1) More often than not, I let my kids fall asleep to their television.
My kids should've been born Spartans. Our bedtime routine goes something like this: Baths. Go potty. Brush teeth. Wash face. Take a drink of water. Read. Take a drink of water. Pee. Attempt to get them to actually close their eyes to, you know, SLEEP. Take a drink of water. Take a drink of water. Take a drink of water. Swear that I hear my daughter say "BEDTIME?! NO! THIS. IS. SPARTA!!!!!" Seriously. But, you know what happens when I put on Toy Story or Brave or The Sandlot ('cause my kids are awesome)? Uhm, they lay down, they watch the movie, and they fall asleep. Quietly. I've read one hundred parenting blogs that shame parents who let the TV "lullaby" their kids. It's frowned upon. Well, y'all frown upon it to your heart's content- but, my kids are in bed and I don't have to get out of mine. So, WIN. Inyoface.
2) My kids eat processed foods.
Look, I know what a healthy diet consists of- and, in fact, my kids LOVEloveLOVE broccoli, tomatoes, cucumbers, celery, cauliflower, corn, green beans, peas and literally EVERY fruit. So, don't think my kids spend all day sitting in their chairs with their hands shoved in a bag of Cheetos. But... well, sometimes, my kids spend snacktime sitting in their chairs with their hands shoved in a bag of Cheetos. Judge if you want, internet parenting gururs... but, my kids are five, four and two. They LIKE Cheetos. Until I get some science thrown at my face that says an every-once-in-awhile Cheeto binge is actually detrimental to my children's future... well, then orange-stained fingertips are welcome here in Hickey Land (unless I'm wearing white. No Cheetos EVER when mommy wears white.)
3) My kids spend 90% of their days covered in dirt.
I once read a parenting article about the "awful parent" this woman saw at a park who's child was rolling around on the ground, dirt in their hair and under their fingernails and possibly in their mouth. You know what we call that 'round here? Monday. Or Tuesday. Or any other day that ends in "y". If the weather permits my kids to play outside, then we play outside. Period. And when we play outside, my kids dig, dive, slide until they can't dig, dive, slide anymore. Mud pie tea parties with my five year-old? Always. My four year-old bringing me creepy crawlies? Yep. Have I once taken my son inside to change his diaper only to find a flower shoved in it? Sure as heck did. My daughter once sat on the ground rubbing dirt on her arms, saying it was because she needed better sunscreen. Out of the SIX adults there, did even one of us bat an eye? No. My husband opened the BBQ pit to check the food, I opened a bottle of water for my son and we all laughed about the ring my bathtub was going to have around it later.
4) My daughters like Disney princesses & my son likes toy guns.
I read a blog by a mother who was horrified by anything Disney and shamed any parent who let their daughters subscribe to what she called "the princess psychology." Uhm. Hey lady, shove it, okay? Just 'cause my daughter would OWN a Princess Trivial Pursuit game, doesn't mean I advocate her spending her young adult years sitting in a tower waiting for a perfect kiss from some dude wearing white pants, alright? She's five and she thinks the sparkly dresses are pretty- get off your high horse & shut up. Oh and reading that I'm possibly raising a criminal because my son thinks his cowboy hat and cap gun are the greatest things ever? Yeah, I'll get worried if he starts holding mama up for spare change and a lollipop but until then, I'll let him play John Wayne all day long, thanks.
5) My kids do a lot of overnights with their grandparents.
We're fortunate enough that not only do our kids have grandparents on both sides that would never hesitate to babysit but those grandparents are the type that will call me on a Thursday ASKING to have their grandbabies spend the night that weekend. And, when we do have to ask 'em to babysit for a specific occasion? Look, y'all... I'm not sending them to a high intensity military training boot camp- they're going to Mammo's or MeMaw & PePaw's or hanging out with their Granny & Papa. These are places where everyone in the house thinks they are the bee's knees, places at which they literally jump for joy upon arriving. If I'm a bad mom for encouraging a close relationship between our children and their family... well, just call me the WORST.
6) I drink.
I like cheap wine and cold beer and drinking my fizzy caffiene with a little whiskey or rum mixed in. I'm not an alcoholic, I don't get hammered in front of my kids and I don't even care that some parenting blogs accuse parents who drink of perpetuating substance abuse in their toddlers. Me having a magarita with my friends while my babies are miles away tucked into bed at their grandparents' house isn't going to end up with my son shoving a flask in his underoos, I promise. If it does, I'm pretty sure it's his Irish genes NOT mommy's fondness of $12 wine. Just sayin'.
7) My kids get spanked.
"Violence begets more violence, even in children." That may be true, ma'am. But, I haven't yet found a way to sit down and reason with my toddler, explaining to him that running toward the street is a dangerous idea and all the bad things that can come of it. A swat on the butt, and he keeps it in the right direction. You can tsktask me on your blog for "hurting" my child with a light pat on his behind; I highly prefer reading about your anti-spanking stance while my son is sound asleep in bed rather than read it while I'm in the hospital waiting room because he wasn't taught not to run at cars.
Look, I'm not a sh*tty mom. I believe wholeheartedly that I'm a good one. Am I perfect? No. Could I be better? Yes. Am I bad one? NO, thank you very much. I watch my kids without hovering. I teach my kids life skills I feel they need at the age they are and I try not to force them to learn/do/omit so much that then end up losing their childhood. I enoy seeing my kids happy and I enjoy knowing that I'm parenting in a way my husband and I agree is right. My kids are spoiled in some ways, and in some ways they're not. One thing I know is they're loved and cared for and if I read one more blog demeaning mothers/fathers who subscribe to different parenting philosopies than that specific blogger does, I'm going to scream.
Let's all just agree to disagreee, k?
You don't want your kids to be outside playing muddy t-ball a few hours after it's rained? Then you probably should NEVER ask me to babysit. And I don't want my kids being told that the steaks their daddy made last night were innocent, murdered cows and they should only eat vegetarian food... so I probably won't ever ask you to babysit, either.
Simple. As. That.
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