I'm not a vindictive person. I'm a peace-loving hippie who believes in compassion and love. But parenthood can change you sometimes — not always for the better — and you may find yourself one day madly scribbling down a list of people and entities who have found themselves on your bad side. So, yes, I've made some enemies since becoming a parent.
A word of caution about building up your enemies list: it's easy to put people on there in error. This is especially true when you're sleep deprived. Like, this one time, I was so tired that when I looked down at my baby I was convinced he was smiling at me evilly. And another time a friend was trying to help me and I snapped at her because I projected my own insecurity as judgment. And, of course, the Patriarchy being what it is, I think too often women put other women, especially other moms, on the list when they don't really belong there.
Except for Cheryl. Cheryl knows what she did.
But other than Cheryl, it's probably more effective to team up with other moms than to pit yourself against them. We're stronger together against our real enemies, including any number of the following.
Ice Cream Trucks
For a while I was able to get away with telling my kids the ice cream truck was really the "music truck." But after a while they figured out that the children who approached "the music truck" came back with ice cream. And I have nothing against ice cream. In theory I have nothing against ice cream trucks, either. But the ones I encountered always rolled up right before dinner, and I'm stuck asking myself who in sweet little baby Jesus's name gives their kids dessert at a quarter to six?! But it's already too late, because my children hate me for not buying them overpriced ice cream. They will only leave screaming and in tears.
Thanks, "music truck" driver.
Look at it, just taunting me. I swear it's insidiously whispering, "Look at how pretty and clean I am. It'd be a shame if something, you know, happened to me. Oh how I hope I don't... stain."
Something always happens, people! And, yes, it always stains. Because kids.
For the record, my dude is not a lazy parent. He is just as engaged and involved in parenting as I expect him to be. In fact, I take his tireless commitment for granted... because that's what he's supposed to do. But make no mistake I always appreciate him, especially when compared to stories I hear far too often about other dudes (and they're almost always dudes) failing to shoulder their share of the parenting load. Those dudes are my enemy, because when you're a hardworking parent, every other hardworking parent is a member of your tribe and we stand together. Hurt one of us you hurt all of us... and we will come for you.
Daylight Saving Time
What the actual f*ck? What even is your point, Daylight Saving Time? You clearly exist exclusively to mess with our meticulously timed and diligently maintained schedules. I've always hated you, but I especially hate you since I have two small children insisting it's not bedtime and, like, they're really not wrong. You're wrong. Die in a fire.
I don't hate YouTube across the board, and can honestly say I appreciate being able to find a video that that shows me how to fix a toilet with the touch of a button. And I enjoy falling down a hole of '90s music videos just as much as the next person. You can bet I like watching a little girl fail spectacularly at hula-hooping. And, yes, I even like YouTube for kids sometimes, because some channels produce great, kid-friendly content.
But it's also problematic.
Not all content is created equal. Some of it is stupid as hell and, I'm convinced, is guilty of shaving off a few IQ points. (The stupider the content the more likely your kids are to love it, by the way.) Some of it is just this side of appropriate— like, on paper it's fine but something just feels a little off. Some of it is decidedly inappropriate. And the way videos just start one after the other means that there's a good chance your kid can be exposed to any of it, in spite of your best efforts.
Social Media Hoaxes
From Momo to vaccines causing autism, there are so many stupid but entirely untrue rumors that start and spread online. Certainly this is not specific to parenting issues, but I feel like a lot of them are geared towards parents because they know we're basically living in a perpetual state of fear.
So I hate these hoaxes because while they always initially freak me out, I'm naturally a skeptical and curious person so I end up taking the time to figure out if they're real, and then spend even more time sending Snopes links and clarifying articles on these hoaxes to other parents who were initially just as worried as I was. And, of course, there's always that one person who, in spite of mountains of evidence to the contrary, continue to believe in this imaginary threat and I can't even.
Look, eat what you want, but I don't like fast food. It's not a moral judgment — because again, eat what you want — but I just don't care for the taste of it. You know who does, though? My kids. Despite only ever eating it, like, a handful of times, the marketing is strong and they need McDonald's. Every time we pass those damn golden arches they send up begging for some french fries.
And, like, those things are everywhere so the struggle is real.
Literally Anywhere That Sells Toys
I can and do avoid toy stores. I'm not such a fool that I'll bring my kids in one of those unless I mean to buy them something (or let them buy something). But all too frequently, I wind up in a grocery store with a damn toy aisle.
What witchcraft is this? I'm here to buy Shredded Wheat and a cartoon of eggs. I did not come here to buy an off-brand dart gun!
No one needs those cheap plastic toys you people are giving out at birthday parties. No. One.
Can we all agree we hate this and just stop? Please?
The State Of Family Leave In The United States
Did you know that while the Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 requires employers to provide 12 weeks of leave for qualified medical and family reasons (including childbirth and adoption), it's unpaid time off (who can afford 12 weeks of not getting paid?!) and approximately 40 percent of employers are exempted from the law?!
I lucked out, and I'm going to fight for people who didn't because this is some bullsh*t.
Everyone Who Says I Need A Pet
Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! This is already a huge point of contention between me and my daughter and I need you to not. Do I love cats? Yes. Do I love dogs even more? Also yes. Am I at my absolute limit of being legally responsible for small impulsive creatures who require a massive amount of my effort just to stay alive? Hell yes.
Anyone Who Rings The Doorbell At Nap Time
Ring the damn doorbell and watch me reenact scenes from The Omen.
Any Friend Who Posts A Picture Of Themselves On Vacation
Like, logically I'm very happy for you and I begrudge you nothing and I hope you enjoy your tropical paradise. But as I scroll through your perfectly filtered pictures at 3:00 a.m., breastfeeding for the fifth time since midnight, covered in spit up and my own tears, realizing that I haven't been out of the house in five days, I hate your guts. You are my sworn enemy and I will have my vengeance.