Don’t get my wrong, my kids are happy, healthy with good hygiene. But I can’t be absolutely perfect at everything I do, all of the time.
I cut corners. It makes things easier. I would even go as far to say I even slack off my parental duties at times! And that’s fine! I am not ashamed. There is no way we can uphold doing everything to perfection. We don’t need to hide our parental imperfections. Really, the art of being a great parent is finding what works for you. Finding ways to just make it through and do just enough to get by. Don’t feel like you need to feed your child home-made, ethically sourced, organic, sugar free food 100% of the time. And if you do, well a pat on the back for that. Remember doing just enough to get by, can be all you need to do.
Here’s just a few of my ‘corner-cuts’
When my husband is away, I don’t see the point (code for ‘I can’t be fucked’) cooking a homemade meal every night for myself, a three year old and a one year old. They don’t give a flying fuck about my culinary skills (which in all honestly is pretty basic) and most of the food ends up on the floor! So, I do the good ol’ ‘Breakfast for Dinner‘ trick! I learnt the art of ‘Brinner‘ from my Dad. Think eggs, toast and cereal! It’s still reasonably (sometimes arguably) healthy but it’s also quick and easy PLUS guaranteed to go down a treat. I find my kids eat breakfast with little fuss compared to dinner, so why not make feeding time easy TWICE a day!?
Another fave is Fish Fingers! You can get ones now that claim to have ‘hidden veges’ in them so I’ve almost deluded myself into thinking I’m giving them a good square meal.
At bed time, I will always read Jaxxi (3) a story. However, sometimes I accidentally pick up one I think will be a ‘one line per page’ kinda deal but it turns out to be similar to a bloody Shakespearean play! In that case, I’ll just read till I’ve had enough and simply say ‘The End‘. Usually I can improvise and make a smooth transition but sometimes I just do a hard and fast bail out. She has never questioned me so I’m going to ride that gravy train!
Similar to the above, Jaxxi will ask to watch a movie before bed, especially when she’s really in the mood to stall bedtime. So we just start the movie 10-15 mins before the end. Works every time and again, this is another gravy train I’ll ride until she says something.
(I do realise we could be strong, assertive parents and enforce bed time, but as you can tell, I’m a corner cutter, so this is how we roll….er…cut.)
Night Time Wake-Ups
In the middle of the night I will hear the call of a three year old, ‘Muuuuuuuummyyyyyyyy!’. To cut this corner, I simply roll over and go back to sleep. JOKES. She’s too loud for that. I put my head under the pillow first. JOKES again! I would never let my babies cry in the middle of the night. BUT, when I go in and her water bottle has tipped and leaked in her bed, I have no problem popping a soft towel and blanket on the sheet and sending her back to sleep on top of it. The entire production of changing a bed (and three year old beds involve a number of sheets, mattress protectors, teddies and pillows) can wait until the morning. She’s happy. I’m sleepy. We all win. But I will still have an extra load of washing to do….pffft. No I won’t. True to corner-cutting form, I’ll just open the window the next morning and let it dry. No smell. No wash.
Jaxxi loves Coco-Pops. However, they’re $7 a fucking box. And that’s not even the value size pack! Side note: I remember my Mum saying we could only have Coco-Pops on school holidays and now I see why. It would have cost her a fortune. Come to think of it, it may also have had something to do with the lack of nutritional value…
But, Coles sell their own version called Coco-Puffs at only $3 a box! So I take the bag out of the $3 box and transfer into the yellow Coco-Pops box (which I can assure you was originally purchased on special).
Cutting The Day Short
And now for the grand finale of corner-cutting. This is one I like to save for the days where the kids have just out done me. The days where I’ve fished whole toilet rolls out of the toilet, or tried scrubbing Sharpie off the wall to no avail, or had to constantly referee who’s turn it was to hold the weird blue rock that I don’t even know how it got in the house, because it was easier than dealing with the dual tantrum of taking it away completely. THOSE DAYS, when bed time is at least an hour away. And on ‘those days’, 60 minutes is a long fucking time. So this is what I do. I will go and shut all the roller shutters around the house so it’s lovely and dark and call bed time! I am just pretending the sun has gone down really fast. It’s another success story usually accompanied by the parenting Gods shining down on me and seeing the kids sleep till their normal wake up time. This is why I don’t pull this move too often because I don’t want to jinx it or end up with kids waking before the sun!
There are many other things I do to just get by. As long as my children are clean, fed and happy, I don’t see the harm! And neither should you. Do what works for you. If you’re just spending the day at home, save on washing and avoid trying to wiggle uncooperative arms through shirts, and just let them wear their pjs all day! Skip the odd bath time ordeal if they’ve just spent the day around the house (that’s what baby wipes are for!). If we spent all this energy and effort trying to do everything as expected and perfectly, for fear of what people will think, we will fail as parents because we just won’t have any extra room for our kids or ourselves.
Tell me your corner-cutting tricks in the comments below! I would love to add some more to my list!