bad parenting moments

If you want your car fixed, you go to a mechanic. If you want to find out what that thing on your leg is, you go to WebMD. And then, hopefully, you go to a real doctor to rule out the Typhoid Fever WebMD has now convinced you that you have. If you want parenting advice, you go to a parenting expert. But, if that parenting expert is busy or looking for her keys, you can ask Bethany from Bad Parenting Moments, my new resident advice columnist.

We’re calling this series “Bad Parenting Advice” and it’s got real questions from real parents with semi-helpful answers. Think Dear Abby, with less actual advice and more alcohol fueled snap judgements and presumptions.

What qualifications make Bethany (aka BPM) a parenting expert?

For starters, she has four children and at any given time, she knows exactly where 50% of them are. She also has a wildly popular facebook page so there’s at least a few people interested in what she has to say. So what if none of them are her children? 


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Dear BPM,

Do you think my kids remember all of the shit they’ve been asking for that I’ve pawned off on Father Christmas?

Kids: “I want (fill in blank with commercial of toys they’ll break in 24 hrs).”

Me: “We will see, maybe for Christmas.”

Sincerely, Big Fat Liar

Dear Big Fat Liar,

Well shit…I hope not.

Here’s a tip. It’s a little something I like to do when I’m trying to take their minds off of an idea that could potentially create a lot of work for me.


Them: “WHERE?”


Them: *runs outside*

Me: *locks door*

After 10 – 15 minutes, they’re so confused they don’t even remember I almost exerted actual effort.

You’re Welcome,



Dear BPM,

Why do ALL THE HOLIDAY THINGS happen on the same weekend — and require parent volunteers?! I have three kids doing nine performances at two different venues the weekend before Christmas. Could we not spread it out a bit more? I’m afraid I’m the bad mom who can only “volunteer” to drop off a lame gallon of juice for the concession table.

Sincerely, Buried Under Christmas Obligations

Dear Buried Under Christmas Obligations,

Ahhh, the holidays. The lights…the love…the breathing into a paper bag that once held your now empty bottle of wine because you made six trays of homemade toffee and then were asked by the PTA to throw them away because your kid’s school has gone vegan.

The only thing totally organic about the holidays is the absolute unbridled shit-show-ness of this supposed season of peace. It’s not peaceful. It’s not. And if you think it is, you’re drunk and if you’re drunk, can we meet up later?

The thing is, you can’t be labeled a “bad mom” because you weren’t born with eight arms and an uncanny ability to travel at the speed of light between your kids’ various school events.

If you bring a gallon of juice for the concession table, you win. You showed up. Probably in real pants too.

You’re doing just fine. Until Mark Zuckerberg invents FaceMom where we can all just log-in to our kids’ eight million activities and performances at one time from one remote (preferably island) location; you’re fine.

Because Astral Travel is just a Theory,



Dear BPM,

If I murder my Elf on the Shelf, will I scar my child for life? Follow up question: Do I care?

Love, Elf Hell USA

Dear Elf Hell USA,

1. Magic 8-ball says, “Murder the elf and make it look like an accident.”

2. Pretend to care so that you’re not the prime suspect.




Dear BPM,  

When my daughter was 6 years old, during a family Christmas gathering,  she came downstairs to show our guests the rubbery, vibrating, new scrunchy she found in my bedside table.  Do you think the guests knew what it was and if yes, do you think they will ever eat at our house again?

Sincerely, Locking My Bedroom Door From Now On

Dear Locking My Bedroom Door From Now On

As a kid of the 80s, I’m really jealous that scrunchies vibrate now. Wait…OH, I get it! Seriously, props to you for getting rid of those pesky relatives in a, may I just say, truly inventive and delightful way. There’s nothing that warms the cockles of my heart, like some healthy committed relationship funkery.

And kudos to you for putting the Ho, Ho, HO in everyone’s holiday.

I’ll await my invitation to next year’s dinner party.

Ha…I said cockles,



Dear BPM,

What to do when it’s not your kids that are spoiled rotten, entitled little *ssholes but a set of kids you are regularly around and you just want to teach them a little humility and generosity in a positive way. I want to give them a homemade gift but I’m afraid they’ll be cruel and hateful.

Sincerely, Humble Pie

Dear Humble Pie,

Thank your lucky stars that you’ve done a good job with your kids. Give yourself several gratifying fist-bumps and gold star stickers and then, continue to do a kick-ass job. Not your circus. Not your monkeys.

Be the change you want to see in the world by extending generosity and kindness to even a-hole kids who might not deserve it.

Do it because you can. Do it because they might learn something. Do it because it’s easier to be giving even if you have some misgivings about the giving. See what I did there?

Wait, did I just answer an actual question?


Generosity of spirit is a learned trait,



If you’ve got a question for Bethany from Bad Parenting Moments, you can leave it in the comments below or email her directly at and she might answer it in her next edition: “New Year’s Resolutions. What a F*cking Joke”.

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