15 ‘Bad Moms’ Share the Parenting Rules That They Break on a Normal Basis

When a woman finds out she is pregnant for the first time, she is often tempted to absorb parenting books and look to the internet to make sure she does everything right once her baby is born.

News flash: it’s impossible to do everything right, and what is considered “right” doesn’t always remain the same. 

If you look to the internet or the parenting books, you’ll see that there are quite a few rules that parents are supposed to follow if they want to be good parents who raise great children. For example, screen time is bad and organic food is good. Homemade is best, and plastic is frowned on. The list goes on.

If you’re reading this while your kids watch TV and happily nosh on a Happy Meal, you’re far from alone, and you’re not a bad parent. You’re probably normal.

Reddit user AmongWilderFlowers asked, “What is a ‘bad mom’ rule or activity that you shamelessly and unapologetically do for your kids?”

Read on to see what the “bad moms” on Reddit confessed to. It’ll probably make you feel a little bit better about the parenting “rules” you’re breaking.

  1. Screen Time

    Shared by Reddit user butterfliesfloat:

    I let my kids watch TV. Do I let them watch it for hours on end? No. But sometimes it’s easier to just sit them down in front of Peppa Pig or Daniel Tiger while we get something done. Especially now that daycare is closed and we’re WFH.

  2. Fast Food

    Written by oneeyefox:

    I let my kid eat fast food. It’s not everyday but truthfully it’s probably about once a week that I get her a happy meal or stop by Little Cesar’s and get a $5 pizza. She’s healthy and I cook most of the time so I don’t feel guilty.

  3. Plastic Toys

    shiveryslinky wrote:

    Screen time. So much screen time. And plastic toys! When I was but a naive pregnant woman I swore it’d be all wooden toys that would enrich her mind and very little tv… She watched Frozen twice yesterday and had rice pudding for lunch. Parenting is difficult af.

  4. Curse Words

    UFOmama admits to breaking quite a few rules:

    I let my kids say curse words if they stub their toe or something minor, we all start laughing and they forget they are hurt quickly. Once they are 10+ they get a tiny cocktail or wine on holidays or celebrations. I let them watch movies with nudity and sex, not porn, (natural) but not murder (especially kids murdering each other). I let them dress themselves and choose their own hair cuts/colors. I don’t make them eat anything but if they don’t they can only snack on fruit or veggies.

  5. Daycare on Days Off

    Reddit user Sun_shine24 wrote:

    When I have a weekday off, I still drop my kid off at daycare for a few hours (same daycare she goes to the other days, around the same kids, with the same teachers, same COVID precautions, etc). I use my free time to go grocery shopping, clean the house, and take a nap. I’m a nicer, more patient mom when I’m not completely exhausted, and my time with the kid is more meaningful when I’m only focused on them instead of household chores. Do I feel a bit guilty about it for not spending every waking moment I can with my little one? Yeah, definitely. Am I going to stop? Nope. Call me a bad mom. IDGAF.

  6. Juice

    Here’s the scandalous answer from the Reddit user who asked the question (AmongWilderFlowers):

    I let my kid drink juice sometimes. I don’t think juice is inherently bad, but the way some people absolutely FREAK about not giving their kids juice is beyond me. My kid likes apple juice. Big whoop.

  7. TV in the Child’s Room

    Oliver_Green added:

    My kid’s got a TV in her room solely to watch Bob Ross at bedtime. She’s allowed to cuss as long as she doesn’t use words as weapons. She gets way too much screen time. Gets “chocolate milk” (Carnation instant breakfast) at bedtime for the extra calories and protein. As long as she’s in bed and quiet, we don’t actually care whether she chooses to read all night long rather than sleep. She teases us, gives advice and she is treated as an equal in the home as much as possible. We’re not her friends, but we try to respect her autonomy when we can.

  8. Pajamas

    Written by fairfielder9082:

    I let them run around all day in pajamas if they want to. I usually draw the line at leaving the house like that. I wouldn’t, either, so I feel like that is still a decent boundary, I want them dressed when we leave… After age 2 that is. Before age 2, as long as you don’t have a goose egg jn your pants, and ya know, you’re wearing pants, let’s go.

  9. “Because I Said So”

    Shared by gothiclg:

    Not me but my mom. Her “bad mom” rule was if I asked why I couldn’t do something and she couldn’t come up with a reason besides “because I said so” I got to do that thing. I got away with some questionable things based on that. Even now at 30 when my mom asks me why I have certain experiences the reason is often “because I couldn’t come up with a good reason not to do it”.

  10. Co-Sleeping

    lillyanne44 added:

    Co sleeping, my son’s 3 and I absolutely don’t care if he still sleeps in my bed and my daughter was just born last month and now she dose to lol

  11. Treats and Coffee

    Reddit user throwawayohyesitis wrote:

    I get them a treat on the way home from school a few times a week.And I let my 2yo have some of my coffee on occasion.

  12. Calling in Sick

    Shared by taxchick63:

    My daughter is grown now but when she was in school, once or twice a year I would call her in sick so she could get extra sleep ( usually for cramps or just general exhaustion from test week). We did fast food once a week or so, watched Nickelodeon until She fell asleep ( as a small child), co slept until she was in high school ( I was a single mom). The world didn’t end, she graduated from college, grew up to be a productive adult and now has her own daughter.

  13. Sharing

    Written by CantChooseAFandom69:

    I don’t make them share. I know – shocking!We can be at a family event, and my child will be playing with their toy and a cousin will approach and either politely ask for it ( or try to take it) my kid will say no (usually) and then the mother goes “No no no, you have to share!” To which I interrupt “No sweety, you don’t. Sharing is nice.. but you don’t have to do it. Would you like to share or would you like to keep going as you are?” Kid wants to keep using their toy happily, and the other mom is always outraged. How awful. My children both have learned you don’t get what you want in this world by simply asking nicely and I won’t have to worry that they will be taken advantage of by others because they know when they want to willingly give and don’t just because others are trying to pressure them. Now, I have two children. They share with each other more often than not… however, I never make them share. They do it usually out of bartering and I think its taught them good negotiation skills. Daughter wants to use sons mp3 player? Sure, but he gets to use her bluetooth headphones for his video game. Sharing is not caring when its forced, its just guilt tripping bullshit.

  14. Sticky All Day

    Shared by cherrytrashpanda:

    I let my kid be sticky/snotty. She hates having her face wiped unless it bath time and I honestly hate fighting her to try and wipe her face. So if we’re kicking it at home, she’s sticky until it’s time for her evening bath.

  15. Donuts for Dinner

    ivanbelly added:

    Once, after a long day, on the way home from softball practice my three kids, my husband and I were trying to decide what to eat for dinner. No one could agree, everyone was exhausted and starving. Someone jokingly said donuts, so yep we ate donuts for dinner.