I posted this picture on Facebook a few weeks ago that captioned “I know there are a lot of opinions about bedtime routines, but when your son asks you if you’re gonna hug him, you hug him until you no longer can. Because life if too short to play by the rules.”
Do you ever think about how many parenting rules there are?
Off of the top of my head I can fire off a few. Children should only be breastfed. Do not co-sleep and let them cry it out. Feed them organic foods and only drink water. Limit television time and only let them watch education programs. Do not teach them the correct names for their body parts and always watch what you say around them.
The parenting handbook has been passed down, rewritten, and almost impossible to always follow along.
Now, I have plenty of moms friends who play by the rules. They are all Rock Star Mamas and I fully support their parenting journey.
BUT . . . I’m a rule breaker.
My parenting style is very much my own. I mostly try to keep everyone alive while picking my battles and trying not to lose my mind.
My son eats at least one chocolate chip cookie a day, drinks more juice than water, and one of his favorite tv shows is The Incredible Dr. Pol. Yes, my three year old watches a television show that features animal castration and baby calfs being born.
Some parents are probably thinking, “how in the heck can she let him watch that.” I’m not going to lie as this question has come across my mind once or twice. I know the show can be a little intense sometimes, but he enjoys watching it. This show may not measure up to Daniel Tiger or Sesame Street, but it’s teaching my son lessons about life, death, and compassion.
Even though this post may seem like I’m a very laid back mother, I promise I am anything but that. I’m a very anxious person, which makes for a more anxious parent. I simply cannot follow the rules because my mind won’t allow it. It’s too stressful.
We do follow a routine most days so it’s not pure craziness everyday. But, our routine probably isn’t the same as yours.
Some days my son eats a well balanced meal, sleeps in his room all night, and watches Saturday morning cartoons.
Other days he doesn’t. And that’s okay because I’m not winning an award if he eats organic or sleeps through the night.
I’ll gladly take an award for my toddler being one of the happiest boys anyone has ever met.
Throwing out the parenting handbook makes my son a happier toddler and me a happier mother.
I’ll continue to snuggle my child to sleep every night until the cows come home because life is too short to play by the rules!