Jana Says

Living life from cover to cover

12 things I don’t do as a parent

This week’s confessions are inspired by this post from Babble and this post from Amber at Airing My Dirty Laundry.

I will most likely never win Mother of the Year.

Here’s a small sample of why.

I lose my temper, I feed my daughter Chick Fil A probably more than I should, I’ve been known to curse in front of her, and occasionally, I’ll tell her to talk to Siri when I want to stop answering her incessant and endless questions. I admit to looking forward to a few hours silence when she has cheer practice or school or a play date and I definitely will run errands in the evening and pretend it’s a vacation.

I’m not even remotely ashamed. In fact, I’ve written a whole post confessing that some things I do might make me a terrible parent.

Consider these confessions a balance to those. Or maybe not a balance but an accompaniment. Depends on how you want to look at it. I think there might even be an overlap or two.

That’s fine.

12 parenting things

Let’s get to it. As a parent, I don’t:

  1. Have a panic attack if she gets hurt. Cuts, bruises, scrapes and their ilk are all part of childhood. Not every injury is cause for a freak out session and if I’m panicking, how can I expect her to calm down? Right. I can’t. So I stay calm and put a band aid on it. She’ll heal.
  2. Lose my shit if she stains her clothes or gets too dirty. Like getting hurt, it’s a part of childhood. Kids are messy, filthy little things and my child is no exception. Watching her eat certain foods is revolting, and it’s no wonder her clothes eat, too. I also don’t buy her such expensive clothes that if they get a stain, it’s worth getting angry. I just throw some Shout on it and move along.
  3. Let her win. Losing is a part of life and she needs to learn to do that graciously, too. It’s all part of good sportsmanship, especially now that she’s older and needs to learn those lessons. Lest you think I am a heartless bitch of a mother rather than just a terrible one, there are plenty of times she legit kicks my ass. I am seriously overmatched in Birthday Party Monopoly.
  4. Play Barbies. Or have tea parties or play dress up or create elaborate scavenger hunts or do a whole lot of playing in general. I’ll do crafts, play board games, take her places, and once, I let her give me a makeover. But I am not a get on the floor, play Barbies kind of mom. I did it once and it was terrible. I don’t care to do it again.
  5. Watch everything she does. If I spent my days responding to all the “Mom, watch this!” shouts, I’d get even less done. Which is hard to imagine. But I can’t stop my life every time she wants to show me how she can spin in a circle or do a cartwheel. I know that shit. I’ve seen it eleventy billion times. I watch the important stuff. But sometimes I just have to say no to the little stuff.
  6. Give her control of the radio in the car. Or the TV in the living room. We all live in this house. We all drive in the car. She is not the only one, and quite frankly, most of her taste in entertainment sucks a fat one. She has a few gems (seriously, iCarly is freaking funny) but for the most part, it’s all terrible. It’s hurts my ears, eyes, and soul to watch or listen to it. So I make her share. She needs to be more well rounded anyway.
  7. Keep an immaculate house. I’ve confessed all my dirty housekeeping secrets before but it bears repeating. And while we’re at it, my house doesn’t look Pinterest worthy. Or even ready for company. But it’s comfortable and clean enough and I’d rather spend time and money on trips, days at the beach, and making memories than cleaning. Having a clean, perfect house is not a priority and quite frankly, it is too damn stressful. Plus I have a kid and pets and a husband and cleaning up after them is about as sensical as shredding cheese with a nail file.
  8. Wait on her, hand and foot. Last time I checked, she wasn’t royalty and I wasn’t hired help. As such, she can clean up after herself, put her laundry away, get her own snacks and drinks, and do chores. Without being bribed.
  9. Like all of her friends. Have you met some people’s kids? Yes? Then you know that some of them are huge assholes. I cringe when my child is friends with one of those kids, and I cringe even more when she hangs out with them. The thing is this, though. They’re not my friends. I don’t have to like them. And I will tolerate them. Until they do something I can’t tolerate. Then the gloves come off (not literally. I will simply forbid my kid from seeing whenever possible).
  10. Live vicariously through her. This is her childhood, not mine. It is not my place to force her to make up for all my shortcomings or unfulfilled dreams and wishes. It would be wrong for me to do that, and would take away all of her independence and ability to make her own choices. She needs to figure out for herself what she likes and doesn’t like.
  11. Think she’s perfect. I am the first one to admit that my child fucks up. She cops an attitude, she doesn’t listen, she makes mistakes, and things are sometimes her fault. She is not free from blame during fights with friends, she messes up in school, and she’s not always the superstar. Does she do the best she can? Most of the time. Is she amazing in her own way? Absolutely. But is she perfect? Nope.
  12. Call her my BFF. Remember when Steph wrote about how she didn’t marry her best friend? Well, I didn’t give birth to mine. I am her mother and that trumps being her friend. It is a role that needs no other definition. Quite frankly, it creeps me out when a parent says her school aged child is her BFF. Really?! That can’t possibly be healthy. I love my daughter and would do anything for her. Except call her my best friend. Because in addition to the creepy dynamic, it puts way too much pressure on her. Which isn’t fair.

And now you know all my dirty parenting secrets.

My parenting style isn’t for everyone and it certainly isn’t trendy. But my kid knows that she’s loved, safe, and well cared for.

And it works for me.

So I’m clearly doing something right.

 

Linking up with Kathy and Liz

Vodka and Soda
The Hump Day Blog Hop

46 Comments

  1. kathy@vodka and soda

    we need to form an awesome parent group because i fully support all of this. i know some moms who freak out when their kids stain their clothes or don’t let them eat certain things or make them wear a bib (at age 7??) so they don’t stain their shirt/dress. how about you not make them wear frilly shit that’s WHITE so they can just be kids and be messy like how kids normally are?

    as for letting kids win? HELL NO. you win because you played smarter/better. if you don’t win, you need to try harder. welcome to the thunderdome, bitches.

    as for giving in to the kids’ demands, FUCK THAT NOISE. i see so many parents doing this so that the kids don’t cry or scream or throw a tantrum. i legit told my nephew when he tried that shit with me: listen up! you can scream and cry all you want because that doesn’t bother me in the least. you will sit at this dinner table and eat like a normal human being otherwise you will sit in the corner and scream all you want but the longer you scream, the longer you will stay there AND I DO NOT CARE HOW LONG YOU STAY THERE BECAUSE YOU WILL! that was the end of that. so now my sister uses me as a threat “aunty kathy will yell at you if you don’t stop!” LOL.

    -kathy
    Vodka and Soda
    kathy@vodka and soda recently posted…humpday confessions [8-20]My Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      A bib at age 7 is fucking nonsense although I’m 37 and probably still need one.

      What does it accomplish, giving in to a kid’s every demand? Is it worth trading a few minutes of quiet for a life of brattiness? Not at all. Plus, it makes those kids so unbearable to be around.

      Reply
  2. Kelli

    I’m with you on every single thing here. Tyson asked me the other day what’s going to happen when I don’t like one of Little K’s friends, he knows I have a hard time being polite around people I don’t like. I basically told him if she’s with that friend it’s his job to supervise. πŸ™‚

    Also my house is mostly a disaster, I have maybe 1000 sq ft of space with a man, a kid, and two dogs. It’s not disgusting but it would be embarrassing if unexpected unrelated company showed up.
    Kelli recently posted…It’s All About The EyesMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      My husband is definitely nicer to the kids I don’t like. I tend to walk away and he has to deal with them because I just can’t.

      My house is big enough but I swear all the space means that they just fill it with more stuff so it feels more cluttered than it probably would be if everything was put away.

      Reply
  3. Jenn

    I love this list! This is the kind of parenting style I’d like to have (when and if kids happen).

    I read something interesting a while ago, about how we try to shield our kids from arguments or serious discussions (between parents). This is a protective instinct, I guess, but because our kids never see the actual conflict resolution, they don’t learn the skills needed to implement that into their lives later on.

    Basically, I’d never thought about purposely exposing kids to things, like arguments, that they’ll have to get used to as an adult. But it can applied more broadly to other things also, like losing, and learning that they’re not the center of everyone else’s universe.
    Jenn recently posted…Guilty and Guiltless Pleasures #GuiltyTotalSocialMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      My husband and I do argue in front of the child and we also watch the news. We temper it, and explain things to her, but it does her a disservice to not see how conflict can be resolved. And that you can fight and still love someone.

      Driving past the Air Force base definitely makes for some interesting discussions on the topics you mentioned, too!

      Reply
  4. Kimberly F

    Great post! Love all your items, but I have to say you are soooo right about that “my daughter is my bff” thing. Strange and disturbing in my opinion!

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      Right?! It’s just so weird to me. My child is in second grade. How can I expect her to be my BFF?

      Reply
  5. SMD @ Life According to Steph

    Your parenting blogs are so spot on, said the girl without children.

    Seriously. It drives me insane when people do all of those things as a parent.
    SMD @ Life According to Steph recently posted…Things I think are dangerousMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      I appreciate the compliment, even if you don’t have kids because I know you have lots of kids in your life so you get it. You recognize bad parenting.

      Reply
  6. Kristen

    literally agree with every single thing. i want my kids to be good adults, and they wont be if you let them have their way and think they are the most important person in the world, they will be shitty people. so, no.
    Kristen recently posted…Thoughts on… Guest Posts.My Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      Exactly! Spoiling them and thinking the sun shines out of their ass just makes them jerks. I’d rather raise a good person even if it means I come across as strict.

      Reply
  7. Sarah

    One thing that I didn’t realize about parenting (I don’t have kids yet), until I graduated college and worked with people that have kids, is how much you can really hate some of your kid’s friends. It never occurred to me, but when my coworkers describe some of the kids–wow. I would probably do exactly what you do, too!
    Sarah recently posted…Ode to My ReclinerMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      I know! There are some kids I just cannot be around. I blame the parents.

      Reply
  8. Kerry

    I love this post. I think all of those things are how I would raise a kid. They are not always perfect, right, or going to win. Preparing them now versus later is always a good thing.
    Kerry recently posted…Spicy Beef with Cucumber Dill SauceMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      I agree. The more you prepare them now, the easier it’ll be later on to adjust. She needs to be humble, too, and a good sport.

      Reply
  9. shelly

    you have your wits abotu you which seems rare these days! i hope to keep my head on straight like you when the time comes for me to be a mom
    shelly recently posted…Luxuries of Bygone TimesMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      Thank you! I’m sure you will keep your wits about you. You’ll know what’s right and wrong for your kid and you’ll go with it.

      Reply
  10. Kate

    This is the kind of mom I hope to be some day!
    Kate recently posted…Literary JunkiesMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      You will be!

      Reply
  11. Revanche

    One of the best moms I know is much like you; I’d be much less weirded out by mom-friends (specifically, friends who are only friends because you became moms around the same time, or are moms) if more were like this. Too many are the opposite!

    Also I think it’s possible to become friends with your mom AFTER you’ve become a full fledged human adult and understand how to have a friendship with them and still respect their momhood.
    Revanche recently posted…Nopalito, San FranciscoMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      I agree. I can talk to my mom on a different level now but there’s still that “mom” element to it. But as adults, it’s completely different.

      Too many moms are the opposite of this. It’s perhaps why I am no longer friends with many of them.

      Reply
  12. Amber

    You’re my kind of mom πŸ˜‰

    Though I do have to play Barbies. Natalie sort of makes me. I know I could say no, but then I feel bad. I refuse to play board games though. I just can’t. Maybe when my kids are older…maybe…
    Amber recently posted…Hey, It’s Okay Tuesday!My Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      And I’d rather play a board game any day. The only one that drives me nuts is Trouble. The sound of that clicker/dice things is unbearable.

      Reply
  13. Nadine

    I love your parent posts because I think if I had a kid…I would be a lot like you. So spot on! Except, I would have a panic attack every time they got hurt because I am a damn worrier. You should see me with my pets. It is pretty awful. I cried when my 3 year old nephew got stung by a bee. That is why I can’t have kids.
    Nadine recently posted…Confessions – Things I am NOT OK WithMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      They get hurt so much, you just stop panicking. You’d drive yourself crazy. I worry about the big injuries but the small ones? Meh. I get more freaked out with my dogs because they can’t talk.

      Reply
  14. Kenzie Smith

    I seriously LOVE this post. I couldn’t agree more with every single thing you listed. When my son gets hurt I tell him to get up and dust it off because he is just fine. Granted, if it were a serious injury I would still be calm but I would be taking him to the hospital. I watch my best friend’s little girl who is nine days younger than my son and I let them play by themselves because it helps them learn how to play together. I’ll intervene if they aren’t sharing or are arguing, but other than that I think its best to let a kid be a kid. Growing up I was an only child and my mom worked full time while my dad juggled two to three jobs, I hardly saw my parents but I turned out just fine.
    Kenzie Smith recently posted…Confessions Here, Confessions ThereMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      I love this comment. We have such a fear that if kids are left to their own devices, they’ll become deficient or something. My daughter is an only child and she is great a playing by herself. It’s a sense of independence that kids desperately need. With the right guidance at appropriate times, they’ll be just fine.

      Reply
      1. Kenzie Smith

        I actually just read an article not too long ago about how making our children share their toys might not be the best idea. It was weird because when I first read the title I was in shock and couldn’t figure out how it could be true. Then they started asking questions like, “Is it okay if someone wants your phone you have to give it to them? What about your car?”. It sort of made sense.
        Kenzie Smith recently posted…Countdown Of MeMy Profile

        Reply
        1. Jana (Post author)

          I think I agree with that. My daughter’s friends come over and ask if they can go home with her things. Um, no freaking way! Can she have your puppy or your tablet? No? Then put her stuff down and go home.

          Reply
          1. Kenzie Smith

            Oh my gosh that is insane. I mean at least they asked and didn’t just take it, but still.
            Kenzie Smith recently posted…Talk Nerdy To MeMy Profile

  15. Jenniemarie @ Another Housewife

    This! This is why we are friends(and because you are awesome!) I completely agree and live out every.single.one of these confessions.
    #10 is obvious for you being that she is in cheer, just sayin’ πŸ™‚

    Oh- and apparently there is a new (to me anyway) parenting label called Free Range Parenting that kind of makes you trendy!
    Jenniemarie @ Another Housewife recently posted…Business As UsualMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      I am so the opposite of free range parenting (which makes me think of chicken, and that’s weird). I have so many rules and I am sure people think I am way too strict. But my kid knows how to share and behave so it’s working.

      I am pretty sure the general bitchiness with other kids will only get worse. The pleasure of having a daughter.

      Reply
  16. Amanda

    In my opinion, you’re doing things the RIGHT way!!!!! She’ll turn out normal because of your normal attitude towards parenting!!!!!

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      I want her to be just normal enough to get by but I’m sure I am screwing her up somehow πŸ™‚

      Reply
  17. Em

    I’m not a parent just yet, but I fully agree with your parenting style. I feel like the “everyone wins” mentality needs to flippin’ stop. Kids need to learn how to lose because they’re not always going to win at life as an adult.

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      Right?! I completely agree. I can’t stand the “everyone wins” philosophy because it doesn’t do any good. My daughter’s cheer squad got “first place” at a competition last season but the competed against no one. How can they win if they don’t have anyone to beat? The can’t and I refuse to acknowledge it as a real win like all the other parents do. It makes me even more unpopular. I don’t even care.

      Reply
  18. Liz @ Fitness Blondie

    Damn right Jana, that is how it’s done!!! I LOVE THIS
    Liz @ Fitness Blondie recently posted…A Letter to Myself: One Year LaterMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      Thanks so much!

      Reply
  19. Tricia Coniglio

    I don’t have kids but my mom always said she is not my friend, she is my mother. She guided me to learn how to be an adult and to grow up to be a good person. Not share secrets and confide in her w/the bad shit I did.

    I hate it when I see kids who are being forced to do stuff they don’t want to do because their parent did it or because their parent wanted to do it. Good for you for being a good parent! And no kid should have control over the car radio or TV station. I totally agree with letting them watch some stuff they like but not controlling it. I love this post!
    Tricia Coniglio recently posted…What’s Wrong with My Burger?!My Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      I like your mom’s philosophy. It’s very in line with mine.

      It makes me crazy to see parents making their kids live out their unfulfilled or wasted childhood dreams. A child is not a do-over for you. A child is their own, free thinking person.

      Reply
  20. Tawnda

    I may steal the Siri idea from you…genius. Just saying!!

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      It helps so, so much! Please use it. It’s a great sanity saver!!!

      Reply
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  22. lisacng @ expandng.com

    Lez be friends :). Right now my 4-yr old is demanding and I try really really hard not to cave, and I don’t, but he keeps demanding, so I’m not sure it’s working. I just don’t want to raise a jerk.

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      Raising a jerk is one of my fears. But I feel as long as we’re trying not to, we won’t because we’re being intentional and deliberate about it.

      Reply

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