Dear children: I need feedback


I’ve written before about getting no parenting feedback.

Everything you do in life, you get feedback. Work. Your Uber score. Etsy. Ebay. Credit scores. Blogging. Facebook posts. Instagram. The list goes on.

But with parenting, you have no idea until your kids get older if you fucked up or not.

And even if they grow up to be fuck-ups, there’s a strong chance it’s not even something you did or didn’t do. It’s all a crap-shoot.

But still. Some feedback would be nice for all the never-ending work you put into this thing we call parenting.

Enter: The Mother’s Day card!


This is the card every mother gets from daycare / school where your children are coached by the people who are half raising them to say something nice about you and your mothering skills. This is mine.


Nice, right? Upon reading, I thought: “I’m turning into the pushy, Type-A mother I always dreamed I would become!” And, also: “I’m glad one of those pedals didn’t say, “Yell at me about putting on my shoes.”

At my Bigtime Corporate Job That I Surprisingly Love, we have to do Development Plans. These are things you hope to achieve for the year.

Back when I worked at the paper, my Development Plan was: “Here’s a bag of pennies. Figure out how to keep us afloat while we yell at you.”

This is much nicer. And it actually works. My lovely boss and I sit down in the beginning of the year and discuss what what I need to do for the year. I then do them. At the end of the year, my boss sits down with me and says, “You did these things. Good job. Here is some money and you get to keep your job.”

Parenting is the opposite of this. There is no roadmap. No plan. You make it up as you go along. But a lot of the things you do, they hate and would rate you ZERO STARS AS A PARENT.

You have to be mean. You make them eat broccoli even though they don’t want to. You have to make them go to sleep. You have to wipe their snotty noses even though they scream. You have to calmly spell out words while they write out their thank you notes that are three months late. Like so:

Me: “T”

Sam: What?

Me: Write “T”

Sam: Okay.

Me: Now “H.”

Sam: What?

Me: Write “H.”

Sam: H.

Me: Now, “A”

Sam: Okay, done! My thank you card is done!



This is a meandering way of saying: If they were the boss, they would have fired you the first time you used a rectal thermometer.

So it’s nice to know, thanks to a yearly Mother’s Day card, you are doing okay. And that they like it when you “build puzzles together.”

It’s nice to know, you know?

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