Basking In My Non-Perfect-Parentness.

It’s no secret that “perfect” parents do not exist. 

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In the beginning I think we all feel the need to be “perfect“. We have this vision of the kind of parent we want to be, and we’ll be so much better/cooler than other parents who can’t seem to get it right. We have all the answers. Then we actually have a kid and, oh shit, we don’t have any answers at all. We’re fumbling around like blind rats trying to juggle while walking a tight rope. Suddenly, we suck. The realization hits. This shit is HARD.

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I can openly admit to going through the “I have the answers” phase. I know I have made other parents feel bad, even if I really didn’t mean to. I was just all stuck up and thought I knew better than them and that’s why their kids were cray. I quickly grew out of that phase after the first year with my daughter. I think most parents go through a sort of transition with their first child. At some point we realize we aren’t perfect, nor will we ever be. And we loosen up, let go of things that really don’t matter so we can have some sort of sanity, and so we don’t destroy our children. 

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Today I am proud to say I AM NOT A PERFECT PARENT BY ANY MEANS. I know that being perfect in any aspect of life is impossible. But that doesn’t stop me from having mom guilt, judging myself, judging other parents, and feeling like shit when other parents on their high horses make stupid comments that I know are ridiculous, but still bug me anyways.

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Okay, so, there’s this mom whom I follow on Instagram. I typically like following her, but today she posted something that really got under my skin. She started off with how she’s not a perfect parent. I was like, “Cool, me neither. Love seeing parents embrace their non-perfectness.” Then I read on to her reasons for not being a perfect parent….like, letting her daughter eat junk food once a month, or have some juice when they go out to eat on occasions, watch the baby channel twice a day even though “it’s tv, and not good“, or the fact that her daughter has had chips, cookies and has even tasted ice cream! *GASP* 

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Seriously? It’s like that really skinny friend who is always whining about being fat, knowing you’re bigger than she is but continues to talk about it in front of you. SHUT. UP.

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I’m not saying it was her intention to offend me or any other parent. But she did. If she thinks those things make her far from perfect, what would she think about my parenting? I honestly felt that if I mentioned the things that make me a non-perfect parent, she would judge me hardcore. If those tiny little things make her not perfect, I must be a train wreck of a parent!

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If she really is that strict, good for her, if that’s how she chooses to parent. But, in all honesty, when I hear parents talk about little things like that I feel like they aren’t being honest, and are actually looking for praise. You know, for someone to say, “Oh, if that’s all you do wrong then you’re an amazing parent!” Like I said, if she really is that strict, good for her. Maybe I’m just getting offended because of my own insecurities. 

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You wanna know what makes me a non-perfect parent? (I can’t fit everything, but here’s a few):

  1. Rayne watches TV everyday. Anything from educational shows, not so educational shows, Family Guy *GASP*, American Dad *DOUBLE GASP*, and you know what? She’s watched Dexter with me. Yeah, that’s right, she’s watched Dexter. Get over it.
  2. She HATES veggies and is very picky about fruit. I would LOVE to feed her only healthy foods, but she’s picky and will have none of it. She eats whatever we eat. Which is anything from eggs and bacon, pasta, pizza, tacos, etc. I don’t typically eat or buy fast food, but, yeah, sometimes she has a freakin’ Happy Meal. 
  3. She drinks chocolate milk almost everyday. I don’t like giving her juice because she has had tummy problems with it in the past, and for the health of her teeth, but she is allowed to have Tummy Yummies (a juice with less sugar, plus vitamins).
  4. Speaking of teeth, she’s had two cavities already. Yep, I still feel awful about it. But what are you gonna do? She has a filling, and might have to get another for the second cavity. Yes, I try to make sure we brush her teeth, but that shits hard, and sometimes it doesn’t get done right due to her crying and kicking me away. 
  5. She doesn’t have a bath EVERYDAY. Sometimes, especially being almost 9 months pregnant, I’m too tired to get her in the sink or fight with her about a bath/shower. It’s not like I let her grow mold or walk around stinking. But sometimes I just don’t give an eff if she goes to bed with dirty hands, hair and feet. There’s always tomorrow. 
  6. Sometimes I raise my voice, or give a swat on her butt if it comes to that. Everyone has different opinions on discipline. Some people are very against spanking and whatnot. If you can discipline your child without ever losing your shit, that’s great. But I don’t see anything wrong with a little butt swat or a firm voice when it’s needed. You don’t know how sassy my kid gets or how difficult she can be sometimes. So I discipline how I see fit for our little family. And honestly, I hardly ever use a spanking. But I have no problem using it. I grew up with very harsh punishments. And I know I would never use any of them on my children. I never even feel tempted to. So when people say spanking your kid makes them think hitting you or someone else is okay, you’re wrong. I was beaten with a belt, hanger, phone cord, etc. and never once hit my parents or anyone else. And that isn’t counting the abuse I endured. I can honestly say I have never even thought of using anything close to that on my child. 
  7. I don’t care if she eats dirt. God made dirt, dirt don’t hurt. The end.
  8. She hardly ever brushes her hair. I do not brush my hair. I have thick wavy hair that only frizzes when I attempt to put a brush through it. So, I don’t think I should be able to tell her she has to use a brush either. It’s nice to get it combed out, but it really doesn’t seem important to me if her hair is out of place.
  9. I don’t care about what clothes she wears. I usually let Rayne pick out her own clothes, if she chooses to wear clothes at all. Obviously, if we’re going out of the house she needs clothes. But if we’re staying in, I don’t care if she stays in jammies all day or runs around in her underwear. And when she does wear clothes, they usually don’t match. Who really cares? Since when is a child’s outfit important? I think letting her wear what she wants and choosing what she likes gives her independence, and lets her express herself how she chooses.
  10. I don’t have a bedtime for Rayne. Yep, that’s right. I don’t make her go to bed at any certain time. If she’s up till 11pm, oh well. Usually I will tell her she’s gotta start calming down and getting in bedtime mode, but I never force her to go to bed at a certain time. BFD

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These are only 10 reasons off the top of my head that make me SO NOT PERFECT. I’m sure there’s a lot more though. My point is, I’m willing to admit these things, and I can’t say that I actually feel bad about any of them. My child is never in harms way, she is healthy, smart, kind, and constantly impressing me with how quickly she learns. I don’t have any concerns about her development. So what she watches TV? So what she doesn’t eat broccoli? So what she’s usually dirty, has messy hair and stays up late? SO EFFING WHAT?! She’s my daughter, and she’s wonderful, despite all these terrible things I expose her to. 

Serious Mom Guilt.

Everyone knows being a mom is tough business. No mother is perfect, we all make mistakes. We just have to forgive ourselves and move on, trying to improve along the way. But ‘Mom Guilt’ is not so easy to kick. Especially in first time moms, like yours truly. I try my best to forgive myself and just go with the flow. But I recently discovered some serious ‘Mom Guilt’ and am suffering to the point of borderline depression.

A few days ago I was trying to brush Rayne’s teeth, since she can’t do it correctly herself. While her head was tipped back and I was scrubbing those molars, I noticed one tooth was not coming clean. A cavity! DEVASTATION. There’s something you should know about me. I’m obsessed with healthy teeth. I have nightmares of cavities and rotting teeth. So when I found this my soul was crushed. It wasn’t just crushed because of the disgusting thought of a rotting tooth. It was mostly because MY daughter has one. How could I let this happen!?!? She’s only 2. This is terrible! It’s very difficult when I try not to allow so much candy and juice, but she gets spoiled rotten by everyone else around her. I can’t even count how many times I’ve told her no and her Grandma, Aunties or Papaw has given in to her behind my back. It’s very frustrating.

Even though I wasn’t joyfully handing her candy everyday and carelessly allowing her toothers to rot, I still feel horribly guilty. I can’t imagine my little one not being healthy. And definitely not on my watch! It’s a very bad feeling to know I wasn’t doing the best I could. And how embarrassing to look a dentist in the eye and tell him your toddler has a cavity! I’m dreading the dentist. I feel like I failed. Yes, I know. They’re just baby teeth, she’ll lose them and get new ones. That doesn’t make me feel better. When we were little, three of my sisters had to get their 4 front teeth pulled out at a very young age. They didn’t grow back until they were between 6 and 8. I could never forgive myself if anything of the sort happened to Rayne. I know I just have to deal with it and move on. But it’s a hard pill to swallow for me.

This may sound very silly to most people, especially if they aren’t parents. But it’s something that’s really getting me down.

Have you ever felt like a failure as a parent? How’d you get through it?