Updating Facebook

We hear it all the time: "Parents post too much on Facebook." What the childless (or child-free as they like to be called) don't understand is that once you have kids, your social life goes down the drain. Can we just all admit that?

When your days are filled with diaper changes, potty training, misplaced reading logs, last minute baking for ANOTHER fundraiser *and* working, making time for people who don't need you to steady them while they sit on the toilet just ain't happening most of the time.

Drive Thru Grocery Stores

There's a reason parents describe shopping for food alone as a vacation. Have you tried doing it with kids? If you've got a baby in tow you either have to perch the bucket carseat precariously on the shopping cart (a big "no no" these days) or place it directly inside leaving little room for actual food. If you're shopping with a toddler or older kids, good luck. By the time you get out of there not only are your nerves fried from saying "NO" a million times, you've gone $80 over budget and can't even remember what you bought. 

MLMs- Network Marketing Companies

Random Potential Parent Friend At The Park: Hey! You look cool and have a kid just like me, want to be best friends?

You: That would be amazing! Yeah!

Random Potential Parent Friend At The Park: Fantastic! What's your phone number and email address?

You: Here's all my info!


You: oh.

Parents love networking marketing companies. We won't call them "multi-level marketing scams" because lots of them are actually legit, albiet annoying as hell, but legit, companies.

Have you ever been invited on a "playdate" only to discover it is a sales pitch for a candle company? Because buying candles at Target isn't good enough anymore. You need to order them only and on a regular basis for $8 each. And not only can you spend your grocery money on candles you can also become a candle selling representative because who in their right mind wouldn't want that? Just sell six thousand candles a month and you'll earn a full-time income!

Few things are more uncomfortable than being pressured to buy natural cleaning products infused with tea-tree oil while sitting in your friend's home office (ie. corner of the family room furnished with an Ikea desk). Sure, maybe we'll make a pity purchase under $20 but only to get you off of our back but we'll avoid you from then on.

Almost everyone has signed up for one of these companies after getting caught up in the kool-aid from a dynamic televangelist of a friend. Stories about how the person who signed them up went from a studio apartment to having six houses and a Mercedes are pretty tempting. 

For about 36 hours you dream being a network marketing superstar, buying a large McMansion...life feels full of possibilities! You call everyone you can and with baited breath tell them about this amazing opportunity you can't wait to share with them. Maybe you even attend one of those motivational seminars held in hotel conference rooms.

Reality only hits when you see that first $69.95 monthly auto-charge for regular shipment of PRESTOTRINKETS.

Why do we love network marketing companies? Kids are expensive. The promises of InstaRiches and being your own boss are hard to resist. It doesn't help that every now and then you stumble across someone who is actually earning money from one of these companies although it's hard to know because of the "fake it until you make it" mantra that rules these organizations.

The next time you find yourself in a friend's living room looking at overpriced makeup wondering if asking to use the bathroom and then escaping via an open window, know that you're not alone. And if you're that friend demonstrating the benefits of overpriced lotion, please at least have the decency to put out a cheese plate.

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Being Against Juice

Being a North American parent in 2015 means you have a lot of information and fewer concerns than most of the world.

We're not raising kids in war-torn cities. We deal with foreclosure but not firebombs. None of us think about roof snipers while grocery shopping. Raise your hand if you're facing intense religious persecution? Nope? Didn't think so.

We'll never admit but our lives are pretty cushy.

I'm not saying we don't have problems, just not "rest of the world" problems. 

In response to this comfort, we create new enemies out of the mundane. Our current target: Juice.

Why juice? It crept into our homes under the guise of nutrition but when we learned the truth, that natural sugars are just as "bad" as the ones in Fruit Loops, we lost our collective minds.

Juice Ingredients

"DOWN WITH JUICE!" we scream in the streets, one hand pushing a stroller and another holding a homemade protest sign.
Amy before Juice

Amy after Juice

Parents brag about not giving their kids juice like they've been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in the category of Withholding Juice. There is an unspoken competition to see how long you can prevent your child from tasting the substance.

The only type of acceptable juice is homemade and derived from lettuce & kiwi.

Parent #1: "Billy is 2 and has never had any juice."

Parent #2: "Samantha is 3 and has never touched the stuff."

Parent #3: "Noah is 3 and a half and doesn't drink juice but he is allowed water with two drops of stevia on his birthday."


What You See

What Parents See
A 4-year old who turns down juice in favor of water in public is worshiped like a god. Parents will fall all over this golden child and say things like, "Wow! Good for you! What an adorable little angel!" while tossing disgusted looks at their own kids:"You little rat-faced juice drinkers why don't you ever ask for water. Be more like THIS KID." 

Coconut water straight from the young, organic coconut is a good alternative to juice.
Before dropping kids off with grandparents or babysitters parents give them emergency contact numbers, allergy information, and a change of clothes. Then right before they leave most parents hiss: "And if you give my child juice so help me God I will kill you."

Little Rosie before swallowing the first sip of juice

Little Rosie after two sips. Now she hungers for the souls of baby animals.

Growing up, we all drank juice. No, we drank Tang, the party school of juices. We walked around with our upper lips and teeth stained all colors of the rainbow from whatever our parents would mix with water and throw in the fridge for us. Now if your kid is sporting once of those telltale Red #40 Shame Mustaches people will tag you in Facebook posts about proper nutrition.

Every people group has their own sport and for parents, this is juice blocking.

Being Against Juice, we like you.

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Silently Judging Other Parents

"Can you believe their 8 year-old still sleeps with them?"

"I would never let my kids eat that garbage."

"Why do you dress him like that?"

One of the many perks of being a parent is that you're under the constant scrutiny of your peers. Only semi-retired parents (grandparents) dare criticize aloud. The rest of us prefer to deliver your Child-Rearing Report Card in the form of unsolicited advice, loaded side-eye glances, or a slight shake of the head. 

Why do we like it? The sick truth is that it feels good to think you know better than someone else. When your kid is sitting quietly in a restaurant eating their $15 grilled cheese and another one is losing their mind in the corner booth adjacent to yours, it's hard not to feel slightly superior.

"SUCKS TO BE THEM! LOL! IT'S CALLED DISCIPLINE TRY IT!" your inner a-hole yells. 

Don't get drunk on smugness. Your kid's public freakout is probably scheduled for next week.

How do you deal with being on the receiving end of judgement? The next time someone makes you feel like dog excrement because your kid has a tantrum or watches X hours of TV a day, just remember that the judgiest parents are often hiding the biggest parenting fails.
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Remember when you used to go to bed knowing the next time you wake up it would be morning? Yeah, we can't either.

Parents, we know you're afraid to go to sleep. You are actually scared to close your eyes and experience deep, restful slumber because you know at any moment you'll be jerked out of it by:

a) a whimpering/screaming infant who needs a fresh diaper, liquid food, or just be held until dawn
b) a toddler who desperately needs your opinion on who is more powerful Batman or Spiderman, or perhaps can't locate one of his socks within a tangle of sheets
c) a kid who may have heard lightning, a car backfiring outside, or will pass out from thirst if a cup of water isn't fetched immediately

Or maybe no one will wake up but you're so used to 2-7 disturbances that you jump out of bed in a panic at 3AM to check to see if everyone is breathing.

The crazy thing is that for moms, this doesn't start when your precious sparkly bits of heaven are born, it starts with the pregnancy insomnia. Endless nights of trying to find a comfortable position in bed. Flopping from side to side like some kind of overgrown flounder, wishing you could sleep on your back but remembering reading something about how it compresses one of the baby's arteries or what not. Eventually you give up on the idea of decent rest and sit up wide awake, choking back wave after wave of glorious heartburn. 

Sleep? What's that?

When morning comes all too soon and the sun's evil light floods your home with expectations, what is a parent to do? With a mind cloudy from fatigue and body screaming for just a few more minutes of pillow time simple tasks like pouring cereal and milk into a bowl seem impossible.

Until: Coffee.

Hot steaming ambrosia. Fuel. Some of you are picky and need specific flavors, milk, and sugar. Desperate parents don't care if it's a $1 styrofoam cup of burnt mess from a shady gas station as long as it does the job

You don't have to admit it to us, but coffee might be the reason some of you get out of bed. In a time where sleep is a check most of us can't cash, this drink, this elixer, makes life possible.

Coffee, we like you.

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"Happy Birthday, Child" Facebook Statuses

Every parent knows that come their child's birthday they are REQUIRED to post a birthday message on Facebook. Our kids will never actually see these messages, but who cares, right?

It's also an unwritten parental rule that if you don't *like* the status you are basically saying, "Hey friend, I HOPE YOUR KID CATCHES HEPATITIS."

Why do we do it? It's hard not to be sentimental about the day your kid rode in on a wave of amniotic fluid. Plus, it's Facebook. MUST TELL EVERYONE EVERYTHING.

"Happy Birthday, Child" Facebook Statuses, we like you.

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Hating Caillou

There is no decision as universal in the parenting world as the one we have made to hate Caillou.

His voice.

His whine.

His eery lack of hair.

We are all shocked that Canada, the country that gives us some of the best maple syrup in the world, is responsible for such a crappy export.

After taking an informal poll we discovered that 99% of parents would rather let their children watch the following shows over Caillou:
  • Real Housewives of New Jersey: The Reunion Show
  • World's Wildest Police Chases Ending in Multiple Causalities
  • OWN Network: The Devil Next Door 
  • American Horror Story
While the above shows may scar children for life, they won't teach them to whine and that's fine by us. 

One of the many truly ridiculous things about Caillou is how calm his parents stay while he's acting like a turd. Either they're medicated or slowly developing life-threatening anger tumors. Only time will tell.

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Walmart. Oh Walmart.

You're like that boy in college who we knew was bad for us and that we could NEVER bring home but kept around because he was *cough* good at a few important things. One important thing.

You don't linger in Walmart. You go through every aisle grabbing up what you need trying not to feel guilty about things like slave labor and employees who are probably being treated slightly better than barnyard animals.

Parents prepare for Walmart the same way they prepare to change a blow-out diaper: stay calm, try not to notice details, and do whatever you can to keep your hands clean.

Walmart brings out the worst in shoppers: grabbing, making messes, yelling at kids, letting toddlers run wild, but no one can deny those deals. The deals, just like the aforementioned boyfriends' skills, are what keep us shamefully coming back for more time and time again.

If you live close to a Super Walmart, you are especially powerless against its draw. Ground beef, windshield wipers, and pacifiers in the same place? Yes please. Just bring hand sanitizer because you're going to feel dirty.

Parents like Walmart. We're not proud of it, but we do.

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If you're not reading this on your phone inside of a Target, you're planning your next trip. Or maybe you're sitting in the parking lot wondering how you went in for laundry soap and walked out with $250 worth of clothes, food, and miscellaneous items.

Target, we like you for for making our kids look presentable. Even though we know those $5 shirts won't last more than a year, our spawn would have outgrown them by that time anyway.

The clean aisles. The popcorn. The red irresistible clearance stickers. The cheap dresses, jeans, hoodies and yoga pants that make mothers feel like a million bucks. Target, it's like you *get* us.

Nobody wants to take kids to the store. Being able to buy a 6-pack bag of panties, birthday present for the neighbor kid, Diet Coke for the week, and frozen peas at the same place is everything.

Unlike Walmart (don't worry Walmart, you'll get your own post), Target doesn't make us feel like we need a hot bleach shower after we leave.

Thanks for being cool, Target. We like you. No, we love you.
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First it was the Baby Bjorns. San Francisco yuppies toting their precious gems to Whole Foods in what looked like some kind of fuel pack/armour combo. Little did they know that they appeared to be using their infant as a human shield.

Below is a photo of Matt Damon preparing to storm Elysium wearing his first born for protection.

Bjorns are now affectionately called "crotch danglers" and are the source of disdain for 75% of the parenting community. Once people started saying that you might be crushing the nerves in child's genitals with these types of carriers they kiiiiiiinda lost popularity.

But you keep doing you, Matt Damon. 

For attention seekers, we have six foot high baby mountain climber backpacks. Whenever I see these people in the airport or at an outdoor festival I wonder if they take joy in how uncomfortable they are making everyone. Is it truly necessary to create a plastic pope-mobile for your child to ride in? You can't even see the kid. You are literally dependent on the updates from strangers as to how your baby is doing back there.

The only right time to wear a contraption like this is if you are fleeing your home country for a better life. 

My next favorite kind of baby carriers are slings and wraps. Because nothing says convenient like yards upon yards of fabric. If you want to be a suburban Earth Mama this is your carrier of choice.

Ring slings allow you to feel primal and connected to nature while waiting for the oil to be changed for your SUV. They can cost upwards of $150 but that doesn't stop many moms from wanting one in every color.

Take a look at this sweet little European family. So beautiful, tan and carefree in their 3/4 sleeve shirts. 

They're using what is called a Soft Structured Carrier. The very best part about these is that you need help to snap them in the back. If you're solo at the mall that means you've got to ask a someone you don't know. Having a stranger graze their hand against your back like they're removing your bra strap feels amazingly not weird at all.

Word of caution: If you start babywearing, you probably won't be able to stop. You will end up with 18 different carriers and finding ways to justify buying more ("This one will be perfect for the car!").

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Staying Home on Saturday Nights

Remember when Saturday night didn't mean wine at home, Land Before Time XIV, wrestling rugrats into their pajamas and passing out by 10PM? Yeah, neither can we.

Parenting means always having to wait until a movie is on Netflix to see it.

If you're lucky enough to have a babysitter or even better, a relative who will watch your kids for free, pour one out for us.

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Facebook Brags

We've all seen the status updates:

"Jimmy started walking today at only 9 months!" "Little Carolina has memorized all 50 states and their capitals. Can you believe she's only four?!?"

Some parents prefer the Humble Brag approach:

"Getting a little tired of hearing Dylan practice his cello every day but what are you going to do? Kid loves classical music!"

New Rule: You're allowed one reasonable Facebook brag a week or we'll curse your bloodline.

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