I say I’m a bad mom in these ways with tongue in cheek, but I know others will be wagging their fingers, clucking their tongues and shaking their heads at me. Even I am guilty of judging myself, but sometimes I just don’t care either (one of the best parts of having three kids means I don’t have the time or energy to think about this kind of stuff too often). I know I am not following the “good mom” rule book and I’m OK with it.
30 Ways I’m a Bad Mom
- I drank coffee while pregnant and I had an occasional glass of wine in my third trimester. (Also, I ate some raw tuna sushi and lunchmeat.) <<GASP>>
- Before getting pregnant I was NEVER going to breastfeed.
- After I gave birth, I became adamant about breastfeeding my babies when the older generation continually told me “formula was good enough for my babies”
- I breastfed my babies well past infancy until they decided to self-wean. I would have gone much longer than 13 months if they were still interested in the boob. I was the mom nursing a toddler and fielding questions like, “How much longer are you going to do that?” Well, the kid needs to eat every day…and to this day, if my 4 year old was interested (she’s definitely not), I would be cool with nursing her (yep, I’m that weird mom).
- My oldest daughter only slept in her crib all by herself (not exactly attachment parenting). I occasionally bed-shared with my twins (and loved it). And if I were to do it all over again, I would want a family bed.
- I wanted to use cloth diapers, but I use disposable diapers (my hubby said no way to cloth).
- I tried to use the pacifier, but all three of my girls rejected it.
- I’m OK with my kids being exposed to germs. I took my babies out in public when they were less than a week old (during flu season!). As long as no one was touching them, sneezing/coughing in their faces, I’m cool. Also, we spent a long weekend with a friend whose daughter had croup at the time – good hand washing is the best defense! Also, I wait a day or two before calling the doctor. Weird rashes, strange marks, bowel issues, sneezing, coughing, temperatures… it usually clears up or it’s on the mend in a day or so. I try not to sound the alarms. It’s not a rare skin disease, it’s just dry skin.
- I let all my girls cry it out to learn to sleep through the night when they were 3-4 months old (really not attachment parenting). It took 2 nights of intermittent crying and now they sleep 12+ hours straight – it’s AWESOME.
- I will not wake my babies up from sleep (unless absolutely necessary, like a natural disaster emergency evacuation).
- I still have my 2 year old twins rear-facing in the car and I will keep them rear-facing for as long as possible.
- I don’t have a minivan and I had three kids in less than three years.
- I have not thrown any of my girls a kiddie birthday party. Too much work, too many expectations, too many tears/meltdowns, and they won’t remember it. (Also, I don’t need more toys in my house, I really need money to deposit into their college savings accounts!)
- I maintain a professional identity and work outside of the home, and I love it. I choose to be a working mom. I don’t think the feminist movement was about women going back to work; it’s about giving us choices. (Personally, I would go batty being a stay at home mom, it’s just not for me.)
- I would be open to having baby #4, but still work outside of the home (“What is she doing having all those babies and not staying home with them?!”)
- I don’t enjoy “playing” with my kids unless it’s something I really want to play with too (Legos).
- I do not prioritize taking my kids to the zoo or a museum every chance I get.
- I am really strict about screen-time. I don’t have a smartphone (I have a flip phone and I blocked texting!). We don’t own an iPad; we have just one TV (no TVs in any bedrooms), one computer and no cable subscription (I like to watch free Hulu and get movies from the library). We are “out of touch” and I like it this way.
- I am perfectly fine taking my kids to traditional full-time day care, but I also LOVE having a nanny who comes to the house. I don’t worry about them getting socialization outside of the house. My kids play with one another and they have their WHOLE lives (at least 13 years of formal schooling) to make new school-age friends. I have never had trouble making amazing friends. I think my girls are the same way.
- I vaccinate my kids without question. No modified schedule, no concerns about lifelong effects except the nasty outcome of immunity from viruses and diseases which would otherwise kill them (sarcasm).
- I don’t fret over stuff like sunscreen or purchasing the most gentle, natural and chemical-free products for my kids. I pulled tags off of new clothes and put them in the outfit without washing it beforehand. My girls had cradle cap (aka baby dandruff) fresh out of the womb; we grabbed the Head & Shoulders out of the shower to use in their baths. My husband is a chemist, (NERD ALERT – everything is a chemical made of atoms and molecules).
- I don’t buy organic baby food. I don’t buy ANY baby food at all… I just cooked and pureed whatever we were eating. Fruit snacks in my house are dried raisins, cherries and Craisins (awesome at getting your kid to poop, by the way).
- I don’t stress about my kids not eating food from every food group each day. There are some days these girls carbo load like they are training for the Olympics. They get a bit of everything in them over time. It’s OK. I don’t force them to eat food they don’t want to eat. I reward them for giving a new food a lick or small taste. “If you give this carrot a lick and eat a small piece, you’ll get a jellybean.” It works. Semantics: bribes are treats given to stop a behavior you don’t like (tantrum) and rewards are treats given for behaviors I want to see more of (trying new foods). But I have bribed my kids with chewy fruit snacks. We were flying on a plane for nearly 12 hours.
- I have no intention of enrolling my kids in a million different organized activities until they express a real interest. I am not interested in buying a ton of soccer equipment, dance shoes, gymnastics leotards, music lessons, etc.
- I don’t buy new stuff, especially if my kid is going to outgrow it in the next year or two. If I can find it secondhand, I’m going to get it secondhand.
- I don’t yell, spank, punish or threaten my kids. My kids get time-outs, and they must earn treats/privileges (like put away all the toys then you can watch a video). I am 100% guilty of fighting the urge to yell, spank, etc. but I know it will not work for my kids and I’ll feel horrible after.
- My daughter attends Jewish Sunday School, but I’m not interested in joining a synagogue. I want her to know her family history and religious background, but joining a Temple is just not for me and my family right now.
- I don’t need to physically see my kids at all times, they have freedom to walk out of my line of sight in a public place. I’m not worried about them.
- I tell my kids the truth – I try not to skirt issues like where babies come from, or what a period is. (I did avoid explaining terrorism, any suggestions?)
- I let my kids learn the hard lessons themselves (like they fall out of bed and learn to be more careful when goofing around on the bed).
I don’t beat myself up for not being “perfect” because there is no perfect. I’m just doing the best I can. And I know I’m the perfect mom for my girls because they are mine. My oldest recently said, “Mom, you’re my best friend.”
I’m not doing too bad.