Tips From A Barely Adequate Mother

Some call me a bad mother.  I prefer to think of myself as relaxed. I don’t know what my kids think of me, but they call me hell in a skin suit, the fat maggot and Exhibit A. In front of the child protection officers. We love playing pretend.  I pretend to be the parent and they pretend to be the children.

Here are my tips for being a barely adequate parent. Have low expectations of yourself. And buy less stuff.  The less stuff you buy, the less stuff you have to clean, store, fix, spend time busting up fights about, retrieving from the mouths of dogs, the nostrils of children or the S bends of toilets. Or running over with the mower.


Don’t set the bar too high for birthdays. Only throw parties if they beg. And when you do make them crushing failures.

If it is not dishwasher, microwave and journey through the digestive system of a four-year-old proof, regift it to another child whose parents you hate.

Uncooked slabs of two-minute noodles can be lunch, weetbix can be dinner and toothpaste can be dessert.

Nits belong in the category science experiment/pets. 

Save your breath.  Deter kids from asking repetitive questions with annoying answers;  “What’s for dinner?”, “Two choices, take it or leave it.”  “Where’s my brother?” “He went mad and they shot him”, “I’m bored, what can I do” “Take all your toys and put them on the nature strip and write a big sign FREE TO GRATEFUL CHILDREN.”

Cut down on their sugar intake and save money by telling them the Easter Bunny is bad for the environment and is therefore no longer coming.

Don’t waste time with bedtime stories.  If they ask, tell them this one and they’ll never ask again. “Once upon a time there were three little boys and they all died. Screaming. The end.” 

Biscuits are vegetables. 

Save money. Don’t buy jocks.  Added upside?  No wedgies. Downside? Skidmarks that can be seen from the moon.

Encourage independence and emotional intelligence. When asked for help with something tricky like folding a fitted sheet say, “If you’re not smart enough to work it our, you’re not smart enough to play Xbox. Bring me another glass of wine.  And remember, it’s your fault I drink.”

Don’t let them steer when their hands are covered in chicken fat. And don’t trust an eight year old to tell you when the light’s turned red when you’re texting.

They can make their own birthday cake.  Turn two-litre ice-cream block out.  Give children one kilo of lollies, one litre of Ice Magic and five minutes. Whack it in the freezer.  It’s a party game and a time saver.  We call it the Mummy Can’t Be Stuffed Cake. Blend to make liquid lolly bags for party guests or the next morning for a Diabetes Type Two Breakfast Smoothie

Keep them active.  Play Driving Chasey.  Drop the kids of somewhere. Tell them to chase you then drive away. By the time you get to Sydney they’ll have lost five kilos.  And they’ll sleep like logs.

Save money on babysitters.  When you are ready to go out tell them it’s time for Hide and Seek. When they start counting, run.

Insects in a jar can be a present.

Saying “If you don’t do it Mummy will give you a big injection in the eye” may scar them.

Every discipline issue is solved by giving their siblings a chocolate biscuit as a reward for their evilness. 

Little boys love playing with knives, plastic bags and matches, and they’re free.  And so is swearing. Just saying/

If people ask why your children have filthy fingernails, tell them it’s not dirt they were visited by the Liquorice Fairy.

If they beg for McDonalds make them push the car through the drive thru.

It’s never the parents fault,  “Me?  Oh I’d be happy for you to have 12 mates over for a sleep over but it’s illegal and the police will shoot us.”

Remember every time you don’t make them lunch and make one instead a kitten dies.

Keep them on their toes.  When you say kiss them good night whisper, “You’re not my favourite, but you’re getting pretty close”.


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