Survive Parenthood By Breaking All The Rules
"Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist"- Pablo Picasso
To be honest, I’ve never been much of a rule breaker. Actually, my one and probably only moment of rebellion was in high school when I wrote my name on a desk and got caught.
Obviously, I wasn't following Picasso's advice. Why would I even write my name and leave it behind as proof? Not the smartest way to break the rules, right?
Once I became a mom and read all of the parenting books front and back, I became a "pro" at what I thought was going excel at. Little did I know that motherhood was going to slap me in the face, or maybe it was karma for writing on that desk. Anyway, in an attempt to survive this parenting thing, I decided to start breaking all the rules.
So listen up parents! We're about to embrace our inner Evel Knievel and start breaking some rules!
If your child was born with I Sleep Whenever I Want Syndrome, then you’re probably just like me. You tried every single trick in the book to get them to sleep. After many, many (my lord, many) sleepless nights, I decided to close the parenting books and try to get her to sleep on my terms.
I dismissed all of the advice given to me by the older women in my family and decided to have my baby sleep on me. (FYI, it's ok to dismiss your family's advice. After all, it is your child.) So, she slept on me. As in on top of my painful, lactating boobs.
But guess what? She slept and I did too.
And surprisingly, the only person on board with my decision was the pediatrician. My warmth, smell and heart beat put her in the deepest of sleeps. She finally slept Sleeping Beauty style, drool and all. Of course, I got all the slack in the world whenever I shared my sleeping strategies with my family, but oh well!
#2 Healthy Foods
Even though I happen to be married to an amazing professional chef (score!) and my kids are probably the best fed kids on the block, sometimes I just have to call for help. As in the Chinese food delivery guy.
That's what you do when Friday night rolls around and you’ve worked like a donkey all week. Wave the white flag!
When my husband is at the restaurant, my kids are filthy, and there's nothing in the fridge but a pile of cheese and some orange juice, I make the call. I kick the piles of toys to the side and admit that I can't do it all.
That’s just what you have to do. Unless you’re freaking June Cleaver or Martha Stewart. Then I guess you whip up a healthy, nutritious dinner without complaining. But I’m neither, so delivery it is!
#3 TV Time
Whoever made up this rule about limiting TV time for a certain amount of time a day clearly had no kids. I do agree that too much TV is not good for anyone, especially children. But so is having an overwhelmed, soon-to-be-crazy parent!
TV can save a busy parent's ass. When you haven't showered in two days, have 4 piles of laundry to do and dinner still needs to be made and served, TV it is. Those are the times when sweet Jesus you just need them to sit down, watch a show and chill so that you can get stuff done.
Also, it has saved them from killing each other when they get extremely bored.
#4 Ignoring Tantrums
I've learned how to choose my battles with tantrums. If they happen at home, I wish her good luck, put my headphones on and go about my day. But sometimes, tantrums just can't be ignored.
For example, when they strike in the middle of the produce section at the grocery store.
I know, vegetables bore you to death, I also know that you're probably sleepy and hungry. But that doesn't mean that you're going to ruin everyone else's trip to the store. You are not going to throw the mother of all tantrums in public. Even though that sweet lady smiled at us and gave us an "understanding" look. I know deep down inside she was just judging my parenting.
Also, I really need to finish my shopping so that there’s more than orange juice and cheese in my fridge! So here I am, stuck with a wailing kid in between the broccoli and the brussel sprouts. So, I bribe her (which I'm pretty sure I'm not supposed to do). It usually takes as little as a piece of chocolate to calm her down. If that doesn't work, then I pull out the big guns. She gets a one dollar bill.
Yep, I even bribe them with money...
#5 Don't Yell
Well, it might be good in theory. BUT. Not always so grounded in reality. So, sometimes I yell.
When they're still eating breakfast in pj's and it's 20 minutes until the bus is supposed to pick them up. And their food is half eaten because they are too busy talking about how awesome some disney show is to chew. Oh, and they still need to brush their teeth and get dressed and packed. Then....I yell.
When they’ve asked me two hundred and seventy three times if they can eat that third piece of candy. After I’ve said no every. single. time. Then...I yell.
When they keep busting the bathroom door open and all I want is to pee alone. Maybe even change my tampon without having to explain to why mommy is shoving that weird looking pen up her vajayjay. Then...I yell. Do you get me?