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May 13, 2011


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First, when you want to learn to hypnotize people without them knowing and influence them through basic conversation, you have to learn to read people. Imagine being able to walk into any situation, with any person, knowing that you are not only able to guarantee that they will like and respect you but also that you can suggest ideas that they will adopt a their own. " For this stage, take the subject through an imagined change corresponding to walking down steps, riding down in an elevator, or rising larger on a cloud, etc.

Yes! I am sick of the labels, too. I don't read any parenting books and I want to scream every time someone starts a pissing contest about toddler accomplishment. I just go by instinct and survival and it works for us. So happy to hear someone else feels the same way.

Love it, I am VERY Proudly a survivor mom. Bathing is for wussies.

I've been doing the mom thing for 26 years come August. When are stared, those new plastic bottles were the greatest thing: lightweight and unbreakable! Yay! Now they are evil. Likewise, parenting fads and dietary expectations have come and gone. Whatever. I'm still here parenting my last pretty much like my first. Only we have money these days.

Since my girl came along, being a parent is an almost intrinsic part of my existence. Labeling every parenting choice, I think, can shift accountability. (But yes, Survival Mom would be "best fit")

triple like! thank you for naming us! i tend to call it the "good e-damn-nough" way. as for the "privates being covered with something resembling clothing", lol, FAIL. at least he knows not to go out front like that.

i was called out by a mom yesterday for giving my teething baby ibuprofen at night, and yes every night before bedtime for the last three days. FOR SHAME.

she says she doesn't believe in medicine for kids because it teaches their bodies something blah blah (I stopped listening so's to concentrate on smiling politely).

I wanted to ask her 1) do you use meds when you have a headache and

2) do you know what it's like to have steak knives ripping through your gums for weeks on end?

thank you kristin!


I have four children under six, two of which are twin toddlers. I know how you feel. I am a Survivor Mom, too. My husband would be called a Survivor Dad because he's a SAHD and I'm a full-time working mother. When I get home from working as a teacher, I take the reins from my husband so he can get a break, which isn't always easy when I've had a full day myself.

I think that if the kids are still alive by 5pm, we've done our job.

Please share tips survivor moms!!! I am a co-sleeping, breastfeeding, cloth-diapering, cook-everything-from-scratch, no-tv, full-time working mom - and I am NOT surviving. Today, literally, I could not get out of bed from exhaustion - every muscle hurt, dizzy from lack of sleep, a migraine that started Friday morning... IT CANNOT BE DONE!!! ALL the advice out there is about how to make things a bit better for baby (and a helluva lot harder for mommy).

You've inspired me - I plopped junior in front of the TV to watch the Simpsons, ate my own dinner in peace, and skipped the bath (why did it not dawn on me earlier that he doesn't need a bath every day!). So, please, send some REAL LIFE advice my way. I want to join the Survivors camp!

Please check into the issue of cell phone companies placing towers on school properties in the middle of residential neighborshoods. It is so dangerous and lowers property values. If you would like, we could use your support and help by directing people to sign our petition so we can stop a cell tower at my daughter's elementary school. Thanks much!

I used to get pissed (and let him know it) at the husband for plopping our 6 month old in her swing in front of the t.v. to watch music videos while he got himself and the 8 year old ready for work/school in the morning. I leave for work before the rest of the house rises, so my 8 year old spy ratted him out.
Then I tried it myself after going insane trying to use every tactic I knew to get the kid to stop freaking out everytime I put her down since having her at the boob 24 hours straight is just not an option.

I promptly inserted my foot into my mouth and decided he was not a "bad" dad, just a dad trying to survive.

Um, should I be worried that my 6 month old shakes her little non-clothe diapered ass to Ke$ha whenever she comes on the radio? Ah, eff it.

I've said it forever...parenting...so easy, a caveman can do it!

Except it isn't easy. And yes, I will play the mind games needed to keep myself from getting voted off the island.

PS-- here in AZ with no humidity? You would be very surprised how long a child can go without a bath before becoming stinky. We made it a week once before we started saying, "hey...when did they last get bathed?"

OMG! I looooooooooooooooove this post!! I'm shouting "Amen!" right out loud. Bravo!

You bathe your kids every two days? God woman, I'm lucky if I get to the end of the week and can recall a bath. Most times, I think "shit, you need to wash yourself NOW!"

And, yeah, Survivor Mom sounds pretty good here too.

I couldn't agree with you more? As long as they have 10 fingers, 10 toes and both eyes by the end of the day, I am happy.

Here is to Survivor Parenting!!!

love this post!!
I can never be a perfect Mom and yet I still find ways to beat myself up about it. It is very refreshing to read not only your post, but all of the comments from other Moms that are just doing the best we can. I told someone the other day- I can't compete in the Mommy games but I will make refreshments.

All I can say is "Amen Sistah!"

I don't post that often, but I have been an avid follower for about 2 years now. I even have your book  My parenting style totally puts me in your tribe, and I am thankful for your stories. They help me see that I am not crazy because I don’t worry and fret all the time about what my kids are doing.
More often then not I take the stand that if it won’t hurt them TOO bad go ahead; all it will do is teach them about outcomes. It’s like life science.

Tonight I was given reassurance by the parenting universe that I am doing something right. My four year old, almost 5 if you ask him, even though his birthday is in Feb, was snuggled into me as I lay with him at bed time. As he fell asleep he moved back over to his own pillow and pulled me in so he could cuddle me the same way. He even stroked my cheek like I do his. It is moments like that when I realize that I may not follow all the ideas and rules in the books, but my little boy is growing up with the ability to love, to accept love, and the ability to show it. I gave myself a pat on the back tonight.

I'm also a "survivor" mom. Let me count the ways:

- Do you stink? No, good you're clean (this also goes for clothes and towels).
- Running late for school? Hair in a pony and we'll brush out the rats nest tonight (which ends up being 2 days later).
- "You're my 4th kid to go through first grade. Turning in homework is not necessary to move on to 2nd grade."
- "I'll get you another Hello Kitty stationary set; wrap yours up for Jenny's birthday party.

Love 'Survivor Mom'! Means as long as my primary alliance with Survivor Dad is intact I'll make it to the final 3...I have no idea who #3 is. This is kind of awkward, oops :)
I do really wish we could all just be parents instead of dividing ourselves up into labels so that we can judge and criticize each other :( Parenting is hard enough without feeling like we are doing something "wrong" just because we aren't doing it a certain way!

I'm with you too, sister. Three boys, one traveling husband remarkably similar to yours....yeah, it's all about survival here. Granted mine are a little older and able to fend for themselves in a lot of ways, but still. When they come crying to me over something silly, I have two questions: is anyone bleeding or have bones sticking out? Is the house on fire? No? Then figure it out yourself and let me finish dinner....that is, if you'd like to eat tonight.

posts like this are why I love you.

Oh, I just love this! Maybe we could have t-shirts made?! Thanks for the post!

This is my kind of post. I've secretly been exactly this type of mom all along, but never felt it was socially acceptable or some shit like that. Anyway! With a 2 year old and almost 9 months pregnant, I damn well do count every single day as one down, a million more to go.

Thanks as usual for writing out loud what so many of us feel/keep hidden.

I don't often comment, but your entire post and all the comments have just lifted a huge weight off my shoulders. My two kids (with another on the way) usually get too much tv, not enough baths, jammie days most days, and all the wrong food except at dinner time in name of survival. While not ideal, they know they are loved and they thrive. I am a Survivor Mom! Thank you for letting me join the tribe!

My husband and I refer to our household as Survivor: Child Island. It is absofuckinglutely survival conditions out here. We even have a conch.

I'm so glad I'm not the only parent who doesn't bathe her kid every day. Or even every other day. If she comes home visibly dirty, she'll probably get a bath... or at the very least, a "shoot, we forgot to give her a bath" wipe down before school the next morning. Heh.

Last weekend, we left her with a sitter for a few hours and were so giddy about the prospect of an afternoon by ourselves that we forgot to feed her lunch. Thankfully the sitter got her an ice cream cone--problem solved!

I have no idea why I haven't heard from the Mother of the Year Council yet... my award must have been lost in the mail. That's what I tell myself.

And we only have ONE. I have no idea how I'm going to manage with two. Kudos to those of you with 2+.

The #1 sign of success for me is when I go to bed at night and the kids AND the parents are all still alive. So yeah, I'm a Survivor (as well as Surviving) Mom. If that means that we watched TV while eating cheetos, naked and with dirty teeth all while the dishes are stacked in the sink and the laundry is getting rewashed for the 10th time in 3 days. We all survived.

Survivor parenting. Awesome!!!! Never been an every day bather either, but I do let them stay in there like an hour playing, I call it marinating. Maybe they get extra clean that way???


I'm totally a Survivor Mom - as a matter of fact, we just got back from the ER...seems one 5yo boy, water and wood flooring don't mix well, lol.

Baths every day? I don't freaking think so - especially now that there's a three month old in the house, and I'm the only one that does baths!

Much better than "Who's going to care in 100 years?" mother or "Are they fed and wearing clothes?" parenting. Please count me in. You are my tribe. Now, if I could get my husband to see this wisdom. If he tells me one more time about how our children should get a bath every single night -- when he happens to be working nights, no less -- I'm going to become "That Mom who Strangled her kids' dad in frustration".

BTW, I do not bathe them every night. Not happening.

Love it! I've always loathed all the labels people--other women especially--assign themselves. Love "Survivor Mom" though. At the end of the day all that matters is that we haven't killed them--or ourselves--and our sanity is somewhat intact. Just so we can do it all again the next day.

Thanks for the laugh. Cheers!

Omg 'I will not be voted off this motherfucking island' priceless. When my friends ask me how my life is going with kids, I always answer 'just trying to keep my sanity!!!'

Hilarious. This made me laugh out loud. Thank you, again, for sharing what I have thought so many times. And Cece, your comment about Aaron brought tears to my eyes. Thank you!


Not too much more I can add; but again AMEN Sister!!!

I only wish that at the end, when they each survive to adulthood, that we won a million bucks. That'd be great.

Amen sister. I'm sure the FedEx guy who came to my door was surprised to find a naked-except-for-his-snow-boots on Boy Child answer the door. It's how we roll around here.

Non-organic Play-dough ground into the carpet? Check.

Breakfast for dinner? Check.

TV on a little more than it should be? Check.

At the end of the day, happy, healthy, loved SLEEPING kids are my job well-done reward. And then it's Wine o'Clock.


This is one label I can embrace. Also, it's shorter than my "Does it really matter in the grand scheme of things?" label.

Who knew what I was doing had a label. Go figure. Sometimes it takes all the energy I have to not ask to be voted off the island--but I love my island inhabitants and all their crazy.

I'm so glad I've finally found my tribe! "It's not that I'm letting him do whatever keeps him busy for more than 3 seconds, it's that I'm Survivor Mom! So back off and give my child back my keys, cell phone and wallet, thankyouverymuch"

I was my mom's 5th kid, spread over 15 years. I KNOW. When I was about 8, she told me not to go out in some jeans with huge holes in the knees. I said "Mom, no one is going to come up to you and say "Lady, your kid has holes in her jeans."" She loved that idea and ran with it. She pretty much quit caring what I wore, since it was ok with both of us.

I think I've been part of that movement from the beginning :o)

Perfect moniker. I have 3 kids, pregnant with the 4th, and most days its like trying to corral cats while standing on one foot, blindfolded. If I get through until bedtime without blood, fire, or broken anything? I'm patting myself on the back.

Me too, sister! My cousin is literally following a BOOK to raise her child. If the book doesn't say to do it, she doesn't. I do everything by what feels right. And I give my husband 100% credit for that. When I was losing my shit when my first child wouldn't/couldn't breastfeed - I was hystrical. I finally found out I didn't make milk (rare). I felt this HUGE wieght lifted when we switched to formula, and I felt awful about that. But I knew that I was doing the right thing. And Aaron sat me down, looked me right into my eyes and said - You are the mom. You will always know was is best for your kids.

So - if that is letting my daughter eat dirt because she'll flip a lid if I make her stop, I let her eat dirt. But it doesn't make me a Dirt Eating Baby Mommy.

Amen! Just got to get through the day. We all have our moments of inspiration, but the vast majority of the time just feels like survival.

LOVE this! Thanks :)

I'm with you on "bathe when we think of it". I sometimes wonder if other people think my children are ferel with their dirty fingernails and dirt goatees. But there are only so many hours in the day and bathing often gets shoved to the bottom of the list. Oh well, you hardly ever hear someone qaulify their parents with "they were wonderful, they kept us so clean!"

I'm a "Don't Make Me Put My Book Down" mom now that my kids are in grade school & can do a good many things for themselves & I can at long last read for pleasure again. Before that, I think Survivor Parent would be the right description, or as my mom put it a "Choose You Battles Wisely" mom.

We've always used the word "cleanish". That means that in the winter you get bathed whenever we think of it. Spring, practically every day. Summers in the pool if you rinse? Hardly ever. Fall days get back to a gradual pattern again- every other day or when we remember.

Oh, man I am right there with you!

Is everyone conscious? Breathing? Somewhat clean? Not bleeding? Privates covered with something resembling clothing? Fed within the last several hours?

Check, check, check, check, check, check.

Score one for mommy! YESSSSSSSS....

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