I’d like to think that most of us take parenting pretty seriously. I mean, we all know our children depend on us for sustenance, shelter and guidance. We get it.

But we can all use a break from the little tyrants that run our lives and change our plans. From ignoring swear words in music so you can finish listening to that last Kendrick song after carpool, to buying your kids toys you secretly want to play with, to sneaking away to drink alone, here are the top 5 guilty pleasures of parents — that they admit to, anyway.

TV

Lots of folks say TV and I feel ya. TV really holds the key for productive parenting. Need a nap? TV. Want to run a load of laundry? TV. Want to hide in your room alone and veg out on Instagram? TV. Read a book? You got it.

Look, I get it. We are in a technology-driven crisis and constantly talking about “how much is too much?” when it comes to TV. I don’t know how much is too much but I do know that about half an hour is just enough for me to doze off and check out. Basically, TV=naps and we all know how badly we need sleep.

Playdates

When you’re a new parent and your kids are just entering the realm of consciousness with social interactions, isn’t it just so cute when you finally have a mom friend (or stranger) with kids your kids’ ages and y’all can sit and watch them play?

But once they are older and you’re done marveling over their conflict-resolution capabilities and cute games made over a single Lego, you start dropping those little jokers off at other people’s houses and driving away, without even so much as a glance in the rearview. Sorry, playdate host. Joke’s on you.

Food

Oh man. This is a good one. Options with food include (but are not limited to): hiding the good stuff too high (guilty), saying your favorite food is “too spicy” so the kid loses interest, eating all the food that is “bad” for the kids and pretending you’re doing them a solid. Throw in going into hiding to stuff your face with chocolate and you’ve got yourself a problem — er —  solution.

It’s not that I want to lie to my kids. I’m just not above it.

IKEA

Need some new plates? New sofa? Linens? No? Yeah, me either. Who cares? IKEA has an HOUR of free childcare. Sure, they probably are assuming you’ll buy something besides the $1 cinnamon roll but what are they going to do? Follow you around? Now, take your 60 minutes to go “test out” one of their beds.

Work

Before kids, we probably never thought work would be an escape but I’m here to tell you it is. Want to feel like a grownup, like a person with purpose in the world that doesn’t include being a referee, personal chef, or groomer of tiny humans? Put on that pantsuit and get the heck outta dodge. Some days, any parent will take the drudgery of corporate America over the constant repetition of “He’s looking at me!”

Photo Credit: Liz Logan

This story was written for CharlotteFive’s latest channel for parents in the QC, called QC Playground. Sign up for the weekly QC Playground newsletter here.

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