Shitty Moments Don’t Make Shitty Parents

I spent over an hour at the grocery store yesterday, carefully picking out food that I planned to use this week in the meals I wanted to cook for the family. I went up and down each aisle, while the kids whined and complained, and I did not break.  This is how grocery shopping usually goes. They act like they are being maliciously tortured to death, and I explain to them that if we DON’T grocery shop, they will die. They don’t seem to care about death. I care about prison. And maybe them. So, they must be fed.

Fast forward to today. I have all of that food stocking my fridge and pantry. All the necessary ingredients to spend anchicken hour or to slaving over the stove to prepare something awesome for my family for dinner- from scratch- just as I have before… but I’m not going to. They’re getting chicken strips. No, not from scratch chicken strips. From a bag chicken strips.

Was that the sound of super moms everywhere gasping in unison?

Look- I get it. I have the time, I have the ingredients, and I (kind of) have the skill to make dinner from scratch almost every night. I could do it. Maybe I SHOULD do. Hell, I’d even planned on doing it- but I’m not going to.

It’s not to punish them for acting like raging a-holes in the grocery store, or because I don’t think they deserve homemade meals. Honestly, it’s because I just don’t feel like it.

That’s right, I don’t feel like it. I really don’t. I’m tired, I’m kind of irritable, and when it comes to having to spend an hour plus in the kitchen while the kids complain about dinner not being ready yet, I’m tapping out. I’m not gonna do it. Not today. Maybe tomorrow–MAYBE–but not today.

Maybe to some people, this makes me a shitty parent. Maybe to some, I’m not “doing my job” if I’m feeding my kids food out of a bag, but if you ask me, it makes me human. WHICH I AM. Which ALL moms are.

Organic, cage-free, from scratch– look, that’s all great, but feeding the kids chicken strips or freezer-burned hot dogs or cereal for dinner once or twice a week isn’t going to hurt them. What WOULD hurt them is burning myself out. We parents, be us stay at home or work away or work at home or whatever the hell we are, don’t get a lot of breaks. Take it where you can get it. If that’s cracking your kids out in front of the TV, locking yourself in the bathroom and pretending you have the runs, or tossing some red sauce on top of some chicken strips and calling it “chicken parmesan”- if it soothes you, calms you, gives you just a little bit of relaxation or sanity back- DO IT AND DON’T FEEL BAD ABOUT IT.

Look, I’m not condoning or excusing shitty parenting- I just don’t think this is shitty parenting. We can have shitty moments, a shitty day, or ten shitty days as parents without actually being shitty parents. And it’s time we stop feeling shitty about that. Have I said shitty enough in this blog yet? One more- SHITTY.

Posted on May 16, 2016 by Holdin' Holden 8 Comments
Holdin' Holden

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  • Holy nuts I’ve been so exhausted from working that I’ve actually made pancakes for 1 child an out of the bag frozen burrito heated in the microwave, My kids are fed I’m happy that they are not going to be hungry . There are just times that I don’t feel like making a complete spend an hour or longer cooking dinner. We are not shitty parents

  • I am a single mom and I work full time, plus I try to get some freelance work done when I can. I buy groceries, I cook, but dammit sometimes it’s 7 effing o’clock at night and I’m going on 4 hours of sleep. My kids are now almost 16 and 18, and we all survived.

  • Adam Pfeiffer May 17, 2016 at 10:27 am

    Mine little Angel is at the age where if it isn’t pizza rolls, nuggets, apple sauce or pancakes she doesn’t want it. So I make sure she takes her gummy vitamin in the morning, drinks her pediasure and don’t fight it most days. I tried, i really tried I made big dinners and did everything to get her to try them, but ya know what? The screaming fits and wasted food aren’t worth it. She eats, she eats alot and with the vitamins, apple sauce and pedisure she gets the nutrients she need so to heck with it she can have all the pizza rolls she wants.

  • I’m 48 years young, been fortunate to be a stay at home mom to an almost 16 yo girl, I’m getting ready to go back to work, imagine that, I still have a functioning brain!! Most days, I do the whole good meal thing, although very rarely organic or cage free, just homeade, however, I still do chicken strips from the bag, or some other frozen , pop in the oven thing. I love those nights, simple and almost 0 dishes. We’ve survived, we’ll keep surviving, and they are thankful it went from grocery store, out of bag on to the cookie sheet and in the oven, I even give them, wait for it…..frozen french fries to go with it!! It’s delicious and this Mom’s happy for the break cause that book I’m dying to read isn’t gonna read itself. At this age, I could give 0 craps about what anyone thinks. I love ya and thank you for making me laugh so hard that I’m crying!!!!

    • You know, you could at least heat the French fries up, instead of making your family eat frozen ones. Lol

  • I can not believe some self righteous person hasn’t been here yet. I fed my kids whatever we had, and most times it wasn’t much. They survived, and have kids of their own. Yes, cook at home and frozen foods, and fast foods. They are surviving,too. Oh, yes. Wonderful Meal’s when we all get together.