10 Things I Take A Hard Pass On

by Elizabeth Broadbent
Originally Published: 
Caiaimage/Paul Bradbury/Getty

We parents face a crap ton of expectations. We have to do this. We have to do that. If we don’t do this or that, we are deemed to be Bad Parents and we “don’t love our children” or “don’t deserve our children.” Or something like that.

I call bullshit.

There are certain modern parenting expectations I refuse to fulfill. Nope. No way. My kids can live without them. I can live without them. Hard pass, people. Hard pass. Y’all can trot merrily along with your expensive-ass birthday parties and your destination vacays and your all things organic. We’ll do our own thing, thanks.

Judge away. But here are a few things we’re taking a HARD PASS on:

1. Organic Everything

Look, my kids can survive some modern-ass chemical ingestion. Yep, I said it. Is it great for them? Nope. But I refuse to dedicate the time, the energy, and the cold hard cash to sift through every single food and every single ingredient to assure that my precious little darlings only ingest plant matter grown in the optimum conditions of cow manure fertilization. That doesn’t mean I don’t buy organic when I can, or that I’ll sneer at your “all natural” fruit snacks. But I’m not gonna obsess. Pass the Goldfish.

2. Your MLM Spiel During Our Playdate

Oh look, my kid’s calling me. I think he fell over. No, he needs my help somewhere. Or maybe the little one is beating another kid over the head with a stick. Wow, those little rascals. No goddamn way do I want to hear about the juice, the essential oils, the hippie makeup, the organic gummies, the leggings, or the whatever that you’re hawking. Don’t even try. I will find a way to walk away.

3. Elf on the Shelf

It’s a creepy-ass bendy doll (let’s all admit that dolls are creepy, kthanx) you move from place to place and pretend is real. This is a set-up for a fucking phobia. That’s point one. Point two? I don’t have the time, the creativity, or the desire to move the stupid thing around the house and make it get up to mischief every night. I don’t want my kids gallumphing around every morning trying to find it. And anyway, the dog would chew it up, because the dog always chews up whatever is most inconvenient for the dog to chew.

4. Expensive-Ass Birthday Party

Yes, I’m depriving my children. But for real: I don’t have five hundred bucks to drop on bouncy houses, pony rides, magicians, trampoline parks, etc. My kids can have their birthday parties at the goddamn park with goddamn store-bought cupcakes, and y’all can come and sing happy birthday, then the parents can stand around and gossip while the kids run wild and we ignore the hell out of them for two hours. This is my kind of birthday party. The plates might not even have a unified cartoon theme. Suck it.

5. Your Gender Stereotyping

Guess what? My boys wear T-shirts from the girls department sometimes, because they like unicorns and for some messed up reason, unicorns don’t cross the gender barrier. They like cats. They like pink. So I cruise through the girls’ department and we pick up shirts. This is no big deal. Colors are for everyone and animals are for everyone and if you teach your kids otherwise, well, y’all can crawl on back to the 1950s, Senator McCarthy.

6. Your Mama Drama

I don’t care who did what when with who. I don’t care whose kid did what and whose kid is failing and whose kid beat up what kid and whose kid you think is bad and whose kid you think is a “behavior problem” or whatever. I. Do. Not. Care. I don’t wanna hear about it. It’s toxic. It’s ugly. And as soon as I turn my back, gossip girl, you’re talking about me and my kids. So STFU, because as soon as you open your mouth about someone else, these lips are sealed. I don’t talk ugly about my husband, I don’t talk ugly about my kids, and I don’t talk ugly about my friends. And people who do? They aren’t my friends to begin with.

7. A Fancy Vacay

When we want to get away, we load the kids in the car and cart them to a state park. We have better things to spend our hard-earned cash on than five days, plus airfare, at a luxury resort hotel with meals and drinks included, a theme park with crazy-ass lines, or a confined space in the ocean where you literally can’t escape because it’s surrounded by fucking sharks. Nope. No thanks. Not for us. You do you, but we’ll spend the money on a longer, quieter vacation with less pressure to have FUN FUN FUN at every single moment.

8. Blow-Up Halloween Costumes

These things were all the rage this year, and they look hella cool. But they cost hella cash, and my kids would pop them hella fast. Yeah, I’m sure they come with like, patch kits and shit. I’m also sure that wouldn’t help me at all in the middle of trick-or-treating with a weeping seven-year-old whose Jurassic Park costume is deflating into a puddle of boneless dino around his ankles. No. Fucking. Way. Plus, they look like a total bitch to take on and off. Like I need that kind of hassle.

9. Glitter

I used to be okay with glitter. That was five years ago, and that sparkly shit remains embedded in the cracks of my farmhouse kitchen table. If You let your kids use glitter once, and you’ll be sweeping it up from under their beds when they leave for college. No way. Art project involves glitter? Uh-uh.

10. Plastic Weaponry

You give a kid a gun, they’re gonna point it at their sibling and say, “Bang.” You give a kid a sword, they’re gonna hit their sibling with it. My husband gave my kids plastic swords. I banned them in the house. Then they went in the front yard and screamed and bashed each other, then came into the house and cried and said, “He hit me!” Well, no shit, you were fighting each other with swords. What did you think was going to happen?!

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