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Parenting Failures Make My Life Easier

Do you ever look at your kids and think ‘What the fresh hell’?
I do.

Do you ever look at your kids and think ‘Man, I am screwing you up’?
I do.

Do you look at your kids and think ‘Someday you will talk about this in therapy’?
I do.

I think all parents are occasionally guilty of taking the easy way out with regards to parenting their offspring. Otherwise, we would all be insane and highly intoxicated. Just my theory, but according to the 8 people I polled for this post it is an accurate statement. You just cannot bring your A-Game 100% of the time, unless you are the new June Cleaver. My A-game makes an appearance a couple of times a week and the rest of the time I’m just winging it.

10 Parenting Failures that Make Life Easier

1. Television. I am not ashamed to say that I blatantly use the television to babysit my kids so I can at least take a shower without little people asking questions such as ‘Why does that jiggle mommy?’ and ‘Mommy, did your wiener fall off?’ I also rely on the television to allow me 5 minutes in the bathroom by myself without an audience. Thank you Curious George, Caillou and Diego. Thank you.

2. Frozen Chicken Tenders. I have extremely picky eaters and frequently find myself yelling ‘For the Love of Ice Cream, just eat the damn tacos’ at my kids. But the one thing that every single child will eat with nary a complaint? Frozen Tyson’s chicken tenders. I buy them in bulk. Two freezer shelves are dedicated to chicken tenders. Right below the shelf of Vodka.

3. Scented Body Sprays. There are some nights that I just cannot find it within myself to fight the bathtime battle and I send various children to bed unbathed. The next morning before I herd them off to school I make sure to spray them down with body spray.

4. M&M’s. I use them liberally as bribes. 4 of my children were potty trained using M&M’s as bribes. Bedrooms get cleaned with the promise of M&M’s. Laundry gets put away to earn the M&M’s. I think we could achieve world peace if we offered the bad guys M&M’s.

5. The DVR. I know I already said television but the DVR deserves a mention all by itself. What would I do without the DVR? At least 40% of my DVR shows consist of Caillou, Curious George, Peppa Pig and the like. The convenience of having 4 minutes of peace and quiet in which to make a tinkle without an audience can only be achieved with the help of the DVR.

6. The iPod/iPhone. Oh technology, what did we do before you? We do not have enough televisions in this house for everyone to watch their own shows simultaneously. Enter the iPod/iPhone. They can watch something on Netflix or YouTube an a crisis is averted. The iPod/iPhone also can be used to ward off meltdowns of epic proportions while out in public. I refer to it as the iPacifier.

7. McDonald’s. The magic powers of the Happy Meal. It’s amazing how a 25 cent plastic piece of shit toy can buy peace and harmony in my household for at least 3 hours. The Happy Meals even come with the option to substitute apple slices for fries, that counts as healthy right? Who am I kidding, my kids get the fries.

8. Minivan DVD Player. I know a family who relies only on each other for entertainment while they are in the minivan. No matter how far they are driving, they do not use the radio, the CD player, the DVD player or any other handheld device to entertain their children. No, they are not Amish. I asked. I think they were offended but I just blurted it out before I could stop myself. In contrast, my minivan contains no less than 75 different movies to ensure they always have something new to watch. We don’t have enough headphones for everyone so we pipe the sound through the radio speakers and fade it to the back. This means Matt and I have not listened to the actual radio or CD player in the minivan since 2008.

9. Plastic Easter Eggs. I use those brightly colored plastic goodies year round in this house. On the days when my kids are really testing my last nerve, I break out the plastic Easter Eggs. I hide them all over the house with nothing in them and then send the kids out on a fruitless search for candy. it sounds mean but hear me out. If you put candy in them then the kids stop searching as soon as they find the first 10 eggs because they are busy unwrapping candy. If the eggs are empty, they keep on searching in the hopes that the next egg they find has candy inside. Genius, huh?

10. Hide and Seek. A beloved childhood game that probably elicits fond memories of your youth, right? Well not the way I play it. I tell my kids to hide while I count to 1,000. Then I don’t look for them. Eventually they get bored and jump out of whatever closet they were hiding in and I exclaim with total sincerity ‘Oh my gosh, you are the best hider in the world’. Kids love that shit. When it’s my turn to hide, I leave. Don’t get your panties in a wad, I usually just hide on the back deck or in the van in the garage. Anywhere I can get a few minutes of alone time.

There you have it folks. My parenting failures that make my life so much easier. I have 5 kids, I make no apologies for cutting a few corners.

Stop judging me. Do you have wine?

June Cleaver, eat your heart out.

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  • Anonymous

    I need to make a secret confession. You could hear me talking about how bad TV was for your child and how it will give them ADD…. So I had a child….. my child is watching TV as I write this.

  • I love this post! I often think that I am screwing my kids up and doing an awful parenting job. I have no DVR, just Netflix and Hulu and I use them liberally. I only buy chicken tenders occasionally, but then again my husband does all the cooking. I use my iPhone and Happy Meals as treats all the time. And, unfortunately, I own neither a car DVD player nor a minivan. I love the Easter egg idea though and I NEVER look for my daughter when we play hide and seek. Off to read the rest of your supermom powers now!

  • Ha! Love that you hide empty Easter eggs. Makes sense to me! This made me laugh. I love that DVR, too, and I don’t know where I would be without the iPhone to give my kids when they need a distraction. So glad you linked this up with us over at #findingthefunny last week!

  • Love the Easter egg idea. And you can totally throw in a monkey wrench to their fussing by every so often actually putting something in them, so they do beliebve each and every that MAYBE the next egg will have something. OR get yourself a golden egg and the person that finds that one gets something special like being the first served at lunch or something. Then you dont’ have to put anything in the other eggs. Found you at finding the funny.

  • Your post made me LOL ! I did most all of those things with my kids and now I’m starting over with my granddaughter! I have her two days a week and love it. But her favorite show is Calliou and I can’t stand that whiney brat ! But being the good grandma I am , I dvr the damn show ! As far as the dvd in the car, I don’t have that ( didn’t have them when my kids were little ) but my daughter in law does. We went on a girls trip and my youngest daughter (22) rode in the back with my grand daughter, she said if she had to watch the Veggie Tales on more time she was going to SCREAM !
    P.S, Wine saved my sanity more than once !

  • I like your idea of using M&Ms to help bring about world peace. I think it could work. ๐Ÿ™‚
    I also love the idea of playing hide and seek and going out to the garage for a few minutes peace. Genius!
    And it’s very fun to see one of the ecards I made! ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s the one about knocking on the bathroom door with your #1.
    Great list! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • All of those are great ideas! I don’t have kids yet, but that’s how I was raised and I turned out just fine ๐Ÿ™‚
    Another idea to try is offering up cardboard boxes. My mom used to lock all three of us kids in the backyard with a big cardboard box. More often then not, it would end up with one of us taped inside being pushed over until we begged for mercy. But, my mom had a strict no whining/ no tattle-telling policy. So, it provided hours of peace and quiet. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I am a single mommy to two children, aged 5 and 2. There are days when I hide in the bathroom. “Mommy is going potty!” Really, mommy is sitting there trying to check email or just not be tugged on by a kid. And most days that doesn’t make them go away…they bang on the door. There’s nothing wrong with any of the things on the list. It’s true, and for anyone that judges, they either have no kids, grown kids, a nanny, or are missing the tricks they use themselves!

  • I think I love you.

  • You just made me feel so much better!! I often use many of these techniques when baby sitting my nieces and cousins!!!! Of course it is easier to mess up someone else’s children. But so glad to know these are useful tips for when I finally have kids of my own.

    • I babysat for years before I became a parent and you are so right- it’s much easier to mess up someone else’s kids. I think back to those babysitting years and think I probably should write notes of apology to those parents. Ha!

  • Hahahaha,
    I think every parent at one time or another has been there.
    My middle one didn’t like sweets so bribery was pickles or apples. However bribery is still bribery and I am not the least bit ashamed to admit I have used it, frequently. LOL
    I just have my daughter at home now. She is 14, I homeschool and drive her to dance, etc… We are together mostly 24 hours a day. I have often said to her I just need some quiet time. Please go to your room, or go outside.
    Moms need sanity too. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • You have my sincere respect for homeschooling. I know that I just do not have the patience for it. I would drive myself and my kids insane! Kudos to you!!

  • Amen, Sister!

    Love your oh-so-realistic list…and I think we should just order wine by the truckload.

    • Oh my gravy, can you get wine by the truckload? Don’t tease me.

  • Oh. My. Word….I am dying. I had to stifle my laughter because the husband is sleeping. You are hilarious!!! I want to print this out for reading later. SO Funny and so true. And…um..not parenting fails..it’s called survival. LOL.

    • Survival sounds so much better than FAIL, doesn’t it? Truthfully I am just trying to survive some days. Survive until wine o’thirty. Ha!

  • I think I love you. Haha, I have two “terrible two” boys, and let me just say… Why do I want a third?! I am just like you are when it comes to cutting a few corners. For me, this means not being upset when they pull out every piece of my tupperware from the cabinet, if it they are playing together nicely and having fun… because I get a bit of free time, even if I have to pick it up later. This also means that regardless of what I make them for lunch, they are going to raid the fridge… lucky I keep a bag of grapes at the bottom shelf within their reach, not only deterring them from scaling the shelves and pouring out a full gallon of freshly made iced tea, but also because hey, grapes are healthy, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Even better if you can get The Mister to put away the tupperware! And yes, grapes are totally healthy. At least that’s what I tell myself when I’m guzzling the wine.

  • OMG.. Hillarity my friend! Visiting from Tuesday 10!

    I’m now following you. Would love for you to come visit the hive!

    Jen-Queen bee’s Hive

  • Oh man this is PERFECT! I don’t even have kids and already see myself being like this. You are my role model!

    • See you’re smart. I started out with lofty ideals and came crashing back to reality rather quickly.

  • I am with you sister! and I am going to steal some of your genius ideas ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I don’t see a damn thing wrong with any of those. This could be because I’ve done all of them myself with my own 5 kids. Everyday at nap time is either a movie day or a Wii day. I could not imagine being the “perfect” parent, especially in our apartment. I dream of the day I have a house with a yard so I can tell them to get outside, and then lock the door for an hour ๐Ÿ™‚
    — Bridget, from Le. Rheims

    • Oh how I love to do that in the summer. We fenced that backyard for a reason ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • You’ll get no judging from me! I agree with pretty much everything on your list – we let our kids watch way too much TV, but I don’t know what I would do without it.

    • I told my mom the other day that I don’t know how the Amish survive. Without TV I would lose my mind.

  • This parenting business is no walk in the park, is it? Sometimes, we just have to be creative to not lose our minds. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I love my kids, but we do have the occasional, “Okay – everyone can play video games now.”

    • I hear you. And somedays creative is a hard sell around here. Yesterday we laid in mama’s bed for 2 hours under the down comforter and called it “Camping”. Ha!

  • Rae

    Oh man. If I had a dime for every time I’ve slapped chicken nuggets on a tortilla, squirted on some mustard, handed it to the husband and called it lunch, I’d have enough money to keep me in nuggets for YEARS. The truth is, there are some days it’s not worth the effort to get the kids to eat the chicken cordon bleu. Just toss the nuggets in the stove and appreciate one evening out of seven that you’re not issuing vile threats just to get your kids through dinner.

    I’ve banned the word “Bored” at my house. Every time I hear it, even if it’s in a tiny whisper in the corner of the room, kids are putting away laundry, scrubbing the table or doing the dishes. It gives them so much more inspiration to go entertain themselves…

    • Hey if McD’s can charge $$ for those McSnack Wraps then it’s considered fine eatin’. I don’t want to hear any whining! I’m totally stealing that idea about the word “Bored.” I have some toilets that need scrubbing.

  • I know it’s been said but the IPacifier comment is one of those great, one-of-a-kind moments that as a reader I love and remember forever. Also, ditto the DVR, Axe body spray (sadly, for my husband, i shudder to think) and m&m’s. Although really, those are more for me. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Holy cow. That is an amazing compliment. Thank you!

  • I love it! Makes me feel less guilty about using the tv to take a shower alone!

    • I have to use the TV to shower alone. I can’t take anymore small people making fun of things that jiggle. It’s traumatizing.

  • Hilarious!

  • That’s too fun! The blogsphere is a judgement free zone! Besides, I bribe kids with candy in the classroom ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Oh man, where were you when I was a kid? That’s awesome!

  • I have 5 kids!!
    Just when I think noone in the world could possibly know what I go thru I found you!
    I heart you. Steph Sikorki

    • Oh girl, I get it. We are few and far between these days, aren’t we? I’m surrounded by parents with only 1 or 2 kids. They are horrified by me. I feel like a walking, talking warning poster. Ha!

  • I could have written most of this post too. The egg thing is genius- I think after Easter I will keep the eggs easily accessible.

    • I feel so much less alone when I read comments like this so thank you! The Easter Eggs are the most underrated parenting tool ever!

  • Hi-larious! You got me at ‘parenting failures’. I live for my dvr.
    I love, love Anne Taintor stuff. I have 2 mugs that my husband got for me and I drink coffee from them every day. My favorite is the ‘The secret ingredient is resentment’ mug. It makes me so happy.
    Funny, funny post!!

    • Oh my gosh Heidi, that’s my favorite caption from Anne Taintor! I say it to Mr.McHunky all the time. He doesn’t find it nearly as amusing as I do. Poor man, born without a sense of humor. It’s an awful burden. For me.

  • We don’t have a DVR but use Netflix liberally… everyone needs those 5 minutes alone in the bathroom. And I’m the first to admit I’m not above a little bribery… we don’t have a go-to candy but I can usually get my way if there is some frozen yogurt on the horizon!!!

    • I’m sorry, I got stuck at No DVR. My whole body went into shock. I’d never get to watch anything without the DVR. And the kids totally monopolize Netflix. The entire queue is full of kids crappy tv shows. It’s horrifying.

  • I’m totally stealing “iPacifier” You’re brilliant. And hilarious.

    • That is high praise coming from you Bridget! I read your blog and giggle like a patient in the nuthouse.

  • ROFL, with 5 kids these aren’t fails, they’re survival skills. They’re alive, you’re sane, or a very articulate insanity. it’s all good. About # 10, if you throw in the occassional, “I’m goona find you”, say during a commercial break, it greatly extends the amount of time they’ll hide. Tried, tested and true.

    • Survival Skills! I’m totally stealing that. Sounds much better than parenting failures. Ha! Oh I am so adding “I’m gonna find you” to my hide and seek repitoire! Thanks for that little tip.

  • Haha LOVE the list! Absolutely right we cannot bring out A game all the time. Oh what I would give for 5 minutes just to PEE!I swear as soon as I get the kids trained on what a closed door means my boyfriend comes knocking and then gets mad when I say I just wanna pee in peace!

    • Sadly my A game has dwindled down to making an occasional appearance since the birth of #5. I’ve gotten to the point now where I can’t pee unless someone is watching me. I guess my bladder needs an audience now. Sad.

  • I am right there with you!

    The good news is Happy Meals now automatically come with fries and apples!

    • Oh SNAP! I’m all over it. Although I’d be happier if they came with fries and apple pies but we won’t discuss that.

  • Hahaha! I will be experimenting with #10! Great hilarious list!

    • I highly recommend #10. Keep a stash of wine hidden in the garage or closet of your choosing and call it a vacation.

  • I cannot stop laughing about your #10 – Hide and Seek! LOL! I too use the t.v and Nick Jr has totally taken over our DVR as well. I feel guilty about it at times, but the m&m bribes, no guilt there. Great list!

    • #10 makes you feel sorry for my kids, doesn’t it? Ha!

  • I always said no kid of mine will be babysat by TV. Then i gave birth. When my son was two he called us Mommy Pig and Daddy Pig. Nuff said.
    You are such a funny writer! And I have done all but one on your list. Cannot believe I never thought of them eggs!

    • It’s amazing how fast we eat our words once our own offspring arrive, isn’t it? I always told myself that I would never say “Because I said so.” Um……yeah, I say that at least 50 times a day.

      Those Easter eggs are golden. Truly.

  • I can’t imagine not listening to the radio in the car. I use chocolate chips to bribe my daughter to pee on the toilet. I figure a few chocolate chips here and there can’t hurt her. I love the Easter egg idea! I will have to write that down for future reference.

    • Chocolate chips are great! I can’t use them for bribes because I eat them by the handfuls if they’re in the house. I’m like a child.

  • Sounds just like our house. The chicken tenders however are for my husband who eats them 2-3 days a week when I don’t cook. My kids are in trouble right now because they managed to lose the ipod touch in the playroom the other day and I have to take all three to the doctor with me on Tuesday, must find it before then. We also upgraded to the multi room dvr a couple months ago so the kids could watch their recorded shows in the other room and we wouldn’t be forced to sit through another Dora/Peppa/Mickey.

    • Mr.McHunky likes the Tyson’s crispy chicken tenders. I slap them on a tortilla, add a leaf of lettuce and some honey mustard…voila, it’s a McWrap! We have a multi-room DVR too, it’s the best invention ever.

  • Totally stealing the Easter Egg idea.

  • Thank God I’m not the only one! And I only have 2! You should be sainted, and I commend you on your honesty

    • See, you’re my kind of people! I keep it real, nobody will ever leave my blog feeling like a failure LOL!

  • Now I think the television just makes sense. “Did your wiener fall off?” Bwahhaha. Definitely a question that is best avoided.
    And you are a fake Easter Hunt genius. No lie. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Ellen

    • Especially considering my offspring choose to ask such questions while we’re in line at Walmart. Or church. The 4 yr old asked me if one boobie was bigger than the other in the middle of church. Thanks kid.

  • I don’t care what anyone says…we are just 1 flimsy step away from all out road rage since our portable DVD player crapped out. long drives are a nightmare now. whoever invented that should have a 1 way ticket right through the pearlie gates!
    and whoever invented the DS and Leapster Explorer…ride his coat-tails right on through buddy. and Thank You.
    In this house – it’s jelly beans. I can get them to do anything for 1 measly Jelly Belly.
    I admit it – some days, I am sick with power ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I cannot keep jelly beans in the house, I eat them immediately. I love the buttered popcorn flavor. YUM! I can’t even imagine a car trip with no DV player. I’d be tempted to jump out of the moving minivan on the interstate.

  • This post made me giggle insanely. I have not yet had the luck of having children yet, but I aim to have seven one day. Yes, you heard me right, voluntarily have seven. no I’m not Mormon, or Amish. But I enjoy the fact that you’re open and honest about ‘cutting corners’. It’s nice to hear from someone real about this and not just from those nice June Cleaver types. ^^

    • I always wanted 6 kids but we had to stop at 5. My body does not agree with the whole making a tiny human thing. I figured out long ago that if you try to be the perfect mom with a large family you will drive yourself and everyone around you insane! I hope you have your 7 kids and I hope you enjoy every single day (even the rough ones)!

  • Thanks for telling the truth, sister! I TOTALLY agree! Anything for a bit of sanity…