What I DON’T Do As a Mom

I gotta give it to my husband. He thinks nothing of grabbing the kids, solo, for a trip to the mall with nothing more than their sippy cups, a clean diaper and some balled up tissues. I used to beat myself up about not being as confident in my parenting skills to supervise a toddler and a pre-schooler by myself outside our home. But then I got over it and started to see my maternal shortcomings as stuff I’m just not comfortable with. Like how some people feel about beauty pageants or fanny packs.

Here’s what I don’t feel bad about NOT doing as a parent:

  • I don’t take the kids to the playground by  myself.  I was able to pull this off with a 2.8-year old and a mushball infant.  But now that my toddler climbs without fear and my 4-year old runs faster than I do, I need an additional adult set of arms, ears and eyes.
  • I don’t do baby talk.  A bottle is not a baba.  I blanket is a blanket.  It’s hard enough to get my point across.  Why introduce pretend language?
  • I don’t warm the wipes.  It’s a cold, cold world.  Better get used to it.
  • I don’t take them out to eat much.  I’d like to.  But they are barbarians.  Hoping they will outgrow this by the time they can cut their own meat.
  • I don’t serve them meat at home.  I’m not a red meat or pork eater, so they aren’t either.  Am I denying them the experience?  Hardly.  They have it elsewhere, and they love it.  But like ice cream for breakfast at Grandma’s, they don’t expect it from me.
  • I don’t get gender-specific with the clothes.  My daughter was dying for Star Wars sneakers, which aren’t sold in the “girls” section.  And some of my son’s hand-me-down socks have ruffles.
  • I don’t push the potty training.  At a year and a half, my daughter really enjoyed sitting on the toilet, and not doing anything.  It was another year until she graduated permanently from diapers.  And I am in no rush to have my toddler son potty trained.  There are four people in our apartment, and one toilet.
  • I don’t go on “date nights” with my husband.  We went out a lot before kids.  We traveled, had tons of fancy meals, stayed out late with [other childless] friends.  I’m OK with not doing those things for a while.  Parents of young kids aren’t much fun anyway; we can’t stop yawning after 9:30pm and have the annoying habit of steering any conversation towards the topic of potty training.

What are some things YOU don’t do with your kids?

About the Writer
Liza Wyles is a full-time working mom raising fourth generation New Yorkers.  She writes, produces and directs 30-second movies, which most people call commercials.  She’s kind of awesome at parallel parking.  A reformed Type A, she enjoys the simple pleasure of leftovers, preferably those cooked by someone else. You can find her at her blog, Mama Jabber.


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  1. neal says:

    I basically agree – I’m pretty comfortable with the idea that my life for the next few years (daughter’s 2.5) is going to preclude a lot of things that I’ll be looking forward to doing later on. For a while I’m just going to go ahead and be kind of anal about nap and bedtime schedules, and I’m happy to let a lot of other things slide in order to have routines I can count on (certainly they say it’s good for kids, but I know it’s REALLY important for me to have comfortable daily routines that I stick to).

    I hate traveling with my toddler. I hate vacation. I hate staying out late. I hate going to restaurants with the whole family. I hate having big energy-intensive activities day after day. I know some people can do all this stuff and the kids are fine…and even MY kid might be fine with a lot of it, but I’M not. As a stay-at-home-dad, I am not a superman, I can recognize I’m a little (!?) neurotic, and while there’s stuff most people do that I avoid like the plague, I love my kid and I’m happy with the way she’s growing up.

  2. Amen to that, Neal! Know and stick to your limits and you won’t feel like you’re constantly failing. That’s what I’ve learned (but it took me 2 kids before I had that revelation).

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  1. [...] for TV and film and is in blissful denial of a work-life balance. You can read some of my stuff on Aiming Low,  The Indie Chicks, The Jane Dough, Skirt! Or her own Mama Jabber blog You can also see some [...]

  2. [...] for TV and film and is in blissful denial of a work-life balance. You can read some of my stuff on Aiming Low,  The Indie Chicks, The Jane Dough, Skirt! or her own Mama Jabber blog. You can also see some [...]

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