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Why Bad Parenting Advice?

Is it just us, or is “good” parenting advice hard to read? Yeah… you know the kind we’re talking about. No matter how hard they try not to be, givers of good parenting advice always come off as condescending know-it-alls who have way too much time on their hands. (Seriously, though. Where do they find the time to take all those fancy photos, make all those healthy meals, and keep their homes spotless?)

Well, after a particularly traumatic bath night and a glass of wine, we decided we were fed up with well-meaning parenting advice that was impossible to follow. We wanted to keep it real and write about the “bad” parenting advice that we all really need and use. In other words, we want parents to know that McDonald’s three times in one week will not kill anyone and putting the little monsters to bed at 6 p.m. because you are done for the day is perfectly acceptable. Also, your kid does not have to be reading and writing by age 4, no matter what the other moms at daycare say. 

Our photos will probably feature “clothes mountain,” and we will probably never feature a healthy recipe. When our kids eat anything that’s not a fruit snack, we consider it a victory. We’ll definitely rely too heavily on humor, and we won’t always have all the answers. (Any parent who thinks they do is a word I can’t say here.) But we’ll never judge you or pretend we know your kids better than you do. That’s our promise. 

Please send wine. 

Greg and Carmen

Parents with No Other Qualifications

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A Single Parent’s Guide to Survival: How to Do It All and Stay Sane

Just kidding! There is no way one person can “do it all” and stay sane, especially if you’re a single parent. But you can figure out what’s most important (your kids), what you need to do to be there for them (stay sane!), and how to get the help you need to do it. 

Before we were together, both Greg and I were single parents. Here is our best advice for surviving single parenthood:

  • First, realize that your kids need you to be happy and well, so no fast food on a regular basis. Ha! Don’t worry. That’s a joke. Of course your kids need to be eating well, but it’s important to remember that all kids go through stages where chicken nuggets and applesauce are all they’ll eat. Make sure you’re sneaking in a multi-vitamin and a glass of milk each day, and cut yourself some slack. 
  • Then, create a routine that works for you. Getting up an hour before your kids so you can drink your coffee and read the latest self-help book might not work for you. We get it. You also might not have the energy to pack lunches the night before or the patience to play classical music to start each morning. Hear us when we say this: THAT IS OKAY. Different families thrive under different structures and routines. If eating your meals at 7, 12, and 5 with three snacks in between works for you, great. If your child needs three snacks between lunch and dinner, that’s fine too. 
  • Next — don’t laugh — make time for yourself. Stay up late one or two nights a week to peruse the internet while no one in the house needs you for anything. Call grandma to come watch the kids while you walk around Target with a latte. Turn up the music and ignore your kids for the duration of one of your favorite dance songs. A little time apart is good for parent and child, for real. 
  • Last but not least, you are going to need to stop procrastinating on the important stuff. Your financial, medical, and legal concerns are not going away, no matter how long you put them off. All jokes aside, making a list of everything you need to accomplish, big and small, and checking them off one by one will help you tackle the big stuff with minimal overwhelm. 

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