Welcome to my weekly Bad Mom Advice column where I attempt to answer all of your parenting questions as only I know how — with zero degree in early childhood development, but with the experience of raising four kids and not having any of them in prison – yet! Plus, I back all my advice on numerous scientific research, which may or may not include me making fun of your dumb kid behind your back and drinking a bunch of wine! Welcome to Bad Mom Advice!
My kids want me to hold them all the time but frankly I need more space. What to do?
Gross. Put them outside. If you can’t just leave them outside I suggest you hold them as much as they want. Because eventually they grow up and become major jerks and they are too busy taking all of your money and blathering about the new Kid Cudi CD news (OK, this I actually cared about because Beth Gibbons from Portishead will be on it!!!!!) and it’s near impossible to cuddle a 16-year-old on your lap. I know it can be a drag when you are trying to TCB but your kids will only want this attention for a few very short years and then you end up all lonely like me, bribing your kids with cold hard cash to hang out with you. Also, distraction works. But kids are smart so they can’t really be distracted by toys and stuff, which means you have to give them shit to play with that is either really expensive to replace or has sentimental value, like your iPhone or your wedding dress. That will keep them busy.
When is it acceptable to hit a child?
When they are 18-years-old and they make a video about how they find it hiiiii-larious that a girl may have been raped, then you have my permission to punch them in the throat. I don’t believe in hitting. I don’t think it really accomplishes anything other than showing your kid that if they do something wrong you can really hurt them. I can’t really think of a circumstance where it “makes sense” to hit a child, and most kids respond better to time-outs or conversations about why you find their behavior unacceptable. I can see maybe a quick smack on the bottom if they are doing something crazy-dangerous and you need to get their attention, like running out into traffic or starting to stick a fork in an electrical socket, but even then I am just saying a smack on their boooo-tay and a stern talking to. I know many parents don’t agree with me, and spank or hit their kids frequently, but I could just never bring myself to do that. I was always more into taking away their prized possessions or lecturing them for hours. So no, don’t hit your kids, but feel free to take away all of their Easter basket candy and send it to me. That will teach ’em.
My 9 month old sleeps with me & my husband in bed. Not because I care about the “family bed” but because it’s the only way she’ll sleep. Everyone’s first question is always HOW IS SHE SLEEPING and I don’t know how to answer without calling myself a failure. I don’t blame her for wanting to be close to me, but I do blame myself for being spineless about putting her in a crib. The questions are: how do I answer people asking about my kid’s sleep & should I make an effort to get her to sleep in her crib? How?
I co-slept with every single one of my kids. You know why? Because I’m LAZY. Like I was going to get up out of my warm bed and stumble down the hall to the nursery and pick up a crying baby and then sit in some freezing cold rocking chair and nurse it and change it and then go back to bed? No. I co-slept because I was lazy, and breastfeeding, and I wasn’t about to let my husband sleep though the night while I woke up to deal with our child. Now, when my pediatrician asked me how the baby was doing in the crib I sort of stammered “Ummmm.. well… she is not.. in her crib.. she sleeps with us..” so I will tell you what our doctor told me, ahem:
As your doctor, I am required to say that parents should NOT under any circumstances sleep with their babies. (Winky face)
There are instances where parents have rolled over onto their children during the night and the children have died due to this. (Winky Face)
Sleeping with babies is a dangerous practice and as your doctor I am required to inform you of this. So do not do it. (Winky face) (Stage whisper: I slept with all my kids too.)
That being said, are you a crackhead? You do not seem like a crackhead. Are you getting crunk every night and smoking in bed and passing out and putting out a lit cigarette on your child and suffocating them? I think not! So, I really don’t see an issue, because in all honesty, if you are anything like me, the second your baby coos or peeps you and your husband both wake in a panic and make sure the baby is okay anyway. Even though I’m a bad mom, (Disclaimer here) I should say that yes, babies have died due to co-sleeping and it’s awful and terrifying and I feel terrible when I read a new story about this, and there are precautions you should take. Like not sleeping with a heavy down comforter. You can also buy one of those things you place on your bed between you and your spouse because they make an excellent holder for diapers and magazines. When people ask you about your baby and her sleeping habits just tell them it’s none of their fucking business and your “doctor” said it was okay.
I have a son and daughter and they fight *constantly*. One is a neat-freak while the other is a raging tsunami. I’ve tried emphasizing how they should love each other, live harmoniously, and not sweat the little things, yet the sibling-rivalry continues to boil-over every night.
Should I just let this play out and hope it resolves itself (possibly years) later? Failing that, would you suggest an MMA Octagon cage be installed on the upper floor or in the basement?
First off, you are a big fucking baby. I LOVE it when my kids fight! It gives me so many excuses to torture them in other ways! Here are my solutions for sibling fighting!
Make them hug it out. Seriously. Make them stand there and hug each other for like 10 minutes. When the time is up say “Next time you wanna fight I will make it 15 minutes!”
Make them do laps. Make them run around your house five times. Outside, of course. Tell them if they have the energy to bitch about who took whose Lego then they have too much energy and they obviously need exercise. (You can also make them rake leaves. Anything physical)
Tell them that you also hate the one who got busted for fighting. Explain that yeah, you don’t like that guy either and you and their mom were considering selling them to the circus. Make the kids create posters for this. The best poster gets to choose what sort of ice cream you have for dessert. Hang the posters on the refrigerator. Take them down when the grandparents visit.
Cry. Start crying. Tell them that you are obviously a failure as a parent and that one day you will be dead and they will look back on this and feel terribly guilty that they caused you so much grief when they were young. Pour on the guilt hardcore.
Film it. Threaten to put it on You Tube. Actually, put it on You Tube. Tag Mommyish in it. Tell them this will prevent them from ever getting a decent job in the future. Then take them to Burger King and ask the counter person if they make uniforms in toddler sizes. Buy French fries. Do not share them. On the way home ask your kids “See, now do you understand what happens when you fight?”
Or else, octagon.
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