I have to laugh and roll my eyes a bit when people feel the need to label everything they do as parents. There's child-led weaning, baby-led feeding, and elimination communication, not to mention a bunch of other things that many of us just do.
Apparently these things have special names.
Who knew that giving your kid food on their high chair for them to pick up had a fancy title? I thought it was just called "eating!"
I'm not quite sure when just letting your kids play outside by themselves became "Free Range Parenting" or sleeping with your baby and wearing them in a carrier became "Attachment Parenting."
But suddenly, everything we do as parents has a label.
I understand the idea of finding your tribe and having some way to defend your choices. I've used that tactic more than once with my in-laws.
"It has a name, it's called "BREASTEFEEDING" so I'm not crazy! Take that!"
It can be mind numbing when you make a parenting choice and people, other parents even, raise their eyebrow at you or give you a look like you just made your kids walk barefoot on hot coals.
And when you find someone else who lets their 2-year-old leave the house in a ballet outfit and patent leather dress shoes, you can sigh with relief and have a communal "Two-year-olds are bat shit crazy OMFG" moment.
So, to join the scores of parents who ascribe to a certain parenting philosophy or an eclectic mix of a few, I've decided to start my own.
I'm calling it "Survivor Parenting."
No, I'm not forcing my kids to eat live bugs and boiled goat testicles in order for them to earn some pizza, a couple of Snickers bars, and a phone call home, although I will say it's crossed my mind once or twice.
I'm just doing what I can to make it through another day with my sanity in tact.
The Survivor Mom's Motto: I will not be voted off this motherfucking island.
Around here that means baths every other day or every two if they happened to play at the water table.
Close enough for me!
Sometimes we eat breakfast for dinner. I'll pretend to be their server and take their order to make it more interesting.
"Over easy, Sir!" Margot will tell me.
Apparently she also thinks I'm a man, but hey! Better than "asshole!"
I often just plant Bridget on the floor and throw various things, like Duplo blocks, wooden Easter decorations that still haven't been put away, even remote controls in front of her to keep her occupied.
I think this might be called "free play" but I call it "please give me one more minute to make dinner without crying."
I have no philosophy, no researched approach, no books to guide my every move.
I just make sure my kids are healthy, safe, fed, clothed and happy. And that at the end of the day, I'm still standing.
Well figuratively, anyway.