I can’t remember who started it or when, but my sisters and I give each other Bad Parent Points (BPP). It’s a non-judgmental way to acknowledge our parenting mistakes and, you know, point and laugh at somebody else’s predicament. We don’t actually keep score, but it’s fun to dish out the points anyway.
All it takes is turning your back for a second, for all of your competency to be thrown out the window.
Some examples of ways to rack up Bad Parent Points include your son getting beans stuck up his nose. Beans – plural – very stuck. Or, your son could throw a pebble at grandma’s sliding glass door, causing cracks to spider web across the glass. OR, your son could wait until you take him out of the cart at Sam’s Club for a harmless drink at the water fountain, then race 10 feet away to the bakery where he opens a package of cupcakes and takes a giant bite before getting caught. #notMYkid
By the way, the phrase “#notmykid” is something my younger sister started us saying recently. I think she says this to de-stress herself, and to gloat that her kids aren’t doing whatever she’s hashtagging. On vacation together last week (yes, we’re that close), I showered my 3-year-old like any respectable mother would after a hard day of play. Twenty minutes later, I found him sporting his TMNT pajamas while playing in a sandpit with his cousins, the sand coating his damp hair.
There was a time when my sister would have grabbed him up, showered him again, and put him to bed before I even realized he had slipped out of sight. That time was before she had baby Number 4. This time she practically sang, “Hashtag not my kid!” as she walked by me; free from that nagging feeling moms get that they should be doing it all for everybody.
It’s ok to laugh at your Bad Parent Points today.
They say, “one day you’ll look back at this and laugh”. With the incredible support system I have and the grace of God, it’s a lot easier to laugh today. In fact, I wouldn’t be able to make it through the day without relaxing enough to laugh at the predicaments my kids get themselves (and me) into.
There is no such thing as a Master Parent. You can’t earn a Ph.D. in parenting at Yale or Harvard. There is no black that is black enough to make a Blacker Belt in parenting. We are not called to be perfect parents; all we need is to do our best using love, creativity, and determination. Our kids love us, no matter how many mistakes we make; which is good, because my youngest child has made me “earn” more Bad Parent Points than I care to count.