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Stefanie Wilder Taylor

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Stefanie Wilder-Taylor is the host of Parental Discretion on NickMom as well as the author of four books including Sippy Cups Are Not for Chardonnay and Naptime Is the New Happy Hour. She also hosts the podcast For Crying Out Loud.

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Confessions of Perfectly Imperfect Parents

By Stefanie Wilder Taylor |

Overall, I’m a great mom. You know, not every minute because that would be impossible. And overkill. Since you asked, I’d have to say my parenting style is a combination of laid back, over-anxious, sappy, sarcastic, loose, fly by the seat of my pants, tense, Tiger mom, French, Kung-Fu and Atkins with a little co-sleeping thrown in. Which is to say that I do what works for our family.

There are times that I soar as a mom; holding  dance parties with all three girls on the bottom of my daughter’s trundle bed, keeping a cool head when a strawberry yogurt smoothie is spilled on the couch, apologizing to my kids when I neglect to keep a cool head over a spilled yogurt smoothie on the couch, listening to a four-year-old’s knock knock jokes thirty times in a row without yelling “Jesus, that doesn’t even make sense!” Mostly I believe I provide consistency, love and affection to my kids to the best of my ability. But I’m far from perfect.

For example:

I’ve given ice cream for breakfast.

Sometimes I give in to whining.

A lot of emails asking for classroom volunteers go unanswered.

I once let Matilda eat a peanut m&m that rolled out of a candy machine and onto the floor at the mall.

I  let my kids watch Dance Moms.

Sometimes Elby gets to play games on my computer in lieu of a bedtime story.

My kids don’t bathe every day. In fact, Matilda recently went so long without a bath I’m ashamed to say she smelled homeless.

The whole lot of them eat Happy Meals once in awhile. And by once in awhile I mean  once a week.

My kids’ toenails have grown so long they’ve curled before I noticed. Yeah, I know that’s gross.


But you know, it’s all about balance. I don’t want to be amazing all the time or I’d be intimidating right? Whatever. I don’t need your attitude!

In an attempt to make myself feel better, I went wide on my personal blog with my confessions and asked other moms to give me some of theirs. The results were like a giant blue Xanax for my soul. The confessions come from friends, family, fellow Babble bloggers and even my kids’ preschool teacher (Giselle)! So read through them and then pay it forward by leaving one of your own in the comments.  I do so love comments. Mmmm comments.

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True Confessions From Real Moms

I let him wear pink

I let my boy wear pink…a lot. Lots of pink! Next up: ballet lessons. I even had a mom tell me, "Aren't you afraid you will turn him gay?" Seriously. --Rebecca Hernandez


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About Stefanie Wilder Taylor


Stefanie Wilder Taylor

Stefanie Wilder-Taylor is the host of Parental Discretion on NickMom as well as the author of four books including Sippy Cups Are Not for Chardonnay and Naptime Is the New Happy Hour. She also hosts the podcast For Crying Out Loud. Read bio and latest posts → Read Stefanie's latest posts →

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45 thoughts on “Confessions of Perfectly Imperfect Parents

  1. R says:

    Makes me feel better about the stuff I let slide with my kids!

  2. kelly says:

    sometimes i turn the tv on at 530 am just so i can still doze till 7am. and sometimes when the little guy naps, i let the bigger guy ( 5) play online while i watch tv. he plays yo gabba gabba and pbs kids, but still. when he tells people he played the computer, i know the days are numbered before he outs me as the tv watching lazy mom that i am

  3. Melanie says:

    Sometimes I let them run around outside in the rain – without shoes on!

  4. Jennie says:

    I’m thrilled to be included in this and even more thrilled that I am not alone in my imperfections!! Thank you for putting this together!

  5. Heather K says:

    We were driving home from Vacation yesterday and in the final 2 hours of the 6 hour trip home my 3 year old twins were so stir crazy I bought them bright pink Sno-Balls to keep them busy. It worked.

  6. Lisa says:

    Thanks for including mine Stephanie! Can I now say I’ve been published? LOL In all seriousness, it’s nice to have a place to go to find other parents who admit that life isn’t always roses and chocolate when it comes to raising kids. Thanks for allowing me the opportunity to participate :-)

  7. ladyhusband says:

    SWT – you’re my hero for putting our realness on blast. people who claim they aren’t guilty of any parental transgressions are either insane, or lying (i’m talking about you, brooke charvet). i’m guilty of 20 out of 24 of these ‘sins’ – i counted. and the other 4 are simply because mine are too young. give me time. holy hannah, sometimes i just straight up ignore them just to have a little ‘me’ time. for christ sake, we’re lesbian moms of 3.5 year old triplets. do you have any idea how annoying peoples comments are? you get dumb questions just having multiples, but add in the homo factor and it ramps up to 11. i like to teach them to do things themselves to ‘foster their independence’ (i.e. stop pestering me for shit). i sometimes swear at them. and by sometimes i mean almost every day. this parenting shit is hard. judge not.

  8. Dr. Heather says:

    Cutting school in kindergarten. Or even first grade. Why insist on school every day if they (and we) need a break? I’ve done it with the 3 of my 4 kids who are old enough. The teachers don’t love me for it, but give me a break. A 5 year old handling 6.5 hours of school, 5 days a week, is truly asking a lot. They just aren’t ready yet!

    So this is my calculation: Force them to school each and every day (and pay for beaucoup therapy later), or peeve off the teacher and principal a bit now — for sanity later. An easy pick!

    Thanks, SWT!

  9. SarahandCherie says:

    Ladyhusband – I’m with you! My wife and I have an 18month old and a 2 month old. I remember buying the pregnancy test for the second one. Ppl were looking at us like we were nuts.. we just looked at them and said loudly, “don’t worry, its on purpose – both times!” And started laughing. It put them into the awkward position instead of us :-)

  10. Jessica says:

    I feel so much better about my parenting after reading this! I often let my four year old spend the entire day in his Jammie’s when it’s too cold to go outside and I know we are staying home. It always makes me feel guilty but I still do it.

  11. Erica E says:

    This is amazing! I am guilty of so many, why just yesterday I let my son watch blues clues ALL DAY so I had a chance in hell of getting my college hw done

  12. These comments are so f-ing great. It’s just so nice to feel a sense of camaraderie instead of competitiveness! Keep it up everyone!

  13. Caress Lepore says:

    I am so glad I am not alone. I give my daughter candy for no reason at all other than I’m eating it and she sees me. She also sleeps with me because I’m a little afraid of the dark.

  14. Suzanne Nelson says:

    It is so refreshing to FINALLY read a blog and comments where parents aren’t hating on each other for our choices. No one is being hateful or sarcastic. Not one mention of breasted feeding or epidurals or how perfect we are as parents. No self-richousness (sp?). LOVE IT!!!! Plus, I feel so much better about the three episodes of Sesame Street that I let sweet baby E (16 months) watch yesterday… for no real good reason other than my laziness. Also, I sometimes take her to daycare on my days off so I can take a nap and watch Downton Abby. Thank you guys so much!

  15. Rebecca says:

    I think it’s funny that my son had a hallucination while on hydrocodone or was it oxycoton (he’s taken both). He looked up at the ceiling and asked, “Buzz (Lightyear), what are you doing up there”. Apparently Buzz was flying around up on his ceiling. *At the time it was scary but now, it’s so so funny*

    I sometimes think he will be a stoner because he was born on 4:20 at 4:20. I also think he’ll be a druggie because of all the narcotics he’s had for pain in the first 5 years (and counting) of his life. Not this whole time but he’s had a lot of very painful surgeries.


  16. Emily says:

    When my son comes into our room earlier than we’d like to wake up, we turn on the x-box and let him play sitting on our bed so we can get an extra 30 minutes of rest.

  17. Korinthia Klein says:

    Boys wearing pink, ice cream for breakfast, jammies all day, computer time instead of books, playing hooky from kindergarten…. I must have set the bar very low for myself indeed in this mom gig, because all these things have happened here and I don’t feel bad about any of it. I feel bad when I get impatient and yell at them for things where yelling doesn’t even help. (I don’t even feel bad anymore when I yell and it works. Maybe I’m broken?)

  18. Kerrigan says:

    Korinthia-you aren’t broken! I also don’t feel guilty about it but man is it nice to hear other stories that do justify my own! My 4 year old twins are outside constantly and come inside with “ring around the mouth” of dirt…their knees are banged up and scratched…it’s times like these when we run to the grocery store an I get looks beyond looks but you know what? They are polite, smiling, happy kids and that’s all that matters to me…it is a breath of fresh air to read these posts!!

  19. Mary says:

    When my son was about 3 or 4 he had a meltdown at a restaurant. I mean screaming and crying on the floor b/c he didn’t want to go…. (video games at the restaurant were the issue). We left carrying him kicking and screaming. As we were approaching our car some people stopped us on the side walk and offered him some chocolate from the chocolate shop they just exited. We took it.

  20. Patricia says:

    I think simply being present for my kids without worrying about what ever other mom is doing is one of the best things I can do. There are days when I’m thinking, “I should have worked out today, saved a small country, and cooked dinner for all the homeless in town,” but then I realize the ones I truly have to think about are looking at me every night saying “I love you mommy. Can I have Cheerios for breakfast?”

  21. Michelle Barrett says:

    I love this!! I let my kids pee in the shower. Their father would be horrified, ha!! I also bribe with candy and threw away our “Break the ice” game..Whew!! I feel better now.:)

  22. Hollie says:

    Niiiiice! I haven’t slipped too far off the path yet, because I have a ridiculously easy 14 month old, but guess what? A new baby is a-coming in 3 months, and all bets are off. In fact, I’m now PURPOSEFULLY trying to get her to watch TV after months of telling family members “No screen time before age 2!” because, crap, I’m about to be busy nursing 22 hours/day. Thanks for keeping it real, ladies! Also, as a former teacher… your kids will totally out you anyway, might as well own it :)

  23. jessica rabbit says:

    i let my boys watch tv in their room every night from 6pm until they go to sleep…im just so tired

  24. Gwyn says:

    These drive me crazy because there is no perspective on them. Letting a boy wear pink, co-sleeping, or eating chicken nuggets for breakfast are really just breaking cultural norms, not harming a child. Too much screen time type ones are up for debate on their harming a child, and as long as it’s not the only interaction a child has, probably won’t harm them. Homework for first graders is a ridiculous notion on the part of educators that is DESIGNED for the parents, not the good of the child, and a parent has every right to protest this. However, bribing with food (the chocolate ones) are completely setting the child up for a life time of food issues, and should seriously be looked into.

  25. Bridgette Gallagher (toilet paper Mom) says:

    Gwyn, way to have a sense of humor. I hate to quote my not so classy mother on this one but, who pissed in your corn flakes?

    Whether we are breaking cultural norms, setting the child up for a lifetime of food issues or giving too much screen time, the point is, sometimes we feel guilty about it and find solace in sharing the techniques we all use to survive.

    Your comment is why blogs like this exist. Mothers judging and analyzing other mothers “mistakes” and turning women against other women is half the reason we need to vent about these things. We’re all in this together. We all need to do it the way that works for our own family. We all want our kids to end up “normal” but there are never any guarantee. Even if they are wearing culturally and gender appropriate clothing and eating only organic-fortified-local-fresh-grassfed-breastfed food.

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  27. nyc_twins says:

    Ah…I have a new one, that no one has mentioned…the nighttime bottle of milk to get them to sleep…AND they’re 3.5 yrs old. It’s so, so wrong…I know it’s wrong…the pediatrician and the dentist give me suspicious looks, and I would never tell any of my friends. But I’m just exhausted at the end of the day, and have housework waiting to be done, and they just can’t (won’t) fall asleep without them…eventually they’ll give them up on their own, right?

  28. Amanda S. says:

    My laziness when it comes to cooking is so bad that I even shock myself. I ordered my 2 year old pizza for dinner and only afterward realized that I’d already gotten her McDonalds for lunch. I’ll go to pretty much any extreme to avoid cooking, but if I know my mother in law is coming to visit I cook an elaborate meal and then act like its no biggie, do it all the time.

  29. autumn says:

    WOW, I do so many of these and instead of feeling like a horrible mom because I can identify with 90% of these “mommy cheats,” ….I feel a little more like super-mom. #sayssupermomoftwoboys

  30. Jessica says:

    My kids dont have late bedtimes, and are allowed to watch Family Guy..but they are 12 and 14………and get good grades, and are good kids:)

  31. Stoich91 says:

    Haha OMGORSH this is’s just…idk what this even is, over here. I feel like I should be giving out awards or something! “First place goes to ‘I let my kid take over my bed-’ Woah! Never mind! ‘I give my 5-year-old son lingerie mags’ def. outpaces that one!” LOL Really, though, this is a hilarious article; honest and true!

  32. Sarah says:

    Currently I’m letting my 2 year old mindlessly play on the iPad so I can catch up on Facebook and blogs.

    Last night we had to ‘borrow’ from our daughter’s piggy bank to have money for the tooth fairy. I really need to remember to replace it.

  33. Jody says:

    I let my 19 month old color all over the walls and cabinets so I can get some dishes done. It works, plus goo gone takes it off easily( so she has a new canvas for her next work of art)

  34. Laura Herrera says:

    OMG this is just great! A story like this makes a young (27) mother of one like my self feel so much better about some of my parenting decisions… I feel like I should be writing my own stories!!!

  35. Josie says:

    I let mine wander around the house exploring whatever he wants. Of course the rooms are super baby proofed complete with gates to keep him out of the danger zones, but I like to let him wander around so I can get some dishes done.

  36. Kate says:

    I am guilty of a few of these myself! When my son was younger, he was obsessed with the Fox & the Hound movie. I detest that movie. So when he would go in the other room for something I would hit the “fast forward” button until I saw him coming back! I was always hopeful that we could move on to a better movie, like Toy Story!

  37. HeatherRK says:

    While the 2YO naps I make the 4YO have “quiet time” watching TV downstairs just so I can chill and waste some time online. Also, in about an hour I’m going to let my 9YO walk home from the bus stop in the rain. No apologies!

  38. Tracy says:

    I let my daughter keep her soother until she was over 4. She had nighttears following a couple of surgeries and it was just easier to let her have it then have to deal with nighttears. Then in an effort to get her to give it up we offered to by her a playhouse if she got rid if it. With my son I didn’t worry about it and he basically gave it up on his own.

    Plus I don’t know what parent doesn’t let their kid watch t.v. in an effort to get more sleep, get things done or just get some tee hee!

  39. An says:

    Most of these are pretty fun and harmless, but honestly, a few are probably why most 10 year olds these days are overweight.

  40. Darcy says:

    OMG Stephanie! I haves three kids- 12, 16, and 18 (WHAAAT?) which means two things- I am old, and I have successfully kept them alive to date. I was reading your list: check, check, check, then Burst out laughing at the M&M on the floor. You go girl. You rock, you are normal. Here’s my confession of the day: My 18 year old is still asleep upstairs at 8:55am because it is Senior Ditch Day ( a day frowned upon by administrators and parents of certain cultures- did I say that?). He’ll be going to the beach until 3:00 when he has to be at baseball practice. I will call the school and excuse his absence because of his allergies. So there you go-
    I am a big fan since I discovered you and Lynette on your podcast!

  41. Stephani D says:

    I kinda wish my mom was like you awesome ladies. She’s chilled out as my brother and I have gotten older (we’re allowed to eat food off the floor at home, now) but I feel like her blood pressure would be lower if she hadn’t pushed herself so hard when we were little. Though we do still aggravate her, just in different ways.
    The mom that still packs lunch for her 16 and 18 year old made me laugh. Once we were about 12, it was up to us to pack our own lunches or eat school lunch. I’m surprised I don’t see any moms posting about how they still do laundry for their college kid, only about half my friends do their own laundry.

  42. Brooke says:

    My son plays in his crib after waking up until he cries for me to come get him. He then is placed in his highchair with cartoons and food, I come back and get him when he cries to let me know hes done. Then on some days, like today, where I simply cant fathom being awake he goes in the playpen with an abundance of toys and the cartoons on. Again, his cue will be a cry/wine to want out. Then hes taken out and left to do as he pleases. Everything is baby proofed to the max! So I get to relax! We do not tell him no. We use distraction/redirection at this age. Hes 17 months old and has just started walking so I have no intention of potty training anytime soon. He does this annoying screech for attention-we ignore him. When he falls sometimes I just sit there and see if its bad if its not I chipperly tell him “Big Man” “So Strong!” “Your ok D man!” His name is Darrin. Yes any color of clothing is appropriate and encouraged. We love purple and pink on him-he just looks so dang cute:). Yes I primp my son-hes my lil Ken Doll;) The only thing i am however strict about IS his diet. He doesnt get sweets, junk food, or Grown up goodies. He simply eats relatively healthy. Is fairly easy for us tho-hes an adventurous eater and on the days he doesnt want to eat what is given he gets a vitamin milk to make up for some of the lost nutrients, he doesnt eat-Shrug-who cares, doesnt bother me, his dad…or him. He gets in the hot tub with us often-he likes the hot water, even when its 107-yea it happened once-he was beyond ecstatic!…O NO…chemicals-like I care-its called FUN! He still drinks milk at bed time. Although we are very strict about his oral hygiene. We go to the pool, he sits in his floaty drifting all around it while I lay out in the wonderful son and have some beers with my lady friends. Hell if he falls out ill dive in. Its sturdy-im not worried. I alway thought id be one of those overly protective moms who would totally bubble their children but nope. He eats dirt, crawls on concrete…in shorts, walks in nasty places with no shoes, and hes THE happiest boy ever!!! I often feel guilty-its our mom DNA! lol I totally loved this post!!! Do what works-AMEN!

  43. lanasmama says:

    I let my 15 month daughter Alanna watch tv at least 2 hours a day so I can do some homework/waste time on the internet. We’ve done co-sleeping since day 1. Sometimes I ignore it when she does any of our “no-no’s.” She eats food that she’s thrown on the floor from her high chair every single day. I gave up on making her wear a bib because I’d rather spend an hour doing laundry at night when she’s asleep and I’m less stressed than try to force any extra stress on meal time. She gets into the dog food and throw it all around anytime she sees its set out. Sometimes she puts a piece of it in her mouth and I’d rather leave it there than try to pull it out… All of our socks are permanently stained brown on the bottom, and people stare at them like I’m disgusting in the store. I’m a really young mom, only 18, and get looks and disgusting comments on that all the time. People always tell me, “Your a great big sister!” when I go out with my mom. But it’s so awesome to see that all moms do the same thing I do!

  44. Kristin H. says:

    When my second daughter was born, her older sister was almost 2. The second born had horrendous colic and essentially screamed her head off for 8 months straight. She would sleep for approximately one hour in the afternoon and it had to be in her playpen under the window in the living room. Because I was surviving on four hours of sleep a day, during that afternoon nap, I would lock the older sister in her bedroom and tell her to sleep, play, or do something, but DO NOT wake Mommy up. Without the baby security knob locking her in, she would have wandered into my room and been up my butt when I needed sleep the most. At the time I felt zero guilt. Looking back now, I feel kind of bad. But sweet mother of gawd I was tired.

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