Parenting is not always easy.
It takes a village to raise a child, they say, and while lately it seems that the villagers are more likely to come at you with pitchforks than to help you raise a barn, there are still benefits to being part of a broader community.
The internet makes it possible to judge with impunity, but it also allows us to witness and praise – or repudiate – countless different parenting techniques (and potentially adopt them as our own). Even better, from time to time, it provides both anonymous solidarity and gleeful Schadenfreude.
Especially if you follow me.
I frequently get told in comments on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, that I make other parents feel better about themselves. I’m not sure that’s a compliment but that’s fine. I’m just doing me here, and being as honest as possible about it. If that makes you feel better about yourself, then good. I’d rather be the reason parents feel like they’re doing a good job – even if it’s at my expense – then add to the judgmental noise.
So here’s a list of things I do that make other parents feel better about what they do – or don’t do. Because parenting doesn’t just take a village, it takes a village idiot. YOU’RE WELCOME.
- Insult My Kids – Assholes, little shits, jerks, pains in the ass, I’ve said it all. I let the insults rip – but not to their faces. If you don’t occasionally badmouth your kids, you’re either a liar or a better parent than me. Either way let’s not hang out.
- Complain About Parenting – I prefer to think of this as telling the truth. Anyone who pretends parenting is all peaches and cream is not to be trusted and certainly no one I’d care to be associated with. Ugh, talk about annoying. Either they’re fooling themselves or fooling you. I’d much rather someone tell it to me straight, so that’s what I try to do. #Sorrynotsorry.
- Use Formula Sometimes – Shut up.
- Breastfeed* Sometimes – OH MY GOD. SHUT. UP.
- Cry It Out – Let’s not get into this again. We cried it out with Detective Munch and we cried it out with The Hammer and there’s only been a tiny amount of brain damage whatever IT WORKS get off me you self-righteous clowns!
- Use My Phone While Parenting – Guess what? I’m a person too. I’m a 40-year-old man, and watching my kid do kid stuff and/or doing kid stuff with my kid? Sometimes it’s great. Sometimes? IT’S FUCKING BORING. Thank Jeebus for my phone and if you spend every waking moment devoted to your kids congratulations you’re the best.
- Mock Parents – I didn’t say judge parents. Because who am I to judge? (More specifically, who are you to judge?) But parents take themselves too seriously, they take the gig too seriously, they like their kids too much, they let it consume them, they’re boring. If you can’t make fun of yourself, or your kids, or this whole crazy endeavor, you’re not going to enjoy it very much. It’s hard enough to enjoy as it is. Sense of humor or GTFO!
Either you don’t do any of the stuff in this list and thereby deserve a medal, or you do some of that stuff and are happy someone like me is standing up for you because nobody’s perfect and it’s none of your business!
Let me be the terrible example that gives you someone to feel superior to you. It’s the least I can do for all the time you spend reading my stuff. What can I say? I’m a giver. (Not really.)
*Obviously Mom and Buried handles this. I’m not that bad of a parent.