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Good Mom, Bad Mom

I’m sitting next to Hudson who is watching Cars and having a lollipop for breakfast.

It’s not even 7:30 in the morning.

That is probably not a “good mom” thing to do.

6 years ago (before I had kids) I would have never allowed such a thing with my hypothetical children. The real children however, are a different story.

I feel like parents are always under a ton of “pressure to raise our kids the “right” way. Those pressures, along with the “I would never___” which we come up with before we have children can really make a parent feel like a total failure.

Well, you know, I’m not a perfect parent. In fact, I don’t think there is such a thing.

Here are some of my ‘bad mom’ confessions:

1. I let them have candy… even for breakfast. Max also eats salads… but a lot less frequently.

2. I let them watch tv in the mornings for as long as they want so I can drink my coffee in peace.

3. I’ve been the mom with the kid having a total meltdown in public who looks like she’s not doing anything about it.  At a certain point, there’s not much you can do.

4. Hudson was obsessed with his bottle till he was 3 and still sneaks into our bed at night. We waited until he was ready to move him out of our bed and also to eliminate the bottle. Because of that, we were much later than the pediatrician recommended, but there wasn’t any fight. Confession 4.5, I kinda like snuggling with him.

5. I compare the kids. I do, occasionally, compare who did what when.  I know I am not supposed to, and I always regret it because I end up thinking one’s a genius and the other is, well, a poorly tamed feral jungle boy. Neither of which are true. Which leads me to my next one…

6. I treat the kids differently. Because they’re, well, different. Hudson gets away with stuff Max doesn’t, and I did stuff with Max at Hudson’s age that I just don’t think Hudson is ready for. Yup, it’s unfair. No, I don’t think it’s favoritism.

7.Hudson gets away with stuff because he’s cute. He just is, and he just does. Max gets away with things because he’s clever.

8. Work/Life balance takes on a whole new meaning with kids. It’s really tough. Sometimes work gets neglected, but more often, the kids do.

9. I let them stay up late -if they are playing nicely or we’re reading or watching a movie together I push back bedtime, I know we’re supposed to be on a strict bedtime routine, but some things I think are more important.

10. Being a mom, isn’t always spectacular. Sometimes, having kids, well,  it sucks. I LOVE my family… but Jeff and I have missed out on a lot of things because we have kids. We’re young parents, and one of the few of our friends with kids, so, we feel left out from time to time. We’ve missed birthday parties and gatherings and all sorts of fun events to watch Cars for the 12,499th time and struggle to hold the kids still so they can get a shirt on for goodness sake. While many of our friends are out, we’re in bed by about 9 on a Friday night due to sheer exhaustion. I love that I’m a mom, and really I love that I became a mom at 23. I wouldn’t trade it. But like most things, occasionally, it sucks. Thankfully, I’m not the only one to feel this way.  A friend of mine pointed this out to me a few days ago.

Okay, so I don’t win the perfect parent award this year. I probably won’t next year either. But I’m happy with my little family, and I think the kids are pretty happy too. And if that means we wake up at 6 and watch Cars and eat lollipops… that’s fine with me.

Alright, Max has put the movie on repeat. I suppose I need to draw the line somewhere.

Do you feel pressure to be a “perfect” parent? Or, if you don’t have kids, do you look at other parents and think “If I had kids I’d never…”

11 thoughts on “Good Mom, Bad Mom

  1. Oh, Sarah, this blog was sheer mom perfection!
    “I would have never allowed such a thing with my hypothetical children. The real children however, are a different story.” I LOVE that, so perfectly said – because I think ALL mom’s are in that boat. So many ideas and goals – some of which make it to reality and others…well, let’s just say life has other things in mind. I think most mom’s have done 2, 3, 5,6,8,and 9…I know I have. I thinking treating kids differently based on who they are, how they learn, etc – it more effective and, in my opinion, healthier than just treating them the same in the name of routine and “fairness”, but that’s a whole different tangent. Being a young mom, too, number 10 is close to my heart – I echo your sentiments.
    I definitely feel pressure, if even from only myself, to aim for being “the perfect parent” – I seems to always be looking at how I could do better or improve while other days I think “hey, they’re doing alright, I’m okay at this parenting thing” (as one child then reads my thoughts and goes into action to prove me wrong). I think one of my biggest issues is compairing myself to other mom’s who I think are doing so many things better than myself. I think – they’ve got it together, but in the end, more realistically, we’re probably all wondering exactly as this blog put it.
    I, personally, think you are an wonderful mom. Your kids are awesome and that didn’t happen on it’s own. Grab that nail file and keep workin your magic!

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    • Thanks So much Blair!
      I think we all fall into the comparing ourselves to other moms trap.
      I try to remind myself, we all have our unglamorous moments.

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  2. How refreshing! Thanks for being so honest! So many parents just LIE to save face, and make the rest of us feel bad. You have no idea how much your post has cheered me up this morning. Thanks!

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    • Great to hear from you Meghan! Hope you are doing well!
      Yep, it’s rough. I say, let’s skip striving for perfection and go for happiness instead (or, at the very least, sanity)

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  3. Sarah, so much of what you wrote is felt by so many of us. There is constant pressure to do things “the right way”. Something I have realized in the past year or so is that, as long as you aren’t abusing your child, there is no “right way” and besides, who on earth gets to say what “the right way” is anyway?

    Yes, I think we all said “I would never…” back when we did not have children. For those out there w/o children – beware for those are the comments that will probably come back to bite you!

    It is my opinion that the requirements for being a good parent are these:
    love your child without reserve
    make sure your child feels, hears, knows your love
    love your child

    That’s it. You are a good parent. Without doubt.

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  4. Love this post. Of course as I’m writing this comment my 22 month old is eating raisins out of a shot glass that says “My friend went to the Smoky Mountains and all I got was this lousy shot glass.”
    Also, thanks for visiting my blog today. I appreciated your comment.

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  5. you rock! the world needs more honest mums.
    yesterday was probably 2nd on the list of ‘least spectacular mum days’. i yelled, i cried, i think i yelled again. what i really should have done is pulled my head in and sat the pair of them down in front of a film, given myself a little peace and therefore strength to go on with the next thing. i wasn’t proud of myself yesterday; i’m trying hard to be a better mum today.

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    • I just yelled at my son for breaking several glasses. Each day s a new shot at getting it right…. and when in doubt say you need to go pee and just take a second in the bathroom to breathe 😉

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  6. oh yes….I’m so there. The other thing that always killed me is the competition with other mothers. “oh mine is already rolling over, your’s isn’t?!” etc. I even had someone compete with over what size clothing Miles was wearing, his shoe size, etc….INSANE

    Thanks for the greatness!

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  7. Pingback: The Not So Picture Perfect Christmas. | Multifaceted Mama

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