Real Life Parenting


real lifeHas the Instagram scroll ever made you feel like you don’t quite measure up? How does she look so good? Why is her house always clean? That dinner looks amazing. How is her kid sleeping through the night already?

Parenting is tough!

Luckily, my real-life friends willingly share their trials, crazy moments, and parenting fails to keep me grounded. When I recently tapped them for blog ideas, one told me to share the real stuff. Moms appreciate knowing there’s more to life than the perfect Instagram post.

I asked fellow moms via social media to share their real-life parenting moments or things they said they’d never do. The response was awesome!

In fact, my own mom jumped in. I knew she HATED our messy rooms, but I didn’t know she made a conscious effort to ignore it. There were bigger battles to fight so she just shut our doors.

She also threatened to take my brother to the state boys training school in our county – another mom chimed in saying she’d done the same. And, one added she told her daughter the gypsies were coming to take her. Clearly, generations of women before us lied to their kids and we all turned out fine!

Once when my sons were being completely awful, I drove them to where the road ends (a gravel road two miles from our house) and told them to get out of the car. They both cried and behaved the rest of the day.

My kids’ reaction when I told them to get out of the car – I was done parenting that day and it was only 8 a.m.!

You’re not alone! Life is messy and completely unfiltered. Here are some real life confessions from local parents.

Lately, when my son says inappropriate words, I just tell him not to say that at school. Cedar Rapids mom of one

I had to hide my kid’s police officer costume until Halloween. I came outside to see he’d flagged down a car and was yelling at them that they were speeding. Des Moines mom of one.

I never thought I’d medicate my child. Our psychologist asked, “If he was near sighted, would you second guess getting him glasses? This is no different.” On a lighter note, I never imagined putting a blanket between my kids in the van because they wouldn’t quit poking each other! Ames mom of two

If they didn’t pick up their toys, I told them I was taking them to Goodwill. I totally thought they’d pick up. Two garbage bags later, and they now pick up their toys! Olathe, Kansas, mom of two

I actually pulled the car over until they stopped fighting. I’m turning in to my dad! Ames mom of three

Every time my kids say they’re bored, we tell them to go pick one toy to throw away. Works every time. Ames mom of two

After they put slime ALL over the ceiling, I sat down on the floor and cried. They realized how bad what they had done was and learned a lesson. The slime took an hour to clean off and I had to repaint. Slime is evil! Radcliffe mom of four

I said I wouldn’t co-sleep – and now bring them to my room at least once a week. I also said he’d never wear pull ups. Two years later and we’re still in pull ups at night because I don’t have time for all that laundry! Columbia, Missouri, mom of two

When my daughter was four, she stopped wearing underwear and didn’t tell me. I found out in a hot bathroom stall at the county fair rodeo. She told me, “I don’t wear underwear mom. I don’t like them.” I had to check every day that she put them on. When I registered her for kindergarten, they gave us a handbook and I “pretend” read a section on clothing expectations. I started with winter gear and then dropped in “you need proper attire such as shirt, shorts/pants, underwear, etc. Mission accomplished! Alden mom of two

I swore I’d never let our kids get beers for our family or friends. I thought it was inappropriate and tacky. That didn’t last. Beer is just part of our social life, whether it’s drinks around a fire, tailgates, or hanging out with friends. While it doesn’t happen often, it still happens and I’m not ashamed. Ames mom of two

I swore I wouldn’t buy shirts with any logos, silly sayings, or gaudy cartoons on them. Now I seek them out!! Des Moines mom of two

I couldn’t find a consequence that resonated with my daughter so I thought about what she loved the most. I boxed up all her shoes and she could earn them back one at a time. The girl loves shoes! Ankeny mom of three

I made my son get out of the car and walk to school because he was being belligerent. Because he was in first grade, I also had to drive behind him with my hazard lights on to make sure he didn’t get kidnapped. Grimes mom of two

I asked my kids to take care of their laundry basket. When I got home, nothing had moved. I told them, “If you’re going to do nothing then we’ll have a whole night of nothing.” It’s pretty hard to truly do nothing! They cried an hour in but I held firm. Finally, they gave up and went to bed. At age 19 and 21, they still talk about that night – lesson learned! Cedar Rapids dad of two

Hope you enjoyed these real-life parenting moments – thanks to everyone for sharing! What’s one of your real-life parenting moments?

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Brittney and her husband, Tyler, have been married for 10 years and live in Ames. Their two sons, Beckett (5) and Hudson (3), keep them on their toes with constant wrestling, dinosaur-related questions and daily inquiries as to when their next trip to get ice cream will be. Brittney works full time in marketing and communications. She likes to bike (the kind with pedals), visit family, hang out with friends, be in or on water - and always has good coffee and red wine on hand.


  1. For a short time I kept a spray bottle in the front seat of the car. I would use it to break up my 4 and 7 yo boy’s fights. I tell my 3 yo daughter that we bought an extra expensive roof that keeps out all the monsters and burglars.


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