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.