6 Parenting Risks I Wish I Could Take


I do the school bus run in the morning. In general, the bus will be long gone and a half-dozen parents will still be left chatting. But today one of the regulars scurried off after confessing she left her three-year-old sleeping alone in the house. I was shocked and couldn’t imagine leaving a small child like that. But since she was gone for only three minutes or so, and was only two blocks away, chances are her little one didn’t even know mom was gone. I’ve never been able to get comfortable with “chances are.” But if I were, here's what I'd let my kids do.

Leave my kids home sleeping while I run down the block. Like clockwork, my kids wake up at the same time every day. I could sneak down the block to drop the big one at school without the hassle of waking the little one.

Let them sit in the car while I run into the dry cleaner's. I can see the car and the kids. By the time I’ve gotten them unbuckled and across the parking lot, I could have been in and out.

Wait to change my baby's diaper until it's soaking (not just damp). My conscience gets the best of me. If it didn’t, I’d let the little one hang in that diaper just a little while longer.

Put my baby down to bed with a bottle. The promise of cavities or a baby who can’t sleep without a bottle kept me from letting my kids sleep with a bottle in their bed. But when they wake up in the middle of the night screaming, “Mommy,” I wish I could let them do it.

Drive a few blocks to visit a friend — without the car seat. I never drive my kids without a car seat, but the hassle of getting them into their car seats make me want to.

Let my baby sleep on her tummy. The risk of SIDS always outweighed the notion that babies sleep much better (and longer!) on their tummies. But boy, it is tempting when you have a newborn at home and sleep is a hard to come by.