top 10 most irritating parenting expressions

by renegademama

This has been a long time coming…my list (and analysis) of the top ten most annoying things people say in regards to child-rearing, not in order. While it bothers me to hear other people saying these things, it’s vastly more disturbing when they exit my own mouth.

1. “Natural parenting” – I’m not sure what “unnatural parenting” is, but I’m pretty sure I’m doing it.

2. “Sleep training” – You can train a dog to sit. You can train a person to drive tanks and shoot people. You can even train a voice. But you can’t train sleep. Sleep comes or it doesn’t. You can encourage it or deter it, perhaps, or even lure it…but you can’t just “train” it.

3. “Eco-attachment parenting” – This expression is so pretentious only a complete asshole would utter it. I have a picture of her in my mind. She’s the parent who’s so detached from reality she doesn’t realize her own privilege, as she drives her Prius to her apartment in the Marina District after shopping at Whole Foods (while breastfeeding in the Ergo) and picking up her older kid (who incidentally wears only organic bamboo clothing) from the local Waldorf, where she meets her husband, who makes at least $900,000/year, allowing her to stay home, where she makes gluten-free whole wheat muffins with goat milk and judges the hell out of the imbeciles who feed Costco food to misbehaving, Old-Navy clad hoodlums attending public schools, playing with toys made in China and gallivanting around town in a hand-me-down, gas-guzzling non-hybrid mini-van.

4. “Baby schedule” – I believe this term was created with the sole purpose of making mothers feel inadequate. I have yet to meet a baby who adheres to any schedule, whether it’s logged in an Excel spreadsheet or not. Put this shit OUT of your head, mothers, I tell you! Screw baby schedules and the bastard who thinks they’re possible!

5. “High-needs child” – Is there a low-needs one? If so, I’m putting mine back and demanding that model.

6. “Orgasmic birth” – Perhaps you are unfamiliar with this little number. The hippie natural birth people came up with a video called “Orgasmic Birth,” featuring a woman who appears to be having an extremely enjoyable birth experience in a tub in her backyard. As a woman who’s had three unmedicated births, one of which was at home, with a midwife, in a tub, I hereby declare that the orgasmic birth lady is a fucking liar.

7. “Informed parenting” – This means you read a lot of books, listen to a lot of ‘experts,’ research all theories and philosophies until you’ve read so much and heard so much that it all begins to contradict itself, but you persevere because one must be informed! so you decide on and deploy a tactic, finally convinced you’ve chosen the right approach, at which time a new study comes out blowing it right out of the water (explaining that it actually causes autism, attention deficit disorder, AND diabetes). You continue like this for one year, or until you realize that ‘informed parenting’ is a fleeting, silly myth created by people who’ve never had children. Then you give up, and, like the rest of us, resort to trusting your gut and hoping for the best.

8. “Developmental toys” – Quick. Let me run out and buy the latest educational age-appropriate $45.00 Lamaze toy so my baby will “develop” properly, even though everybody knows the best baby toys haven’t changed for generations and they are as follows: the tag on a blanket, a spatula, a cardboard box, dirty car keys, and whatever choke-inducing item she just discovered on the carpet.

9. “Tummy time” – Another conspiracy. Total lose-lose. Either the baby flatly refuses his “30 minutes of daily tummy time,” resulting in a guilt-ridden mama sure her son will never evolve, or alternatively, the baby tolerates tummy time happily, causing the even more horrific event of early crawling.

10. “Play date” – I don’t know why this one annoys me. I say it all the time. Some things are just too damn cute I guess.


  • julie


  • janderson9874


  • mamamash

    #3. I may have peed a little. Spectacular.

  • Nicky

    Found your blog on the Blogging Mama BBC group ^_^ Love this post, it’s hilarious! True too, unfortunately. Number 3 was my fave, I’d like to punch people like that.

  • Kate Clarke

    LOVE IT!!

  • sarah

    i am in love with this post. your description of the echo-attachment mom made me spit coffee on my screen! (fellow babycenter mama here!)

  • Sarah Irene

    This is great!!

  • Shan

    Um, yes!

  • Christina

    Ok so I live in Davis Ca and practically every mom I run into is described in #3. I have come to really despise the ‘yippy’ (yuppy + hippy) population here just for this very reason.
    You make me laugh every time and I thank you for that.

    • renegademama

      What a trip! I live in Dixon and hang out A LOT in Davis. I had certain Davis-ites in my head when I wrote #3. You and I may have run into each other at some point…either way, I can tell we’re gonna be friends – Davis outcasts!

      • Mariah

        One day I will have to introduce you two! You are sure to get along.

      • Collie

        We live in Sac and my husband works in Davis. I happened to read him #3 because, you know, we KNOW of those assholes. Then I read this comment. Hilarious.

  • Kimberly

    this is perfection.

  • anne

    You made my day

  • Mama Keeps Going

    Oh wow, I live in Modesto, and I thought of Davis when I read that one too! I was once sitting in a fast food place in Davis nursing my munchkin, eating fast food crap,and reading a book about breastfeeding while my older kid ran amuck in the play area bossing the other kids around. At that very moment I happened across a line in the book that said something like “Davis, California has the highest percentage of successfully breastfeeding mothers in America” or something to that effect. Kinda felt sorta granola crunchy for a moment there…then the baby tried to steal my french fries…

  • Ash

    hahaha! “Tummy Time” – I had a friend with an early crawler tell me to never EVER do tummy time. 🙂

  • Kim Thirion

    Oh, I hate “play date”. I hate it. Especially when the kids are like 5. It’s not a flipping playdate, it’s going to their friends house. lol

  • Jen

    I don’t have kids, but I’m due in July with our first. Your site cracks me up! Most of the mommywars bs is already grating on me, and like I said, I don’t even have kids yet. I just hope to hope I’m able to find other parents who let their kids play without structure and run around like, I dunno, KIDS? I know when I was little, that’s what I got to do, and I turned out mostly ok!

  • Emily

    I love this! I hate “play date”, too. I don’t like the phrase “high-needs child”, because it sounds euphemistic and weird, but I will say the opposite is not “low-needs child”. The opposite is just child. :.) My second counts as a child. My first… she’s high-needs all the way. It helped me not go crazy when I discovered that one!

  • Angie

    #9 i wish i would have made my daughter do from day one, even though she fought it like a cat fights a bath. two words: plagiocephaly and torticollis. ugh. yeah… i feel like a douche even knowing what those words mean without being a physical therapist.

    lol i could never figure out “baby scheduling” i wanted to punch people in the face when they suggested scheduling. please tell me what 12 week old is going to adhere to a “schedule”??