‘I send them to school with stains. We eat dinner in front of the TV. We make noise, a lot of it, and we like our pasta best slurped.’: Mom urges ‘dance to the beat of your own family’s drum’

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“I am not good at making my kids clean their rooms.


I have a hard enough time keeping mine clean.

I’m not the best about making them brush their teeth twice a day, and I know this is ‘eww…gross,’ but sometimes I don’t either.

I am not fantastic at cooking, so I get it when they don’t want to eat what I’ve made. I don’t really like my food either.

I send them to school with stains on their khakis and without them having taken a brush to their hair.

If it’s wrinkled, it’s probably being worn by my child because I don’t believe in irons, and I tend to leave clean clothes in the overpacked dryer for days on end.

We rush our showers and only soap our ‘stanky parts’ because we are in a mama-imposed, really-no-good-reason-for-it rush most days.

We eat dinner in front of the computer, or the television, because, conversation, well, we each get enough of that, don’t we?

We make noise, and we make a lot of it, and we like our pasta best slurped.

Courtesy of Nicole Merritt
little girl using her hands to eat while a noodle hangs out of her mouth
Courtesy of Nicole Merritt

I am not a parenting expert.


I am not an ideal parent.

But ideal according to who?


I mean, here’s the thing…

I love my kids with every freakin’ fiber of my anxiety-ridden being, and I will not let an hour go by without reminding them of that.

Without offering up

a hug,

a kiss,

a carry,

a handhold,

or supportive comment.

So while I will probably always forget to remind them

to use deodorant or enforce that they wear matching socks,

what I’m sure I’ll never forget is that what forever matters as a parent is not that we live up to society-imposed, general public-impressing standards, but that we set and maintain our own for OUR FAMILY.

My family may not be the one you follow on Pinterest or Instagram, but we’re also the family that doesn’t care, and damn, that feels good.

Hear that?

It’s the beat of your own family’s drum, and, dang, you all look good marching to it.”

Courtesy of Nicole Merritt

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Nicole Merritt of Jthreenme. You can follow her on Facebook, her website, or podcast. Get her new book, Musings for Mom, hereSubmit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

Read more from Nicole here:

‘I expected him to tell me, ‘Yeah, I’ve noticed. You’ve got to do something about that anxiety.’ He didn’t though.’: Mom grateful for husband’s love when sharing insecurities

‘Do I send my child to their brick and mortar campus and worry about their physical health EVERY SINGLE DAY?’: Mom shares frustrations for fall school re-openings

‘You’ll never remember these nights. When I lie in bed, listening to you breathe, and question if someone, anyone, could do this better.’: Mom says ‘you’ll never remember these nights, but I will’

We’re Not All Raising Our Kids The Same Way, But We All Need Grace Just The Same

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