Opinion

6 Things Parents Need To Stop Doing Immediately

In general, I dont mind how other people parent. As long as your child is not in danger, you can make decisions as you see fit.

Bottle or breast, separate rooms or together, fruit or Doritos for breakfast when youre exhausted from being up with the baby all night.

Whatever.

I do have a few requests of other parents, though.

Hopefully, Im not adding to any to-do lists.

I actually want parents to stop doing things. Now.

Things Parents Need To Stop Doing

Stop cleaning up before playdates

My house is definitely in worse shape than yours. I dont care if you want to spend a few minutes with your feet up instead of cleaning before we come over. My kids and your kids will just dump that bag of Legos all over the floor anyway. Save your cleaning for when someone important comes over. Right now, its just me, and Im just as much of a mess as you are. Lets clink some mimosas to that.

Stop pretending life is perfect

You can admit that youre having a hard time. Life is hard. Life with kids can be really hard. Its OK to say it and talk about it and even whine about it to me. Ill listen. I have probably felt the same way as you do at one point or another. Feeling guilty because you got annoyed when your spouse got sick instead of acting sympathetic? I get it. Wish your kids would just adjust to the time change already? Me, too, girl, me too.

Stop comparing your kids to other kids

Milestone guidelines are good in that they can help parents identify a potentially serious issue. These standards are also terrible because few children adhere to them precisely. Late bloomers are common, and theres nothing wrong with them.

So what if your friends 1-year-old is singing the alphabet already? It doesnt make your kid delayed. It means your friend sang that song 1 million times and the baby finally picked up on it. Good for her and good for you for realizing that its OK that your kid didnt start singing the ABCs until she turned 2.

Stop worrying that you post too much about your kids on social media

I love seeing your kids faces and hearing about the funny things they do. Yes, I know you have a few friends who say things like, Ugh, I cant stand when parents only post about their kids. Dont they have a life outside their children?

Well, I know I do, but a snapshot of my son is so much cuter than the face I make when Im deadlifting twice my bodyweight. Stories about my kids dont invite criticism the way political posts do. So either look at my kids or scroll on, because these posts arent going to stop.

Stop the mommy wars

Please. Pretty please. Ignore posts on social media that have the sole purpose of making a group of mommies feel bad. Dont participate in conversations that criticize parents for their choices when those choices dont adversely affect the children. Ask questions if you dont understand something instead of assuming its wrong. Im happy to talk about why we made the decisions we did. Im not happy when someone suggests that having a homebirth meant I didnt care if my baby died (true story).

Stop putting pressure on yourself

Ha! Impossible.

But, maybe find ways to relax, like taking time for yourself. Talk to other parents who can reassure you that yes, what you are going through is normal, and yes, you are a really good parent. Its good to want to be an awesome parent; its bad when you beat yourself up over a dumb mistake that doesnt mean much in the big picture.

I hope I didnt add anything more to your full plate

Oh, one more thing: Stop worrying that taking the time to read this meant you were ignoring your kids. Its OK to ignore them once in a while.

Kate Meier has two kids and zero tolerance for people who criticize parents for bullshit reasons. Go enjoy her sarcastic sense of humor at her blog,My Kind of Parenting, orhereon Facebook.

Click formore funny parenting adviceand follow me onFACEBOOK,TWITTER,INSTAGRAMor get occasionalEMAILSabout all my stuff.

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