Order Soon for Christmas Delivery!🎄 ➔

Opinions. Everyone’s got one, especially me. On everything; politics, sports, fashion, entertainment, weather…you get the idea. The topic of parenting is no different, in fact, sometimes I think it could be worse. It seems that everyone and their brother have opinions on what it means to be a good parent, a bad parent, a crazy parent, a lazy parent. Even folks that don’t have children themselves are certain they know the best way to parent. But other moms… they are the worst critics out there. “What? You stay at home with your kids, you work outside the home, you breastfeed, you don’t breastfeed, you eat organic, you yell…the shame.” No matter what, it seems that moms are just stuck in a sea of judgement. We are damned if we do, and damned if we don’t. But what really makes a parent a so-called “bad parent?”  In my opinion, you have to do a heck of a lot worse than working outside your home or not eating organic food.

I am sure that all parents have probably felt that they are sub-par at one time or another. Maybe on an exceptionally bad day or in a stressful situation. It is probably fair to say that no one wants to fail their children and do things that others see as bad. The judgement is harsh – by society, other moms, and especially ourselves. The truth is, parents have a tough job no matter what. No matter what your opinion of me is, I’m telling you, it is hard. End of story.

You might be considered a Bad Parent if…

  1. You feed your kids only organic food.
  2. You don’t feed your kids only organic food.
  3. You let your kids watch TV.
  4. You are too strict and don’t let them use electronics.
  5. You let the kids stay up too late.
  6. You put the kids to bed too early and don’t spend enough quality time with them.
  7. Your house is too messy. You must be lazy.
  8. Your house is too clean…therefore you don’t spend enough time with the kids.
  9. You drink alcohol in front of the kids. How dare you.
  10. You don’t drink in front of the kids…they are too sheltered and you are too uptight.
  11. You lose it and yell too often. You’re a mean mom.
  12. You don’t yell – that is why your kids don’t listen.
  13. You work outside the home and put the kids in child care. Must not love them as much because someone else is raising them.
  14. You are a stay at home mom and don’t “socialize” your kids. They will be behind for sure.

See what I mean? You just can’t win. For the record, I don’t think any of these things would make anyone a bad parent. We all have our reasons and are entitled to raise our children the best way we see fit. No matter what decisions you make or don’t make, someone will think you are a bad mom. Someone will judge your decisions.

So, here is my idea….

Let’s love our kids unconditionally.

Let’s raise our kids to be respectful and kind human beings.

AND,

Let’s do the very best we can. In my opinion, it’s all you can do.

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available for pre-order now!

Pre-Order Now

Barrie Bismark

I’m Barrie. I’m sarcastic, vocal, stubborn, strong willed, and kind of a pain in the ass. I have a husband who I have been married to for 11 years and three beautiful children boy (8), girl (6), and girl (3).I am a full-time working mom and I love spending as much time as I can with my husband and children. Being a mom is one of the hardest things I have ever done, but also one of the most rewarding. I am amazed every day at the chaos, laughs, adventures, and exhaustion that motherhood brings. I have been featured on Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, Babble, Parent Co., Sammiches and Psych Meds, For Every Mom, and am a contributing writer on Suburban Misfit Mom and Modern Mom.

Moms Are the Real Christmas MVPs

In: Motherhood
Mom and little girl looking at Christmas tree

Browsing through shelves of holiday books in the children’s section of the library, I am reminded of the CD my mom checked out from the library every holiday season. It was the Alvin and The Chipmunks version of all the classic Christmas songs. We would listen to that CD in the car all season long. Alvin and his buddies, Theodore and Simon, would belt out the Christmas classics we all know and love, but in their squeaky little chipmunk voices. It became a favorite tradition for my sister and me. Since this isn’t the ’90s and cars nowadays don’t have...

Keep Reading

What I Know For Sure About Having a Tween

In: Motherhood, Teen, Tween
Tween close up of braces on teeth

They all say it’s coming. I have an inkling it might be true. Yet I’m holding on–I’m believing the same things that worked when you were a little girl, will work during the tween years too.  Some of my methods might need tweaking, but the principles are the same. When you’re upset, you’ll still want to be held. It just might take you a little longer to realize it. When your feelings are hurt, you’ll still want to be heard. I might not have as many answers, but I can still offer my listening ears. RELATED: The Secret to Parenting...

Keep Reading

Don’t Fear the Gap

In: Baby, Kids, Motherhood
Baby lying on mother's chest, black-and-white photo

I was afraid of the gap. You know, the one where you have some kids and then wait several years to have another? That gap. When we moved here, we kept all the baby things because we weren’t ready to say we were done but weren’t ready to start over. Moving to the farm brought wayyy more chores than our neighborhood home and adding a tiny human to that mix felt a bit crazy. RELATED: I’ll Always Want Another Baby There were months of back and forth . . . talk of barefoot baby feet stomping all over this place...

Keep Reading

The Magic of Having Kids Who Still Believe in Santa Is Worth the Christmas Chaos

In: Motherhood
Kids looking at Elf on the Shelf toy

Our elves showed up sometime in the night between Thanksgiving and Black Friday, just as they have every year for the last seven.  All three of our kids had been excited for their arrival, but we noticed our oldest was especially eager this year.  “Our elves come this month!” he announced on November 1, eyes twinkling with anticipation. He counted down nearly every night after, and once they finally showed up we found him in the corner talking to them several times throughout the day.  “How was the trip from the North Pole?” “Man, I’ve sure missed you guys.” “What...

Keep Reading

It’s Exhausting Being a Teacher and a Mom in the Month of December

In: Living, Motherhood
Mom and two kids smiling by Christmas tree

I absolutely love Christmas. In fact, I start listening to Christmas music right after Halloween. I’m always itching to put decorations up as soon as my other family members are willing. I love the magic of the season, the giving and the meaning behind all of it. By the time November begins, I’m ready to take on the holidays in full force as both a teacher and a mom. If I’m being honest though, Christmas as a teacher mama is both magical and downright exhausting. There are parties for both my own children and my students. There are gifts to...

Keep Reading

Dear Daughter, If Something Feels Off, It Probably Is—Trust Your Intuition

In: Kids, Living, Motherhood
Mother and daughter black and white photo

A few weeks ago, my 7-year-old daughter was playing at a friend’s house when she messaged me on her game tablet to come pick her up. I didn’t ask why I just went to get her. I asked her once she was home how it was, and she told me she had a weird feeling and she was just “trusting her guts,” which I loved hearing her say. Apparently, her friend had a bunch of extended family show up at the house that we were unaware of. She is extremely outgoing, friendly, and confident so she thought nothing of listening...

Keep Reading

Being a Working Mom When Kids Get Sick Is Complicated

In: Living, Motherhood
Mom holding baby on couch

I didn’t know what my ringtone sounded like until I went back to work after maternity leave. “You know it’s always on silent,” I would say every time I missed a call from my husband. “What’s the point of having a phone if you never answer your calls?” “Who calls these days? Text me like a normal person!” It was a circular conversation, lighthearted, and not intended to bring about change. He will always prefer to call, and I will always prefer to keep my ringer off. But when I got my first early pickup text from my daycare provider...

Keep Reading

What Single Moms Really Need

In: Faith, Living, Motherhood
Mom holding toddler on hip outside on dirt road

No, you’re not a single mom for a weekend. I’ve heard it said at social gatherings, in passing at church, and on social media. Perhaps the words are being uttered in a state of awe as if comparing themselves to valiant warrior princesses, knights in shining armor, heroes.  Usually though, it’s an under-the-breath complaint about being left by their otherwise attentive and loving spouse for the week or weekend. “I’m a single mom this weekend; my husband is on a golfing trip with his brothers.” “My husband is away for work, so I feel like a single mom this week.” ...

Keep Reading

10 Lessons I Hope You Learn Playing Youth Sports

In: Kids, Motherhood
Boy dribbling down basketball court, black-and-white photo

Last night was my sixth grader’s last basketball game of the season. He played with many of the same gang of boyhood friends he has known since kindergarten. This year, however, they were introduced to a traveling team, older players, and much stiffer competition than they had encountered in the past. They stood the test and played their little boy hearts out. I am proud of my son, his team, his coaches, and all the familiar faces we came to know in the Greenwood Laboratory School cheering section each week, sometimes two to three times in one week!  Here’s to...

Keep Reading

I Love You At Every Stage

In: Kids, Motherhood
Three children at park, color photo

Confession: I love the 1-year-old phase. Our youngest is one and such a joy to be around. He’s still so cuddly, finds such joy in the smallest things, is learning new things every day, and smiles at every little thing his big brother and sister do. I love the 3-year-old phase. Our only girl is three. She has a flair for the dramatic, but she is very forthright with her feelings. “I’m having a hard time.” “I just miss my daddy when he’s at the Fire House.” “I’m a princess.” “God made me beautiful.” She is quick to be a...

Keep Reading