Why I’m a Crappy Parent

Posted on | October 3, 2012 | 15 Comments

Yesterday afternoon, I had a chat with a fellow blogger about what horrible mothers we are.  See, I love my kid… I love him with fiery ferocity and I would throw myself in front of a train if he were in danger… but that doesn’t always translate into Gwenyth Paltrow-esque decisions around the house.

Truth be told, my fruits and veggies are not always organic.  Because organic might be better, but organic is also very, very expensive.  So for the price of two organic apples, I can buy a dozen shitty mommy apples… and a dozen shitty mommy apples last longer than two organic ones.  I buy Motts for Tots juices for my child because he loves them.  I cut them with about 3/4 water and 1/4 juice and I pat myself on the back for it because it’s not Hi-C and it’s not Hawaiian Punch.  But is it all natural organic straight from the apple? Nope.  Because I can buy two jars of Motts for Tots for the same cost as a small jug of organic hand-squeezed apple juice picked by tender baby fingers. I use paper towels, even though I MEAN to use cloth towels.  I almost never remember to bring my reusable shopping bag to the grocery store but hey, I reuse the plastic bags for picking up poop… so there’s that.  My car is not a Hybrid.  I wear leather shoes.   I sometimes throw cans away instead of in the recycling because I forget that I have a recycling trash can.

I want to do better… I just forget.  And yeah, I know the dangers of genetically modified foods… but you know what else?


I’m a little tired of feeling like I’m a crappy mother because I don’t do things the “right” way according to the latest study or the most recent Pinterest idea.  I’m over being afraid to put my groceries on the counter behind Suzie Sweetness with her home-made canvas grocery tote full of six all-organic ingredients that will couple with her vegetable garden out back to make a perfectly well-balanced meal.  I’m tired of getting told on Facebook, and Twitter, and over email that everything I’m doing, no matter what it is, is full on wrong in every way and destined to create, in my child, an overweight, angry, ADD person with no empathy and no ability to … I don’t know… see the letter “P”.

I mean, yeah, we all know juice isn’t as good for a kid as water, but it’s a shit ton better than soda or beer, so can I at least pat myself on the back for that?  Everytime I realize I’ve thrown away a plastic bottle, I feel REALLY bad… it’s not intentional… it just happens sometimes.  I know that there are better ways, better foods, better methods of being all natural and all awesome and I’m full on envious of those of you who can do it. But not everyone has a vegetable garden out back and not everyone has the financial ability or the right living location to purchase foods directly from the grower.  Know what else? Not everyone has the time to cook a meal at night.  Some of us have to cook on the weekends and hope it stretches and if it doesn’t? Guess who’s kid is eating Mac ‘N Cheese from the organic-ish cardboard box?

I do the best I can over here. We all are doing the best we can.  And those of you who are able to do the all-organic thing? I find that epic and awesome.  Those of us who can’t but who supplement the best we can? I think that’s awesome, too.  Because, for the most part, none of us are setting out to poison our children and ruin their lives.  So if we could stop being force-fed a bunch of articles on what sucks about our parenting, that would be awesome, mmmkay?


15 Responses to “Why I’m a Crappy Parent”

  1. Caitlin MidAtlantic
    October 3rd, 2012 @ 10:01 am

    The whole “organic” and “green” thing can be really frustrating sometimes. As I learned in my object conservation classes, green does not necessarily mean better. So many of the “natural” pesticides and cleaning agents used in organic and green foods/products are actually really harmful, even if they are not made in a factory. We do not use “green” products in my institution, as they are honestly more harmful than healthy! And truly – everything in moderation!

  2. Law Momma
    October 3rd, 2012 @ 10:04 am

    It’s always frustrating to feel like no matter what you do, it’s not nearly as good as what everyone else is doing! So at least everyone can read this and feel like “Hey, I’m doing better than her!” hahaha

  3. cassbutt
    October 3rd, 2012 @ 10:04 am

    Seriously? You are way to hard on yourself. You are a single working mother who takes her child to the park and does fun things as often as you can. Quit beating yourself up over organic foods! Between the breastfeeding advocates and organic food people, I can’t handle all their finger pointing. To each their own, but don’t even think about giving me the guilty eye if I don’t buy organic food all the time or ever.

  4. Law Momma
    October 3rd, 2012 @ 10:12 am

    LOL I am not all that hard on myself. I just never want anyone else to be hard on themselves! It seems like all we ever hear about is what’s wrong with whatever we’re doing so I figured I’d just own up to doing it all wrong! 🙂

  5. SAB
    October 3rd, 2012 @ 10:43 am

    I get it. My twin boys are 8 months old, and I cried bitterly when I was unable to feed them and cried again when I realized that, due to time constraints (I am a civil litigation attorney who went back to work full time when my sons were 10 weeks old), I would have to BUY them organic baby food instead of making it all myself, as I’d planned.

    But you know what? It’s OK. It’s a fact of the human experience that we can ALWAYS do “better” at something, be at motherhood or anything else. I don’t think that the answer is to try to be the perfect mother (or lawyer or friend or daughter or wife or citizen) but to strive to do our best.

    My parents did not feed me organic foods–I doubt they’d have even known what that was when I was a kid–and I turned out fine. Our kids will, too. 🙂

    P.S. Personally, I don’t think any mom is getting it all “right” unless she is an exceptionally tolerant and patient person who stays at home full time with her easy-going single child and has significant financial resources.

  6. Law Momma
    October 3rd, 2012 @ 10:51 am

    And let’s face it… we would all probably not like her very much because of her exceptional tolerance and patience and her easy going child. Also, she would be Melanie from Gone With the Wind. But then her husband would be a cheat, so we’d like her okay.

    Wow. Tangent. Sorry.

  7. Tara Esquivel
    October 3rd, 2012 @ 11:47 am

    I did a little rant about this myself recently… trust me, you’re not the only one feeling overwhelmed by the “other moms”. http://weirdandspecial.blogspot.com/2012/09/the-one-with-mompetition.html

  8. Rebecca
    October 3rd, 2012 @ 12:39 pm

    Amen! My kids are just fine.

  9. Lola M.
    October 3rd, 2012 @ 1:38 pm

    I’m with you and am currently contemplating starting a movement called: “Boycott studies, experts, top anything list, parenting advice, any well meaning advice by a stranger, healthy eating, shopping, growing, breathing tips, best ways of doing anything articles, pundits, commentators, people who think they know better than you, any campaign that includes the word ‘awareness,’ ads that make you feel bad,” etc., Day.” Totally not kidding.

    You are the perfect mom, woman, professional just the way you are. Do what you need to when you can and the rest of the world be hanged …

  10. ryenerman
    October 3rd, 2012 @ 2:21 pm

    This reminds me of when my 9 YO was a baby and I went back to work and couldn’t pump enough breast milk for him to have only breast milk. I was freaking out (hormones, first child, etc) and then a friend pointed out I could pump and give him some breast milk and also supplement with formula. It sounds so incredibly obvious, but it was like a revelation to me because I’d got so caught up with the idea that ONLY breast milk ALL THE TIME was acceptable etc. All or nothing, perfect mom or total crap! Organic is like that for me. I buy what I can and don’t with the rest. I guess this is probably a good motto for almost all of my parenting.

  11. kristinayellow
    October 3rd, 2012 @ 5:49 pm

    I am so so sick of being told what I “have” to do in order for me to be a good mom–things that seem to change based on the rolling of the tide, the shape of the moon, or what day of the week it is. I am just trying to do the best I can with what I’ve got–so nope, probably not buying all organic. Probably not buying any organic quite honestly because I’d rather have a gallon of regular milk plus apples versus just one organic quart of milk. If I was insanely rich, had full-time staff to cook/clean/and everything else who knew everything about the most non-threatening, healthiest, best foods/cleaners/clothes/etc, I’d say no worries. I could afford to shift with every new article. But right now? I just want to feed my kid the best I can, clean my house the best and quickest way possible, and maybe, just maybe, get rid of the huge amount of momma guilt that the outside world seems to throw at me. Let’s just all realize we want to do the best we can-and instead of shoving guilt and judgement at me, why don’t they try to lower prices on these wonderful organic extra-healthy “necessities”?

  12. Angie
    October 3rd, 2012 @ 10:31 pm

    You are awesome! You are doing what is best for you and your kid so that makes you a great mom. We are all just doing the best we can. What works for one family doesn’t necessarily work for another. Do what works for you and screw anyone who judges you for that!

  13. Julia Hembree
    October 4th, 2012 @ 11:32 am

    But see, you are not a crappy parent. Not at all. You are an amazing parent. You are a parent that cares enough to even think about organic and diluted juice and types of plastic.
    Sure, there are over-acheiver parents. But there are also really bad parents. And you my friend, are a great parent. Don’t let yourself forget it!

  14. KeAnne
    October 4th, 2012 @ 3:46 pm

    When D was a baby, I made his baby food. That’s the crunchiest thing I’ve ever done. I loved making it and found it easy, but I also had help in the kitchen to chop and puree. That worked best for us; I would never tell another mother she was doing it wrong if she didn’t make her own food. We’re all doing the best we can. Sometimes I envy mothers from prior generations because if the kids were fed, reasonably clean, out of trouble and asleep at a decent hour, that’s all that mattered. No one judged them for that can of Chef Boyardee for dinner.

    My son eats frozen pizza at least once a week. When he hasn’t napped at day care and bedtime is swiftly approaching as is a meltdown, in 10 minutes I can have something on the table that I know he’ll eat.

    There is always going to be someone doing it better, but there is always going to be someone doing it worse 😉

  15. Q's Mom
    October 8th, 2012 @ 3:58 pm

    Amen! That’s all…. 🙂

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    Spilled Milk (and Other Atrocities) by Law Momma is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
    Based on a work at http://www.law-momma.com.
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