A Definitive List Of All The Parents Who Are Better Than You

by Josette Plank
Originally Published: 

Dear New Parents,

Hi! How’s it going?

Feeling a bit tired? Maybe a little less spry these days, what with the 2 a.m. feedings or trying to keep up with a toddler who’s trying to turn your hair gray – licking outlets, leaping down stairs, not eating antioxidant-rich foods?

Maybe you’re feeling overwhelmed. Out of your league. Like you’ll never get the hang of this parenting thing and the guilt is starting to seep in with more and more “What the hell am I doing?” moments.

How can this be? You aced calculus. You run a successful business. Maybe you even know how to drive a stick.

And yet you can’t quite get over the feeling that if there were a parenting pop quiz tomorrow, you’d score a C+. Maybe a B-, but only after downing a Trenta cold brew and a Red Bull.

All other parents seem like they have it under control. Know what they’re doing. Are even – dare you say it – better at this parenting thing than you are.

I’m going to save you some wondering:

They are better.

Other parents are better.

They are better than you in all ways.

They are better at disciplining their kids, motivating their kids, and keeping their kids out of harm’s way.

Their children will have more friends in school, lead more fulfilling lives, and never need therapy.

Their kids will rule. And all because other parents are much better parents than you can ever hope to be.


It’s a truth I learned too late to save my own kids. It took me 16 years – reading Internet parenting message boards, reading parenting books and magazine articles, reading parenting blogs, and finally downloading the “Why Other Parents Are Better Than You” app – to understand completely all the ways I would never measure up.

It’s been disheartening.

But more upsetting was the sheer length of the process of fully coming to terms with the fact that, well, I kinda suck.

I mean, compared to other parents.

So, to spare you my time and effort in learning all the ways I could change (but probably won’t) in order to be more awesome (but probably can’t), I now present the definitive list of all the parents who are better than I am.

In no particular order.

1. Strict Parents

2. Laid Back Parents

3. Urban Parents who give their kids access to culture and street smarts

4. Parents in the suburbs who have backyards, good schools, and soccer coaches from Brazil

5. Country parents whose kids learn responsibility by operating large farm equipment and who know exactly what to call the chicken hole where eggs come from

6. Parents who vaccinate

7. Parents who don’t vaccinate

8. Parents who keep a clean house and carry hand sanitizer

9. Parents who allow their kids as much contact with germs as possible in order to build up their immune system and keep their kids healthy

10. Breastfeeding parents

11. Bottle feeding parents

12. Religious parents

13. Atheist parents

14. Parents who don’t know whether or not God can help them be better parents

15. Conservative parents

16. Liberal parents

17. Anarchists

18. Noam Chomsky

19. Free Range parents

20. Kiddie Leash parents

21. Organic parents

22. Digital native parents

23. Unplugged parents

24. Parents who don’t allow cell phones at the age you allowed your kids to have a cell phone

24. Authoritarian parents

25. Authoritative parents

26. Positive parents

27. Permissive parents

28. Persuasive parents

29. Mary Poppins parents

30. Sears

31. Brazelton

32. Laura

33. James Dobson

34. “I Love Ezzo” parents

35. “I Hate Ezzo” parents

36. Younger parents

37. Older parents

38. Parents of only children

39. Parents of two children

40. Parents of many children

41. The Cosbys

42. The Brady Bunch

43. The Waltons

44. Until recently, The Duggars (although Jessa is probably still better than you are.)

45. Kramer (the dad) but not Kramer (the mother)

46. Parents who pick up crying kids

47. Parents who don’t pick up crying kids

48. Parents who co-sleep

49. Parents who don’t co-sleep

50. Parents who spank

51. Parents who don’t spank

52. Parents who care enough about their kids to send them to public school

53. Parents who care enough about their kids to send them to private school

54. Parents who care enough about their kids to homeschool them

55. Parents who birthed their kids vaginally

56. Parents who birthed their kids vaginally at home with help

57. Parents who birthed their kids vaginally at home with no help

58. Parents who birthed their kids vaginally with no help in a rain forest on the summer solstice

59. Parents who didn’t birth kids vaginally just because they like fancy groin scars

60. Parents who didn’t birth kids vaginally because they are men

61. Parents-to-be who will never make any of the parenting mistakes you made

62. Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie

63. Straight parents

64. Gay parents

65. Married parents

66. Single parents

67. Caitlyn Jenner

68. Parents with a high school diploma

69. Parents with a college degree

70. Parents with a graduate degree

71. Parents with no book learning

72. Parents who read parenting books

73. Tiger Moms

74. French Meres

75. Ikea moms

76. Russian figure skating coaches

77. Your Mother-In-Law

78. Mother Teresa

79. Martha Stewart

80. Pinterest Moms

81. Parents who blog about their kids

82. Parents who don’t blog about their kids

83. Parents who update all their kids’ baby books

84. Parents too busy parenting to update all their kids’ baby books

85. Uber Moms

86. Good Enough Moms

87. Slow Parenting Moms

88. Slacker Moms

89. Parents who take time for themselves

90. Parents who get down on the floor and play with their kids

91. Parents who get down on the floor and teach their kids

92. Parents who teach their kids to put in flooring

93. Parents who stay at home

94. Parents who work at home

95. Parents who work outside the home

96. Parents who are at home outside

97. Parents who let their kids drink from the garden hose outside

98. Parents who let their kids eat Chicken McNuggets from the garden hose

99. Parents who let their free range chickens hose down the house as one of their chores

100. Parents who pay their free range chickens an allowance to hose down the house as one of their chores

101. Parents of chickens

102. Parents of Chuck Norris

103. My Mom

I may have missed a few.

I’m kinda subpar at blogging definitive parenting lists.

But surely, that’s enough to convince you that you’ll never measure up, either.

So, you know … carry on.

Chances are that unless you are just really a complete jerk across several categories on a Venn diagram of types of jerks, your messed-up type of parenting is mediocre enough for your messed-up type of kid.

Even messed-up, you know more than you think you do. Maybe.

Still, you’ll never be as good as Dr. Spock.

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