Humor is one of the easiest ways humans relate to one other. It can lighten the mood in an uncomfortable situation and serve as a protective shield against pain. Parenting is often the subject of some of the funniest jokes, in my opinion, mainly because raising humans is difficult and humor can lighten the emotional toll. Having said that, there are some post-birth jokes that need to die in a fire because OMG they really are awful. These postpartum jokes usually have something to do with a woman's vagina or a man's inability to be a competent parent, which just undermine and insult parenting as a whole. I'm sure you've heard them all, and you've probably laughed at or said a few yourself, but honestly these jokes are so stale and unfunny that they should be retired. Let's come up with something more witty, shall we?
I do believe new moms get the brunt of the jokes, because people just love commenting on mom's bodies and parenting styles and everything in between. Sure, some jokes can help a new parent feel like a part of a bigger purpose, and some jokes can help parents to not feel so alone in the trenches of parenting. But a select few cross the boundary into unnecessarily crude and rude. I've heard many jokes in my short eight years as a parent and I have to say, I don't find some of them at all funny. You may think I'm reaching or I'm overreacting, but I have a phenomenal sense of humor and these jokes are, in my humble opinion, simply not funny nor witty.
I get it, too. I mean, sometimes people make jokes simply because they don't know what else to say to a new parent. Non-parents are probably the biggest "offenders" because they really don't know what parenting is like. Can't really blame them for failing to understand some of the sensitivities and intricacies that come with parenting. But, overall, it wouldn't hurt for people to be a little more mindful of the messages they are sending by making some of the following jokes:
Every Single Postpartum Vagina Joke
Enough already. It's bad enough women often feel physically and emotionally broken when they're postpartum, but the added vagina "humor" doesn't help. In fact, the jokes are legitimately offensive and hurtful and false. The "daddy stitch" jokes, the "time for kegels" jokes, and the "it's probably so stretched out, the next baby could just walk right out" jokes are all ridiculous and childish and should die a fiery death.
The "Your Sex Life Is Dead" Joke
Why is this even a thing? Is it to make people fear parenthood? Because, let me tell you something: sex after kids is great. It's as great if not better than sex before the kids. Sure, maybe some people choose to have less sex, but less sex isn't a given just because a couple decided to become parents. Plus, the longer a relationship is, the more creative sex can get.
The "Your Life Is Over" Joke
Have you heard this one before? It's almost as "funny" as telling expectant parents to "sleep now, because once the baby comes they'll never sleep again." I mean, how funny is that really?"Having kids will ruin your entire life." That's the joke, isn't it? Well, it's not funny.
Sure, parenting is tough, but your life is most certainly not over. For many people, becoming parents is the best thing about life, so let's put it to rest, OK?
The "Boy, Are Your Hands Full" Joke
This usually applies to a mother of more than one kid. The "joke" is usually made at a public place when a parent may be just going about her business, trying to do some food shopping or is enjoying a day out with her kids. Some "super funny" stranger decides to be so so funny and so witty and say, "Wow, you've got a lot on your plate, don't you?" I always want to respond to this particular "joke" with, "Wow, what a clever observation, sir. You're such a genius. And, oh so amusing."
The "Are You Sure That Kid Is Yours" Joke
My kids look like me and nothing like my husband, so I've heard every single version of this joke. People seem to be overly preoccupied with which parent the offspring resembles. I mean, sure, it's cute to see a miniature version of people, but let's just stop this "the mother is clearly sleeping around" joke. It doesn't make anyone feel good. Oh, and it's not funny.
The "Your Boobs Are Out Of Order" Joke
I guess if my breasts were created solely for the pleasure of men, I wouldn't be so annoyed by these comments. But newsflash: my breasts are actually there to nourish a child. Shocker, I know. So when I'm breastfeeding my child, my breast are in order, doing exactly what they were designed to do by nature. Incredible, isn't it.
The "Mommy Can Use A Drink" Joke
You know what? Mommy could always use a drink because mommy generally enjoys a glass of wine and not because she is a mommy and she can't handle the responsibilities of motherhood without numbing her feelings with alcohol. If a woman is legitimately struggling with motherhood, it's not a laughing matter and it should be taken pretty seriously. Parenting is tough and so is life and sometimes we all could use a little bit of an escape from reality, but this joke makes light of an unhealthy coping mechanism.
According to the National Association for Children of Alcoholics, 76 million Americans, about 43 percent of the adult population, have been exposed to alcoholism in the Family. An estimated 18 percent of adult Americans have lived with an alcoholic while growing up. Joking about alcoholism? Yeah, not OK.
Every Single "Dad Is Useless" Joke
Because dads who are involved with their kids are great dads and deserve to be acknowledged for finally breaking the "absentee-dad" stereotype.
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