Like all moms I read a whole lot of crap about parenting when I first had my kids. Let's face it, I had no idea what I was doing. Most of us don't. They just hand you this baby, just let you take it home and wave from the hospital doors. You can almost hear them chuckling at your expense as you drive away with your newborn completely unprepared to navigate the rough waters ahead.
So we moms pick up parenting books and subscribe to parenting magazines and read every word in hopes of finding solutions that will actually work. Our sleep-deprived minds read and re-read everything and anything that might help us figure out what this squalling little bundle of dubious joy wants, how on earth we can make him/her go to sleep and stay that way, what we should do about that fever, that cough, that funny noise he/she is making.
I am currently subscribed to two parenting magazines, and after 4.5 years of reading each issue as it comes it I have come to the conclusion that the people publishing these magazines don't know anything more than the rest of us. Basically, they publish the same crap over and over and repackage it make it look like new information. I have read the same story so many times I should be writing them instead, at least I could add something new.
So without further ado, in homage to the "top # things" stories those magazines love to splash on their covers, here are the 5 parenting magazine stories I really wish they would stop publishing.
1. This Celebrity Mom is Just Like You!!!!
This is the article in which they interview some celebrity mom and add splashy pictures of her looking well-rested, happy, and enjoying motherhood to its fullest in her beautiful, spotless home. Apparently because she has a child, this celebrity mom is just like the rest of us! Sure, except for her millions of dollars, jet-set lifestyle, vacations in the South of France, two nannies, housekeeper, personal trainer, stylist, enormous house (cleaned by said housekeeper) and closetful of designer clothes, she is just like me.
What I would love to see is a celebrity mom looking like crap with spit-up on her shoulder, dark circles under her eyes and stretch marks on her flabby belly. But even then, the millions of dollars would be kind of hard to ignore.
2. The Quick Fix for Your Discipline Problems!
First, this article implies that there actually is a quick solution for disciplining your kids. Second, it implies that the same method will work for every kid. Also, it is the same useless advice over and over. I particularly enjoy gems like "keep your cool!" and "try to see your child's point of view".
In the parenting magazine world, everything just sort of falls into place. The minute you "stop using the word no", look your child in the eye and tell him or her how you really do understand how they feel and speak to them as if they are capable of rational conversation, there won't even be a need for discipline. Because your kid is just going say "well, since you put it that way, mom, we're cool."
Have these people actually tried to have a conversation in a calm voice with a four year old having a meltdown because you won't buy him a Hot Wheels?
3. Sleep Solutions that Work!
This article should be called "let's rehash a popular sleep theory that doesn't really work." This article will be one of two things: a no-cry sleep plan or a cry-it-out sleep plan. Either way, the odds of it working are really just a crapshoot. This article preys on the desperate need of the average mom for more than an hour or two of sleep at a time.
I've got news for you: unless you are one of the incredibly lucky people (and I hate you all by the way) who has a miracle baby who sleeps all night from an early age and also takes nice long naps during the day (even the good sleepers usually only do one or the other) you had better invest in a good coffee maker and a heavy concealer. Babies don't give a crap what the experts say about their sleep, they'll sleep when they're good and ready. Some never do. I know, I am up with my 4 year old every night.
4. Fun Crafts you Can Make With Your Kids!
Screw you Martha. Who the hell has time or energy for crafts? And if you do, don't tell me because I hate you almost as much as the people whose kids sleep.
5. The Latest Super-Scary Way Your Kid Could Die or Be Maimed for Life.
Because parenting isn't scary enough with worrying about SIDS, allergies, bullying, milestones, and getting them to do the most basic things such as actually eat and sleep, we need this article like a hole in the head. These are either articles about really odd accidents that have happened that we can now add to the Many Dangers of Everyday Life list, or they are about rare diseases the five people on the planet have but whose symptoms exactly mirror that of the common cold and you are now completely convinced your child has.
I think I am going to subscribe to Star next instead. At least then I can be guaranteed to see some celebrities looking like crap, and I can roll it up and use it as a quick discipline solution too.