I’ve been a father for nine years, and I have three kids. Let me tell you, there are a lot of really fluffy parenting tip lists out there. Many of them were obviously written by people without kids, or parents who lie to themselves. Honestly, those lists often make me feel like I’m doing this whole parenting thing wrong, because their tips seem to make things harder, or they make parenting almost look easy. So let’s bring it down a level. I won’t bullshit you. Here are the real parenting pro tips.
1. Hiding the candy stash in the laundry room will help keep your children healthy and help you maintain your sanity.
2. Buy lots of mac and cheese. That’s the key. Don’t fight it. Just buy the hell out of that shit. It’ll be fine.
3. You don’t have to give your kid a bath every day. Just wipe them down sometimes. Parents that bathe their kids every single day obviously hate themselves.
4. Screw pants with a legitimate waist. You don’t need that in your life. Jeans and a belt feel like a ball and chain after sleeping only four hours each night.
5. If you turn screen time into currency, you can get your children to do anything from homework to cleaning toilets.
6. There are no laws against calling a toddler an asshole. Trust me.
7. If you find a long lost sippy cup, don’t open it. Just throw it away. Opening it is like opening the seventh seal.
8. Sometimes it feels really good to flip your children off when their backs are turned.
9. If your child pees the bed, just change them and throw down a towel. Washing sheets at 3 a.m. will make you understand why some animals eat their young.
10. Telling a child that they have to eat a fruit or vegetable before they can have a dessert will make you feel better about serving them mac and cheese.
11. Wet wipes can clean everything from butts to counters to car seats. They are your Swiss Army knife.
12. Parents often binge on ice cream after a long day of parenting. Those who don’t are probably alcoholics.
13. Don’t worry about making sure your kid looks cute all the time. Sometimes it’s all you can do to keep their pants on.
14. The shame you feel for using a crayon instead of a pen is not nearly as painful as searching for a pen while holding a toddler.
15. Getting a sitter so you can go to the store without kids is worth every penny.
16. McDonald’s is like Starbucks for kids. It isn’t healthy and it’s expensive, but it sure makes the day easier on everyone.
17. One popsicle will keep a toddler content for three minutes. With enough popsicles, you can load the entire dishwasher without your toddler trying to climb inside it.
18. Kids will clean their rooms twice as fast if you offer them McDonald’s, candy, and the marshmallows from Lucky Charms. Bribes get shit done.
19. Taking your kids to the park is a really good way to get caught up on social media.
20. Life jackets make the pool almost tolerable. Goggles, on the other hand, turn going to the pool into full time job titled, “Can you fix my goggles?”
Sure, there are more tips. There always are. But this should get you started. And if you are reading this and you have something to add, please do so in the comments section. Because you know what they say, it takes a village.