Saturday, 6 September 2014

Four Parenting Confessions

I caught myself doing one of these things this morning, so I thought, Hey, why not write a blog about it?

Today, for your amusement, I give you a few parenting confessions. Don't judge me; just use this to bolster your confidence about your own parenting skills.

1. I use the smell test for everything. Does the toddler need her diaper changed? (sniff) Yup. Are these clothes clean or dirty? (sniff) Dirty. Is this today's sippy cup of milk or the one from three days ago that might possibly have rolled under the sofa? (sniff) Three days ago. Pre-kids, did you every thought you'd make a habit of sniffing your kids' bums? Probably not. But the smell test is, truly, the answer to every pressing parenting question.

2. I sometimes pretend that I don't hear my kids. Not when they legitimately need me, of course—as a parent, you learn early on to tell the difference between a "my sister stole my toy" scream and an "I might need stitches" scream. But sometimes, when I hear my kids calling, "Mommy, mommy," in that whiny, solve-all-of-my-problems-for-me-while-you-make-dinner-one-handed kind of way, I just don't answer. Basically, I do the grown-up equivalent of covering my ears with my hands and singing, "La, la, la!" Oh, wait—I think I actually did that once.

3. I worry about how other parents judge me based on how I'm feeding my kids. This is a paranoia that started early on, when I tried to breastfeed my first baby and wasn't successful. When I'd take my her to mother's groups, and she'd start to fuss, I'd guiltily bring out a bottle of formula, wanting to proclaim loudly to everyone, "I tried really hard to breastfeed, I swear! It just didn't work out!" And that feeling—that I'm not doing it right or well enough—has persisted. I have never been the kind of mom who prepares organic healthy gluten-free snacks from scratch. Sure, I try to make sure that my kids eat their fruits and vegetables...but I also let them eat goldfish and Timbits and chicken nuggets and pre-made meals from Longo's on a regular basis. Not only do I hate to cook, but I work full-time and have a long commute—and, frankly, I'm not willing to spend my two days off doing something that I hate. That's my reality.
4. I look forward to the time when they're both asleep. It's not that I don't enjoy spending time with my kids. It's just that they're constant—always needing something, always wanting something. Every day is, to a large extent, driven by their schedules. So, by the end of the day, I'm ready for some time to do something that I want to do. Plus, no matter how bad they've been during the day, they look so darned cute when they're sleeping.

Now, if you'll excuse me...something doesn't smell great, so I'd better figure go out what it is.

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