I’m Proud of My Bad Parenting

Hey, at least I don't beat them

Photo: Jaimie Duplass
Photo: Jaimie Duplass

I am not a perfect mother. Most of the time, I am not even a great mother. This week, though, reading the news… I have come to the conclusion that I probably qualify for the Mommy of the Year Award.

Just in this week alone, I have completely forgotten to pick up Girl Scout Cookies; I slept through my alarm, not once but twice. I made my oldest daughter, okay and the baby as well, wear socks that didn’t match. I made my middle kid late for preschool, twice. I forgot to send lunch money to school with my oldest daughter, and she had to eat a cheese sandwich instead of a hot plate lunch, and I know how much she hates cheese sandwiches. I actually said “shut up” to my five- and two-year-old. I told these kids multiple lies that are sure to confuse them later on in school, simply for my own sick amusement. I made my five-year-old finish her dinner – even though she hated it.

My youngest child needs a bath; my oldest had to wake me up three times this morning for lunch money before I could figure out what the hell she was talking about. My five-year-old fell in the driveway and scratched her hand and face, just because I asked her to go and get my coffee out of the car. I have gone a little bit crazy, I have yelled at my kids, cussed around them, and fed them chicken nuggets twice in the same week.

What didn’t I do? I didn’t feed any of these kids Xanax to make them sleep so that I could go party. I did not leave my three-month-old infant alone in a house to go do meth; I did not starve said infant so that I could purchase the meth. I didn’t get caught using meth, go to jail and neglect to tell the police that that same infant was home alone in his crib for hours. I did not leave a newborn baby girl on a doorstep on the coldest night of the year, when the windchill dipped well below zero… Which is not to say that I haven’t thought about dropping all of mine off on a  random doorstep in the summertime. (And while I am on that subject, God bless that mother for not dropping that baby in a dumpster somewhere.) I do not beat my children, although there are times when I am pretty sure they need it.

It is probably wrong to justify my lazy parenting by comparing it to the worst of the stories that I hear or read about, and probably I am not as good of a mother as I should be. I do lose my temper more than I should, and sometimes I lock myself in the bathroom for some breathing room, because it is the only room in our tiny house with a lock on the door. And my kids do tend to drive me up the wall sometimes, but I love them, and they know it. I would do anything for them, and they know that, too. So, even if I am not the best mom in the world, I am a hell of a long way from the worst!