16 Moms Confess the Ways They've Totally Given Up on Being the 'Perfect' Parent

Wendy Robinson | Jul 31, 2017 Being a Mom
16 Moms Confess the Ways They've Totally Given Up on Being the 'Perfect' Parent
Image: iStock.com/onzeg

mom playing on phone lying on couch

Before I was actually a mom, I was so certain of myself. I was going to raise kids who were adventurous eaters who only played with organic wood blocks. Screen time? Not for my little darlings! Yeah. And then I actually had kids.

I don't want to say that I've given up, but I did just feed my kids frozen bagel pizzas for dinner. They ate them while watching some stupid show on TV. There are no organic wooden blocks to be found in this scenario. 

Okay, so maybe I've given up a little bit. 

After nine years of this parenting gig, I'm tired. I'm tired of fighting about vegetables. I'm tired of worrying about making sure my children are always intellectually stimulated. I'm tired of fighting the battle to keep random plastic toys from taking over the house. I give up and I'm pretty sure my kids are gonna be just fine. 

I'm not alone in embracing lowered expectations. Here, 16 other moms keep it real about the "good mom" requirements they've totally given up on. These are my people.

  • Organic, Schmorganic

    kid making a mess

    "Yeah, I've stopped buying organic. I'm not flinging away extra money when my kid prefers to eat her own boogers and cereal off the floor. The $7 strawberries are wasted on her. I feel zero guilt about this." -- Amy E., Clovis, California

  • What Chore Chart?

    mom and daughter chore chart

    "I am so over chore charts. I suck at schedules and my kids usually will do a job if I ask them to do it. Keeping a chart annoys all of us. We use our chore chart magnetic board for other crap. I can't manage to remember to use the damn things. The magnets are on there neatly though." -- Jessica G., Saint Paul, Minnesota

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  • Required Reading Time (Is for the Birds)

    little boy reading in bed

    "I'm just not doing reading logs, aka taking something my kids love and making it into something they dislike. I tell the teachers at the beginning of the year that my kids read but we don't do the logs. Only one more year of elementary school, thank goodness. I just can't make myself care enough to do it." -- Marcy W., Winslow, Arizona

  • 24/7 Screen Time

    kid on tablet at table

    "I've given up on [limiting] screen time. Some days it's the only thing that will bring a moment of peace in my house. Maybe that'll change as they get older, but dealing with twin toddlers who fight and cry constantly and a whiny 4-year-old just fries my nerves. If My Little Pony or Puss in Boots can help my kids calm the eff down, then that's what's going to happen." -- Lyla D., Houston, Texas

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  • PB & J Is a Balanced Meal, Okay?

    mom and daughter making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches

    "I give up on the food battles! We give you options, you choose what to eat. I'm done worrying that I make peanut butter sandwiches for lunch every day; they aren't terrible for you, and my kids eat them every time." -- Tammie P., Wheaton, Illinois

  • Just Say No to Another Day at the Pool

    kids jumping in pool

    "I am over the fun of going to the pool. Today is the last day I agreed to go spend the afternoon at pool with my son until right before they close for the season. I have other stuff to do, man. I'd rather mow the lawn than go to the pool (and I hate mowing)." -- Bobbie J., White Bear Lake, Minnesota 

  • I. Just. Don't. Care.

    kid playing with dinosaurs

    "I've given up basically everything, all those expectations of what a 'good' mom should do. I only care that my son is kind, gentle, empathetic, and happy. I don't care about screen time (although I do care about the content). I don't care what school he goes to. I don't care what his grades are as long as he's learning (and hopefully passing or getting support) and happy. I. Just. Don't. Care." -- Jasmine S., St. Louis, Missouri

  • Deal With Your Own Fights

    boys tussling and laughing

    "I am sick of playing referee. I'm giving up breaking up the approximately one million fights a day between my sons. They've broken me. I can't handle the tattling, the screaming, or the trying to figure out who started what. Over. It. As long as they don't kill each other, I'm square." -- Darcie S., Altoona, Iowa

  • I May Never Look Nice Again

    mom and daughters
    iStock.com/Paolo Cipriani

    "I've totally given up on having personal space, on pooping by myself, and having my own stuff. I have four daughters. Nothing of mine is safe. They steal my shoes, my makeup, whatever. I've given up the hope of cute clothes that don't disappear on me." -- Kim P., Tucson, Arizona

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  • Goodbye, Helicopter Mom-ing

    daredevil bike kids

    "I used to be a total helicopter mom. I was all about trying to have constant vigilance to make sure nothing bad ever happened to the kids. I wouldn't even look at my phone at the park, just to make sure neither of them climbed too high on the monkey bars or whatever.

    "Now, I've given up on all that. Sometimes they're going to do stupid stuff. Sometimes they need to make mistakes. I'm just over the helicopter mom life." -- Allison W., Tucson, Arizona

  • Clean Houses Are Overrated

    mom with baby cleaning up mess

    "A wise woman once said trying to clean your house while your kids still live there is liking brushing your teeth while eating Oreos. Judging by the state of my house, I guess you could say that I've given up on having a house that is clean. Whatever. A little dust never killed anyone." -- Irene D., Dallas, Texas

  • Peeing Alone Is So 7 Years Ago


    "I haven't peed by myself in seven years. I guess I've given that up." -- Rachel M., Roseville, Minnesota 

  • My Groove Isn't Coming Back

    feet in bed

    "After having three kids in five years, I've given up on having sex. Seriously. It's been almost a year since we've done it. I just have nothing left. I'm all dried up and touched out. Once upon a time, I loved sex. Now I just want to sleep when I'm in bed." -- Name withheld by request

  • Tutus at the Grocery Store? Whatever.

    girl in tutu playing on slide

    "I've given up on caring what my kids look like. Want to wear a tutu in public? Go for it! Don't want to brush your hair? Fine, enjoy your future haircut when we can't get the tangles out." -- Erin S., Ann Arbor, Michigan

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  • I Give Up On Potty Training

    running toddler

    "After six months, I'm giving up on potty training. At this point, I think my daughter will be wearing diapers to college. It was a power struggle and she's won." -- Sarah F., San Diego, California

  • What Does 'Well Rested' Even Mean?

    family in bed

    "I've given up hope. Hope that someday I'll be able to sleep for longer than five hours in a row and/or wake up without a 4-year-old's foot resting on my forehead. I have no hope and I'm so tired. Yawn." -- Ashley R., Kansas City, Missouri 

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