There’s a lot of judgment surrounding the decision to smoke a little weed now and then at home, especially for people who have kids. It’s still illegal in much of the United States, but hear me out – it probably won’t be for much longer, and like, no one is harassing parents for having a beer during “happy hour” or draining one after the kids finally go to sleep, right?

Aside from the legality issue, I suspect most criticism comes from people who have never smoked pot, leading them to believe that somehow taking a few puffs is far different than having a drink or two, impairment-wise. It’s really not, for most people, and what’s more –  these 10 dads are willing to go on record with how doing it actually helps them as parents.

10. Definitely some food for thought.

“My son is in college, and I’m not ashamed to say I’ve smoked with him before. Look, I had a drink or two with my dad when I was responsible enough to do it. How is this different? My dad and I enjoy beers together now — it’s one of my favorite things to do with him.

It’s a way to bond. And I feel the same way about smoking with my son. I don’t shove it in his face, and he doesn’t flaunt the fact that we do it together. But, like me and my dad, I hope it’s something we can keep in common for the rest of my life.” – Jeffrey, 40, Maryland 

9. We all need some time alone.

“I smoke after my kids have gone to bed. Those last few hours are so sacred, only because they’re just so different than the rest of my day. I don’t think it’s any different than a hobby, really. It’s a way to relax, unwind, and reset before I have to go do it all again tomorrow.

And I don’t always have a chance to do it every day, which makes the time I’m able to enjoy it even more special. It’s a completely different, more refined appreciation I have now, as opposed to smoking when I was in college.” – John, 36, Colorado

8. Not being annoyed with your kids being kids is a blessing.

“I’m calm. I’m more attentive. I’m less irritable. As far as I’m concerned, marijuana is a parenting miracle. I don’t want to say how old my kids are, but they’re old enough to come home from school with a lot of energy, wanting to play, and yell, and make a mess.

When I time it right, I can hit my stride as they’re getting off the bus, and I’m just such a better parent. That’s weird to say, but it’s true. I’m, like, enthralled with them and completely invested in them and their craziness, instead of just being annoyed.” – Will, 36, California 

7. We’ve definitely all learned it.

“Parenting is f*cking hard. Some dads have a beer at the end of the day. Some have a burger. Some have a cupcake. I have a bowl. On those really challenging days, I feel like I deserve it.

So, it’s half celebration for just surviving, and half pat on the back. My wife goes to the freezer for ice cream, I go to the back of the sock drawer. We’ve earned it.” – Xavier, 32, Michigan   

6. I’ve heard this from so many people.

“I’ve had generalized anxiety disorder since I was in college. I used to smoke weed then to deal with it, and I still do it now. It works. Anxiety isn’t just being nervous about things. It’s this whole body reaction that, for me, is paralyzing.

As a parent, that can’t happen while you’re trying to watch your kids. I’ve taken a ton of prescription anti-anxiety meds to try and help, and nothing works like weed. At the risk of sounding like a paid endorsement, it doesn’t just make me a better parent, it makes me a better husband, friend, son…a better person, really.” – Mike, Oregon, 34

5. Transitions are necessary.

“I smoke during the day, when my kids are at school. Usually, I’ll take a hit or two about an hour after they’ve left. It’s like my reset button. The mornings are so full of chaos, that it’s hard for me to wrap my brain around what I need to do during the day.

Sitting down to smoke is a chance to clear my head, get that second start, and plan my to-do list. It doesn’t make me feel lazy. Quite the opposite, actually. The clarity and peace gets me psyched to enjoy the quiet, and get shit done.” – Peter, 37, Rhode Island 

4. And making friends is so hard as an adult!

“If you think other parents don’t smoke weed, you’re kidding yourself. There are so many parent couples that we know who all admit to smoking at least semi-regularly. It’s just not taboo anymore.

I think our parents’ generation was the one that would’ve whispered behind the backs of other parents who smoked. ‘OMG! Did you hear about so-and-so? I heard they smoke marijuana!’ But now, it’s par for the course, and another bond we have in addition to our kids.” – Matt, 38, California

3. I mean. Who can blame him?

“Specifically, my mother-in-law. She’s unreal. My father-in-law is a piece of work, too. When they’re over, it’s not uncommon for me to excuse myself to go back to our shed and smoke a quick one. My wife hates it. But only because she can’t get away with it.

My mother-in-law barely pays attention to me unless she’s criticising me or giving me backhanded compliments. And my father-in-law hates me. So I can go under the radar pretty easily. But they’re always up in my wife’s face, which means she usually needs a trip to the shed after they leave.” – Brandon, 35, Pennsylvania 

2. Anything you can take back from cancer wins the day.

“I was diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer, and I started chemotherapy almost immediately. I wasn’t prepared for how much it would wreck me. I was tired, nauseated, and just generally in bad shape almost all the time. It broke my heart knowing that my kids saw me like that.

A friend of mine suggested weed to help with the nausea. My wife and I looked into it, and I gave it a try. It helped. It helped enough to where I wasn’t in pain or throwing up all the time. And it gave me back some ‘normal’ time to spend with my kids.” – AJ, 46, Florida

1. I just love this.

“Our kids don’t know we smoke. It’s like having an affair without any infidelity. We keep it secret because our kids aren’t old enough to have a real discussion about it. Once they hit that age, I doubt we’ll flaunt it, but we might not have to be as secretive. But, for now, it actually adds some spice to our marriage.

It’s almost like when we were dating, and would sneak off for quickies whenever and wherever we could. Except now, it’s smoking instead of sex. I wouldn’t advise keeping secrets from your spouse, but keeping secrets with your spouse is a lot of fun.” – Jason, 37, Illinois

I’m not saying I’m going to do this, but I am saying that anything that makes your parenting day easier and doesn’t harm your kids is really fine – and none of anyone else’s business.

How do you get through the rough days? We’re sharing tips in the comments!