When I feel guilty as a mother, it usually stems from the vast distance between the parent I thought I’d be, the parent I’d LIKE to be, the parent I present myself as in public and on Facebook — and the reality. I know I’m not alone here, but because I try to keep certain parts of my parenting under wraps, it sometimes feels like I’m alone. In an effort to correct this, here are some of my guilty parenting secrets:
-We have a drawer full of Barbies in our living room. We also have Barbie books, and the girls check out Barbie movies from the library on a weekly basis. I don’t love this, but I’ve allowed it.
-Speaking of the library: I live in fear that someday our local library will be able to trace all of the books that are repaired with packing tape back to our family, and we’ll have our library cards revoked for life.
-While I make feeble attempts to provide a variety of healthy food options, my daughters essentially live on a diet of Cheez-Its and what I optimistically refer to as “fruit chews.” Every non-Gong child I know calls “fruit chews” “gummies,” which is a more accurate term, since these processed snacks contain absolutely no natural fruit products.
-My daughters drink a lot of water, and each one has a personal water bottle — a stainless steel bottle with a plastic flip-top and rubber straw. I tote these bottles around in our diaper bag, and if you were to take one apart you would probably be appalled at the musty odor and visible mold on the rubber straw. I blame Thermos for creating a water bottle that’s a pain in the neck to clean, but I also credit Thermos with my daughters’ hardy immune systems.
-I have an iPod, but it’s no longer really mine; it now contains more Tinkerbell, Sesame Street, and My Little Pony games than my own apps. That’s because the only way I’ve been able to get my oldest daughter to stay out of my hair while her younger sisters nap is to hand her the iPod. She probably spends way too much time on it, and I’ve had to limit her to downloading one new game per week. But without that iPod, this blog wouldn’t exist.
-We don’t own a T.V., but the portable DVD player we received last Christmas has saved my sanity many times — and not just during long road trips. In an attempt to be a good mother, I limit the girls to 30 minutes of daily “screen time,” watching DVDs they choose at the library. This means that, especially during the summer months, they almost always watch 30 minutes of videos per day. How did anyone cook dinner before videos existed?
-I usually forget to give Abigail her daily vitamin D drops. She rarely gets daily “tummy time.” Abigail spends most of her time in her carseat or in the Moby wrap.
-On the first day of school, when every other parent is putting up Facebook posts about how they cried while dropping off their kids, I am gripped by the fear that I don’t love my kids enough. I have never once, not EVER, even become mildly choked up when dropping my kids off on the first day of school. Instead, I fly out the door with arms spread wide yelling, “FREEEEDOM!!!!” (Then I buckle the remaining 2 kids into their carseats and go grocery shopping).
-While we’re on the subject of school attendance: On those rare days (thank you, Thermos!) when a daughter is sick and can’t attend school, I don’t feel sympathy so much as I feel wrathful and vengeance-seeking.
Well, it felt good to get THAT off my chest. Who’s with me?