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.Jokes Ruined by Gentle Parenting.

Hey there. Do you know what gentle parenting is? The gently parented child, the theory goes, learns to recognize and control emotions because a caregiver is consistently affirming those emotions as real and important. The parent provides a model for keeping one’s cool (yeah right,…

.What to Do as a Parent in a Family Resort after the Kids are Finally in Bed.

The other day I had a conversation with a colleague at work who is spending “quality family time” with his child at a family resort. Why do I get goosebumps? Maybe because this has nothing to do with relaxation and free time to me when…

.Welcome to NoSuckLand.

I bet you experienced this: Everything sucks, everybody sucks, and all you want to do is dig a little hole and hide forever. You don’t want to see or speak to anyone. The world simply feels unfair and bad. So, what can you do? Scream and shout and beat something or even someone? Or are there different solutions? Let’s just create our dream land where we can hide and everything is okay. It doesn’t have to be a physical place (even though it can be) because sometimes it works simply by imagining it. I can do this and escape to my happy place nine out of ten times which is pretty cool. This is not easy but with practice it is possible. Like anything in life. Do you have a place like this? A secret little hiding place? Let’s visit NoSuckLand shall we?

In NoSuckLand, chocolate is a nutritious superfood. You can eat as much as you want, won’t gain weight and just be super healthy.

In NoSuckLand, everyone has a pet because pets give you unconditional love always.

In NoSuckLand everybody is helpful, nobody has to wait longer than one minute on the phone to get help. Nobody screams and yells.

In NoSuckLand there is no fine print in contracts and everything is easily understandable.

In NoSuckLand there are no evil, rich politicians.

In NoSuckLand, my job pays me obscene amounts of money. Unfortunately, money is virtually worthless here, so people burn it to keep cool in the long, hot days of winter.

Here, there are no homeless people.

Here, everyone can afford an apartment because rents are affordable for everyone.

Here, there are no alarm clocks. People can wake up whenever they feel rested. There is no alcohol here and no drugs so no hangovers, ever.

Another difference is that up is down, and down is up, but that’s really just semantics, and in NoSuckLand semantics are meaningless.

One great thing is that in NoSuckLand, I have wasted exactly zero hours on my phone playing Candy Crush 3D because playing on your phone is never a waste of time. In fact, it has helped me increase my fine motor skills so much that I am now the world’s most renowned spinal surgeon. That’s why I earn so much worthless money.

Here, the only thing money can buy is happiness, but most people prefer to be morose, which kind of takes the pressure off, to be honest.

When things are going well, some people still say, “You should worry. Things will probably not work out.” Toxic negative people always try to sneak into NoSuckLand. What are these people doing here?

I don’t have any children in NoSuckLand. Nevertheless, I am a complete expert on parenting and freely share my advice, which means that if you meet me, I am an absolute pleasure to talk to.

People here often look at my arm and say, “I don’t want to know what your tattoos says,” which is strange because in NoSuckLand, I don’t have tattoos, just a lot of dog scratches.

Here, everyone gets solely promoted due to their work qualifications, skills, and education. No favouritism, no connections, no hanging out with the boss after work.

Here, everybody gets treated the same. People are happy and content.

It’s a huge relief that in NoSuckLand, I don’t care one bit about how I look, because a woman’s value is not predicated on her appearance. The most valuable trait a woman can possess is consistently speaking up in meetings.

Here, healthy, nutritious food is available to everyone. Nobody needs to eat garbage.

Another thing women are valued for is the enormous amount of emotional labor they contribute to society. This labor is so valued that it is well-compensated. Of course, since money is virtually worthless, emotional labor is instead rewarded with something much more precious: packages of Oreos. You know, the cookies. Yum!

Climate change doesn’t exist in NoSuckLand. In NoSuckLand, there is only “climate same,” and it is an issue that everyone takes seriously. We take it so seriously that we did something about it and created climate change, only we changed the climate for the better.

In NoSuckLand, we now have, on average, twelve more days of perfect sweater weather per year. That, along with the amazing social safety net and the harmonious and civil political system, make NoSuckLand a pretty great place.

In fact, it would be almost perfect if only Oreos here actually tasted good.

.Yes and No.

It all happened four years ago: I was having one of those no-good-very-bad periods. Parenting felt hard and heavy. My job had many challenging moments. My domestic load was ridiculous. My phone buzzed and dinged and rang. I was forever in the car, or at…

.How Mature Are You? The Quiz.

1. When a co-worker steals your lunch, you: A) Emit a guttural scream. Ask, “What man committed this crime?!” Lecture the entire office on boundaries. Your bark is worse than your bite, but they don’t know that. B) Hunt down the motherfucker who ate your…

.Being a Mother is So Easy.

Despite near-constant whining about how impossible it is to be a mother, really, it’s simple: you just have to be perfect. No, not like that. Not annoyingly perfect, like a show-off or something. You need to be effortless and self-deprecating in your perfection. Not that self-deprecating—is this a joke to you? Are you mocking the moms out there who are struggling? Honestly, how hard is it to be perfect in a precise, scientifically calibrated way designed to be 100 percent infallible without ever being exhausted, needing a break, or losing your cool for a single second from the time your children are born until each one goes to college?

Fine, if you, for whatever reason, cannot do that, if you insist upon having an off day or a tough moment and you feel overwhelmed and need to vent: no. I mean, did you not know what you were getting into having children? Did you not accurately, to the point of clairvoyance, anticipate every single twist and turn of the nearly two-decade-long journey of helping a tiny lump of a baby grow into a fully functional adult? Obviously, you should have figured it all out in advance, like how giving birth would go and any complications you’d have, the specific personalities of your children and how they’d interact, what life-altering historical events you might live through—you know, the basics.

But even if you didn’t make the effort to Nostradamus your way through parenting life, you had to at least understand the unspoken rule that, yes, while it’s normal for everyone else to vent about their days, or jobs, or experiences, if you complain, as a mother, that means either you’re bad at it or you hate your children—right?

It may seem counterintuitive, but you can’t share good things either. No one likes bragging. Or baby photos. Or babies. God, is motherhood your whole personality? You’re boring everyone! Unless, of course, you’re making us laugh, which is also a problem because why are you making up funny things your kids say? Okay, hypothetically, children still figuring out how words work could say weird and silly things, but isn’t it more likely that you spend every spare moment of your time hunched over a desk writing jokes for your kid like your toddler’s the host of a late-night talk show?

Oh, and, small detail: don’t go out in public. We in the extremely progressive and advanced twenty-first century have improved upon the old saying that “children should be seen but not heard”—we’d actually love it if we didn’t see or hear kids. So, just keep your offspring sequestered in some hermetically sealed environment so no one is bothered by any child-related noise, or tears, or happiness, or breathing until your kids reach the notably not annoying age of eighteen. Shouldn’t be a problem—really, I mean, why did you even have kids if you didn’t want to live with them as pariahs in walled-off isolation for the entirety of their childhood? What, did you expect to still be a part of society after having kids? Wait, oh my god, did you think society included children? Yikes. Obviously, no.

But if you must venture into the world of adults, who were never once themselves small or loud or learning, at least make sure your children behave. And by “behave” I mean conform to the standards of adult behavior or conduct themselves in the manner of children from 1950s TV shows. And if they don’t, just, you know, make them. Definitely not with gentle parenting, which is turning this generation of kids into soft, self-centered monsters, but FYI, if you raise your voice to your children by even one decibel, whether in a moment of frustration or to keep them from the path of an oncoming car, it is literally the exact same thing as child abuse, based on what I’ve read (in the captions of some lady’s TikTok). But you shouldn’t need to yell or be a pushover if your child is making a scene. Simply kneel down to eye level and tell your one-year-old in a calm, firm voice: “Stop crying.” Boom. Problem solved.

Now that we’re onto obvious stuff, never go on an airplane, no matter the circumstances, not even if you’re a pilot. Stop being an annoying helicopter parent, selfishly denying your children freedom and fun, but also, if you are ever even eighteen inches away from your kid for a fraction of a second, I will take a photo to shame you on social media and also call 911. Do not send your children to daycare (you want strangers raising your kids?) or stay at home with them (betraying feminism with your tradwife ways much?) and, never, ever, eat with your children at a restaurant. I mean, a restaurant, my god, why would you, as a parent of a growing child, go into a place that serves food? You’re not allowed to enter the hallowed halls of any restaurant unless your kids are endowed with the official How to Act Nicely at Restaurants knowledge, which will be, to my understanding, inserted seamlessly into their psyches at the moment they reach adulthood without any prior restaurant-going experience.

But more than anything you do as a mother, more than preventing your kids from choking or drowning or operating a forklift, never allow them to have even a sideways glance at a screen, or it will ruin their brains forever. Yes, even though plenty of today’s adults watched television as children. Yes, even if you are trying to cook dinner, do homework with your other kids, or are recovering from major abdominal surgery—or all three of those things at once, which is something mothers sometimes have to do. And yes, even if you only need a two-and-a-half-minute distraction so you can quickly use the bathroom in peace. Why would you need to use the bathroom alone anyway? Can you not simply hold your children aloft on your shoulders or back like an orangutan while shitting?

In fact, as a mammal (I can refer to you as a mammal, right?), human mothers could stand to take a page from the moms of the animal kingdom. They live far away in forests or jungles, and you never hear them grumbling about “me time” or “the invisible load”—you don’t hear them complaining at all. True, they don’t speak a language we can understand, but I bet if they could communicate and had access to the human internet, an elephant would type stuff like, “This is fine! I enjoyed all twenty-two months of my pregnancy, and I would never take my calf to a brewery!”

But if this all seems too tough, contradictory, or overwhelming, there’s an easy solution: wait twenty years or so until you seem comparatively better than the mothers and children of the future, who will be screwing things up so much worse than you are now.

It seems impossible to imagine, but somehow, they will.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there. Together we mother.

.Life Lessons Through a Puzzle.

1. Patience is key. 2. Remember to take breaks for self-care. 3. And don’t forget to go to the bathroom. 4. It’s better to make slow progress with the pieces than no progress on the puzzle at all. 5. Accept the pieces the way they…

.Book Thursday – L’art de la Simplicité: How to Live More With Less by Dominique Loreau.

“Simplicity means possessing little, clearing the way for the bare necessities, the quintessence of things. Simplicity is beautiful because it brings hidden joys.” This beautiful, soulful book expresses what many of us desire, but often can’t achieve: a life of simplicity and beauty. While I…

.Compendium of Weirdness … at the Gynecologist’s.

Going to the gyno is a necessary part of staying on top of your health…but it’s not exactly what I’d call fun. Besides the obvious, “Wow, I really don’t wanna be here,” there are so many things buzzing through my head on a trip to the torture chamber gynecologist’s office. In addition to the stream-of-consciousness above, here are some of the most common thoughts I’ve had before, during, and after getting spread eagle in the name of modern preventative care. I bet you can relate. Please share your comments below.

1. ‘This waiting room needs a serious upgrade.’
With Parents and Good Housekeeping being the only reading material lying around the ob-gyn’s office, it always feels like you’ve slipped into a time warp. What year is it, and do they realize women can vote now? Also, we’re about to strip and have a foreign object placed between our legs; perhaps they could spring for some comfier chairs? And post-appointment lollipops, please—we earned at least one.

2. ‘I’ve never felt so cold or so vulnerable (except last year when I was here).’
That moment when you’re pants-less waiting on the doctor, staring down the straps of the stirrups you’re about to prop your feet in? That’s real womanhood right there. Also, can they maybe keep the temp at a comfortable 28 to 30 degrees? We’re half-naked up in here. 

3. ‘I don’t want that thing anywhere near my va-jay-jay.’
One look at that IUD applicator will send a shiver up your spine. Getting an eyeful of various other metal and/or plastic instruments while waiting for the doctor to arrive is very, very anxiety-provoking, to say the least. 

4. ‘Why are there so, so many questions?’
What was the date of your last period? How many drinks do you have a week? Do you smoke? How many sexual partners have you had last year? How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck would chuck wood? It’s like meeting with the damn Spanish Inquisition once a year.

5. ‘Please keep the small talk to before and after insertion.’
We don’t mind giving you an update on our families, jobs, pets, and love lives, but we’d rather not do that sort of chatting when you’ve got a special vagina tool and a flashlight halfway up our cervix. In terms of verbal communication during this time, just an update on when it will all be over will suffice.

6. ‘How’s my scent?’
Admit it: You know they’re probably immune to every possible funky lady fume at this point but you still want to, you know, keep it fresh, if at all possible. You showered prior to the appointment, but anything can happen between home and this ovary inspection.

7. ‘What if my butt crack is hiding one of these weird stray hairs that get trapped there during the shower?’
This pretty much speaks for itself. Same worry goes for a lint ball from our pants or a piece of toilet paper still hanging on for dear life. We don’t want anyone to actually know that happens…even though it can happen to anyone.

8. ‘I vow, yet again, to start doing breast self-exams at home.’
As the physician gropes your boobs to make sure everything’s all clear, you remember that you learned how to check your own breasts in middle school health class. You should know every lump, bump, freckle and dent by now. You promise to start feeling yourself up at least once a week from here on out. (Do you know what type of boobs you have?) 

9. ‘You want me to take my urine sample where?’
Doctors who don’t have a cabinet in the bathroom for you to deposit a urine sample but instead make you walk down a public hallway CARRYING YOUR OWN PEE really need to get their sh*t together. What are we, cavewomen?

More terrifying gyno-office-thoughts:

Please don’t make me go on the scale!

Is there anything more mortifying than stirrups? You know, those thingies you put your feet on on a gyno chair!! Who invented these things? Probably some old guy who hates women.

Relax? He wants me to relax! Take my clothes off behind the curtains to be completely naked with legs spread wide open in front of him! Relax???

And this speculum… it is always so cold. I hate this part. It will all be over soon. Let’s count the tiles on the ceiling. Let’s count anything. Don’t even think what is happening right now. Is it me or is it really hot in here?

I wonder how many vaginas he has seen this year.

Men have no idea what we need to go through!

And, run, if these songs are playing in your gyno’s office waiting room:

Sum 41: “In Too Deep”

Madonna: “Into the Groove”

Tom Jones: “What’s New Pussycat?”

Salt-N-Pepa: “Push It”

No Doubt: “Spiderwebs”

Van Halen: “Fire in the Hole”

MC Hammer: “Can’t Touch This”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: “Into the Great Wide Open”

Guns N’ Roses: “Welcome to the Jungle”

John Mayer: “Your Body Is a Wonderland”

Weird Al Yankovic: “Eat It”

The Rolling Stones: “Under My Thumb”

The Police: “Wrapped Around Your Finger”

Petula Clark: “Downtown”

Sean Mendes: “Stitches”

Taylor Swift: “Bad Blood”

Anything by The Flaming Lips

.Book Thursday – The List of My Desires by Grégoire Delacourt.

“Jo and I are happy, I say, my voice unsteady. We’ve had our ups and downs like all couples, but we’ve managed to get over the bad times. We have two lovely children, a pretty little house, friends, we go on holiday twice a year.…

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