hook. So, I'm sharing a list of things I have done and do when I just feel like saying "F&ck it." I am certain, I'm not alone on this one...
1. I let my son have veggie straws for breakfast.
Yes, I did that. My kids are incredibly picky eaters. 98% of the time I choose what they eat. I pack my 5 year old a wonderfully healthy lunch for school every day. He is actually getting better with his eating habits, more fruits, trying new things, etc... but still wont eat a vegetable unless it's hidden in applesauce or yogurt. My three-year-old, all the sudden will only eat bananas and that's IF he asks for one. If I voluntarily cut up a banana and offer it at breakfast, he wont eat it. Sometimes if I'm lucky he will eat scrambled eggs, or pancakes (OK not totally healthy, but I use whole wheat or almond flour... does that count? ha ha), but most days all he wants is toast. Toast and butter and that is it. This particular morning with the chips, I had offered him like three different things for breakfast and he did not want any of them. On occasion we have implemented the, "if you don't eat what you're given... you don't eat" rule. Usually this happens at dinner after fighting with him to eat for like a half hour. My husband doesn't have the patience for it. Me, I think "how could I send him away with nothing in his belly?!?!" True, they will eat when they are hungry, but they will also be super stubborn and go without until the next meal. On this day, I woke up tired. I had not slept well, I got up like 5 times to pee and then couldn't fall back asleep. Coffee was needed one right after the other. Once I was (barely) functioning and we were going back and forth about breakfast, he yelled "MUMMA, I JUST WANT VEGGIE STRAWS!" and you know what? I didn't feel like cooking anyways! I gave the kid a bowl full of veggie straws, a cup of milk and sent him into the living room to watch morning TV. He was happy, and I sat down, turned on a podcast and drank my coffee. (Speaking of tv.......)
2. I let my kids watch TV almost all day on a Sunday.
Sundays around here are sort of our "slow down" days. It is really the only day my husband takes off from work and we pretty much kick it together around the house all day unless we have something going on, or errands to take care of... typically we are home bodies. I look forward to making "Sunday Sauce" (something us Italian mamas were brought up eating and then taught to make...) waiting for football to come on and spending time with my handsome hubs trying to hear ourselves over our favorite tiny beings. A couple Sundays ago my boys had the sniffles. Always happens during those first few weeks of school. They didn't want to get dressed, they were happy chilling out on the couch watching Blippi or Mickey Mouse or "old Garfield" as my kid calls it (ouch). They wanted toast, we gave them toast. Know what? THEY WERE QUIET! The hubs and I were able to enjoy a quiet breakfast, coffee, and conversation without interruption! Well, the one-year-old was still bee-boppin around but one is a lot less noisy than three ha ha. I made sauce, cleaned up, made some apps for the football game, while they just relaxed... and overall it was a super calm and wonderful Fall Sunday. Now no, normally my children lose TV time after breakfast. We go out and we do stuff during the week and on Saturdays. But they also have limited time to watch television on Sunday. I swear too much makes my boys CRAZY. I take out play doh, legos or drawing stuff...but this day I let it go. It was a GREAT day! Sometimes you just have to let the norm slide, if for nothing other than your sanity. It also was what the kids wanted and we let them have it. So we all won that day.
3. I put my kids to bed an hour earlier just because I wanted quiet.
This might not seem SO outside the box, and maybe it is a fairly common practice for many parents ha ha but an hour early in our house means 6:30 at night. And when I did this, it was summer time. Which means at 6:30pm, the sun was still high in the sky. The night I did this, my kids were not misbehaving, they were being their typical silly selves. Some fighting, some playing, no out of the ordinary behaviors, they were being totally normal... JUST LOUD. It always amazes me at how loud toy tractor engines can really be. The sounds my boys make when they are driving these things around the house would make you think you are actually ON a farm. When you have kids, and especially when you are home with them, its always NOISE. Weather it's tractor sounds, fighting sounds, the "almost every 5 seconds of whining" sounds, or your kid asking you the same question fifty times in a row.... it all turns into one big noise bubble. Eventually you stop hearing words and just hear muffled sound. My husband happened to be away that evening, I wanna say he was on a ski weekend with his brothers, I don't remember... and its besides the point ha ha. My daughter is typically tired between 6 and 7 pm. This night she was ready around 6:30 pm. I thought to myself, what a glorious evening it could be, if all three kids were in bed and I had the house to myself for the rest of the night. When hubs is gone, I usually stay up later than normal. I clean because I can take my time and not worry about anyone coming in to mess it up. Sometimes I take a bath and soak using one of my awesome sets of bath salts I made, OR sometimes I just park my booty in front of the TV and put on a show I want to watch. All of those thoughts swarmed around in my head and I decided YEP... bed time for all. Of course it was a argument and my oldest said, "mom... its not even dark out, why are we going to bed if the sun is still out?" Without missing a beat I responded with the age old...."Because I said so dude." It actually only took about a half hour for them to pass out b/c when those heads hit pillow, it doesn't take long. So, I cleaned. I took my time and cleaned the entire down stairs. I put on my fav Spotify playlist and went to it. Then I grabbed some green tea and peppermint bath salts and took a 20 min soak. After that I poured a glass of wine and parked it in front of Netflix. Sorry not sorry kids! I love you to the moon and back but sometimes mama needs QUIET.
4. I pretended I lost a birthday invitation because I just didn't want to go
This is probably going to make me sound like such a brat, but I am totally unapologetic about it. When my son was in Preschool he came home with an adorable invitation to a classmates birthday party. He had come home with them before, but never knew they were in his bag. This particular one he knew about. It had been handed directly to him before he got on the bus home. He came home and flashed it in my face saying, "Mumma, I got a party card." He seemed excited about it, but probably didn't really understand what it was. He put it on the fridge and grabbed a snack and went into the other room. The party was going to be at this huge indoor play place a couple towns away. Now, am I the only mom that sees a birthday invitation and immediately thinks about 25 kids running around, screaming, hopped up on cake and ice cream, not to mention all the other parents and that sometimes awkward moment where you wonder if you should strike a convo or just smile and wave? I know this makes me seem completely antisocial, and I'm really not. I love people, but in smaller quantities lol. Maybe it's come with getting older (I wouldn't call 34 super old, but I'm not 21 ...I don't party like that anymore) these days I appreciate a lower tone. Anyway, The party happened to fall on a weekend where the weather was going to be rainy and gloomy all day. It was actually perfect for an indoor gig. I had asked my husband if he wanted to bring our son... he gave me a look as if I had asked him to sit in on my book club meeting for me. No, I'm not in a book club, I just imagine being in one. I'm such a nerd. Anyhoo...he was not interested. Neither was I. I very discreetly took the invite off the fridge and tossed it. Oops! (I did RSVP saying we wouldn't be able to make it but thank you for the invite! I'm not THAT horrible lol). My son of course noticed it gone later that day. I said, "Sorry bud, I dont have the address so I dont know how to get there." He was instantly bummed, and I felt like such a brat. After pouting for about 20 minutes my husband offered to take him for a ride up to his Grampy's farm (THANK GOSH!) and all was forgotten. Now, if you are reading this and you are thinking, "Wow, you kinda suck as a mom" well than I must have been wrong when I said there was no such thing as a perfect parent... maybe you are it! If you are reading this and are like, "TOTALLY have been there" than you, you are my people.
This particular date and location was just not something I wanted to get into. Now, had it been something smaller at say the out door park/playground, or someones home where the kids could be outside (and of course had it not been a rainy day) I probably would have been happy to join in. I did tell my son, we will go to that place to play as a play date sometime with a couple of our friends. A much smaller scale. My style.
5. Sometimes I skip words when I'm reading bed time stories so I can be done quicker.
I CANNOT be the only one who does this hahahah. Most nights I am more than happy to read stories before bed. I love to read, always have. I love to bring out classics and cannot wait to read chapter books with my kids. However, there are some nights where I just wanna either read one story and put the kids to bed, or read NO stories and put the kids to bed. So I compromise by skipping words or a page here and there so that I finish the story faster. They are still young and so they don't usually catch on, which is great...though my 5 year old is pretty smart and I'm sure he will call me out soon. Now, I don't do it on short books, but typically my kids want like Dr. Seuss stories and some of those books are long. Green Eggs and Ham? All those repetitive lines? AGHHHH. So, I secretly turn three pages at a time, sometimes four... they don't know so its all good. They get to be read to, I get to shave some time off the routine. Once in a while we do what we have to do!
So, those are my five mom confessions for the day. Mind you, this didn't all happen in like one week, its over the course of the last five years. I'm sure there are other things, like the times I allow certain foods for snack that I would normally never, or when I slapped a pull up on my kid because he refused to sit on the toilet to go poop and I didn't feel like sitting in there with him listening to him scream. (Yea, there are others!) I'm sure my own parents had their "things" as well. I also know many of my mom friends that have done their own "things" to keep days running smooth and their sanity at bay. It does NOT mean we don't love being parents, and it doesn't mean we don't LOVE our kids...it just means we are human. We are all trying to do the best we can, and sometimes EASY is necessary.
All the love mamas!