There's all sorts of different parenting styles. There are moms who gush over every little thing their baby does. The worrisome mom who rushed to the doctor at the slightest sneeze. Crunchy moms who go the all-organic and healthy route. Fashionista mamas that dress their kids in matching outfits -- the kinds that are all over social media. And combination moms who take bits and pieces to create their own mom style.
There's totally nothing wrong with whatever type of mom a woman turns out to be. Everyone is different, and that's a good thing. There's strength in every parenting style. Including the infamous, 'Who Cares' mom style.
'Who Cares' moms do things a little bit differently than other moms. They're not overly picky about the things their kids stick in their mouths or what they wear. They don't hover too often, trying to prevent the slightest scrapes, bumps, and bruises. But all of their unconventional practices aside, they still love their little nuggets to pieces, all the same.
For all the moms who haven't figured out their mom style yet, here are 20 signs of a 'Who Cares' mom (from a 'Who Cares' mom), that will let help moms determine if they're part of this particular mama tribe.
20 5 (Or 10) Second Rule!
Some women might shriek at the thought of this, but the 5 second rule is a tried and true thing. A sometimes necessary thing for picky eaters or those prone to tantrums. Of course there are limits to this rule like, how long has it really been on the floor? What kind of floor did the food fall on? Either way, sometimes you have to let your baby be a baby. Is there really any harm in letting little Johnny eat a strawberry off the living room floor? There will come a time when your precious little one tries to eat something much worse than floor food.
19 Too Much TV
There’s a lot of debate about this one. Of course it would be ideal that our kids engage in more educational and social building activities, but sometimes at the end of the day, when all mama needs is just a tiny slice of mom time, Elmo or Duggee can be just the thing to keep her sane. Being a mom is an endless and often thankless job, and sometimes we just need a minute for ourselves. That doesn’t mean we don’t take our kids outdoors, play games, or try to teach them things off screen as often as we can. Besides, there are a ton of good educational shows that actually help teach kids things like counting and colors. Consider some extra screen time as an extra tutor!
18 Is That Chocolate Or…?!
Kids are messy. They get into things that we thought we put out of reach. And sometimes they’ll come waltzing into a room covered in an unidentifiable sticky substance. I know a lot of moms who would rush to clean up, but sometimes you have to stop to ask yourself, “Is it worth it?” Unless it’s right before bath time or nap time, they’ll likely find themselves getting into more messy situation as soon as you throw the wet wipe away. Of course clean up your baby if it’s a major mess, like someone getting into an entire jar of peanut butter, but a little smudge on the face won’t hurt. Dirty baby faces make for some of the best pictures!
17 Candy For Breakfast
Ok. I’m not saying that this happens on a daily basis, but if you’re on vacation or maybe it’s a birthday, or maybe the morning after a particularly hard night, candy for breakfast isn’t that bad, is it? If you scan the ingredients on popular breakfast cereals and yogurts, a lot of them have loads of sugar, so it’s basically like giving them candy anyway. On the odd occasion that a ‘who cares’ mom serves a lollipop for breakfast, it might provide her with the few minutes to sip on some mama juice (coffee) and give herself the pep talk she needs to conquer the day.
16 Excuse The Mess
There’s a home decor sign all over Pinterest that says, “Don’t mind the mess, our children are making memories.” That might be well and true, but for a ‘who cares’ mom, more likely than not, she just didn’t have the energy to clean up. There was a time when I would clean up my son’s toys every night before heading to bed, knowing that those same toys would find themselves sprawled out across the living room floor as soon as morning came. There’s definitely something calming about sitting in a tidy bedroom or living, but messes are just part of the deal when you have a kid, and sometimes leaving the mess reminds you to appreciate your baby blessing (and gets you a few extra seconds of mom time).
15 You Don’t Smell THAT Bad
It’s Wednesday night. You’re just getting home from a family dinner, and it’s 15 minutes past your baby’s bedtime. He or she is asleep in their carseat, and as soon as you open the car door to take them out, a meltdown ensues. Obviously most parents would skip bath time and put that screaming angel straight to bed, but what about those nights when you’re at home, and time has just seemed to slip away from you? Bath time is quite the event most nights, and run down ‘who cares’ mamas might choose to skip it more often than most. And there’s nothing wrong with that, unless your kids have been rolling in muddy puddles.
14 FOOD FIGHT!
Following the same premise as toy messes, food mess isn’t too much different. Of course you want to clean up any spilled foods before calling it a day (don’t want any ants or other bugs crawling around), but it doesn’t have to be immediate. If you can put off cleaning that turned over spaghetti bowl (and your kid is now eating the spaghetti off of the table), gone are the days of your food getting cold and inedible. Kids make messes. It’s part of their DNA. ‘Who cares’ mamas don’t abandon meal time to clean up thrown string beans. They understand that it’s all part of the process, and there’s really no shame in having a momentary food mess smeared all over the kitchen table, with little bits on the floor.
13 Dirty Clothes
Have I talked about messes enough? While I always carry an extra change of clothes for my son, I take it as a sign of a well spent (and well played) day when his clothes are dirty. Like the quote says, messes really are a sign of memories being made. Like with food messes and dirty faces, there’s really no rush in changing clothes, unless it’s bedtime. More than likely, your son or daughter is going to find themselves digging in the dirt again at some point in the day. Let them wear those mud flecked shorts or paint splattered shirt, and continue having fun in true ‘who cares’ mom fashion.
12 Walk It Off
I’ve got a running, jumping, climbing, and fumbling toddler of a son, and unless I see or hear him hit a body part with extra force, I simply just watch him to see what he does. 8 times out of 10, he will pick himself back up and continue his laps around the living room or playground. While it might seem cruel, it’s actually a good tool for letting kids learn how to work out the situation for themselves and become just a little bit independent. ‘Who cares’ moms don’t completely ignore their fallen children, they are simply enhancing the child’s ability to self soothe when a stumble isn’t that serious.
11 What Are You Playing With?!
You don’t need to spend a ton of money on flashy and expensive toys. As a mom who has been dazzled by the latest and cutest baby gadgets (with many of them going unused, re-gifted, or donated), I can attest that 9 times out of 10, your kid is going to choose something else to play with. Shoes, boxes, car keys, brooms, and the classic pots and pans -- everything is entertaining to their creative and growing minds. As long as it’s not something sharp, poisonous, dirty, or poses a choking hazard, there’s really no harm in letting them explore and play.
10 She Calls All The Kids "Dude"
This might be one of the biggest signs of a ‘who cares’ mom. It’s always best to speak to your children in a careful and loving way, but some situations just call for something a little different. When your tyke does something questionable, your initial reaction might be something a little less motherly, but when a ‘who cares’ mom says something “unmotherly”, she still says it with love. The phrase “Seriously, dude?” flies around my own house a lot, and sometimes the odd expletive finds its way into a phrase. I like to think of it as character building and preparation for the real world.
9 The Newborn Is Fine To Leave The House
Most moms are super cautious during the first few weeks of baby’s life, limiting contact with crowds of people and avoiding going out in public. Being in quarantine after giving birth can be lonely, tiring, and can drive a mom just a little bit stir crazy. But as long as people aren’t bursting the personal space bubble and breathing right into baby’s face, a ‘who cares’ mom is brave enough to face the outside world not long after leaving the hospital. If you feel the need to get out of the house, just put on your momma lion face and carry some hand sanitizer with you, and you and baby will be a-okay.
8 Pyjama Day...All Day
Lazy home days can be a serious gift to a tired mom. Comfort is important on lazy days, and what’s more comfortable than pyjamas? I will admit that as a mother myself, I wouldn’t leave the house in pyjamas, but I’ve taken my son out in his many times. They’re kids! Who’s really paying attention to what they’re wearing? And honestly, a lot of pyjamas these days look like regular clothes anyway, unless your baby happens to be wearing their favorite footy pyjamas. If you’re having a lazy day or need to run a quick errand, there’s nothing wrong with rolling your tyke out of bed and heading out for a bit, so long as you change that overnight diaper.
7 The Same Dinner Over And Over
Most kids are picky eaters. It can be frustrating when you prepare a nice meal for your family, just to find that your toddler wants nothing to do with it. It’s perfectly acceptable to repeat meals within the same day, if it means avoiding the stress of worrying about what your little one is going to eat. I cannot count the days that my son has had eggs and beans for breakfast and dinner. It’s the one thing we know he will eat no matter what. It’s not a big deal and the point is, is that you’re making sure your baby is fed.
6 The Birthday Suit
This is bound to happen a lot, especially once your baby learns how to take off his or her own diaper. And it’s really not that big of a deal. As long as you can read their bathroom cues, it’s actually good to let their little behinds get some air time. Air drying after a shower or diaper change can help prevent or cure diaper rashes, too. And sometimes it’s just cute to see their little butts running around the house, screaming and laughing. There’s no need to rush them into clothes is you’re having a home day. If they can’t be comfortable at home, where can they be?
5 The Delivery Guy Knows Me By Name
Remember when I said that being a mother is an endless and thankless job? A burnt out and ‘who cares’ mama just might not have the energy to cook. And some of us have limited cooking know how. The convenience of delivery or takeout lunches and dinners can really take some of the pressure off of being a mom, and it means more time to spend with your family instead of standing over a hot stove. As long as the family is fed and happy, there’s no harm in the local pizza joint or Chinese restaurant knowing your order by heart.
4 Eat Your Veggies, Or Not
I cannot say this enough: KIDS ARE PICKY EATERS. When I try to put something new and green on my son’s plate, he instinctively picks it up and throws it at me, as if to say, “Nice try mom. I’m not eating that!” But every now and then I’ll sit him down with a big bowl of vegetable soup, and he’ll devour it like he hasn’t eaten in days. It’s called balance. A nurse once told me that you should measure your child’s nutritional intake by the week, because some days will be better than others. So feed your baby that grilled cheese, and try something new and healthier tomorrow.
3 The Babysitters Club
Leisure and self care shouldn’t stop the second we enter motherhood, and some mamas know that better than others. As mothers, we often put everyone else’s needs above our own. We feed, bathe, and cater to everyone in the house (and sometimes outside), and when we finally get a moment to ourselves, we’re generally too tired to do anything. While being a mom is our greatest role in life, it’s not all we are. We are wives, friends, movie and music lovers, artists, and unofficial wine connoisseurs. A ‘who cares’ mom has no qualms with arranging a babysitter any night of the week, and multiple times a week if need be. A well taken care of mama, makes for a better and happier mama for everyone.
2 Kids Cry
There’s a lot of judgement about toddler tantrums in public, and while, sure, you might feel badly about your kid disrupting someone’s stroll down aisle 5, you certainly don’t deserve the side eyes, head shakes, and sighs. I don’t know one mom who hasn’t experienced this type of shaming, and sometimes from other mothers! Kids cry. They break down for no (apparent) reason at all, and sometimes no amount of comforting can console them. And a mom part of the ‘who cares’ club does not apologize for her toddler’s screams, especially if she’s doing everyone she can to comfort her child.
1 The Mom Uniform
Long hair is often a staple of beauty for some women, but having a baby on your hip can make long hair a pain to take care of. The grabbing and pulling not only hurts, it creates tangles that hard to brush out. We might start the day with our hair down and straightened or curled with good intentions, but we know full well it will end up in a messy puff on the top of our heads. Sometimes we start the day with it, too, and there’s nothing wrong with that. It can even be cute! So what if it’s worn like that 6 out of 7 days of the week? As moms we need something convenient and functional, and that messy bun can work it.