Parenting is a nonstop merry-go-round of comparison, guilt and judgment.
We feel guilty when we screw up. We judge other parents when they screw up. We endlessly compare ourselves to those same parents, unaware – or, more honestly, unwilling to accept – that they are experiencing exactly the same trials and tribulations, riding the same roller-coaster, as we are.
We pit ourselves against the world, against non-parents and other parents and even our spouses, eliminating the curve and grading everything on a scale of zero or 100, using extreme language in the service of unrealistic standards. In so doing, we isolate ourselves from each other.
It’s time we started using our broad assumptions and wild generalizations to be inclusive instead of exclusive. I’ll give it a try.
My son is only four, but with the speed at which children grow up these days, it won’t be long before he starts going on dates. So I thought I’d write a little something to anyone who is considering going to the drive-in and the ice cream stand – or maybe the roller rink and soda shop? I’m out of touch – with my son.
(If you have a daughter, try these or these, from much nicer people than me.)
He’s a friendly, good-looking kid, so I don’t blame you for being interested. Just be careful.
If you want to date my son, it’s your funeral.
Parenting is the worst thing in the world and the worst part about it is how fast it goes by.
Such is the paradox every mom and dad must come to terms with as soon as their first child is born. The bad parts are plentiful, the good parts are transcendent, and everything is over before you know it. I bitch a lot about pretty much all of it, but that doesn’t mean I don’t also love it. Personally, if I can’t bitch about something, it might as well not even exist. Which makes every rant against the hassle of child-rearing just further evidence of how important it all is to me.
Which means this list of things I hate about parenting is actually kind of a love letter, if that helps you feel better.
I wouldn’t expect you to understand. If you’re not from here, it must seem alien to you.
Around these parts we do things differently, and if you’re not born and raised in this culture, you’re probably never going to get it. We eat different foods, we use different slang, we wear different clothes, and yes, we discipline our children differently.
So I can’t condemn Adrian Peterson for what he did. It’s a part of his culture.
Things are going to be quiet around here for the next week or so, because Dad and Buried is going on vacation!
I’m actually a little reluctant to call it a vacation, since I’m bringing my toddler along. Yes, I’m taking the week off from work, and from my blog (I’ll still be updating my Facebook page every now and then, so be sure to follow me there!), and I’ll be at the beach. But I don’t know how much relaxation will be happening, as it’s not exactly my son’s middle name.
His middle name is actually “GET THE F*** DOWN FROM THERE YOU’RE GOING TO KILL YOURSELF!”
Controversy recently ignited when a popular Northern California restaurant posted a sign aggressively banning unruly children and babies from their establishment.
Yesterday, on the heels of this, I shared an old post I wrote about the divide between parents and non-parents, which, if the collection of comments and emails and death threats I receive whenever I post something on The Huffington Post is any indication, seems pretty wide these days.
Whether you’ve read that old post of mine or not, you probably assume I’m outraged at the restaurant for its “no loud kids” policy, like a lot of my fellow parents. But I actually don’t have a problem with it.
Funny thing about parents: we hate kids.
For the third week this month, Mom and Buried is traveling and I’m on my own with my kid.
DON’T PANIC. We’re okay.
Sure, maybe the first time my wife went away I was all: what am I gonna do? But several weeks in and now I’m all: ain’t no thing but a chicken wing on a string. I’m a real-life dad, not a Seth Macfarlane character; I can handle it. Newsflash: it’s parenting, not the Thunderdome, and dads can do it just as well as moms.
I’d even venture to say we do it better.
Last week, when I asked my Facebook followers for topic ideas, someone suggested I tackle the mixed feelings parents have when their kids misbehave. Which almost sounds crazy. Why would anyone have anything but bad feelings when their kids misbehave?
Then, earlier this week, I got yelled at by a bunch of people who got angry that I let my son run rampant on airplanes. Never mind that I don’t do that, and that my son has (thus far) been very well-behaved on airplanes; these people said HURTFUL things that MADE ME CRY.
And it got me reconsidering that reader’s request, especially since I suddenly and strongly want my kid to misbehave on our next flight, just out of spite.
I’m a single parent* this week.
My wife is out-of-town, so I’ll be watching my threenager without her assistance for a good ten days. I’ll be responsible for feeding him and getting him dressed and getting him to bed and giving him his bath and telling him no and weathering his tantrums and telling him no and weathering his tantrums and telling him no and…
I’m not nervous about being alone with my son for a week; even though I’m not a stay-at-home dad anymore, I’m alone with my son all the time. I’m his dad and dads are parents too, contrary to popular opinion. The occasional bout of single parenting is part of the job, and I’m used to it.
But just because I can do it doesn’t mean I want to.