Friday, June 11, 2010

If I Wrote a Parenting Magazine

Do you read those parenting magazines? You know, like Parents, or Parenting, or the uber snobby/trendy, but ill-fated, Cookie?  I used to, but now that my kids are school age, and not babies, toddlers, or preschoolers, nothing in those magazines seem to apply to me anymore.  There doesn't seem to be a magazine for my parenting demographic-I wonder why that is?  Occasionally, I'll wistfully look at the headlines of a Parents.  Sometimes they make me roll my eyes with an "Oh, please.  Who does that?" thought.  Maybe that's why there aren't many periodical choices for Moms like me-by now, we've read all the advice, and we've realized that half of it doesn't work, half of it requires too much work, and yet another half (it's my blog, I can have three halves if I want to!) is the same old advice we've read or heard a million times before.

So, just for kicks, I've decided to do a little magazine writing, the Imperfect Mom way.  All of the headlines I'm going to respond to are actual headlines that I just found on parenting magazine websites.  The rest is aaaaaaaalllllllllllllllllll me.  You're welcome.

8 Power Snacks They'll Love
Hmmmm.  Power and Snacks  "Power" must require sugar and carbs, right?  Give my son a Mountain Dew, and he can "power" on for hours!  But Mountain Dew isn't a snack-unless...... we freeze them! Mountain Dew Popsicles! I've just thought of my first recipe for the food section of my imaginary magazine! Ok, I don't actually give my kids Mountain Dew often.  But my husband does.  Power Snacks-my kids like Cap'n Crunch (well, except for Tot who has cerealophobia), chocolate graham crackers, Dip'n Dots ice cream, carrots with ranch dip (but those don't "power" them up), and a bunch of other stuff.  I'm tired of this already.  They also really like fruit, yogurt, string cheese, and organic fruit snacks, but those just aren't funny to write about.

Breathe Easy With Cabin Air Filers
Ok, this one may actually have been an ad, but I'm going with it.  These are air filters.  For your car.  Aren't cars supposed to smell like stale McDonald's french fries, mildewy chlorine from that pool towel that got left in the back, and old farts?  Or is it just mine? How are we supposed to pass on time honored traditions, like the "smeller's the feller" phrase, and the fun game "find the water bottle/sippie cup with the sour milk in it" ?  If you have kids, especially small ones, you really need to be able to smell what's in your car.  "Who pooped their pants? Oh, that was just Daddy farting." Maybe a filter wouldn't be half bad, afterall....

When Public Tantrums Strike
Ugh.  I don't miss these.  Tantrums in public-run and and hide, or become invisible. Take the obnoxious little brat poor, tired, overstimulated darling out to the car as fast as your legs can carry you, him/her, your 10 pound purse, diaper bag, and other child(ren).  Vow in embarrassment never to return to that store again, at least not until you've had the chance to cut and die your hair, find some large sunglasses that you can see through indoors, and grow (or shrink) 4 inches.  Cry all the way home, while your child (now probably happy as a lark because they got to leave the store, which is what they wanted anyway), sings along with the radio or talks to their reflection in the window.  When you get home, hand the offending child(ren) off to your husband, go to your bedroom, slam the door,  and call your Mom or best friend to complain about how you never get to finish your shopping or go anywhere alone.  Ever. 

Fun Indoor Activities
Need rainy day activities? Here you go. Super Mario Galaxy for Wii-keeps my kids busy for hours, and gives me plenty of time to blog, gripe about all the dirty laundry, and Facebook.  Oh, wait! Is that supposed to be stuff you actually do with your kids? Oh, ok then.  Pay your son fifty cents to sweep the kitchen floor.  Briefly show him how, then send him off on his own.  Pay him in dimes, and since there will be 5 coins, he'll think he's getting a lot of money. Bribe your more sophisticated older child with extra Wii time to vacuum. Hand your children dust rags, pre-sprayed with Pledge, and tell them they can have a contest to see who can dust the most furniture while you "supervise".  My kids still actually fall for this one.  Have another child no more than 2 and a half years older than your last child, so that they always have a partner in crime playmate.  It worked for me-my two keep each other entertained pretty well.

Get Your Groovy On-How to Tie Dye with Kids
Oh, my.  That's a frightening thought, if there ever was one.  When I was much younger and more patient, I tried tie dyeing with kids as a summer camp counsellor. Dis. As. Ter.  Really-everyone's tennis shoes ended up multicolored from the drips, and the shirts just turned out a nasty brown from the colors being mixed.  Just save yourself some time, and damage to clothing, shoes, carpet and furniture and go to WalMart and buy a tie dye shirt.  Let the kid draw on it with a Sharpie, if you want to be "creative".  Just do it outside, in old clothes. When we're in an artsy mood, I have a box of miscellaneous craft supplies and paper, and every once in a while, I drag it out and let them create to their heart's content.  I'm big on the non-directed art project stuff. Just not the mess it makes.

Fun Ways to Get Your Kids to Exercise
Fun for me? Or them? "Run upstairs and get my shoes, please." "Oh, those are the wrong ones.  Get my others, please."  "Thank you, now run up and put these away for me."  "Oh, wait! I think I need those afterall-bring them back down." Heh-heh.  Seriously, my kids have a swingset, and bicycles, scooters, and friends to run around with.  I just send them outside, and they get plenty of exercise on their own.  Fresh air and unstructured free time-I think kids need more of it.

                                                                      shirt from Cafe Press
Healthy Pregnancy Diet
For my first child, I ate fried chicken and strawberry pop tarts and drank lots of sweet tea and 2% milk. I was living in the South, where sweet tea and fried chicken were plentiful and teaching Kindergarten where milk and Pop Tarts (the generic school cafeteria ones) were plentiful.  With my son, I ate cripsy bacon, sour cream, and mayonnaise.  Together and separately. I highly recommend it. Wait....does that say "healthy"? Never mind.

So, there we go.  I don't think I will be pursued by Conde Nast any time soon to write my own parenting magazine, but that's ok, since i have this blog to spew pass on my random, snarky thoughts parenting advice!


  1. LOL!!! You're right the parenting mags are stupid and the advice is SO over the top. I canceled my subscription to the one I had because it was TOO DEEP...I have toddlers, I need fluff!

    Even if you don't have a magazine,{which I think you should because it would be refreshing and REAL} it's a good thing you write something because you're hilarious! :)

  2. You are fabulous!!

    You could do a series on the imperfect, I mean REAL, mom parenting magazine. I loved reading made me feel, well, more normal.

    Have a great night!


  3. I love the Mountain Dew pops and your version of exercise. You may be on to something.

  4. OH My Goodness!! This was great ~ after returning home last night (14 hours in the car to be exact) with my lovely children, I totally need a Cabin air filter!! I dove into cleaning my car out first thing this morning, I needed a backhoe!! But anyhooo...what was allover the floor - French Fries!! Yum Yum!! You should start this as a meme ~ I'd participate!! :)

  5. Thanks, ladies! I think I might make it a regular feature-it was fun and easy to write about. A meme-hmmmm....I might do that. WOuld anyone else be interested in participating if I do that sometime?

  6. Ha! That is so funny, what a great idea. I'm so happy i'm not the only one with a bad smelling van...I have one son that avoids getting in it because of the "mold smell" which I can't even smell any more.
    The Wii is a great baby sitter eh?

  7. OMGosh!!!!! This IS the reality that we all need! Not some "I am supermom,...what are you" persuasion.
    I think you should take this & run with it!
    And thank you for allowing me to feel normal today!

  8. I'm not the only one! Hooray! Smelly cars and Wii kind of parenting! ; )


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