How To Be A Chill Mommy It’s time to let go of the perfect-parent fantasy. We all take shortcuts to stay happy (and sane). Real women share how they cut corners and hold the guilt.

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Skip The Tub

Jessica Barrett, of Indianapolis, cops to quickie cleanups instead of baths. “When I don’t have time to wash your youngest, I use a scented wipe on her face and head so she has that fresh-baby smell,” says Barrett, whose daughters are 6 months and 3 1/2. The dirty truth about cleaning your kid? “You shouldn’t feel obligated to bathe your baby every day,” says Seth Faber, M.D., a pediatrician in Detroit. “If your child’s skin is healthy, then you’re doing it right.” A baby who has been crawling around the backyard needs a good scrub-down; if she’s been on her activity mat and in your arms for most of the day, she can go to bed without having a bath.

End Dressing Drama

Tired of battles over what outfit your toddler will wear? Remember, your goal is a happy kid — not Blackwell’s best-dressed list — as many veteran moms understand. “My 2-year-old likes to wear her big sister’s clothes, so sometimes we leave the house and she’s sporting a T-shirt down to her ankles and a diaper,” says Juliet Johnson, of Los Angeles. “I never would’ve allowed that with my older kids, but now I let it go.”

Lena Kohut, also of Los Angeles, even puts her children (ages 1, 4, and 6) to bed in their clothes for the next day. “It saves time in the morning, and it’s not as if they’re going to a job interview or anything.”

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