1. Let my kids watch a lot of TV… check.
2. Occasionally resort to bribing… check.
3. Eat sweets before dinner… check.
4. Play with plastic bags (albeit while I’m sitting next to him)… check.
5. Miss bath night - again!… check.
This is a checklist of things I said I’d never do. I promised myself I wouldn’t resort to any of the above to get through the day.
Until. I. Became. A. Mom.
Wow, what an eye-opener!! It is so much easier being the fun Aunt or babysitter than it is being the responsible parent, isn’t it?
While I don’t espouse to be the best mom ever, there are some facts of life I can’t ignore – I work from home and I parent my children full-time (no nanny!), so something’s got to give. That’s where the list above comes in.
1. They say the TV becomes the babysitter and, whoever “they” are, seem to be right. That being said, each day I set aside time to do an activity with the kids (crafts, drawing, etc) or take them out to play. And, every night without fail, we read together for 30 minutes (or more, depending on if they sucker me into another story!).
2. Bribing (or compromising, as I like to call it) happens when my toddler has just been put down for the night and my daughter wants/needs/has to have something… another story, a drink of water, a few more minutes before lights-out. That's when I occasionally give in and let her have what she wants. I'm too tired to fight it.
3. Picture this… it’s right after Halloween and I’ve already promised (see “bribing”, #2) that my daughter could have a Halloween treat after school. Technically that’s before supper, which breaks the “no sweets before dinner” rule. You can’t win!
4. Sometimes a plastic bag is what my toddler wants to play with. It may be the only thing that will keep him quiet and occupied. So what do I do? I sit next to him and let him play with it because it makes him happy.
5. I don’t know when my daughter’s disdain for bath time started. Actually, she doesn’t mind the bath, just the washing part. (Make sense? It doesn’t to me, either.) So, sometimes I let it go… it’s not going to kill her to miss a bath, yet it saves my sanity occasionally. A decent trade-off, no?
I know of a lot of moms who would never admit they do the things on my list because there are a lot of other parents out there who would judge them. I, however, believe in laying it all out there… foibles and all. None of us are perfect; we do the best we can. Yes, there are times when I question my parenting choices, but there are just as many times when I’m amazed by my kids' kindness, wit, compassion and manners. People even comment on those things, which makes me think I’m not doing such a bad job after all.
So the next time you find yourself doing one of the things you said you’d never do... take heart - all those "judgy" parents do the same things, they just don't admit it!