Parents can't take themselves too seriously if they want to survive the ups and downs of rearing the future generation. Humor helps parents cope with the unbelievable stress that comes with the job. The First Lady Jacqueline Lee Bouvier Kennedy Onassis once famously said that childrearing is so important, that if a parent messes that up, then what they do afterward doesn't really matter. Indeed, the pressure is high.
Just think about it. Parents have to face diaper changing, sleep deprivation, competitive preschool applications, tons of homework, all that worrying, and then the kid becomes a teenager and things only get worse. At that point, there's dating, curfews, rebellion, college applications, and even more complicated homework.
And there's no mention yet of how much it costs financially, physically, or emotionally. It's taxing enough to make a person go mad.
Every mother and father will admit to sleepless nights spent staring at the ceiling and wondering if he or she was screwing up junior's life. Are they giving baby enough? Are they giving too much? What will become of their children? How will they get the gum out of little Timmy's hair? Will mom be wiping little Sasha's bottom forever? Do they have enough playdates? Too many? The list of concerns is literally never ending.
What's a parent to do? Like anything in life, laughter is the best medicine. It gives parents a reprieve from the more serious and difficult tasks at hand. Sometimes, it even gives them a new viewpoint about the challenges they are facing. And joking about parenthood definitely helps them keep perspective. Here are the most hilarious tweets that sum up what it means to be a parent:
15 Things That Go Boom
Having children is miraculous. Any parent believes this. Just imagine, that tiny being resting peacefully in their parent's arms. For the most part, the journey is rich with rewards and can bring great happiness. But the idea of that angelic child always being angelic is as real as unicorns. That really only happens in diaper commercials.
Mostly, kids - especially little ones - are going to be loud. Really loud. It starts from the moment they emerge from the womb actually, so no one should be surprised. This noise will surface for as long as they live at home.
There will be screaming during tantrums, screaming during play time, violent crying fits, toy musical instruments, real musical instruments, shouting matches with siblings or friends, overly excited teenagers gossiping about dating, overly excited teenagers yelling and crying about dating, and lots of rebellious rage before adulthood.
Often, the noises, especially when they come from afar, will set a parent's mind ablaze with what might be happening. Are the kids burning down the house? Killing each other? Both? That's when moments like the one in the tweet above come into play.
There is no rest until mom or dad finds out exactly what's happening. Even then, the worry might just become worse. It all depends on what they discover. Reading hard, admittedly, is a new one.
14 Heel Alpha Mom
The humor in this tweet lies in its truth. Somewhere along the line, parenting became a competitive sport. Combine this with the fact that many parents are overachievers living life through their children, and tweets like the one above seem necessary.
On the playground, at the field, and in the classroom, parents will find other parents who want to show the world that their kid is better than someone else's. Since it's statistically impossible for there to be so many geniuses in these here parts, parents should not feel threatened or insulted by these "show offs."
Instead, they should just ignore the hype and shut down any comparisons of kids. Besides the fact that children as young as pre-school age take in what grown ups say and might end up feeling insecure, the comparisons are a danger to parents, too.
"Comparing your child with others will quickly teach you that even if he is 'ahead' in some categories, he is also no doubt 'behind' in others," according to PopSugar. Each kid has his or her own talents and grows at his or her own rate. Be patient and let kids develop naturally. Why not be supportive of other kids' growth, too? Yeah, quit showing off.
13 The Unbelievable
One of the jarring realizations parents face - once their baby is big enough to be mobile - is that children are additional roommates. The good news is that in 18 years (parents hope) they will move out. The bad news is that in the meantime, they have a lot of stuff and they're not very good about picking up after themselves.
Especially early on, they have a tendency to live and act like frat boys minus the alcohol. Instead of throwing around fall fest T-shirts and dirty underwear, kids throw around toys and food. Either way, mom's house is going to look like a bomb exploded - except for those five minutes just after she finishes picking up everything.
It only lasts five minutes. Always. And the laundry is never done. Never. That's why @MommieKnwsFresh thought something tremendous, such as hell freezing over, had happened when her child cleaned up. When this happens, parents should thank the heavens and make a big deal out it. All that praise might encourage kids to keep up the cleaning. Who knows, mom could have a clean house on her hands someday?
12 Trips To The Store Scarier Than Blair Witch
The chaos in the house follows parents outside. It has to be some kind of scientific law or something. Not to be repetitive but toddlers, especially, are like drunk frat boys. In a store, they will literally jump off the walls, throw stuff off the shelves, throw stuff into the cart, and even steal. They don't understand, and they sometimes walk off with small items without mom, dad, or the cashier noticing.
Of course, many a child has thrown himself on the floor, kicking and screaming, about something they want mom to buy. Who hasn't seen one of those tantrums? If there are siblings, the trip can end up being even wilder with double or triple the tantrums and sibling rivalry on stage with a large audience. Sounds like fun, right?
No doubt, that is how @MyMomologue felt when writing this tweet. Oh, yes, the suffering is real.
11 Getting Real
Parents usually have good intentions, and most of them truly want the best for all their kids. But many go into parenting the first time around with seriously unrealistic expectations. Some believe they will never ever bribe their child with a toy or candy and never cave during a tantrum or allow their kids anything but the healthiest of foods.
The thing is that parents are human, and parenting is hard. Really hard. Often, parents of young children are also sleep deprived. This is a lethal combination for caving. Once they are a little less freaked out about becoming a mom or dad, they start to loosen up a bit.
That's when the KFC and eating off the floor come into play. Parents learn to give themselves a break every now and then. Tweets like this express that liberating feeling when mom realizes she doesn't have to be perfect 24-7.
10 Hide And No Seek
Before people get married, they often believe wedlock is going to be magical. It's the same with parenthood. Future parents have visions of bear hugs, lovely home cooked meals, and lots of laughter. Boy, do people get disappointed. Certainly, there is profound love and moments of pure joy in parenting.
The first time one's child says, "Mom" or "Dad," those first steps, the first "I love you," and those moments of pride - the school play, the winning goal, college entrance, and all the rest. But it also requires hard work and getting through hard times.
It's no wonder that there are lots of jokes about moms drinking wine out of sippy cups and the like. Yes, yes, sometimes, mom or dad needs to escape. If that means sneaking into the closet, closing the door, and quietly munching on potato chips or wearing clothes that allow one to camouflage into the drapery, then so be it. Hiding is a harsh word, however. Some would prefer the term escaping "from your kids."
9 To The Principal's Office
One of the harsh realities of parenthood is the moment children begin school. Reliving homework, teacher conferences, and playground bullies is rough. Mike Reynolds, known as @EverydayGirlDad, sums up the earliest stages of this process. Pre-school isn't so bad, even though some kids have homework even then.
Most of their antics at this age are adorable anyway. Talking too much, as is the case here, might even be a good thing. It shows a strong desire to communicate and share ideas. Still, mom and dad probably feel the pressure when going into the schoolhouse for one of those meetings. It's human nature. They just need to take a deep breath and commit to working with the teacher.
"Remember, you and the teacher have the exact same goals," reminds the U.S. Department of Education. "You’re both working to ensure the academic development and progress of your child. So, sit down together and figure out what you can do at home to reinforce what your child’s teacher is doing in the classroom. That way, your child can keep learning long after the school day ends!"
Definitely, also laugh at the innocence and silliness of childhood, rather than being a tiger mom from the start.
8 Wake Up Sleepy Head
Parents have been trying to get kids out of bed to start each new day from the beginning of time. There were probably Cave Moms grunting into junior's ear to get him to go hunt with his father. Mom probably yanked the tiger skin blankie off her babe and poked at him before shoving him off the rock.
Of course, the more parents need kids to get up, the more likely they are going to want to sleep. On Sunday, when mom and dad can sleep in, junior will sound the alarm at the break of dawn. It never fails. Whatever mom wants, kids do the opposite. So, it's no surprise that waking children from their slumber is a popular topic among parenting humorists. (It's almost as popular a subject as putting kids to sleep.)
Laughing at one's frustration is one way to deal with it. After all, it's always better to laugh than cry. Comparing waking up one's kid to waking a hibernating bear has classic written all over it.
7 The Ridiculous
Parents don't realize the silly beliefs, arguments, and rituals of young children before they have them. Most people have heard of a Linus blankie or a need to suck one's thumb or even a necessity to open and close the door a couple of times before getting into the car. But some of the stuff that kids come up with is totally unexpected and therefore really challenging.
Obviously, @sarcasticmommy4 never imagined breaking up an argument about breathing when she joined the club. But kids are full of surprises. Parents should anticipate the unanticipated. And they should understand that an argument between little kids can sound like something out of a Beatles album made while the group was tripping on acid.
Yes, it's usually like a "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" kind of thing. While @sarcasticmommy4 is probably using hyperbole to get laughs, the idea of breaking up such a silly argument might give child-free people pause. Just maybe.
6 Playing Favorites
This one - if @steveolivas is serious - is mean. But, assuming he's teasing to get a giggle, then it's good. Sibling rivalry is a real thing. Kids often ask their parents who is their favorite. Even more often, they accuse the parents of playing favorites. What most parents will tell you is that they don't love any child more than another.
But they admit to loving them in different ways, because each person has different needs and personalities. "Paying attention to each child's needs, and giving them each some one-on-one time, goes a long way toward helping your kids build the confidence they need to succeed in life," according to Parenting.
"And by teaching kids to resolve squabbles on their own, you help them learn important problem-solving and relationship skills, as well as bring them closer as siblings." Making a joke, in private, about their insecurities is a fine way to blow off steam. But be careful not to hurt anyone's feelings.
5 Eat, Pray, Love
Food is a big issue with parents. Kids can be picky about what they are willing to ingest. One winner with most kids is any kind of cracker. But the most beloved tend to be those cheese ones shaped like goldfish. The only problem is that children have a hard time staying neat and clean when eating under normal circumstances.
When mom puts them in a car while driving, they bounce, which makes staying neat and clean even harder. Much like Cheerios, another beloved staple of the toddler diet, Goldfish seem to fall everywhere and have babies of their own. Parents quickly realize that they will be cleaning up spilled Goldfish and Cheerios and maybe even glitter long after their children head off to college.
They might not serve Goldfish for months, but then they'll find a pile of them under the couch cushion or in the corner by a radiator. It will never end. As much as mom is happy to give junior something he will actually eat (even if it's not the healthiest, most organic item), she will also regret it every time she sweeps the floor.
4 What Me Time?
Written from the point-of-view of a toddler, @HonestToddler taps into the struggle of managing the little people ruling the family. Some of the posts are rip roaring funny. This one is among them. The fact is that parents are always advised to sleep while their child sleeps to avoid deprivation.
But the truth is that mom and dad feel liberated the minute baby closes his eyes and shows he's going to stay that way. They know the time is finite, and they want to cram in everything, including a little loving, tweeting about parenthood, and eating the hidden Halloween candy. If the dusting gets done to boot, then that's a good day.
There's no question that parents, especially moms, are emotional and usually sleep deprived. So, the idea of "eating your emotions while your toddler sleeps" is a powerful, realistic observation about what a lot of parents feel and may dwell on while baby takes that nap.
3 Burnin' Down the House
When kids are school age, they bring home lots of germs. The start of the school year usually marks more than new supplies and a return to homework. It can also mean illness. That's what @MaryWiddicks is sharing.
Of course, she's not going to burn her house. But disinfecting becomes most important just at the time in one's life when she has the least amount of time for it. Getting kids to do the chores and use the heavy duty cleaning supplies is a good way to deal with this. There are ways to help matters at school, too.
"The average American child has six to 10 colds a year," according to WebMD. "In fact, children's colds cause more doctor visits and missed school days than any other illness. And every parent knows how easily colds passed to other family members once one child gets sick."
Certainly, mom may feel compelled to burn everything when she's stuck in bed with the sniffles or doubled over the toilet bowl with that stomach bug going around. While moms are beautiful, motherhood, at times, can be ugly, very ugly.
2 Mad Science
Toddlers are completely unpredictable and curious. This combination will turn a parent's life upside down. These little incidents, such as reprogramming the TV, come up every day. Entire rolls of toilet paper get flushed. The bathroom gets flooded. The microwave gets deprogrammed while the TV is reprogrammed. And the keys are hidden somewhere. Where? Nobody knows.
Mom and dad suddenly have an entire "Honey Do" list to repair the house that they once considered cozy and perfect. The child has taken over. It doesn't always feel like the adults have any say anymore. This funny tweet makes sense to parents because they have all had some kind of crazy chore that was a result of their children's whims, and they have all felt as though kid is king of the home now.
Only, the kid is not a measured king; he's a demanding jumping bean with a crown on his head.
1 Being Taken Hostage
Laughing out loud is how most parents would react to this tweet. The fact is that parents often feel under attack by their diva children. Many people have heard of celebrities demanding a certain type of flower or food in their dressing rooms, and other ridiculous must-haves. There are definitely some weird requests.
But few to none could be as incredible as those of little kids. Their negotiating tactics, such as throwing Legos at the door, can be trying and painful (both physically and emotionally). Ask anyone who has taken a Lego to the eye. Every time mom wants to get some work done, do some cleaning, or sip on her coffee, junior tries to pull off a takeover.
No matter how the negotiation ends, mom is the loser - with that cup of coffee, now cold, still on the counter. She has to put down whatever she was doing and focus attention on the babe. The truth is that, to some extent, parenthood, in general, is like being taken hostage. Like being locked in the bathroom with flying Legos coming at mom and dad.
Eventually, the hostages will be freed, and then they will be sad about it. But they'll always have the memories - and the laughs.