Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Problem with Parenting Magazines; and the Birthing Gift

Caution: If you are the type of person that hates to miss an old episode of "Oprah" or "The Tyra Banks Show," but cannot tolerate "The Ellen Show" with Ellen DeGeneres for some reason please don't bother reading further.  I have probably already pissed you off and there is no reason to raise your blood pressure any higher than it already is.

There was something that occurred to me in the months  before my beautiful baby boy was born, and that is the fact that there isn’t a single parenting magazine that I can readily find that isn't mom-centric or "yuppyish."  

Screw that.  

What about us?  

What about the real people with real problems that require real solutions and don’t want all that "cutesie” crap mixed in with it? know who I am talking about.

Us real people.  The ones that don't give a damn about skin creams that rejuvenate or special diets that give us our pre-pregnancy figure back.  We don't care that we look different than we used to because we are parents, and that totally rocks! 

Oh, yeah...we are also sick of those bogus specialty quizzes that seem to be in every parenting magazine now days too.  

But, most of all, we want to know why the hell are the dads left out of the equation in all these publications, and don't you dare give me that whole, "fathers are bi-and-large absentee parents," bullshit either.  

This isn't the 1950's anymore.  It is finally acceptable for fathers to be involved with child rearing and I for one am going to take full advantage of this.  

I love to spend time with my son, and I am positive that most fathers really enjoy time with their children too and we would appreciate being included equally or close to it in your publications.  We're not asking for much.  We just want something that is as amusing as it is informative to read that actually pertains to us.  

Look, the times are changing so why aren't parenting magazines?   

So...what exactly am I going on about?

Well, not too awful long ago I was thumbing through a certain magazine, I won't say which one, but I assure that it wasn't porn.  

Anyway, I just sat there looking and searching through this damn "parenting" magazine looking for any article that applied to me as a parent. Like I said before, I don't care much about face creams that will supposedly make me look younger or exercises that will tone up my abs, or special soaps that rejuvenate my hair.  

Geez...why include that kind of crap in a supposed parenting magazine? It just doesn't make any sense to me.  Aren't there hundreds of magazines already dedicated to that?

For real, if that is what you want go buy a "Cosmo" or watch another tedious episode of "Oprah" or "The Tyra Banks Show" or something for christ's sake.  

What I and a lot of other people like me, yes women too,  really want to know is how to do things right flabbernabbit.  We don't want to take quizzes to see what personality type our children are going to be or to see what kind of parent our spouses will be.  We already know that.  Our kids are going to be little jackals, and our spouses are going to be awesome at the whole mommy/daddy thing!
Anyway, like a lot of first time parents I was petrified of screwing up, and I wanted answers for questions I didn't even know to ask yet.  That's the kind of info that needs to be in these parenting publications, and they might have it hidden in there somewhere between the modern mom makeup techniques and the various methods of getting back to pre-pregnancy form.  

So, yeah...the information I am looking for might be there in one of these magazines, but what good is it doing me if I can't find it?  

Even if there is any real information tucked in there with all the other vapid, babbling bull shit, how am I going to take it seriously when the previous page in the publication is instructing me on how to apply mascara?  

Yeah...I know, I know I am not being totally fair here because there are a few really informative articles out there, but why must I wade through everything else to find them?  

Well, let me tell you about an article I found that was written specifically for dads by a dad.  

"Bull's-eye!!!" I remember thinking to myself excitedly.

"Finally something I can use." I thought.  


It was a paragraph long article on what gifts I should by my wife for giving me a child.  They call it a "birthing gift," for a job well done I suppose.  I believe "compensation for her months and months of sacrifice" was the phrase used or close to it anyway.  

It was an asinine article.   

In fact, I found it so horrendous that I immediately tossed the magazine in the recycling bin hoping for something better and more informative next month, but nothing better ever comes along.
So, you might be asking, what was so wrong with the article about giving your wife a present for giving you a child?  

I tell you everything was.  

The very idea enraged me mostly because I have a real problem with the wording, and partly because I think the author of it was a real asshole.  Honestly, the whole thing put me off for reasons that I am not sure I can explain adequately.  But, I will try nonetheless...Here it goes. 

Yes, I see my baby as an absolute gift to my wife and I.  We have never been happier in our lives together, but why would anyone word his birth in such a crude, unappealing manner as a gift specifically to me, the father? 

Screw that! 

My wife didn't give me a child.  She gave us a child.  She gave the world a magnificent little creature who poops on my floors and tears things apart in my home.  

Secondly, I was seriously offended by the word compensation.  How dare you insinuate that a cheesy necklace, diamond ring, or what have you could possibly be payment or adequate reimbursement for having a child.  

Who in the world thinks like that?  

Maybe I'm an idiot, but I sure as hell don't! 
Don't get me wrong here.  I bought my wife a necklace anyway, and I know she appreciated the gesture as a memento of the occasion.  But, can it possibly be compensation for having a son?  

I don't know about other dads, but this dad does not have the balls to ask his wife that lame-ass question. Partly because I already know the answer. 

It isn't.  

Also, the implication that the birthing gift is some sort of compensation is rather insulting isn't it?  I mean who do I think I am anyway.  A child isn't some sort of commodity that you can purchase.  Get real guy who wrote the article. Are you trying to get us all fighting and divorced?  Are you trying to ruin one of life's most precious moments?  

Just think!  You, a dude, wrote the only article written for dads in that entire crappy magazine, so of course all the dads who wanted to take an active role in parenting flocked to it like flies on road kill and you mean to tell me that was the best you could come up with?  

Dude you're an ass, and if I had not tossed the magazine I would google you and send you hate mail because I know some guy some where went out and bought the mother of his child a birthing gift as some sort of down payment for his child, and probably said something like,"Here baby you brought a life into this world, so for payment I give you this necklace and a bag of chips.  We're about even right?"  

Way to go! 

Now fathers everywhere look like bigger assholes than they already were/are. 

Okay,  I grant you the author of the article probably did not have a malicious intent when writing it, but that still is not an excuse for being an idiot or an ass hole is it?  

You don't say things like that in a publication without thinking like that a little bit.

However, with all that aside, I do believe that this birthing gift idea is a rather good concept.  

Think about it.  

Your daughter or son grows up and eventually leaves the house, and a birthing gift stays, not just with the  mother, but with both parents as a keepsake instantly bringing both of you back to that terrifically splendid moment of your child's birth.  

Sure there will be photo's to do that too, but in the digital age  you'll have to log on to something to view them.  With a birthing gift it is always there and visible.  I know that every time I look at the white gold, heart shaped, pendant with the word mom inscribed on it that I gave my wife the day that our little man was born,  I think of how my life has changed, and how much happier I am now because of him.  

Perhaps a birthing gift will do the same for you too.  Maybe it isn't so corny after all, and if I think of it like that it isn't nearly as offensive either.

1 comment:

  1. That was freaking awesome! The ups and downs and the perfectly placed expletives! Your passion is contagious, and the writing great! I will definitely tell Jeff about it! (Oh, and you had good points, too. haha)--Katy M., your former neighbor