The shortcuts to parenting sanity

May 5, 2011

Dear Max

I’m taking a massive flyer here, because I’m about to reveal some of the shortcuts and solutions (some may call it rule breaking) that I’ve done as a mom. So I’m half expecting some moms to have a fit, have Facebook freakouts, and write in to my boss to complain about my less-than-perfect parenting, but I reckon many will relate, and that we won’t land up on a therapist’s couch as a result of all of this.

See, parenting is hard (I’ll stop reminding you of this in about 35 years or so), and often it’s impossible challenging to follow “rules” the whole time, and the long and textbook way of solving problems, so often we resort to quick fixes to sort out tears, sleep and feeding issues, tantrums and more.

So here are some of my non-textbook or non-traditional methods of parenting, and I hope others will share theirs too. Please. To make me feel less crappy. I’d like to add here that no one was hurt in this way of parenting – quite the opposite really – and that I don’t think this will have an adverse effect on your future wellbeing and sanity.

*Deep breath in*

– When you’re not in the mood for eating “real food”, I often give you Flings. Even if it’s for supper. Or breakfast. Sometimes it’s the only thing you’ll eat.
– The other morning you had Wine Gums for breakfast. I tried to take them away and you howled. And I couldn’t bear it so I gave you the Wine Gums and let you eat them. You happily smacked your lips a lot as you did this.

– I’ve often given you bottles of milk instead of a real meal because that’s all you’ve wanted.
– There’s what’s called the five-second rule, which means that if something drops and you pick it up within five seconds, it’s still safe to consume or put in your mouth. I have more like a five-hour to five-day rule (I think you’re the better for it Max – you’re happy and your immunity is strong!)
– I don’t ensure your teeth are brushed every day, but you do tend to prefer brushing your teeth with other people’s brushes daily.
– You put your face close to the dog’s mouth and face because you enjoy it (again, good for immunity).
– You love playing with water, and I can’t attest to the cleanliness of the water you play with (like at the park), but you holler if I take you away from puddles. Simpler to just leave it.
– Sometimes I don’t do nappy changes 100% perfectly because you wriggle around and often detest being changed.
– I have sometimes considered bubble bath to be soap and haven’t really washed you.
– When I get home from work, instead of interacting with you one on one, I put you in my car to play while I take a breather. and get stuff sorted for the next day. I’ve actually tried the non-car approach, but you don’t like it, so this is win-win for us.

There’ll be more conveniences and unconventions Max, that much I know. But I’ll try to get the rest right.


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  • nickistormdadic

    All it is, is proof that you’re human! Parents who get their children to eat 3 properly balanced meals each and every are either bullsh!tting or few and far between. Last night I made Luca fish, chips and veggies. I put them ALL in the same monkey bowl, mixed up to try to trick him into scoffing some of the veggies (McCain frozen peas, carrots & corn mix) by mistake. He ate his way around ALL of the veggies and left them all. For the dustbin :/

    May 5, 2011 at 9:02 am Reply
    • Tanya Kovarsky

      Haha – too cute! Loved that pic of the uneaten veggies…

      May 5, 2011 at 12:25 pm Reply
  • Sue Stuart

    Flings are a firm favourite in this household 🙂 and also I still keep a supply of Purity in the cupboard for those evenings when **gasp** I am too tired/can’t be bothered to cook/Katy won’t eat what I’ve cooked! And I let her pick from my plate if she’s interested in what we’re eating 🙂

    May 5, 2011 at 9:26 am Reply
  • Nikkie Fourie

    Finaly!!!!!!! I am not alone!!!!!What a fun read! And oh…so close toe home…wiat a minute! You where writing this sitting at my kitchen table!!! True confessions! Got to love it!- Nikkie

    May 5, 2011 at 10:45 am Reply
  • MomAgain@40

    Ha-ha! Yes, we all do it! The narrow road of parenting is just too difficult, especially when you are a working mother! I sometimes skip a day without bathing (last week 2 days). Nobody noticed! (I hope!) We skip washing of hair many days… Depends on how loud the protests!
    Brushing of teeth in the bath, but not in the mornings… not enough time!
    Flings AND Cheese Curls a firm substitute here!

    May 5, 2011 at 11:14 am Reply
  • Jacki Geer

    This is Fantastic! We are not alone!

    May 5, 2011 at 11:27 am Reply
  • Tanya

    This just made my day! You are a normal mommy and I bet you I will do the same one day! Could not help laughing at the car scenario, that is so cute and obviously Max is happy! Yup, he is a happy and healthy lil man. You have nothing to worry about.

    May 5, 2011 at 11:34 am Reply
  • Sharon

    Any mother who can’t relate to at least a couple of your points above is LYING! None of us, no matter how amazing we think we are as mothers, is perfect! Lordy I’m learning that a lot latley!

    May 5, 2011 at 11:48 am Reply
    • Tanya Kovarsky

      I suspect I’m going to be repeating this blog spot often! 🙂

      May 5, 2011 at 12:24 pm Reply
  • Emy

    Yip, you just described what happens in my house to a T. And before any moms have a fit, my child is perfectly healthy, gets sick once or twice a year, is in the 97th percentile for growth and according to her teacher last night, a very bright little girl with no learning problems.

    So it would seem that we are raising them the right way!

    May 5, 2011 at 11:54 am Reply
  • Maeve

    Fabulous! I’ve done worse! And happy to confess. The best advice I ever got was pick your battles carefully, because the ones you pick you HAVE to win. I’d rather win the ones that could culminate in emergency room visits – so Flings for breakfast every now and then it is (like today!) Awesome blog : )

    May 5, 2011 at 11:58 am Reply
    • Tanya Kovarsky

      Thanks so much for the comment – really appreciate it! And yes, good point about choosing battles! 🙂

      May 5, 2011 at 12:22 pm Reply
  • Sasha Simi

    Great blog post! I feel such pressure to be the absolutely perfect mom, but as long as I’m perfect in my little Nina’s eyes that’s all that matters 🙂 What’s perfect anyway?

    May 5, 2011 at 9:11 pm Reply
  • Justine

    You know you have dropped your standards completely when you tell your child they can have desert if they have one bite of their food.

    May 6, 2011 at 8:44 am Reply
  • Toddler Tastes | Life with Luca

    […] Posted on May 6, 2011 by nickistormdadic Further to Tanya’s post yesterday on Max’s recurring Fling binges when he will eat nothing else , I received an email from my dear friend Roz a while ago (and again this morning, thanks Cola!) […]

    May 6, 2011 at 1:21 pm Reply
  • Deshni wilson

    Was so refreshing to read that,with all the perfect moms around me! my 2year old hasn’t eaten cereal 4 breakfast in 3 weeks and the only veggies she eats r corn and potatoes not that she eats much protein either, just sausages or eggs! I feel like such a failure when other kids I kno love broccoli!!! Thank u for that, I feel like all I do is stress over mealtimes and over discipline etc that I m missing out on enjoying just being with my child and playing with her! After reading this I hav decided to just ease up a little and try not to care too much about what other r thinking of me cos I think I will so insane!!

    May 7, 2011 at 10:32 pm Reply
  • nikkistevenson

    Seemed to have missed this one!

    I have done all those things, and no longer fee guilty ’cause I know Im not the only one… Thanks! 🙂

    May 16, 2011 at 8:31 am Reply
  • Wendy

    Brilliant! Clearly I am keeping the wrong company as such honesty about my ‘shortcuts’ would have me tarred and feathered! Where are all the honest mums?

    May 20, 2011 at 9:19 pm Reply
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