Tag Archives: Parents

The 11 Most Annoying Types of Facebook Parents

fbparentsYou know them. You’ve seen them. You might even be one. Well, not you of course. You’re cool. I’m totally talking about that annoying friend you have. Yeah…that’s the ticket.

So even though I am a parent and I love parents, the fact of the matter is we can be an infuriating bunch. The know-it-all mentality, the one-upsmanship, the showboating — it can all be a little much at times. Unfortunately, social media — and Facebook especially — serves as a virtual bullhorn that broadcasts that obnoxiousness across the Internet and beams all the bullshit directly to your laptop, tablet, or phone.

Well, it’s time to call these perpetrators out by shining the spotlight of truth on them.

I have used every bit of scientific methodology and cutting-edge research available to mankind (or simply looked in the mirror while also observing many of you) to put this list together. So read this list of annoying kinds of Facebook parents to find your friends, see a little bit of yourself, and tell me which ones I’ve missed.

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I Don’t Love My Kids More Than My Wife

morelessI love my wife. I love my kids. But which one do I love more?

Strangely enough, that’s a question people are actually tackling because of a recent study that found 75% of mothers openly admit they love their kids more than their spouses. But if you ask me, I think the entire conversation is a load of crap.

I do not love my kids more than my wife. I don’t love my wife more than my kids either. I love them each in very different ways, but I love them all completely and equally. And I think even attempting to quantify or rank that love is pointless, hurtful, and potentially harmful.

My family is my world. My wife is the most beautiful, caring, sexy, sensational person on the planet and I’m madly in love with her. My kids are a source of unimaginable joy and my life is enriched in countless ways with them in it. But they are a package deal, and asking me to choose which one I love more borders on the ridiculous.

Which begs the question, what are these moms in the survey thinking?

Click here to read the rest on iVillage!

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Why Judgmental Moms & Dads Are Ruining Parenting

soapboxWhat’s one of the first things you do when your kids hit an important milestone? If you’re anything like me, you post it on social media.

One of the best parts about having kids is watching them grow, and there is no span of time that sees as much rapid progress as the first year of life. From the time they start grabbing things to rolling over to taking their first steps, kids are maturing at warp speed and social media allows us to document these milestones and celebrate them with our friends and family members on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.

Well, it SHOULD be a celebration, but that’s not always the case. Mainly because a lot of parents are judgmental, sanctimonious pricks.

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“Dad, Are We Poor?”

smhouse_bighouse“Dad, are we poor?”

The question itself doesn’t bother me one bit. It’s an honest and insightful question that comes from a place of innocence and genuine curiosity often inhabited by 5-year-olds. It was the anxiety-riddled expression he wore on his face, and the hint of fear buried just below the inflection in his voice that did me in.

I should’ve seen this coming. First of all we’re about to have another baby and with that comes expenses. We’ve mitigated the new baby costs as much as possible by using hand-me-down baby clothes, second-hand car seats, Will’s old crib, etc. But when you factor in diapers, creams, nursery furnishings, and the cost of the hospital stay (even with insurance), you quickly realize it’s impossible to bring new life into this world and not incur some new debt. That’s in addition to the old debt, which doesn’t care about the fact that you’re about to become a parent for a second time.

Second, Will made a lot of friends in preschool and now at summer camp. Those friends have birthday parties and cookouts and get-togethers at their houses — which is great. I love that he has great friends. And since we live in an affluent town, many of these friends have absolutely beautiful houses with equally beautiful cars parked in well-manicured driveways. Inside there are toys — awesome, kick-ass toys that are the envy of every 5-year-old around the block. And I love that Will gets to hang out with great kids from awesome families in super-ridiculously cool houses. But it’s led to a bunch of questions that — as his father — I have some difficulty (and shame) answering.

He justifiably wants to know why our house isn’t as big as the others on our street. He’s a very logical kid and he knows that we’re adding another body to the mix, so it makes perfect sense that he wants to upgrade to a bigger house with more room. As he so aptly pointed out, some people have basements and toy rooms as big as our 1,200-square-foot duplex. So why, with all these big houses out there, don’t we get one?

I won’t lie, I feel ashamed that we’re not in that big house. It’s not that I don’t want it, believe me. I do. I want what every parent wants: a better life for my kids. I’ve had to talk to Will about money, jobs, salary, and living on a budget. And for the most part he gets it and he’s great about it. He’s far more understanding than most 5-year-olds I know. But every once in awhile I see that look in his eyes and I feel like the biggest deadbeat on the planet.

But that’s fleeting and I’ll tell you why.

We aren’t rich and we never will be. Hell, we’ll probably never even make it to upper-middle class (mainly because the middle class no longer exists). MJ and I work hard but no matter what happens we’ll likely be in a place where we have enough to get by and never enough to get ahead. Will is going to grow up in a house that pinches pennies and clips coupons, opting for the things that are on sale instead of the stuff we really want. He has already been subject to terms like “foreclosure” and “bankruptcy,” and he’ll see his parents constantly struggle to make ends meet. While others use their tax returns and bonuses to go on vacations that require airplanes instead of cars, he’ll see us use that money to catch up on the never-ending debt that seems to attach itself directly to our paychecks.

Occasionally he’ll go without and he’ll think it’s unfair. I don’t blame him for that.

But in the midst of the struggle, he’ll see a few other things too. He’ll learn the value of money and the importance of hard work to earn enough of it to get by. He’ll also learn to stop envying what other people have to the point you forget to appreciate the things you’ve already got. He’ll see that sometimes less truly is more, and you almost always have more than you think.

And, if I’m any sort of parent at all, he’ll come to realize “the biggest” and “the best” are not designations that correspond to material belongings, but to the wealth we create in our personal lives. Because truth be told, in time I probably could earn enough to get that big ass house and the cool car. It would take total dedication to my career, and putting in 70-80 hours a week at work instead of the 45-50 I currently clock (not including my freelance gigs). That means no family dinners, no working from home, missing all the tee-ball and soccer games, etc.

But you know what? That’s a price I’m unwilling to pay.

Not because I’m lazy or I hate my job — far from it on both counts. It’s because I’ve established my priorities and I’m not going to waver. What good is a fancy car if you only drive it to the office and back? What’s the point of buying your kids all the best toys if you’re not there to play along with them? And what good is that huge house if you’re never home to dance with your wife in the kitchen or chase the kids around that gargantuan playroom? Do I want that house someday? I won’t lie, it’d be nice. But it’s all a matter of perspective.

Some people might look at our meager home in the shadow of colossal colonials and ponder the same question my son asked. Are we poor? Well, I guess that all depends.

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9 Subtle Common Sense Tips for First-Time Parents

parent_handbookI’m about to be a parent of a newborn…again.

Five years ago with Will, I was equal parts amazed and confused about becoming a dad. What stuff do I need? What can I expect during delivery? What can I expect when we get home from the hospital? What diapers should we use? When is a good time to start solids? I had a smorgasbord of questions but when I went to find answers, I ran into a common problem in the Internet Age — I Googled “advice for new parents” and was hit with vitriolic and hysterical advice from every “kid expert” in existence.

Not only was each piece of advice incredibly inflammatory, it was delivered by the author with such force and certainty. The only problem was each person seemed to have a contradictory take on things. So the result was a ton of different people shouting about different viewpoints and taking it VERY personally if the other experts chimed in and disagreed in the comments section.

For a clueless first-time parent who didn’t know his Huggies from his Pampers, it left me utterly confused and lamenting the fact that no one could provide common sense parenting advice without it ending in a clusterfuck or pissing match.

So now that I’m a “veteran” about to be a parent for the second time, I couldn’t help but think of past me and how lost I felt. So I decided it’s my responsibility — nay, my duty! — to write a balanced, nuanced, common sense article that gives out parenting tips without exaggeration or hyperbole. Just the facts, absent inflammatory opinions. Hope you enjoy.

1. Formula Will Poison Your Baby
Not only is breast best, it’s the only option. Because everyone knows failure to breastfeed means your baby is screwed for life. You need to think long term from Day 1, and giving your kid formula from the get-go is pretty much kissing college and a better life goodbye. Sure your nipples hurt, but what’s a little bit of soreness compared to feeding your baby Satan’s elixir? Seriously, no formula. Or the La Leche League will find your ass. And you don’t want to mess with those crazy bastards!

2. Disposable Diapers Means You’re Basically a Terrorist
If you really love your new baby that means you should love the environment too. And if you’re doing anything other than cloth diapers, you’re contributing to the downfall of mankind by destroying the planet. Sure it means way more laundry and doubling your already stressful and sizable parental workload, but nothing good is ever easy. Disposable diapers? C’mon now. If new mothers are going to spit in the face of Mother Earth, we’re all screwed.

3. If You Don’t Wear Your Baby, You’re a Bad Parent
We need to do EVERYTHING for our children. That means simply holding your new baby isn’t enough. Nope, you need to Baby Bjorn the bejesus out of that kid. That’s really the only way to form the necessary bond with your baby and give it the attention he/she richly deserves. Failure to literally wear your baby close to your heart is basically the equivalent of hanging the kid off a stripper pole, because that’s where this whole scenario is headed.

4. Co-Sleeping is the Only Way
Don’t let the scaremongers bully you into thinking you’re going to crush your child to death by sleeping in the same bed. The alternative is raising a child who feels isolated and unloved because you selfishly stuck him in another room. And besides, it’s a surefire way to keep some distance between you and your spouse, who has probably been pissing and moaning about getting the kid out of the bed so you can have sex again. You’re a parent now — ain’t no one got time for that!

5. No TV — Ever!
They don’t call it the idiot box for nothing. Sure it might be tempting to sit the infant carrier down next to you and catch up on Game of Thrones. Because hey — it’s an infant right? They can’t possibly comprehend Joffrey being a sociopath or the violence Stannis Baratheon’s troops endured during the Battle of the Blackwater. WRONG! Your baby might open its innocent eyes and be scarred for life by The Red Wedding. Even if the kid is asleep all that violence could filter through baby’s eyelids and embed itself in the kid’s subconscious. In fact, any TV exposure before the age of two automatically means you’re worthy of having CPS called on your ass.

6. Daycare is for Deadbeats
So you decided you wanted a baby, got pregnant, went through 9 months of waiting, and endured a painful delivery to finally get your bundle of joy. And now that you have your precious cargo, why on Earth would you ever think about shoving him/her off to be taken care of by strangers? It doesn’t matter if you need two incomes or if you just really love working — you’re a parent now dammit! The only way to really, truly love your kid is to take care of him/her yourself. Paying some stranger to look after your most beloved treasure is abhorrent, and you will be justifiably judged for it.

7. Don’t Ever Let Your Baby “Cry It Out”
We all know you don’t do this with infants, but even when they’re older you should never let them cry. I mean really, are you a monster?? The little person you love most in the world is crying and your solution is to let the wailing and suffering continue for a prolonged period of time? You sicko! Get in there and coddle/cuddle your kid every single time that bundle of joy makes even the slightest peep. And if your partner suggests anything different, verbally eviscerate that clown until he/she never works up the nerve to question your authority ever again.

8. Avoid All Immunizations
Let me ask you something. If someone came up to you and told you they were going to inject your precious baby with a live virus, how would you react? You’d clock the bastard, that’s what you’d do. And yet every single day in this country parents are willingly handing over their little babies to be stuck with needles containing strains of dangerous diseases, all in the name of supposed “prevention.” Yeah right. Doesn’t anyone listen to brilliant minds like Jenny McCarthy anymore? These vaccines cause autism and all kinds of other things. If you’re not going to listen to a former Playboy centerfold turned amateur scientist looking out for the best interests of your baby, then you’re a damn fool!

9. You MUST Buy the Most Expensive Items
Thinking about accepting that perfectly suitable but second-hand crib from your best friend? Do you have a relative who has a gently used stroller? Got a friend in a mommy group with a bunch of used newborn clothes? Well, tell them thanks but no thanks! You have a NEW baby, which means you need to buy all NEW things. Anything less means you don’t really love your child — at least not as much as the other parents who emptied their bank accounts at Babies R Us. After all, babies need the Cadillac Escalade of strollers that can go off-roading and climb mountains along with designer baby booties, because that shows people how good a parent you are. Everyone knows that. Now fork over your credit card.

So that’s it. Nine perfectly sane, reasonable guidelines for first-time parents. And by guidelines, of course, I mean absolute hard and fast rules you better follow or else you’re a shitty parent. You’ve been warned. I mean…helped.

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