Parent How You Like, as Long as I Can Too.

Parent How You Like, as Long as I Can Too.

You know who’s harder on parents than other parents?  Nobody that’s who.  I really had NO idea how judgmental and critical parents could be towards each other until I became a parent myself.  Seriously, no idea. I had this insane notion that it “takes a village” and I would find this wonderful community of understanding and helpful folks out there all on the same team.  You know – team raise happy, healthy kids.  I was wrong.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I have indeed met some wonderful, caring parents that do share that sentiment.  Thank goodness for those people.  But I also was introduced to the dark side.  The side where people judge each other on everything from diapers to lunchboxes.

Am I a perfect parent?  Hell no.  But neither are you, or you or you.  And I’m perfectly ok with not being perfect. In fact I’m better than ok. The truth is I’ve gone from being a wide eyed “what the hell have I gotten myself into?” mom to a more comfortable “Whatever, I’ll figure it out” mom. So if you are so inclined to judge me for my imperfections, my parenting choices, I say you go right ahead.  In fact let me give you some stuff to work with:

I used disposable diapers. Yep, I did that and don’t regret it for a second.

I didn’t exclusively breast feed.  Yes I know “breast is best.” I had my reasons for supplementing and that should be good enough.

My daughter had a soother.  Until she was two.  Yes she did.  By the way her teeth are just fine.

My daughter had a bottle well beyond a year.  She’s three now.  I have yet to see any side effects.

We co-slept. That’s right.  Our daughter slept with us from the day she came home.

I gave my daughter baby food from a jar.  Not always but frequently.  I think she’s going to survive.

I occasionally use the TV and/or iPad as a baby sitter. Sometimes mommy just needs to get stuff done.

I had an epidural during labour. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

We eat at McDonalds from time to time.  And not alway from the “healthy options” menu.

I have dropped the f bomb within ear shot of my daughter.  I try hard not to but it happens on occasion. And yes she has repeated it.

She’s three and I still won’t let her have whole grapes.

My kid has had soda. More than once.

We take our kid to nice restaurants.  Frequently.

I’ve tore into a box of cookies in a grocery store to stop a fit. Before paying for them. I’d do it again.

My daughter has Barbies.  Lots and lots of Barbies.  Some in short pink dresses and insanely high heels.

I’ve yelled at my kid.  Not proud of it but it’s the truth.

I tell my little girl she’s beautiful.  Every single day.

We don’t have a kid leash but I’d totally use one if we did.  

We never used the “crying it out” technique or really any technique.

Every year my daughter (and us) gets the flu shot.

She has a lot of stuff.

I send my daughter to daycare.

I don’t make her eat everything on her plate.

I’m not against using bribes when necessary.

As you can see I’m not going to win any parent of the year awards.  Or am I?  My daughter might think I’m qualified, even deserving. The reality is that I, like you, am just doing the best I can with what I have and what I know.  And despite my obvious, or not so obvious, faults I think it’s working out nicely.

So, I’m going to keep on doing what I’m doing and unless I actually fear for your kid’s safety I’m going to be quite content with what you are doing too. I don’t find validation in my own parenting skills by questioning yours. We might be doing completely opposite things but you know what?  We’re both doing a bang up job.  Keep up the good work!

Disclaimer:  This post was inspired by my dear friend Sarah from Journeys of the Zoo.  So, if you don’t like it you can blame her. 






This article has 15 comments

  1. Sure, blame it on me.

    Like I forced your kid to eat that French Fry. I don't think so. Truth be told, if I'd been her Mother, I wouldn't have even let her lick the salty bag let alone eat a fry. Those things are tasty.

    I could go on but I'm short on time. We're going for a walk tomorrow and I have to find The Kids leashes. 

    Besos, Sarah
    Blogger at Journeys of The Zoo
    My recent post Craft and Cookbook $375 Prize Pack #Giveaway, US/CAN, 01/28

  2. Amen, sister! Love you and the Zoo by the way and have lots of my own 'special parenting attributes and experiences'. Thanks for sharing yours with us.

    I had an especially difficult night recently in front of all the other prospective JK parents at my local school. I hope some of them read 'Mommy Outside the Box' and cut me some slack!

    • Any friend of the Zoo is a friend of mine.  Do you worship french fries too?

      Yeah so far I only have to deal with daycare parents and my interaction is limited……

  3. great post!  My kids are 3.5 and 6.5 and I STILL cut their grapes (in half for the oldest and in quarters for the youngest) people think I am crazy but I just can't get the stories out of my head when I have heard them of kids dying because the whole grape blocked the airway.
    My recent post Book Review: Everything I Needed To Know I Learned From My Six Month Old

  4. Nice post. I'm a father of two (4 year old and 8 month old) girls. We have about 4 sets of friends who also have kids around the same ages. We're lucky enough that none of us go at each other about our parenting ways. I know we don't all agree with each other. Some put their kids down soon, some let their kids have more freedom, others seem over protective. But we all keep it to ourselves because we know the kids will be fine in the end, and that is what matters.

    Parenting can change your relationships with other friends. It may even filter out who you used to hang around with. Sad truth, I know. But priorities change.

    Keep doing what you're doing. No, I wouldn't open a bag of cookies in the store before buying them to keep my 4 year old quiet. I'd just drop what I was doing and leave. That said, I don't look down on you for it. That's your way. No harm, no foul. To each their own, right?

    • It's awesome that you have a group of friends like that! Most of my friends actually don't have kids so, well, it's a whole other ballgame!

  5. Thank you, thank you, thank you! As if we need other people criticizing our parenting skills, we do that to ourselves enough for them all!

  6. Bravo! I love the honesty of your post. I do many of those things, and more. In fact, you've inspired me to write a post of my own. Thank you 🙂
    My recent post Ten distractions that every Mom needs

  7. You're very right, parents can be very judgmental! Like I tell my daughter, "every house works different." Luckily… what kind of world would it be if we all did the same thing, the same way! 🙂 Danica
    My recent post School Library

  8. Me to a T. Aria is still taking a bottle because I am lazy to take it away and I like that she falls asleep with it, means she is not falling asleep feeding off of me. And then the disclosure of course Sarah had something to do with this 🙂 most honest person I know xox

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