You Are Not a Bad Mom If…

ID-10091061My kids found stale pancakes in the freezer today and yelled, “JACKPOT!” This tells you in one word how attentive I’ve been to cooking lately. I have lots and lots of excuses. Want to hear them? They go like this:

1. It’s so hot! Turning on the oven would be a HUGE mistake.

2. It’s important — critical, really — that kids learn self-sufficiency and life skills. Like how to forage for food. Good for me for giving them this opportunity.

OK, fine. Two excuses. But that’s, like, twice as many as one excuse. 100% more excuses!

The truth is, after running them to swim lessons and dance classes and doctors’ appointments and play dates and youth groups and parties and barbecues and overnights and, you know, remembering all of the things I have to remember, I don’t have any energy left to invent food plans beyond this one: There is food in our house. Eat some.

This is probably when I should feel bad about myself as a mom. I mean, isn’t feeding our children one of the things we do? And isn’t how well we do it one of the ways we define our self-worth?

Yeah, well. Screw that. (<– How I feel about Should in a nutshell.)

In honor of that profound statement, I’ve decided today is the day we’re going to play You’re Not a Bad Mom If.

I’ll go first.

You Are Not a Bad Mom If

1. You are not a bad mom if you didn’t make dinner. All month.

2. You are not a bad mom if you detest kid crafts and keep accidentally losing the Playdoh. In the trash.

3. You are not a bad mom if you don’t remember when your kids last bathed. Everyone knows that summer sunshine and stagnant kiddie pool water kills whatever germs get through the protective layer of dirt.

4. You are not a bad mom if your kid has a store-bought birthday cake. Or a homemade birthday cake that looks like homemade birthday cakes looked in 1976; baked in a casserole dish with fake frosting from a tub and partially used candles from the back of the silverware drawer.

5. You are not a bad mom if your kids find and eat stuff off the floor. Or if you do. In fact, this is no longer called Finding and Eating Stuff off the Floor. Now it is called Search and Rescue. And if the food is chocolate, you’re a downright hero.

OK. Your turn! What can you add to the list?

You are not a bad mom if…

(You can also play You Are Not a Bad Dad If or You Are Not a Bad Person If. This game is open to all comers.)


Refrigerator image credit to patpitchaya via

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82 responses to “You Are Not a Bad Mom If…”

  1. You’re not a bad mom if you try to teach your 15 month old to drink out of a straw. From a Starbucks caramel frappuccino cup.

  2. – I haven’t made dinner in at least 3 weeks.
    – I rinsed the sand off him yesterday… that counts as a bath, right?
    -I literally made my son’s birthday cake homemade in a casserole dish with Mickey figurines from the dollar tree and some used and washed plastic stars that were stuck in cupcakes I bought on his actually birthday. The important part, the cake was moist, good, and gone by the end of the party!
    -My contribution: You are not a bad mom if you can’t find sippy cups, underwear, socks, or shoes… I’m serious! I think my house has eaten all these items and it’s not even just my 2 year old’s undies, it’s mine too!

  3. You’re not a bad mom if you spend more time pinning fun activities to do with the kids than you spend actually doing said activities with the kids.

    You’re not a bad mom if you pick up a book after the kids are in bed, read until 2:30 in the morning, then let them watch movies before breakfast so you can catch up on your sleep.

    You’re not a bad mom if the kids’ exercise for the day is going over to your pregnant friend’s house and letting them chase her dog around and around the living room. In fact, you’re a good friend for doing this, because now your pregnant friend doesn’t have to walk her dog either.

    You’re not a bad mom if you convince one of your kids that even though he prefers washing dishes to drying dishes, he should let you wash, because you’ll both get done faster–when really, you just also prefer washing to drying.

    You’re not a bad mom if you rigorously apply the “one sweet treat a day” rule with your kids, but scarf from your secret stash of goodies whenever they’re distracted.

    Okay, apparently I could do this all day. Hmm.

  4. You’re not a bad mom if you don’t even try remember the “theme” camp days (Sports Jersey Day! Crazy Hair Day! Dress Like A Pirate Day! Invent a Superhero Day! Mommy’s Having Wine Tonight Day!)

  5. You’re not a bad mom if you put your almost 2 year old in for a nap and just let him talk to himself for an hour and a half before determining that he’s not going to sleep.

  6. You are not a bad mom if you strap your kids into the car seats naked because you didn’t bring any extra clothes to the playground that you didn’t realize had a splash park.

  7. You’re not a bad mom if, while working out, you stick your kids in a corner with a portable DVD player and graham crackers and hope for the best. Because it’s the only way you can do the workout you LOVE that makes you SANE.

    ^^ Personal issue with balancing “me” with “mom.”

  8. Amen!

    I will add: you’re not a bad mom if you turn on Elmo for a thirty minute break to read Twitter and take a break!

  9. I laughed out loud the other day when I offered to make my boys a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch and they both said with genuine awe & admiration “Wow, Mom, that would be awesome!!” and that’s when I realized that when they have to fend for themselves for few weeks of breakfasts & lunches (& many dinners, too, truth be told) they are much more appreciative of things like Mom making them a grilled cheese!

    • Hey, a homemade smoothie is 100% better than some of the things people give their kids even when they’re NOT having a rushed day!

  10. You Are Not A Bad Mom if everyone at Chick Fil A knows your entire family’s names.
    You are so right !!!! It is way to hot to turn on the oven, dishwasher, washer, dryer, iron………… You Rock, Jenny!! Xo

  11. You are not a bad mom if… Your baby just had such an explosive diaper that you contemplated sticking him and his high chair in the bathtub so that you wouldn’t have to touch either of them. And then remembered that you don’t have a handheld shower head, and therefore MUST touch the gross baby :-/

  12. You’re not destined to become a bad mom if you hate being pregnant. (Have to keep telling myself this some days) 15 weeks to go! So much to do and so little energy, sigh.

    • Oh heck no! The only parts of being pregnant I liked were that it was ok finally to be overweight and not having a period for NINE WHOLE MONTHS!! Yay! I’d do it again just for those two reasons. Also, the mat leave in Canada is pretty nice.

    • I thank God every day since I gave birth that my baby is on the outside now, so I don’t have to be pregnant anymore. It hurt.

  13. I already live by #1, 2, 3 & 5… 😀 Especially the Playdoh one; that stuff disappears like anything from our house!

    You are not a bad mom if…you use bribery to get small portions of the house cleaned!

    Right now, my kids are at the pool as a reward for _quickly_ cleaning their rooms after lunch (including sweeping and hand-washing the floors–boo-ya!). It’s _amazing_ how it only takes them half an hour to clean up if there is a time-limited offer to go swimming…

  14. You’re not a bad mom if you let the 9 year old get the 6 month old out of his crib in the morning and give him Cheerios while everyone watches tv and mom and dad sleep in.

    You’re not a bad mom if your kids have been making all their own breakfasts and lunches since they were 4 years old.

    You’re not a bad mom if your house is one in which any flat surface is covered with clutter.

    You’re not a bad mom if you have only fed your family 1 fruit or vegetable in the last week.

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