50 Things That Are Unfair To My Children


I spend a great deal of effort making sure that things are fair for my children.

When I pour drinks for them, I never fill the glasses up all the way, just in case I don’t have enough of whatever they’re drinking for each glass to be completely filled. If I tell one a funny story about their infancy, I make sure to tell the others a story at the same time, too, lest they think I don’t remember their early days. They are each evenly represented in photographs throughout the house and take the same number of after school activities.

Despite my best efforts, however, it seems I’m failing miserably. At least a dozen times a day, the three of them inform me that I love one of them more than the others or that their life is otherwise somehow unjust.

After keeping track of their reasons for a while, I have to agree; their lives are just terribly, horribly unfair. Why?

1. They have to shower every night if they smell, even if they showered the night before.

2. They’re not allowed to drink my coffee.

3. They have to carry their own school bags to the car.

4. Recently, Ben found a rogue chocolate chip on the counter and ate it. There were no others to be found in the house, so Lily and Evan had to wait until their after school snack the next day to have chocolate.

5. The fact that bread comes with crust.

6. I don’t let them blast Minecraft videos on the iPad when I’m working in the kitchen.

7. They get woken up in the morning.

8. And put to bed at night.

9. I get annoyed when they jump in puddles wearing new shoes.

10. If it’s below 35 degrees, they have to wear a jacket.

11. They’re not allowed to eat upstairs.

12. Lily gets to watch 15 minutes more of television than the boys at night.

13. Furthermore, because she is the oldest, she has actually watched years worth more television than they have.

14. They can’t stay outside on a school night past 7:15.

15. They need to brush their teeth.

16. They needed to accompany me to the drive thru bank last week.

17. Homework.

18. Outdoor recess is cancelled in the rain.

19. The crust to rest of pizza ratio is way too small.

20. Lily is the only girl.

21. Shoelaces.

22. They can’t ride their bikes or scooters inside the house.

23. Evan has to wear glasses.

24. Evan gets to wear glasses.

25. We have to drive to Florida over spring break, not fly.

26. Monday mornings.

27. PG-13 movies.

28. They need to take off their muddy shoes outside.

29. They’re not allowed to drink soda.

30. The fact that the boys get a brother and a sister.

31. I made Evan the last waffle yesterday morning.

32. They have to wear helmets when riding bikes outside.

33. That sleepovers don’t occur on school nights.

34. Lily is going to overnight camp this summer and is going to have so much fun without the boys.

35. Lily is going to overnight camp this summer and is going to miss so much fun at home.

36. Spelling tests.

37. Lily used too much hot water last night and Ben could only take a five minute shower.

38. They never get to stay home from school just because.

39. They don’t each have a kitten.

40. Or any kitten, for that matter.

41. Haircuts.

42. They can’t choose exactly what they want for dinner every night.

43. They can’t store the remote controls in their rooms.

44. Getting their toenails cut.

45. They can’t use my computer.

46. Thank you notes.

47. Lily gets to do everything first.

48. Ben gets an older sibling and a younger one.

49. Evan gets babied.

50. Vegetables.

About the writer


In addition to being the founder of all things Scary Mommy, Jill is also the New York Times bestselling author of Simon and Schuster’s Confessions of A Scary Mommy and Motherhood Comes Naturally (And Other Vicious Lies)


jules 1 year ago

I hear the glasses one at least once a week. And no one wears them in my house, but Bella thinks she should because her friends do. Justin doesn’t think it’s fair that Bella gets to shower AT swim and he has to shower at home after wrestling. Am a firm believer in telling my kids like it is, no sugar coating life. So I say, “life isn’t fair, get used to it.” * loved your post

April Linck 1 year ago

Just this morning: Because Layla can’t wear a short t shirt as a dress.

Elaine H. 1 year ago

Scary Mommy I sure hope no one calls Child Services on you!!!! Poor little abused kids…… Lol !!!!!

Rodger 1 year ago

Don’t worry…. The first 30 years are the most difficult, then it seems to get easier….

Iheartny 1 year ago

Just downright ABUSIVE if you ask me! haha

Jamie Smith 2 years ago

Ohhh man that’s awesome

Debbie 2 years ago

Trust me it doesn’t get any better after they grow up. Then at those holiday dinners they will sit there and tell you ‘as a mom’ how unfair you were. So and so got to do this at that age and I didn’t. Thy littlest one got away with more that I did. (That is because you are just ready to get rid of them all, so yes, the little one can do about anything they want as long as it is legal because you are tired and wonder what the hell you were thinking in the first place when you decided years ago to have kids.)

Any way that list goes on forever, so prepare yourself, that trip to the bank drive up window is going to be sounding gooood.
Thanks for sharing, and so true.

Linda Kinsman 2 years ago

Love this! I’m pretty fair minded too, finding myself taking extra care to dole out everything equally lest I receive the stink eye from my youngest who swears I like her oldest sister more. :)

Maggie in VA 2 years ago

LOL, now I feel guilty about some of the things on the list I *do* let my kids do or refrain from doing.

Anita Davis Sullivan 2 years ago

I could add 50 more from our house too- love it!

Melastik Bintang 2 years ago

now i have to think either i am unfair or not to my kids….

lesbomom 2 years ago

Munhckin says life isn’t fair at least once a week but it usually has something to do with chores. Which I totally get. I hate them, too. That’s why I had her. :)

Love 2 years ago

LMAO Love it! I hover from one end to the other. Sometimes I’m the meanest mom in the world, sometimes I’m the coolest thing since peanut butter. Just depends on if they’re getting their way or not!

Lisa Dale 2 years ago

Love it.

Kim 2 years ago

Ha! I feel for them! My kids have it pretty rough too. When I took my 3 to the eye doctor, knowing the oldest needed glasses and praying my youngest wouldn’t (she is a Type 1 diabetic, so I worried about her eyes like I worry about everything with her…), it ended up that the 2 boys needed glasses, but she didn’t. She was SO UPSET! She wanted me to buy her the $100 frames with clear lenses! Um, no! She whined about it for days, lol.

wei lee 2 years ago

I always only bring the elder daughter to shopping n trats, while the younger sis was sent to childcare, no wonder the little sis as so jelous n wants all my attention after school every day

Anna Whiston Donaldson 2 years ago

It’s a wonder they can endure the injustice.

Shelley 2 years ago

So cute and so very true! I also get ‘Marley does not have to get haircuts and she gets to have ‘paint’ on her nails’. I have 2 boys and a girl too:)

Lissa V. Mumford 2 years ago

As a kid when we would complain that something wasn’t fair my parents would say “life isn’t fair. The sooner you get used to it the better.” As a kid it sucked, but it did prepare me for real life where no one bothers to see if everything is fair.

Kirsty Gardner 2 years ago

Lol such terrible parents!!! My niece calls me a mean Aunty because she has to help clean up etc like she would at home and calls me and her mum mean sisters even though I’m her dad’s sister

Belinda Tony Karcz 2 years ago

Wow you are as mean as me!

Julia Irene 2 years ago

Sounds horrible.

Candace Chase Portman 2 years ago

He has to ask before he can just take the money he found in my drawer.

Lizzi Mills 2 years ago

I’m going to add my own to this:

I was out doing the shopping, including buying Easter eggs and sweets to give out to classmates, meaning I was out when the postman came. Cue hysterics and tantrums of catastrophic proportions because we now have to wait until Monday to receive the parcel he was expecting.

I bought the wrong j20 drink when we were out. Apparently I should have KNOWN he wanted ‘glitterberry’

I ask them to hang up their clothes

They have to wash their hair

New shoes

I ask them to feed the animals THEY badgered and pestered me to get

I have the temerity to suggest that a cycle round the park might be a nice alternative to playing mindcraft/my little pony/skylanders bloody swap-force all day!

I gave them the wrong sausages for tea

    WriterChick 2 years ago

    How can any kind of yummy sausage ever be “wrong?”

Joanna McConnell 2 years ago

I dont know about the last one… Vegetables are pretty unfair. LOL!!!

jessica 2 years ago

awww life is horrible for kids, oh my Goooddd….

Melissa Scott 2 years ago

My 6 year old was super jealous when his older brother needed glasses. And any time I pull out the Claritan for my older boy, my younger one inevitably developes some ailment requiring advil/claritan/pepto bismal.

Mary 2 years ago

Regarding #6- Meanie!


My kids LOVE Minecraft. Some of the youtubers drive me a bit nuts but many of them are fun to watch… for about 5-10 minutes at a time. lol I love the parodies though. Creeper Paradise cracks me up.

    Rms519 2 years ago

    Ugh! The Minecraft videos! Glad my kids aren’t the only ones! Ha!

Kimberly Eastman Mora 2 years ago

My 4 boys are tortured too! They have parents that are still together (not knocking the ones that aren’t, but it makes for less difficulty most of the time). I am a stay at home Mom/work at home Mom (I run a daycare), so I am always here for them. I am IN their business… because I’m Mom, isn’t that my job? I stay up on what’s going on in school so I can’t play dumb and blame teachers for my kids choices/grades. They tell me, ALL the time, that their friends are latchkey, eat what they want when they want, own every electrionic known to man, they’re bought the “cool” clothes and other items “just because” and don’t have to wait until they “need” them, etc. Oh well…

Deb Miller 2 years ago

Along the lines of number 13, I’m still trying to get back pay for the seven years of Christmases my brother has on me.

Jen Eckborg 2 years ago

Those poor children!!!! Sigh —- 😉

Charity Squire 2 years ago

Did you write this about my children?? It’s like we live in the same world.

    Margar02 2 years ago

    Well, uh… technically you DO live in the same world 😉

Shannon Dove Crosby 2 years ago

now if only people grew out of this. I know adults that still pester their parents over the “injustices” of their childhood.

Jody Ebner 2 years ago

The drive thru bank LOL!

    Dawn Kaufman 2 years ago

    the HORROR!

Stephanie 2 years ago

Someday…someday, they’ll find a way to rid this world of crust!

    Lisa solar 2 years ago

    They are breathtakingly ungrateful and self-centered, those Smokler kids;)

Jennifer Clark Jones 2 years ago

Lol, my three are the same way….. Thanks for the post! :)

Claire Parkyn 2 years ago

Wow those poor kids 😉 lol mine have it just as bad :)

Shelby Shelby 2 years ago

My childhood was filled with “But Luke gets to do it!”

Brandi Jones Taylor 2 years ago

Love this!

Tricia Griffey Ritchie 2 years ago

Love it! Breakfast seems like a novelty in my house every morning! :)

Cathie Ramage Kopcho 2 years ago

Yup, it’s really sad, isn’t it? 😉

Tawney Beaver 2 years ago

Its like you live at my house. Seriously.

Melissa Bassani 2 years ago


Nicole Martin Vandoren 2 years ago

Love the glasses ones!!


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