Why Writing About The Rough Parts Of Parenting Is Important

182900067I’m as guilty as every parenting writer out there vomiting their own true confessions of leaking diapers and finding peanut butter smeared on the walls. I’ve written my fair share of parenting horror stories and tales of how easy life was before I decided to add four other humans into it. Parenting can be hard. It can be exhausting and terrifying and confusing and heartbreaking. It changes your body, your priorities, your financial situation, and your tolerance for hearing the same tinny television theme song over and over again. But no, it’s not as bad as those of us with kids want those of you without kids to believe.

Last week Ruth Graham wrote a piece for Slate entitled “My Life Is a Waking Nightmare” -Why do parents make parenting sound so God-awful? and that headline basically sums up the entire piece, where Ruth asks why those of us who write about parenting insist on making it sound like the very worst thing in the world. Yes, it’s nice to write about all the reasons it sucks ass to step on a Lego piece and have 200 other people chime in and agree with you. Yes, it’s great when your kid is doing something weird and new and to write about this weird and new thing and hear from other parents with kids that also did the same weird and new thing so you feel less alone.

Parenting is one of the only things in life where there are absolutely no easy answers, no simple solutions, and no perfectly guaranteed way to do anything. Everything is up for debate. It’s also a pretty guaranteed way to question everything about yourself, who you are as a parent, and who you have become as a person.

Parenting isn’t as bad as what we are telling you. You change diapers, it takes you three minutes, you get on with it. It isn’t fun of glamorous, but sometimes your baby smiles when you do it and that’s pretty lovely. You feed your baby and no matter if you formula or breastfeed at times there are challenges with each, but your baby grabs your finger or spits out the nipple and gives you a big gummy grin and you get on with it. Babies wake up crying but then you pace your floors, singing Born To Run to them at two a.m, or else you watch your partner do it and that may pretty much be the best thing ever.

Your kids get older. You give them ice cream for the first time, or watch them take their first steps, or they reach their fat little arms up to you and you take them to the garden, and you sit and watch them watch a bird and you stop, because at any moment, your heart with its lurching in your chest and the sun on your faces and you could explode, because this love, this gigantic Godzilla loves that fill you until you could burst, and it’s not just then. It’s a lot, when you are at the market or away from them on your first date night out or when they sleep next to you, their hot little breath on your cheek as you cocoon yourselves in the blanket. And when it does happen, it floors you, the utter monumental task you have decided to embark on, just by not using birth control. Or by adoption. Or by IVF. Or however you have become a parent.

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  • Maria Guido

    I love this. I imagine it’s hard to hear horror stories, but god I’m so glad we have gotten to a point where we share them. I take comfort in knowing it’s hard for other people, too.

  • mommabeer

    It seems we are in a peculiar catch 22, wherein if we write about how horrible parenting can be, we need to stfu, and if we write about how awesomely blissful parenting can be, we need to also stfu. It is so hard to convey the duality of being a parent, and just how simultaneously crappy and wonderful it can be. But you, Eve, did an excellent job. Really great read.

    • Amanda Lee

      It’s actually quite simple. If you’re being told to stfu, regardless of which end of the parenting spectrum you are talking about, maybe you are just talking about your kid too much. Your life should not (always) revolve around your kids. Your conversations with other should not (always) revolve around your kids. You are not just a parent. You are a friend, a coworker, a daughter, and avid “insert hobby/skill here”. You are a person!

    • Amanda Lee

      It’s really quite simple. If you are being told to stfu regardless of what end of the parenting spectrum you are talking about, maybe you are just talking about your kids too much. Your life should not always revolve around your kids and your conversations with others should definitely not always revolved around your kids. You should remember that parenting is only one aspect of who you are. Endlessly talking about it, will drive others away, especially if they don’t have that in common with you. Just like someone endlessly talking about how much their work sucks would guarantee the same response.

      You are a coworker, you are a daughter, you are a friend. You have thoughts, ideas, skills, hobbies, and interests that don’t involve parenting or your kids. You are more than just a parent. :)

    • Alfreda Wells Morrissey

      I think this depends on your audience. There are people who are really interested in hearing about this stuff and people who aren’t. If talking about things that are important to you and interesting to you drives people away, then maybe those people don’t have common interests.

      I love talking about my kids, and there are a lot of parents around me who love it too. I connect with those parents. We also talk about work, current events, our spouses, our hobbies but a lot of the time we talk about our kids. There are also parents that love their kids but while they are away from kids prefer not to think about their kids. I don’t really know any, but from reading on mommyish I see that they exist. There are even adults who are not parents that like or don’t like hearing about children.

      I have a colleque that always asks about my kids, and seems to enjoy it when I tell stories about them. She is 20 and does not plan on having kids.

      I don’t think it is fair to say that because one person tells you to STFU that you are talking about your kids too much. It just means that one person doesn’t like hearing about your kids so much.

    • Amanda Lee

      I agree 100% with you. :)

      I’m not saying that someone should take into an account the qualms that one individual has with their Facebook posts. However, I am friends with plenty of moms who post everything about their child (from the bragging “my child exceeded on all of their tests” to the martyrdom “my kid wakes up every hour and I’m so tired and nobody is helping me” posts over and over and over). They choose to broadcast these posts all over everyone’s news feed. They share everything their child does. If you look at their wall, it is filled with post and pic after post and pic of nothing but kids kids kids. Those are the type of people I’m talking about.

    • Alfreda Wells Morrissey

      So you are pretty much talking about me. The only thing I use facebook for is sharing photos and information about my kids with my family and friends who are spread all over the world. Thankfully though, you are not my facebook friend, and if you were, you would have the ability to unsubscribe from my post, or un-friend me on facebook or in real life because we probably have nothing on common. Amazingly enough I do have lots of friends who enjoy my company and I enjoy spending time with them, even if I do enjoy talking about my kids all the time.

    • Amanda Lee

      Well, I guess I am then. I maybe use facebook differently than you do, though? I’m friends with people from high school and college, and then my actual friends that I still see in real life (lol). I’m not saying that I find these posts annoying. I actually don’t mind the positive ones, but I really don’t want to see a status about one friend’s custody issues with her child’s father (way too private!) or another person directing depressing “you don’t love me” statuses towards her boyfriend… who doesn’t have a facebook (please, someone explain this to me!).

      I haven’t actually unfriended/unsubscribed from anyone because of parenting posts, so I don’t want you to assume that I hate everything having to do with kids. Yes, a post might get an eyeroll from me, but I really don’t let that bother me. You are right, I have the option of unsubscribing/defriending. I was just trying to give some friendly advice.

    • Alfreda Wells Morrissey

      Well that I can agree with. Disagreements, custody issues, intimate moments, professions of love, constant complaining about life in general are the status updates I usually gloss over. Updates about baby milestones, baby photos, cute things baby has said or done that do not include bodily fluids are the status updates I enjoy. I do keep in touch with my pretty much my entire hometown since it was small. If you ever lived there you are in the club. They are all posting about their babies too and nobody has complained. I pretty much thought I was normal until I started reading STFU Parents and articles from people complaining about too much baby talk.

    • Amanda Lee

      If you don’t see a problem in your Facebook circle, by all means, keep doing what you are doing. You already seem to know what not to post about (bodily fluids, constant complaining, acting like a sanctimommy,… hopefully that last one lol). If that’s what you and your friends use it for, I say go for it.

    • Amanda Lee

      I also just want to clarify that I think the biggest issue that some people have with talking about the good and the bad, is the tone. I can genuinely tell when someone is excited about something their child did, just like I can also tell when someone is just outright bragging.

      Another issue, might be the frequency of the posts. This couple I know (real life friends, not just Facebook friends lol) had a baby a few months ago. Literally almost 30 statuses/pics posted in the first 2 days. If they had kept it up at that rate, I was going to unsubscribe. Luckily, they just had baby fever and it was only intense the first week. It’s gotten way better since then.

    • jane

      Maybe, but maybe people are just being bitchy. Sure, everyone gets tired of the endless facebook “OMG I’m so tired when am I going to sleep again,” but I think often when moms use social media to reach out to other mothers they are seen as “diminished” because they are focusing on their children rather than other stuff.

      I also think that perhaps mamabear wasn’t talking about her friends in particular, but “people.” The people who say “haven’t there been 90 articles on working moms in the NY Times lately? Maybe those women should just stop bitching about how hard it is.” Or the people who say “I’m so tired of hearing about ‘Lean In’ or ‘Tiger Parenting’ or any of those other books. Like I care what people do to balance their lives with their kids lives.”

      And that is a problem. That is patriarchy. That is saying that our concerns are petty and unimportant because they deal with the home, with children. It is important to share, and have embraced, the goods and bads of parenting on a meta scale because that is saying that what is traditionally women’s work matters, it has value, it’s not unskilled labor if you do it right.

      Women’s experiences raising children are part of our collective narrative, and if we don’t acknowledge that in both large and small ways we are really doing ourselves a disservice. I have a great many hobbies. I have a husband and a job. I have two pets and a master’s degree. None of them have fundamentally shaped the way I see the world the way that my two children have. Does that mean that I post about their every move on facebook? No. I’m more likely to be sharing that ridiculously awesome cover of Get Lucky from the Olympics. But the stories that resonate with me are the ones like this article. From other women who are trying to do the best they can with what they got, and just want the struggle acknowledged sometime.

    • Kelly

      At the same time, if you go on a website about parenting and want people to STFU about parenting… you aren’t very bright.

    • Amanda Lee

      I don’t understand your comment…. well, why it’s directed towards me? Slate (mentioned in the article) is not a parenting website, neither is Facebook. I would never tell someone on a parenting website to stfu about parenting

    • Kelly

      Mommyish is specifically aimed right at parents. That’s the site you’re on right now.

    • mommabeer

      Yeah, I wasn’t really referring to my own facebooking habits as I was making a comment on general people, like Jane pointed out below, and like what is addressed in the article. So no, I don’t think I am solely a mother, and no, it is not all I talk about. :)

    • rrlo

      Annoying posts on Facebook are inevitable. I have younger friends/relatives who posts pictures of every meal they ate. Or older relatives that put up “Share if you Love Someone” type posts non-stop. Then there are those who are always on the rampage about religion, environment, their dogs or their cats or birds. It’s the just the nature of Facebook. The thing with kids though, you may not be all that interested in your friends kids – but there could be Grandparents, other relatives who live far away and are interested in minute details of a child’s life.

      My Facebook is predominantly family stuff- mostly because I have huge extended family overseas and they’ve never me my child outside of FB. I use LinkedIn and other forums for non-family stuff.

      Just some thoughts to consider. And no one should be told to STFU when posting on their own Facebook page or their own blog (or twitter feed)… these forums are meant for airing your thoughts – however mundane or boring or ridiculous. Friends and family just has to put up with it or disable the feed.

  • Bethany Ramos

    YES. This makes absolute sense, and you put it perfectly. I also firmly believe that terrible parenting times make everything else seems so easy. The second year of my son’s life compared to his first year as a sickly, unpredictable baby is AMAZING. Sharing and bitching is all part of the human experience – don’t act like you’re above it, Ruth!

  • Anika

    I love parenting and I think my baby is the most awesome baby ever. But I’m afraid to come off as bragging or like I have no life outside of my baby so I tend to stay quiet about how great she is
    I don’t usually talk about the hard parts either because I don’t want people to only hear me complaining about her. I feel like I’m afraid to say anything about her existence some days because of things like STFU Parents and all the hateful comments about “mombies” and “crotchfruit”. Don’t get me wrong, I usually enjoy the website itself but there are some very vitrolic comments.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      I think it’s dangerous that parents feel they are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. IDK, I personally love hearing about happy baby stuff because I love babies and kids. I really do.

    • http://www.twitter.com/ohladyjayne allisonjayne

      I love STFU parents too and I think Blair (I think that’s her name) does a great job at pointing out that not all parents are like this…unfortunately some of her commenters don’t agree.

    • Jayamama

      Yeah, Blair’s great. She has some nasty followers, though. I’ve stopped reading the comments because I want to go all ragey on them.

    • rrlo

      I stopped reading the comments too. As soon as I disagree with anything, people go ape shit! It’s like calm down people, it’s an Internet forum – not the United Nations.

    • rrlo

      STFU gets a little weird sometime. Reading the comments, at times, it feels like parents should always be in a state of mild shame and discomfort because we dared to have a baby.
      Some of the commentators have ridiculous expectations of parents – like one person said parents should not take kids under 10 to restaurants… WTF?

    • Amanda Lee

      I think that as long as you make sure that all of your posts or pics aren’t just about your kid, you’ll be fine. Include other aspects of your life, Share some good and share some bad. Find a balance.

    • rrlo

      As I mentioned before, people can use different platforms for different aspects of their lives. My Facebook is strictly for family stuff – I have other spots were I share professional or other accomplishments.

    • Alfreda Wells Morrissey

      I have actually stopped posting anything on facebook due to STFU Parents. A lot of the things she speaks about truly are out there. I do not post about my kids body fluids, put photos of them naked, or harass strangers and brag about it on facebook but I posted all my kids milestones, put videos of them riding with no training wheels for the first time, reading for the first time, cute things they have said. I never got one negative comment, on the contrary everybody always posted positive things.

      Now though, I realize, that was humblebragging and all those things have been covered in STFU parents. Having positive comments is no excuse, because most of the comments in reply to the facebook status’s being picked apart are positive too, and are also picked apart.

      Now I just stalk other people’s facebook accounts and enjoy reading about their kids.

    • TheGiantPeach

      I agree with Kelly — post what you want. As long as you’re not posting hate-filled rants about groups of people or trying to shame anyone, then who cares? And if you end up on STFU, Parents then you’ll be famous.

    • Paul White

      Honestly? STFU Parents can shove it. About 1/2 the time they seem to post stuff that just flabbergast me that anyone would think it’s OK to post but more and more they’re posting things that aren’t that big of a damn deal.

    • TheGiantPeach

      I agree. I used to like the site because she would post shocking or outrageous things, and she would have hilarious commentary to go along with it. But now, it’s just not funny and most of the posts are ones I probably wouldn’t have raised an eyebrow at.

    • Alfreda Wells Morrissey

      It has certainly made me thing twice about everything I post, and kind of made me insecure about it. I still post photos of my kids because my family complains when I don’t, plus photography is a hobby of mine. I love to take portraits, especially of children, but realize not everybody likes their photos posted on facebook. Plus I am not sure what the etiquette of posting photos of other people’s kids is, so I just avoid posting them. Instead I email, or post them on a private website with a password so the parents can download them.

      Every time I go to post about my kids, such as when they did a big tour on their bicycle, I realize well that is bragging and people maybe don’t like that. I probably never should have read STFU parents since I am really sensitive and insecure.

    • Jayamama

      Humblebrag or not, I WILL post pictures and videos of my kids. Most of my husband’s family and all of mine (except for my mom, who lives with us) are at least two states away. The majority of them haven’t even met my three-month-old. This is their only way to watch them grow up and get to know them, and darned if I won’t oblige them. I keep all of the material clean (I don’t even have any nude photos of them at all) and try to wait at least a week between posts so I’m not obnoxious, but if I have friends who are still annoyed, I welcome them to delete me.

    • rrlo

      Honestly, I LOVE seeing baby info of my loved ones. Please don’t stop posting things because of STFU. They are not humblebrags – it sounds like you’re proud of your children – who are I am sure amazing (because all kids are) and no one will pick apart anything.

    • Alfreda Wells Morrissey

      So glad I am not the only one. Thank you so much for replying.

    • Kelly

      Just post what you want. If somebody doesn’t like then they can hide or unfriend you and be done with it.

      I had someone on here tell me that they only care about their friends and don’t give a damn about their friends’ kids or relatives or loved ones. I don’t understand what’s wrong with people like that. I don’t get how someone can say, “I love Brian so much! It’s like he’s my brother! But his two year old daughter can go fuck herself, I hate seeing her pictures!”

      There’s something wrong with people like that.

    • TheGiantPeach

      Some of the commenters there really are horrible. One time I dared to say that I wasn’t that offended by someone posting a poopy diaper on Facebook, that my reaction was to roll my eyes and keep going. I was literally in shock at the hateful comments that came my way. I know I shouldn’t have been, because this is the internet, but I guess I’m used to Mommyish where the people are mostly sane.

  • http://www.twitter.com/ohladyjayne allisonjayne

    I like a good balance. I do grit my teeth when I see my friend’s on facebook do the whole “my life is awful I hate everything this is the worst…but it’s all worth it!” because it just irks me. If your life is THAT awful, change it. And the ‘it’s worth it’ line there doesn’t come across like “it’s worth it because most of the time it’s awesome” but instead “it’s worth it because it’s my duty to raise the next generation” or something. Which is fine I guess but to me you should also be getting some joy out of the whole thing.

    • Tinyfaeri

      Oh the joys of being a mommy!

    • AP

      Anecdotally, a lot of the parents I’ve met who are complaining “my life is awful!!” are suffering from a disaster of their own doing.

      Last week, I had a mom beg me to tell her kids that the pool was closing, because they didn’t want to leave the pool and they ALWAYS have to have what they want, and if they knew the pool was still open, they wouldn’t leave, because it’s all about them and their happiness all the time.

      This is just one example, but I get parents cutting these deals with me fairly often. I’m always happy to use my “authority” to help out a parent with a sticky situation, but…that’s a situation of the parents’ own making.

    • http://www.twitter.com/ohladyjayne allisonjayne

      That’s ridiculous. If she wanted to get her kids out, maybe she should’ve shat in the pool. Then you’d have had to close it.

      I’m kidding obviously. But seriously, my kid is not even 3 and she (somewhat) understands that she can’t always get what she wants.

    • ElleJai

      That’s just poor form on the mom’s part. That alone will make her and her kids lives insufferable.

  • Bic

    I don’t think there is anything wrong with talking about the good, the bad and frankly the downright nasty parts of parenting. I think the real problem is people who can’t accept that other people have a different experience to them or feel differently to them. A lot of the differences seems to be down to differing personalities, some people are more naturally positive than others and some kids are easier than others, etc. It’s a completely individual experience that crosses over with similar moments occasionally. Or at least that’s what it seems like from somebody that doesn’t have kids. I read here so I know what the people I know that do have kids are talking about!

  • Véronique Houde

    I truly appreciate talking about the bad stuff of parenting. There’s a difference though between talking about the bad – with a sense of humour or a sense of whitty reparté, and turning yourself into a martyr on a daily basis.

    I got into an argument with a co-worker over her sharing picture after picture of boohoohhoo how you will never sleep again with a baby, or that you are completely unreachable over the phone because you are too busy with your baby. Her general tone right now is “Being a parent is sooooo hard and people who aren’t parents can’t understand” and I really hate that. I hate making my life to be so different from anyone else’s, and to make it out to seem like I’m this hero who suffers for another human being on a daily basis.

    I think that modern society glorifies parental martyrdom, and that we don’t know how else to talk about the hard stuff that goes on sometimes (well, except on Mommyish because we’re probably the most sane mothers around!!!) At some point, you have to be able to say without shame that “THIS FUCKING SUCKS” but that it also doesn’t stay that way with time. Or to find the humour in the darkness.

    • Bethany Ramos

      I really, really agree with this – be self-deprecating but don’t rain on everyone else’s parade by implying parenting will ruin your life. There is always a balance.

    • Amanda Lee

      This x 1000. It’s the tone that’s really irritating to others. Either people are a martyr sacrificing their mind, body, and soul for their baby or they go the whole humble brag thing about how special/smart/unique their child is, which of course, is really just them saying how they are the best mom. I’m tired of both. I constantly see it on my news feed as all the people I went to high school with are popping out kids left and right. The only time you should share (aka spam) stories of your child on facebook is when it is fucking hilarious. Everything else, share privately.

    • TheGiantPeach

      But my idea of fucking hilarious and your idea of fucking hilarious are probably different. So who gets to decide which stories are appropriately fucking hilarious enough to post on Facebook?

    • Amanda Lee

      Good point… I guess what you would generally think to be funny to other people? I’m not trying to single out parents. I don’t tend to update my status very often… once a week maybe? And only if something shocking/funny happened. Sometimes I get comments/likes, sometimes I don’t. Like I said, just trying to offer some advice from an outside perspective.

    • TheGiantPeach

      My point is really that Facebook is different things to different people. Some people like to share lots of pictures or cute anecdotes about their kids. My aunt share 500 recipes a day, my younger cousins post half naked pictures from their drunken nights out, and some of my friends will share news items and try to provoke discussion. As long as people aren’t posting anything racist, sexist or other -ist it doesn’t really matter to me what they post. If they get too boring or annoying, I just hide them from my newsfeed. I really don’t like this trend of the “Facebook police” who can decide what is or isn’t appropriate.

    • rrlo

      I agree. It’s MY Facebook. Only I get to decide what I post. Totally why the unsubscribe button was invented.

    • http://www.twitter.com/ohladyjayne allisonjayne

      YES! I agree with all of this so much. I hate martyrdom so much and do not understand it. Maybe I’m selfish but I didn’t make the choice to become a parent because I think it’s the “most important job in the world” or that I have some “God-given duty” to raise the next generation. I made the choice because I figured that most of the time it would be pretty fun. And I was right (so far anyway!).

  • Alfreda Wells Morrissey

    My eldest was going through a period where she was full of rage and really difficult to handle. My way of dealing with that was bringing my frustration to the adults in my life, so I could maintain my sanity and patience while I was holding her in the recovery position to keep her from killing her sister, spitting in my face or damaging property. She has since come out of it, but during that time I had one other mom comment on how it surprised her to hear my talk about the negative traits in my children. She said in California, where she had spent the last few years of her life, parents would bitch about their spouses but never their children. To me that seems fake, my kids are not perfect they are a mix of amazing and insanely frustrating. I try to be honest in my portrayal of them. I guess I am a little too honest. Now I have a listening partner. I bring my nasty emotions and fears to her, and she listens without judgement. Then she spends an equal amount of time bringing hers to me and I listen without judgement. Either way, parents should not be stuffing their negative feelings and taking them out on the kids. It is healthy to process that information with other adults, you just need to pick your adults. Some can’t handle hearing it unfortunately. I don’t really like the idea of telling anybody to STFU unless they are being really obnoxious.

  • Jayamama

    I think people write about how bad it can be because it’s tiring and there’s no break. Whether you work outside the home in addition to parenting or not, raising a child is full-time work. You don’t get to walk away from them after 5:00 and every weekend. You’re responsible for this little person 24/7, from the wailing newborn at 3am to the screaming toddler at the store at 5:30pm. (What I like to call the “b*tching hour.) There are days when there seems to be no end in sight and it can get very frustrating. But you made the choice to bring this little person into your life, and you have to see that responsibility to the end.

    It’s a lot like marriage – you made a commitment to another person, and it isn’t all butterflies and rainbows all the time. There are hard days or months or even years sometimes. But there are some great times that make it all worth it: baby’s first smile, butterfly kisses from your toddler, an unsolicited “I love you.” Those are what you have to focus on. The job is full of soaring highs and tearful lows, and you have to take the whole package.

  • NotTakenNotAvailable

    Well, Eve, I’m afraid I’m one of those childfree people collecting articles about the shit, both literal and figurative, that parents have to go through and putting them in a file folder to hand over to the surgeon who will undoubtedly ask, “But how can you be so sure that you want a tubal ligation at your age?”

    That said, I’m highly advocating for balance. Since I can’t personally envision any scenario in which kids were anything but a gargantuan drain on my time and energy, it’s good to read pieces elaborating on the positives so that I can try and understand how the majority of the world sees children and childrearing. I doubt I’ll ever truly understand–I don’t think I have the emotional depth necessary to get joy from anything as intangible as a smile or a shared moment, a lack that has already been detrimental to any attempts at romantic relationships. But it does help me temper the headscratching and inquiries of, “But why?” when my friends express a desire to be parents someday.

  • RochellCattaneo
  • Peneloope

    I need to go read the original article, because it sounds EXACTLY like the way I’ve been feeling the last few years. I’ve been through 8 years of infertility now, and a couple of years into it, I started to get seriously scared of getting pregnant because it just sounded awful, based on Facebook friends and different web articles. “You never sleep, your body is ruined, your children are nightmares, they hate you, then they leave for college and you’re old and you DIE.” <– THAT'S the narrative that's been running through my head for so long! It's good to get a more balanced perspective – sometimes it sucks, sometimes it's awesome. At least, that's what I hope it'll be, if it ever happens…

    • Alfreda Wells Morrissey

      It is really hard, but you will do great. You just get more efficient, different priorities but it allows you to look at life through their eyes. Seeing the pride on their faces when they learn stuff, hearing them talk about stuff in a way only a child can. It is fascinating as well as frustrating.

      The main thing I found is life goes in stages. One stage is magical and things fall into place, another year it sucks and everything is really difficult. Just remember these periods won’t last forever.

  • Patti Podnar

    Another perk to writing about the hard parts of parenting is just the fact of recording it. As my kids get older, they love to look back over this stuff and laugh. Like the time when they were having a heated argument over which of them was the happiest. Or the time when my now 9yo was around 3 and badly constipated. We were in Target, and he yelled at the top of his lungs, “Mommy, if my good, will you pwease not put jewwy in my bottom?” Mortifying….absolutely! But one of my kids’ fave family legends, and I might have forgotten if I hadn’t written it down.

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