I sometimes feel that, as moms, we don’t need enemies or critics because we are our own worst enemies and critics. We beat ourselves up for parenting “fails” that don’t even come close to fails. Here’s my list of things I don’t think any of us should feel guilty about …
1. Feeding your kids breakfast for supper
A breakfast will usually comprise a carb, protein and fat, so why can’t it work at dinnertime? When you’re tired in the evening, it’s okay to not make a full-on dinner … why not relax with the kids instead over cereal or eggs and toast?
2. 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.
3. Using the five-second rule (or even longer)
Again, science might show otherwise (though I’m still waiting to find some solid research) 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 unspeakably dirty/unhygienic space, in which case, don’t chance the five-second rule.
4. Skipping a bath night
Did your child get sick when they missed that one bath night? Exactly! They’ll be okay if you miss occasional bath nights.
5. Getting takeaway treats
It’s okay to opt for a fried takeaway meal because you got home late, or didn’t have the energy, or felt like pizza or fried chips yourself. Remember that ol’ saying, “Everything in moderation”? Well, follow that and you should be okay.
6. 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 pinãtas, unicorn cakes and banting from scratch. It’s okay if you order a cake, or decorate your own store-bought cupcakes, or use instant cake mix. Your kids will likely still think it’s awesome and won’t love you less.
7. 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 value in TV and apps, so don’t feel bad if your kid watches and plays with them – in moderation.
8. Hiding out in the bathroom or car
It’s okay to have a timeout, a cry, a scream, or just a moment to eat a chocolate without sharing, while trawling Facebook. Look after yourself, too.
9. 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 downtime and it’s actually good for your sanity.
“We beat ourselves up for parenting “fails” that don’t even come close to fails.”
10. 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 a reading of Dr Seuss to watch an episode of Grey’s Anatomy.
11. 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 freed up to do the things you like and are good at.
12. Eating from the party packs
They probably won’t even notice, plus, didn’t they have more than enough sugar at the party?
13. Not telling the truth
It’s okay to tell white lies if they’re going to save you from tears (your own), money and hassle. I used to tell my child that the park was closed when I didn’t feel like going when it was getting dark. I also used to tell him that the sushi restaurant was closed when I didn’t feel like coughing up for another plate of salmon sushi (read here for typical lies we tell our kids).
14. Throwing away the artwork
There isn’t always 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.
This article was written specially for BabyYumYum by Rattle & Mum.
Tanya Kovarsky is a mom of two (Max, 8 and Rebecca, 1.5 years) and works by day in PR and communications, and by night as a blogger on Rattle and Mum. She loves Paris, Jelly Tots, pink things, makeup and sneakers, and running (she can tell her kids that she’s run 11 Comrades and 14 Two Oceans). She also has a personal blog, Dear Max + Rebecca.