Ice cream night at Jeni's

So I’m not a perfect mom, that’s no news flash. But I must admit I sometimes fall prey to that idea of being close—you know, the mom that volunteers every week in her child’s classroom, works part-time, mows the lawn, reads to her kids every night, plans amazing meals. Sometimes when I forget a permission slip, or miss a deadline for a class sign-up, I have to remind myself, we all make mistakes. Some mothering mistakes are worth making, keep reading for a few you really should try!

Letting your kids eat junk food.

Now I’m not saying you should let your kids eat Cheetos and brownies for every meal. But the occasional bowl of rocky road ice cream and King-size Hershey bars doesn’t guarantee your child will have heart disease when he’s 50. Food creates memories at our house, so bring on the brownies.

Forgetting deadlines to register your child for activities.

Often at the beginning of the school year I get so excited about all of the classes and activities offered after school that I make plans to sign up my kids for too much. Luckily, I often miss the enrollment deadlines. Children need free time (so do moms!) so every once in a while don’t turn in the soccer/pottery class/Spanish camp form.

Bribing your kids to be good.

We’ve all heard you’re not supposed to bribe kids to get them to do something, right? But I dare you to find a 3-year-old that doesn’t respond to doing whatever you say—like cleaning up her room–for a Dum-dum (I guess that’s a mistake double-whammy, bribery and candy).

Giving kids too much TV time.

We have a designated movie night every Friday. We eat dinner in front of the TV and watch movies. I’ve given up feeling bad about our TV habit. Instead, I look forward to sharing some of my favorite flicks with my kids. We’ve watched some classics, like every episode of Scooby-Doo, and some clunkers (see The Last Airbender, The Last Mimzy…). But watching them together has given us a common language to talk about things.

Leaving your house a mess.

I like to have my house clean—who doesn’t? Yet when it comes to kids some messes are worth leaving alone or else you’re going to drive yourself crazy cleaning all day.

Moving in on your kid’s space.

There are plenty of terms out there for moms who are deemed overly involved in their kids’ lives—helicopter parent, hovering parent. But I’ve found the more I know what’s going on in my children’s lives, the better I can help guide them through the tough times and celebrate with them the good times.

The mistake list could go on—and on. The truth is sometimes as moms we’re too hard on ourselves. And often what might be considered a mothering blunder can turn into a real blessing.

*I wrote this piece a few years ago for MetroParent and I thought with Mother’s Day coming up Sunday, I just had to share.

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