11 Things Parents Should Give ZERO Sh*ts About (As Written By A Mom)

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Give Zero Sh*ts

Sometimes the best parenting happens when you break the damn rules.

A "scientific study" was recently published which claimed that mommas with huge booties have smarter kids. Then there was the one that said eldest children are the smartest. Then there was the one which concluded — contrary to everything we've ever heard  that listening to Mozart does NOT make us smarter!!!

So. You're telling me: I've spent all these years heeding these "science"-based parenting tips, forcing my kiddos to listen to requiem, when I should've been focused on beefing up my badonkadonk?

What are we supposed to really believe, now? All the scientific judgment and BS today is enough to turn parents into crunchy, twitchy, obsessive-compulsive hermits. To rebut this constant crap, I've taken it upon myself to do a bit of field research (i.e. polled the 5,000+ people in my social media Parent Nation) and created a list of a dozen things you can stop worrying about RIGHT. NOW. And get on with the very serious business of being a happy, successful, non-twitchy parent. Here it goes!

1. Time-out. Whoever said time-outs are bad for kids was a total a-hole. As long as your child realizes there are parts of your home beyond the bottom step and that chair in your kitchen, you're probably fine. Now you probably shouldn't use time out if you: a) use it so frequently that you forget you have children; b) sit them on a chair and argue with them the whole time; or, c) use it to get some "me time," when they've done nothing wrong.

However, IF you're putting yourself in time-out (well) that's a totally different story. My kids think time-out is when mommy goes to her bedroom with wine and a book for 30 minutes. But hey, whatever, to each their own. The bottom line is this, if telling your kid to sit on their bed for ten minutes keeps you from flipping your sh*t, screw the science. I say, go ahead.

2. Yelling or *gasps* spanking. Your pre-schooler is playing that adorable carseat game, you know the one: "I know you're running late for a job interview, so I'm going to turn myself into a human surf board, while screaming like I'm being eaten by a lion" game. Chances are if you've ever won THAT game, you did it by either screaming louder to startle them into compliance or whacking them on their rigid little butts.

Yes, there are the parents who'll say you acted out of anger and will try to "help you become a better parent," and then there are the rest of us who know you acted out of anger and don't care. Shi-outing happens and so do reactions. As long as you don't make a habit out of it, then don't beat yourself up over it.

3. Temper Tantrums. Much like slamming doors are a part of the teen years and crying over coffee commercials go along with natural state of pregnancy — tantrums and toddlers go hand-in-hand. Unfortunately, social media sharing has brought the worst of the worst of those mini-me meltdowns into our personal space; thus, creating an intolerant nation of busy bodies, who've developed the most ridiculous hair trigger ever when it comes to actually witnessing a child lose their cool in public.

Well, I'm here to remind you to embrace your inner Elsa and just "Let it Go!" Like spilled milk and blow out diapers, tantrums happen. They're not the worst thing you'll ever experience (although, in the moment the embarrassment feels like it) and you're certainly not the only parent to ever have to publicly manage them. So the next time your kiddo throws their screaming, kicking, snot faced little self onto the floor of a Toys ‘R Us just know that most of the people around you don't know who you are, and none of them matter. Commit these words to memory  for the "outraged" bystanders: "Move on ... nothing to see here."

4. IQ. No, internet quizzes really are not accurate at telling you the potential career path of a 2-year-old, nor should you care. The truth is, you can wax poetic all you want about how your toddler was reading The Little Red Hen to you at 6-months- old, but it's really hard for anyone to see that genius while he is shoving peas up his nose. Please, understand that being able to sing the ABC song does NOT mean your child can read, write or spell. It simply means that they've got the same memorization skills as a cockatiel. Chances are, your kiddo will read, use an iPad and tie their shoes (well, perhaps that's a stretch — THANK YOU, Velcro dude!) right alongside mine in their own, age-appropriate time. No need to force it.

5. Your choice of milk products. Why do we even engage in this war? Babies need to eat and since we have the more evolved coping skills and have agreed to care for them, it's our responsibility to make sure they're properly fed. The options for feeding an infant include: Breast milk, Formula ... oh wait, that's it. Just PICK ONE! Or, use both. Who cares? Each does its job in a pretty safe and effective way. So, if someone complains to you about your method of getting food into your child — unless you are giving them vodka or pixie sticks  ignore that person and continue feeding your child knowing that said whiner person won't be the one calming your hungry baby or getting arrested if your kid starves.

6. Organic vegetables. If you're one of the rare few who can afford to buy and have mastered the art of getting your kids to eat organic vegetables, KUDOS TO YOU! For the rest of us, it's a feat in strategy and negotiation just to get those finicky little twerps to lick a celery stick without peanut butter and raisins on it! So, BACK OFF. If you've gotten your kid to down an entire salad or OMG a red beet — Personally, I don't care if it came out of a bag, a can or a Styrofoam box at a drive-thru window — YOU are a culinary guru, who deserves a medal and a day at the spa. When my kids have a job that pays enough to support their organics habit, they can eat all the pesticide free veggies they want. Until then, I'm relying on vita-mix to get that frozen spinach into their spaghetti sauce, and feeling darn good about it.

7. Sleeping Schedules. As soon as you think you've got it mastered the flu hits, grandma comes for a visit, family vacation happens, or the building next door goes under construction.

Yes. Schedules are great and all, but flexibility is key. Parents have enough stress to deal with, without getting all twitchy about a regimented 47 step plan that requires flawless execution, three times a day to make sure your kiddo never misses a wink of beauty sleep.

That's the stuff anxiety attacks are made of. Cut yourself a break and know that once your child reaches pre-teen stage, you won't be able to wake them up before noon at which point, they'll totally catch up from any sleep deprivation and you'll have a whole new set of issues to deal with.

8. TV. So, Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard aren't letting their kiddos watch TV until they're 30 — to that I say, good for them. The rest of us, who DON'T have a seven figure income and nannies on call, will be happily plopping our one-year-olds in front of the tube to watch magical maps and backpacks, save baby toucans in exchange for peeing in privacy. NOT. FEELING. GUILTY.

As long as I know all the words to the Team Umizoomi theme song, I have the power to calm a screaming toddler at 60 M.P.H. on the way to Target to buy a new Frozen costume. So don't judge me! Besides, who among us doesn't remember binge watching Saturday morning cartoons while our parents "slept in"? C'mon people! This isn't Poltergeist, they won't really get sucked in there. Besides, who hasn't used Schoolhouse Rock to get through, at least, one pop quiz?

9. Ivy League Day care — Seriously? You need to put your eggs on a two year waiting list so your future preschooler can learn to speak to the cat in French? Trust me. Learning to play the viola at three is totally overrated, what a three-year-old really needs to learn? Not to wipe boogers on the carpet at circle time  can't go wrong with that lesson plan.

Do your research. Check sources. Go for a walk in your neighborhood on a beautiful sunny day, listen for the squeals and laughter of children playing outside. Observe them for a few days to make sure the place is legit, then send your kid to THAT child care. Because you can't put a price on the education children get just by playing, socializing and just being a kid. But you can buy a crap load of wine for the price of one of those blazers.

10. Unexcused absences. There has been a huge debate recently about whether or not families should have the right to take their kiddos out of school for family vacations. The short answer is, YES! Most schools will allow "educational absences" with pre-approval, but even if they don't, WHO CARES?!

As long as your kiddo isn't exceeding the limit of 9-11 unexcused days, don't sweat it! Yes, you will get "the letter" and yes, it will irritate the hell out of you. But you and I both know that the time your family got to spend together was far more educational and valuable than anything they would have learned in school that day — yes, even if it was linear equations and cloud formations.

As long as you aren't taking them to casinos or pub-crawls chances are, they're learning something. (Although, I did learn all I need to know about being wicked good at sales in both of those environments. Hmph.)

11. Reading bedtime stories. You've probably heard about the hoity-toity British professor who tried to guilt parents out of reading bedtime stories because it gave them an unfair advantage over the kiddos who aren't read too. And then, like me, you probably thought: "This is bullsh*t!" Just when I discovered something 'parenty' I could do well that didn't involve a PhD, this guy tells me I'm damaging somebody else's kids by doing it?" Then when I calmed down, I remembered all those nights when the only thing I wanted to read to my kids was the label on the wine bottle and they still turned into solid "B" students who like me ... most of the time.

I guess reading 20 books every day isn't really "all that." If it's part of your bedtime routine (reference stressor number eight) then go for it, but if you just can't muster the energy to make it all the way through Goodnight Moon for the tenth night in a row, don't sweat it. In fact, think of it as leveling the curve.

So that's my "screw it" list of parent stressors.

For those who didn't have the "me time" scheduled to make it through the whole list, here's the breakdown:

If you love your kids, but don't necessarily like everything about them at all times and can honestly say you're giving them the best of yourself on a pretty consistent basis, you're doing it right.

Chances are, your parents didn't give a sh*t about 90% of this stuff and you turned out OK (enough to care to read this article). So, Pick your battles, stop stressing, pat yourself on the back and toast to your successes ... cheers!



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