There are so many things I said I would never do as a mom before I had kids. I thought, "those are things bad moms do." Oh, how self-righteous and judgmental I was when I saw these bad moms out and about town. Little did I know, I would be joining the ranks of these "bad moms." There are many many things I do that make me a "bad mom," but here are the top ten:
10. Drinks with artificial sweetener. Their preference for juice over anything else left me little choice but to let them drink what they call "water juice." If Crystal Light prevents R from getting diabetes (he's at risk since I had gestational diabetes), then that works for me. I know, I should be resolute and refuse them anything but milk and water, but after more tantrums than I can remember, I just can't deal with that anymore.
9. Video Games. I said I would never let my kids become video game junkies who prefer their DS over their Dickens, but it has happened. It was either let H play games on the iTouch or fight to get him to sit in his seat at restaurants.
8. McDonalds. We are there almost every week, and not just for the parfaits and apple dippers. McDonalds Playplace has saved my life more times than I can count. Sorry for the times H peed inside the climbing structure, I tried to wipe it up as best as I could before hightailing it out of there.
7. No chocolate before age 1. I made this arbitrary threshold with H, but with R, I was stirring in chocolate sauce with his milk at nine months to get him to drink it. Anything to get him above the 10th percentile for weight. And since then it's all been downhill and R's one step away from being a sugar addict.
6. Organic milk. I vowed never to give my kids anything other than organic milk. Then we went from two incomes to one, and a kid whose refusal to drink milk led to $5 half-gallons being dumped down the drain. We switched to regular (still non-rBST) milk after the first couple of cartons.
5. Wet diaper. I used to think my friend whose second child was born at the same time as H was really negligent for leaving her son (during the day) in a wet diaper for so many hours that the diaper would leak out. Luckily he never got diaper rash from it, but I still thought it was "bad." I think R's record for wearing the same diaper through multiple pees might be over six hours.
4. Swearing. I still haven't said F-U directly to them but have muttered it under my breath and thought it many times, mostly when I am cleaning up poop or puke they have deliberately smeared on the carpet. And no, there is no question about it being deliberate when it's the third time during the same afternoon nap.
3. Bribery. M&Ms for getting into their car seats, a penny for each toy picked up during clean-up time, and Chuck E. Cheese for staying dry all night long (this one hasn't happened yet) are just a few of the many ways I bribe the boys all day long.
2. Comparing them to each other. "Why can't you (the guilty one) be like your brother? Look at him, he's not __________ or ____________."
1. TV as a babysitter. H only watched half an hour of Sesame Street a day before he turned one. Then he watched an hour or two of PBS till he was two. After R was born, I let H watch whenever I had to put R down for a nap. R was soon watching as much as H outside of his naps. Recently I decided I needed to start exercising more regularly so I have been letting R watch Nick DVDs while I exercise to Jillian Michaels on Wii while H is in preschool. Some people think it's strange that H calls me "umma," the Korean word for mom while R calls me "mommy." What they don't realize is that R is actually saying "mami," because he learned the word for mom by watching Dora.
So I'm guilty as charged. I'm a BAD MOM. But I have to think a bad mom is better than no mom. And soon when they both go to school and I have some time to straighten myself out, I will start my mom rehabilitation program and become a GOOD MOM. Or maybe I will just do some things differently and become a BAD-ASS MOM. If the two toddler terrors would Just Let Me Lie Down, I could figure out which one it'll be.
This post was inspired by this month's Silicon Valley Mom's Group Book Club selection: Just Let Me Lie Down: Necessary Terms for the Half-Insane Working Mom by Kristin Van Ogtrop. I was sent this book from the publisher for review purposes. I was interested in the book to get a sense of the differences in insanity between a SAHM and a mom working outside the home, and perhaps to reminisce a bit about my former life. It was pretty interesting to find that I'm facing many of the same things the author is facing--and I'm not the editor of a major magazine!