It’s true that there are no handbooks when it comes to raising children. You’d think they’d send us home with a set of guidelines when they trust us to bring home those little pink or blue bundles of adorableness. But no. They just wish us well, and probably “good luck” under their breath, and then let us go home to figure it out on our own.

Luckily in parenting, we kind of figure out a few of the rules on our own. However, when you have rules, you have rule breakers.

And friends, I am definitely a rule breaker.

I think the parenting rule I break the most is the “be consistent” rule. There. I said it. I am not consistent with my children. I am sending my kids mixed messages all the time about what the rules are. And they, in turn, have become well-versed in my lack of consistency, knowing that if they refrain from doing whatever said task I have just ordered them to do, I will forget about it eventually and they’ll get off scot-free.

For example, the other day my 13-year-old son left his bike out on the sidewalk. I saw it out there and called up to his room to go outside and put it away before someone stole it. He said okay, and I went about my business. The next morning as my husband left for work, he peeked his head back in the house to let me know that the bike was still out there.

And it goes further than that. I assume he’s cleaned his room when he says he has. I figure he’s stopped playing on his videogames at the dictated stopping time. I trust he’s turned off all the lights if he’s the last one downstairs.

I’m wrong almost every time.

If I don’t recheck if something gets done, it won’t get done. And as a mom who practices distracted parenting, I kind of forget all the time to recheck if stuff gets done. So nothing gets done.

You’d think I’d have learned my lesson by now.

What parenting rule are you guilty of breaking?

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