In honor of Mother's day this weekend, I've decided to blog about all the bad mommy things I've done; basically it's going to be one big blog of mommy confessions.....things that won't win me any "mom of the year" awards but are true nonetheless.
I forget to pick up my kids. A lot. I mean, they are never actually forgotten FOREVER, but I'm late a lot. And sometimes it's because I completely forgot where they were and suddenly have that panicky realization that I've forgotten something important...oh yeah....to pick up my CHILD, and I rush to them in a state of panic, guilt and confusion, a little bit scared it's early-onset Alzheimer's. Oh, and? They never let me forget it.
I let my kids swear. I mean, I don't ENCOURAGE it, but I don't totally forbid it either. Sometimes, a swear word is just the best adjective. Being a writer, I appreciate the beauty of language. Even if it has four letters. And comes out of the mouths of teenagers. When Hayley turned 17 I told her she could say shit, damn, hell, and bitch. Don't judge me - I have standards! No F-word until you're an adult.
I don't actually get a lot of pleasure out of cooking a meal for my family every night, so sometimes I let my kids eat Top Ramen and call it a meal. I once served cereal for Christmas dinner. I was nine months pregnant, so you can just shut up about it now. I figure between the four of them they know how to make Top Ramen, macaroni and cheese, quesadillas, fried eggs, and cupcakes. That oughta cover it!
Sometimes I forget to go shopping and there's nothing for lunch. I scrape together what I can. Once that included a few scraps of cheese and some crackers and a baggie full of cold cereal. I might have thrown in a fruit. They loved it. They love anything for lunch. I could throw a cold hot dog in a paper bag and they'd eat it. Or not. I don't know and I don't really care. All I know is I throw food in a bag and if they don't eat it, that's their damn problem.
I once forced my kids to endure several hours of posing for Christmas pictures, getting increasingly annoyed at my one-year-old and later found out he had a high fever. Oops.
When my kids were toddlers, I often put them in the bath and LEFT THE ROOM to "get shit done". I figured the older ones would let me know if the little ones were drowning.
I let my kids play on the roof. I know. I hate it, too, but they LOVE it. I'm still conjuring up a good story for when I have to rush them to the ER. Or worse.
Sometimes (ok, most of the time) when one of my kids stays home alone when they're sick, I forget they're home. Seriously, I usually get the shit scared out of me when I hear them going to the bathroom. I'm all ready to go ninja on their asses and then I remember, oh yeah, that's my child!
I buy my kids clothes at thrift stores, wash them, and put them in their closets. They're none the wiser. Or are they?
When I'm late picking my kids up (refer to first infraction on this list), my kids often call me asking where I am. I tell them I'm "on my way" even if I'm sitting at Starbucks or still browsing at Target. My second favorite line is "I'm checking out right now".
When my kids suck at something, I usually tell them. I don't mean to crush their spirits but, really, should they, and I, be mortified if they're on stage singing in a screechy voice or can't shoot a basket? I figure I'm doing everyone a favor........
I don't closely monitor my kids' screen time. I started out with the best intentions, but it was just too hard to keep up with TV, computer and cell phone time. Now, I just expect them to self-regulate which to my second-born means five hours of You Tube in one sitting sometimes......
I buy junk food. There's healthy stuff, too, but I let my kids eat sugared cereal, make cupcakes or cookies whenever they want, and usually turn a half gallon or two of our weekly delivery of milk into chocolate milk which they can devour at one dinner.
I once drove my youngest and a friend around town letting them yell at people on a megaphone. We scared several people and made two kids jump off their bikes. Hey, it was funny!
I've let my kids sleep in a tent on the back porch and never checked on them during the night.
I've started more than one food fight at dinner. They weren't planned, I promise. But once the first crescent roll went flying, all bets were off.
I once left my two youngest on the shore at a slightly sketcy public park while I swam across the lake. I was training for a triathlon! When I got so far out in the water that they couldn't see me, they freaked out and called my ex-husband, who promptly reprimanded me for being a bad mommy. Next time, I'll remember to hide my cell phone!
I made a habit of strapping my kids into their car seats ten minutes before we had to leave so I could finish getting ready in peace.
So, there you have just a few of my bad mommy moments. Tell me some of yours! Don't be shy!