I sometimes feel that as moms, we don’t need enemies or critics because we are our own worst enemies and critics, beating ourselves up for parenting “fails” that aren’t actually fails. Or anything close to them.
Here’s my list of things I don’t think any of us should feel guilty about…
Feeding your kids breakfast for supper
A breakfast will usually have a carb, protein and fat, so why can’t it work at dinnertime?
Feeding your kids ice cream for breakfast once in a while
Until someone shows me the science of why ice cream or cupcakes for breakfast is detrimental, I’ll continue with the occasional ice cream cone for breakfast. And who knows, maybe your kid will opt for something “healthy” by choice when things aren’t deemed “good” or “bad” in your house.
Using the five-second-rule (or even longer)
Again, science might show otherwise (though I’m still waiting to find something solid) but dropping the dummy, or chip, or piece of fruit and then popping it into your kid’s mouth isn’t the worst thing. Unless it falls onto an unspeakable dirty/unhygienic space, in which case, don’t take the five-second-rule advice.
Skipping a bath night
Did your child get sick when you missed that one bath night? Exactly. They’ll be okay if you miss occasional bath nights.
Opting for a fried takeaway meal because you got home late, or didn’t have the energy, or felt like pizza yourself
Remember that ol’ saying, “Everything in moderation”? Well, follow that.
Not making the perfect party and cake from scratch
I blame Pinterest and social media for making us think that we need to make our own pinatas, unicorn cakes and decor from scratch. It’s okay if you order a cake, or decorate your own store-bought cupcakes, or use a box in instant cake mix. Your kids will likely still think it’s awesome, and won’t love you less.
Not keeping them away from TVs or iPads before age three
iPads, Barney and Peppa Pig aren’t the enemy, but it’s not great when that’s all a kid does every day. Again, moderation is key. But what is moderation? I tend to take the research (there’s so much of it online), and then use my own common sense to figure out what works for us. There’s a value in TV and apps, so don’t feel bad if your kid watches and plays with them in moderation.
Hiding out in the bathroom or car
It’s okay to have a time out, a cry, a scream, or just a moment to eat a chocolate without sharing, while trawling Facebook. Look after yourself too.
Rushing them to sleep
It’s also okay to want that glass of wine sooner, or to put on your PJs and eat chocolate while watching This Is Us. It’s normal to want some down time.
Not reading a story to them before they go to sleep
See point above. Yes, reading is a wonderfully bonding and relaxing time, but everyone will survive if you skip the Dr Seuss for Grey’s Anatomy.
Not signing up to be class mom
There can only be one class mom, and it doesn’t have to be you. It just means your time is free’ed up to do the things you like and are good at.
Eating from the party packs
They probably won’t even notice, plus didn’t they have more than enough sugar at the party?
Not telling the truth
It’s okay to tell white lies if it’s going to save you from tears (your own), money and hassle. I used to tell my child the park was closed (when I didn’t feel like going when it was getting dark), that the sushi restaurant was closed (I didn’t feel like coughing up for another plate of salmon sushi), and that I didn’t know where the Cadbury Bubbly had gone.
(At least it wasn’t as bad as an ex colleague of mine who was told that the ice cream truck music meant that they had run out of ice cream!!!!)
Throwing away the artwork
There is simply no space to keep every scribble, clay model and painting, so save the occasional one, or use an app like Artkive to keep memories of the artwork digitally.