In the decade that I’ve spent as a parent, I’ve laughed a lot. Not because my life is always bursting with joy. Instead, in many moments I’ve laughed because the only other alternative was to cry.
The hours are long, the pay is non-existent, and I’m really just throwing theories at the wall to see what sticks (and by “what sticks,” I mean “screws them up the least”).
And if I ever suspected I was alone in the utter absurdity of raising children, The Onion is always there to prove me wrong.
1 | When you’re on snow day number three, kid number two just threw up on the carpet, and the paper towels ran out yesterday, read this:
Nearly all parents surveyed said they would gladly write their children’s names on a scrap of paper labeled “Adventure Camp Sign-Up” if it meant their kids would be somewhere else until 4 p.m. and would come home tired.
2 | When every errand of the day ended in tears (yours included) and all you wish for were a few extra middle fingers to toss around, this will help:
Among dozens of other criticisms, Nichols’ momentary pause to respond to a text message from her mother while her children ate their meals conjured up nearly 75 variations on the idea that Nichols mindlessly spends her whole life staring at her phone, barely considering her children’s emotional needs.
3 | Because helicopter parenting doesn’t appeal to you, put this one in your cap:
I’m not going to hover over my kids all the time just to make sure they have all the same anxieties I do. They need to have space to find their own obsessive-compulsive disorders, codependent relationship patterns, and addictive personality traits.
4 | When you’re sitting on a park bench wondering if that tumble off the bed a couple years back disrupted something in his brain, read this, feel better:
“I see myself sliding down 30, 35 more times; maybe do a few on my stomach headfirst, a few backwards, see where it takes me,” explained Hall before climbing up the slide’s ladder, sitting down at the top, and going down the slide.
5 | When you taught them all the right things, but neglected to stress levels of importance, read this gem:
“Look, if I’m going to get into this complete stranger’s dirty van with tinted windows, then it needs to made worth my while. The two-cup regular-size Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup packet is not going to cut it. It’s gotta be the four-cup king size. Or, alternatively, four fun-sized singles.”
6 | When the last thing your kid said as he packed 3 pair of underwear, a box of Pokemon cards, and a toothbrush into a grocery bag was, “I promise I won’t call you at midnight to come get me.” Read this when you’re snuggled in bed and your husband is putting on his shoes to pick the goober up:
“Isn’t he excited that Kevin’s parents are going to let us watch Superbad later? That’s an R-rated movie,” he continued while a forlorn Thompson behaved as if his parents lived in Romania as opposed to 15 goddamn minutes away.
7 | When the stress of scheduling playdates feels reminiscent of those nights you ate Ben and Jerry’s out of the carton in the glow of Alley McBeal confirm your suspicions:
“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous—after all, it’s been a while since I’ve played spacemen with someone else,” Gallagher said between small sips from a grape-juice box. “But I just can’t worry about that kind of thing anymore. It’s time to get back on that horse and see what’s out there for me.”
8 | When you’re certain you’re not qualified for this job, anyway, bookmark this, read it weekly until they turn 18:
In addition to providing better supervision and overall direction, school-homing has become popular among mothers and fathers who just want to be less involved in the day-to-day lives of their children.
9 | When they just grow up so fast, read this:
“I’ve been dipping my toe in there with ‘hell’ and ‘sucks’ for a while and she hasn’t really said anything yet, so I figured, hey, might as well jump in feet-first with ‘shit’ and see what happens.”
10 | While you’re standing over the stove, mixing up that box of regular mac and cheese awaiting the nuclear fall out due to its lack of bunny shape, here’s your entertainment:
It’s important to build positive associations with food, so fill your child’s favorite stuffed animal with Swiss chard.
11 | When you realize “screen time” is not the hill you’re willing to die on. Read this, tamp out the guilt:
Pros: Provides desensitization needed to face horrors of real life
12 | When your vision still hasn’t returned to normal after taking a tantruming toddler’s skull to the nose, cue this up while you put yourself in time out.
The children studied also displayed many secondary hallmarks of antisocial personality disorder, most notably poor impulse control, an inability to plan ahead, and a proclivity for violence—often in the form of extended tantrums—when their needs were not immediately met.