The constant barrage of parenting humblebrags, pin-worthy pedicures, and perfectly posed (and filtered) pics of well-dressed, angelic children is causing us to miss out on what’s right in front of us. So, bid adieu to that nasty FOMO feeling and embrace JOMO (joy of missing out). Let everyone else hustle to keep up with the Joneses while you enjoy the relief of doing your own thing, no matter how un-Instagrammable it may be. Start by:
Just Saying No When everyone’s volunteering for a PTA committee but you choose to binge-watch Orange Is the New Black instead, JOMO! When your single friend invites you to happy hour but you’d rather sing along to the Frozen soundtrack with the kids (again), JOMO! Only say yes to plans that truly excite you. Who cares if you don’t get tagged in the photo later?
Keeping It Real Find IRL experiences that mimic the sites you enjoy most. If you’re always pinning craft ideas or recipes, take a cooking class or pick up art supplies and get creative with your kids. Crave connection? Join a mom’s group for a real-life social meet-up.
Seeing the Bigger Picture For each image of a child quietly reading a book, there are hundreds of un-photographed moments where his behavior is…less than ideal. The next time you’re staring in awe (and envy) at a photo or status update, remind yourself that social media is not real life—and that all the good stuff happens off-camera anyway.
She’s sassy, savvy, and LOL-worthy. If you haven’t heard of Quinoa (no, not the food this time!), you’re missing out. Tiffany Beveridge turned her viral Pinterest board, “My Imaginary Well-Dressed Toddler Daughter”, starring a little girl with the same name as the trendy grain, into a clever book for fans to enjoy.
Quinoa is spirited and a hipster, but it would be a major faux paux to refer to herself as one, according to “The Rules of Being a Hipster” that appear at the beginning of Beveridge’s book. More specifically, as Beveridge writes, Quinoa is “the fearless and fashion-forward little girl who dresses to the ninety-nines, attends elaborately themed playdates with her cohort of posh friends” and “sets more trends in an hour that the number of times you check your email in Twitter feed.” Quinoa lives and breathes fashion, and even knows how to undergo a “textile cleanse” (wearing all white for a week) when necessary. If you’ve never found yourself jealous of a fictional character, you (or your child) will be now.
Of course, the book is also parody of our obsession with the latest must-have foods, styles, and technologies. Case in point: Quinoa’s friends are named Hashtag and Chevron, and a list of Quinoa-approved monikers includes gems such as Chia, Sephora, and Peplum. Likewise: The key to choosing worthwhile extracurricular activities, Quinoa says, is to follow three simple criteria: 1. Can it be posted on Pinterest? 2. Can it be posted in Instagram? 3. Can it be posted on YouTube?
Just as Bevridge’s Pinterest board is full of witty captions next to perfectly styled images, the book contains similar musings. A picture of two children sitting on a staircase is accompanied with the caption, “While playing brownstone, Quinoa and Bodoni got into an argument over who got to be the liberal arts professor and who got to be the work-from-home dad.” An image of an energetic young child dressed in camo, flannel, and some bling reads, “Quinoa’s friend Ellipses has the moves like Jagger, the smarts like Zuckerberg, and the curfew of a 12-year-old.” Laughing yet?
While some of the cultural references may go over children’s heads, the book is a fun read for teens, young adults, and parents who will appreciate Beveridge’s insight and humor.
Are you raising a little fashionista? These looks will inspire her as back-to-school time approaches:
Our writer Sarah Schmelling offers a funny perspective in her Parents magazine column, ”Just Kidding!”
ALEXANDRA, VA - Todd Briscoe, 37, unexpectedly received royal treatment when he brought his two sons on a cross-country flight last week.
“They were adorable!” gushed flight attendant Courtney Flann. “They sat on either side of him, slamming their tray tables open and closed while he sang a song about space zombies. It was sweet!”
Flann said she and her colleagues made sure Briscoe and his boys, ages 4 and 5, could watch nonstop movies and have free first-class dinners, despite the fact the rest of the passengers could only buy BBQ chips and a Lettuce Wrap for $11. “We know that it’s hard to bring kids on a five-hour flight,” she explained. “We wanted him to have the best experience possible.”
Tricia Finewood, 41, a mom traveling with three kids and sitting two rows behind Briscoe, said she saw people fawning over someone but assumed it was a celebrity. “I was dealing with the woman in front of me talking loudly about how ‘parents these days have no control over their kids’ while my daughters read quietly,” she said. “Also, I got hit by a suitcase while getting our bags in the overhead bin by myself.”
When told that the fuss was over a dad traveling with kids, Finewood said, “I get it. Dads with kids are cute. Me? I just dream of a day when I can fly with my children and get past the beverage cart to go to the bathroom.”
Our writer Sarah Schmelling offers a funny perspective in her new Parents magazine column, ”Just Kidding!”
ELMHURST, IL – More than halfway into a teeth cleaning on Wednesday, Cheryl Andrews, 38, realized she was as the dentist’s office and not, in fact, at a spa. “I think in theory I knew that a woman was scraping my teeth with a sharp piece of metal,” said Andrews, a real-estate agent and mother of 6-year-old twin boys. “But there was that soft music, and people kept offering me water and asking me to lean back and relax. I kind of forgot I wasn’t there for a seaweed body wrap.”
Dental hygienist Sandy Harold said she knew something was amiss when Andrews requested a heated neck pillow and talked about exfoliation. She’s seen this kind of thing before: “We’ve had parents start meditating or fall asleep without novocain.”
Andrews realized her mistake when Harold gave her a choice of cherry or mint tooth polish. “It dawned on me that we weren’t talking about aromatherapy,” she said.
Still, she’s not at all embarrassed by the mix-up. “I got to sit in a comfortable chair for 30 minutes and not talk about Skylanders.”
She hopes her dentist can get her in for a regular cleaning every Wednesday.
Mom Confessions: The Strangest Thing I've Found in My Purse Was...
In Stein’s book debut, her self-deprecating humor will make you laugh out loud and inspire you to take the heart-stopping, forehead-slapping, blush-inducing moments of parenting a little more lightly. A television writer, comedian, and Parents contributor, she brings her blunt honesty to the forefront of her relatable parental anecdotes, like watching her own birth video and connecting with a pregnant stranger (who ended up not being pregnant).
In one memorable scene (excerpted in full here), Stein and her husband are abruptly snapped out of sexy time and into damage control mode when their four-year-old walks in on the action — on more than one occasion:
“I heard a slow click, looked up, and saw my kid standing in the doorway. This time she was holding an armful of dolls and giggling in a high creepy voice that, in movies, usually signals the arrival of the Antichrist.
It was even more shocking the second time around. It was as though she had developed some sort of pervy sixth sense that, combined with her 4-year-old fighting weight (which meant she was not quite heavy enough to make the floors creak), allowed her to simply materialize like the sex-murdering specter that she was.
One week later, we installed a lock on the door. It seemed a perfect solution — and it was, in that it kept her out of eyeball’s reach. But it also prompted her to sit outside our door and wail — and FYI, it is darn near impossible to achieve any sense of ‘closure’ when someone is pounding her tiny fists on your bedroom door and yelling, ‘No bounce! No bounce!’”
How Not to Calm a Child on a Plane is packed with brutally honest stories that will comfort any parents who sometimes feel inadequate (i.e. all parents) and will have even non-parents cracking up. And the fun isn’t just for moms: Stein recorded a book trailer called “Dad, You’re My Hero” just in time for Father’s Day.
As she writes in the book, “Parenthood is a minefield of unpredictability: sometimes the mines are made of tears; sometimes they’re made of undigested food.” While Stein may not be able to offer concrete, expert-approved solutions for either of those scenarios, her voice is an ally for parents who just might learn to laugh at themselves too.
Our writer Sarah Schmelling offers a funny perspective in her new Parents magazine column, ”Just Kidding!”
ROCKVILLE, MD – Charles and Megan Thompson were unexpectedly offered an hour and a half of free babysitting on Saturday, and had absolutely no clue how to use it. “I was dumbstruck when our neighbor said she’d watch the kids for a bit,” said Megan, 31. “We were elated, but what on earth could we do?”
Charles, 32, immediately started looking at movie times. “The last movie we
saw without the kids was Slumdog Millionaire,” he said. “What do grown-ups watch now?”
“We discussed the chance we’d fall asleep during a movie that didn’t have screaming cartoon characters,” said Megan. “We considered going to a restaurant, but if we used our time sitting in traffic or waiting for a table, I might have started sobbing.”
In the end, the couple remembered they had to return a lamp to IKEA and they walked the aisles slowly, hand in hand, without having to remove children from Expedit shelving units or from under Ektorp sofas. “It was amazing,” Megan said. “Just the two of us, talking over meatballs, wondering how bed linens could cost nine dollars. It was totally romantic.”
Take our quiz to find out if you’re ready for another child.
Mom Confessions: If I Could Spend a Day Without My Kids I Would¿
Parents.com is excited to announce the launch of a new web-only series of comic videos: The Lords of the Playground. Each episode shines a light on the everyday visits to the blacktop from the vantage point of a couple of dads sitting on the sidelines. The series proves this is not your father’s fatherhood.
The video shorts star veteran actors Jason Kravits and Matt Servitto as the dads. Kravits has acted on several television dramas and comedies, including The Practice, The Michael J. Fox Show, and 30 Rock and Servitto has appeared on the big screen and small in works such as The Sopranos, Brotherhood, Going the Distance, and Hitch.
Topics tackled by the duo include acceptable baby talk, playground bets, the Cadillac of strollers and finding a new sitter. Real-life events inspire the storylines as both Kravits and Servitto are dads on film and off. Kravits is the proud papa to a 12-year-old son while Servitto’s 10-year-old and twin 8-year-olds have been known to cause sleep deprivation.
Check back every Wednesday at 10 a.m. EST/7 a.m. PST for the very latest episode of The Lords of the Playground.
Today is President Obama’s 50th birthday, and we’re feeling patriotic. Check out this cute kid commemorating the legacy of Washington, Lincoln, Kennedy, and more legendary U.S. Presidents by their most famous quotes. His imitation of Nixon is scarily spot-on!