Every now and then I peruse the mommy blog scene to see if there are any new finds. This morning I followed a link on “How to feed your children cereal for dinner, without the guilt.” I fully anticipated a mediocre-mom style post, laced with humor about not always cooking real meals, and not feeling bad about it. I was highly disappointed.
It was an actual article on how, if you absolutely MUST feed your child cereal for dinner, to look for labels with less than 250 mg of sodium, making sure you measure out the correct portion size according to the label information, etc.
First of all, I don’t really worry about aggravating my kids’ hypertension with sodium intake, since they don’t have high blood pressure. Secondly, if my growing toddler wants two bowls of cereal, she’s getting two bowls of cereal, no matter what the label says.
And let’s just talk about what qualifies as “MUST feed my child cereal.” You know when I MUST feed them cereal? When I didn’t go grocery shopping. When I’m sick of fighting at dinner and I know that Kashi’s Island Vanilla will keep everyone fed and happy.
Also, when the idea of cooking and cleaning another set of dishes in the same day makes me curl in a ball in the corner of the kitchen, trying to eat my own fingers.
I have never felt guilty about that. Because I’m pretty sure I just fed my kids. So there’s that.
In case you haven’t noticed, I kind of hate the notion that we’re supposed to do it all, and do it all well, all the time. Children, by definition, make that impossible. So for your weekly dose of, “Feel better about your parenting,” here is a list of things I’ve done as a parent that I don’t feel guilty about at all.
- Breakfast for dinner. At least a few times per month. I’m sorry, do scrambled eggs lose their nutrition after 12 pm? No? Then shut it.
- Mismatched, well, everything. They’re covered. Head to toe, they’re covered. Please explain how having 12 patterns and 2 different socks in any way affects their health or safety.
- Dress up clothes to the grocery store. If my little girl wants to embrace the fact that it’s FINALLY warm again by wearing a princess ballerina fairy outfit to get bread and milk, then by golly, she’s wearing it.
- Forgoing chores in favor of play time. Last night, I had every intention of having the girls clean their rooms. But then something miraculous happened: They played without fighting. Listen to me: You NEVER, EVER, interrupt play without fighting if you can help it. It was nothing short of a miracle. Their rooms will still be there – and messy – tomorrow.
- Frozen yogurt for dinner. Punkin had two teeth pulled. In our house, dental work is a free pass to frozen treats. She added raspberries. That makes it healthy.
- Put off laundry until someone is actually out of clean underwear. I’m not proud of it, but it’s happened. And I didn’t buy more underwear, I just actually did all the laundry. So, winning.
- Served 5 different meal concoctions at dinner out of whatever was left in the fridge and pantry because I could. not. bear. the thought of the grocery store with children.
- McDonald’s. We eat pretty freakin’ healthy most of the time. It’s getting harder and harder for me to feed the kids drive-through food, even when we’re desperate, but it still happens once in a blue moon. I like to think that one batch of chicken nuggets will not offset batch, after batch, after batch, of kale chips.
- Sister sleepovers. Sometimes I know that I can fully avoid bedtime meltdowns by saying the girls can have a sister sleepover. Sometimes, when Friday rolls around, I am so done with bedtime battles all week long that I just cave. They’ll be up later. They’ll need naps the next day. Whatever. We get a night without time-outs and tears.
- Taught Punkin how to make eggs for purely selfish reasons: I don’t want to cook first thing in the morning. I want coffee. Just coffee.
- “Healthy” cookies. When I make chocolate chip cookies, I almost always use combinations of coconut flour/quinoa flour/flax meal, etc. and cut back on sugar a bit. It adds protein, cuts carbs, and makes me feel so much better about feeding them cookies for breakfast. Because I do that sometimes.
- Sweep up all the little toys and immediately throw them away. I knew this mom who literally kept every tiny Barbie shoe/fork/hair accessory/etc. that ever entered their home. Ain’t nobody got time for that. And by nobody, I mean me. And by time, I mean patience. I am not even picking up 20 Barbie shoes every time I sweep. Which is twice a day, usually. If there are small things that are left out, they get thrown out. Also I hate clutter, and the idea of hundreds of little toys makes me twitch.
- Forgot about dusting the ceiling fan. For like a year. One day I looked up and realized the ceiling fan in our bedroom was furry. That’s not normal. I do not recommend the once/year method of cleaning.
- Ate chocolate in secret. I can’t even count how many times I’ve done that, and I don’t care. I gave my kids life. I’m not giving them my dark chocolate.
I recently read another blog post by a mom who never lets her house or kids get messy. Everything, and everyone, is always neat and tidy. In my defense, she has one kid. In everyone else’s defense, even if you have one kid, I have no idea how you could possibly never have a mess, unless you follow your child around with some sort of vacuum/bleaching/laundering apparatus and never give them art supplies.
I’m not that mom. And I’m okay with that.