Rules makes a house run smoothly, right? Kids know what they are allowed to do, what they need to ask permission for and what under no circumstances should they EVEN CONSIDER doing. We make these parenting rules to raise responsible kids, right? I am so excited to announce my partnership with Similac’s Sisterhood of Motherhood. Over the next few months, I’ll be bringing you stories of encouragement with no judgement. No two of us are the same and we are all in this together as parents.
So I need to make a confession. Sometimes, I make rules because I feel like it is expected of me. I create them because I am afraid that another parent will see my kid, see the state that he or she is in and judge my abilities as a parent.
I realized I was doing this and thought, “What’s the point?” As long as my kid is safe, healthy for the most part and relatively happy, I should just relax. And I did. I break a lot of parenting rules. Rules that I judged other parents for before I had children of my own. Rules that are completely ok to break because they make all of our lives easier, happier and although sometimes messier, a lot more fun!
The rules I consistently break are:
My daughter brushing her hair
My daughter is six. I remember when I was six. I used to drag a brush loosely through my brunette strands and call it done. I had tangles, fly aways and all out knots. Every time my parents saw me, they grabbed the brush and sat me down. I could feel every single tangle being torn out of my head. Each stroke of the brush made me cry and scream. My dad jokingly threatened to give me a Yul Brynner (a very bald actor of the fifties, The King in “The King and I”), if I didn’t brush my hair.
I screamed “NOOO! Don’t shave my head! I don’t want to be bald!” And I would sit through more crying and sobbing until my hair had no tangles.
My daughter is the exact same way when it comes to her hair. I don’t like the screaming. I remember how it felt. On days when she doesn’t go to school, I let the hair brushing slide. She can do the cursory brush over and as long as its not sticking out from the side of her head or has huge visible knots, we call it good.
My Kids Wearing Clean Clothes
Kids are messy. They don’t have the same standards for neatness that we do as adults. When they play, they play hard. When they eat, they eat with messy abandon. If I constantly changed my kids clothes every time they got messy, I would go through 4 outfits a day.
And yes, it is sometimes gross. For example, my son had a cold last week with a very runny nose. We dressed him in a dark t-shirt that day. If you have ever experienced this, you know that snot and boogers can make a black shirt look like the starry night sky – complete with comets and asteroids and… ok, we don’t need to take that analogy any further.
We went to the airport to watch planes and I noticed the state of his shirt as I took him out of the car. I did not have another shirt. I wiped him down furiously with baby wipes but it seemed to do no good. Horribly dirty. Did I feel the need to apologize for his shirt to everyone we talked to? Oh yes! But I didn’t. He’s a kid. I let it go and we had a blast watching planes and riding the sky train!
And the rule I broke this weekend?
No Jumping on the Furniture
Do you remember jumping on the bed as a kid? It was such a thrill for me! I would jump high in the air, land on my bottom and then jump back up into a standing position. I was an acrobat, a circus performer, a celebrity on “Circus of the Stars” (remember that show?).
They laughed, they helped each other and they created their own entertainment for over an hour. Is it dangerous? Slightly, yes. Someone could roll off and bump their head, but overall the risks were pretty low. A broken limb? Maybe, but we’ve already been through that. Plus there is nothing like natural consequences to teach important lessons.
I had fun watching them and the kids were happy. I think it was brilliant and I would let them do it again.
As parents, we hold ourselves to incredibly high standards and may not share when we break our own rules because we are afraid of being judged. Parenting should be fun and sharing the crazy things our kids do (and that we let them do) both makes us laugh and unites us in this almost impossible task of raising human beings.
Share Your Pictures!
What happened with your family this weekend? Which “parenting rule” did you break? I want to see your pictures! Post them on Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #UniteMonday. Tag me in the comments (@awhimsiclelife) so I can like them and see what’s happening in your life.
Simliac partnered with bloggers such as me for its Sisterhood of Motherhood program. As part of this program, I received compensation for my time. Similac believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Similac’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.