There are moments in life where Id love to go back, freeze time, give myself a 30-second pep talk, and hope for a better outcome.
I know that’s impossible so I make every attempt not to live with regrets.
The easiest way to not live with regret is to forget the past and not dwell on the uncomfortable times in life.
This isn’t always so easy when the moments come knocking on your door once in a while.
Like when I see one of my old notes shared on social or pop up in the calendar or on the website.
I read the note, cringe a little, and make a vow to do better the next time around.
I regret these notes for different reasons.
Some are a little too harsh on my kids.
A few are a little too rough on me.
One or two make fun of situations that really aren’t something to make jokes about.
More than a few just aren’t funny. Frankly, these notes were never funny.
The Stay-at-Home Dad Survival Guide
So why am I making it a point to highlight the notes I’m not crazy about anymore? No idea.
Maybe I’m trying to prove to myself that I’ve grown as a person, and as a parent, over the last nine years (and 600+ notes).
Perhaps I’m trying to demonstrate that we can learn from our mistakes.
This might just be my way of apologizing.
Here are 13 parenting notes I regret writing and why I’m remorseful about them now.
There are hundreds of things I love about being a parent, but sometimes only the worst moments come flooding back.
I could list them all now, but I’ve got a few apologies to hand out.
Parenting Note #435
This is obviously a joke but sometimes Ill catch myself making a joke at my kids expensive to make people laugh.
This feels just as harmful as saying something mean, especially when kids don’t always understand sarcasm.
I’m making an effort to only make fun of myself, even when I think I’m saying something harmless.
Parenting Note #329
I wish I could bring back all the times when I allowed stress and my anxiety to dominate happy memories.
I regret not living in the moment, our last as a foursome, and instead focusing on packing in as much fun as possible and stressing about creating the ultimate vacation.
Parenting Note #201
During my time as a stay-at-home dad, I made little effort to befriend other stay-at-home parents.
Sure, I’d act friendly on the playground or during random kid-centric events, but I never made an effort to say, Hey, you seem cool, and our kids arent murdering one another, want to hang out?
Having a support group of other stay-at-home moms and dads would have made daily parenting life a hell of a lot easier.
Parenting Note #207
I dont regret this note, but I regret being so damn enamored with Instagram filters.
My god, look at that mess. There are too many of these filtered photos.
There should have been an intervention.
Chris, sit down. Your family would like to talk to you about your excessive X-Pro usage.
Parenting Note #208
We were actually trying to have a kid. I was overwhelmed and perfectly happy with having only one child.
I understand that a child born from a positive pregnancy test here wouldnt be the same child I have now, but I cant imagine my life without my youngest.
She’s been absolutely frustrating and overwhelming at MANY points, but shes changed my life for the better, and I dont regret her for a second.
Parenting Note #17
I genuinely stopped caring about sports after my son was born.
I still have teams I support, barely, but I dont spend eight hours on a Fall Sunday in front of a television and dont care which franchises my kids call their favorites.
Parenting Note #244
This note makes me cringe so hard I contemplated not including it because, wow, what a dickhead.
I honestly cant believe…
a) I thought making fun of pregnancy weight was funny.
b) I put the thought down on paper to show the world.
Id completely forgot about this note. After finding it in the archives, I texted the ex and offered an apology.
I still think push presents are dumb though.
Parenting Note #26
Does anyone remember these diapers created to look like a pair of jeans?
Theyre blue with fake stitching, buttons and a zipper and ridiculous, but they were a gift given to support new parents, and I should be a little more thankful and keep the unappreciative jokes to myself.
But seriously, they were so stupid.
Parenting Note #48
Because sometimes you just need to write SOMETHING.
Parenting Note #109
Oh look, Im body shaming again. Awesome. Good job, jerk.
Id like to take this moment to explain Ive come a long way thanks to an accidental book purchase a few months ago.
Bren Brown was a guest on one of my favorite podcasts, WTF with Marc Maron, discussing shame, guilt and her latest book.
I didnt remember the name of the book but found a few of her titles at the bookstore. I picked up the first cover that caught my attention – I Thought It Was Just Me – and read a few pages. Sold.
It took about a chapter to realize it wasn’t her latest book, and it’s written specifically for women.
All of the examples are about women.
The author explicitly uses phrases like women like us for the entire book.
I read it cover to cover in about a week. I learned so much, I gifted it to a female friend.
The book made me realize just how crippling shaming can be to a woman. Especially when it comes from the mouths of parents, siblings, and spouses.
Now I stop and think before I speak to female friends, colleagues, and especially my daughter.
I wish I read the book before I wrote this note – or the note about running shoes – but at least Im now more aware.
Parenting Note #187
I suck sometimes. This is one of those times.
Im too worried about what strangers think instead of concentrating on making the people in my life happy.
Would putting on a pair of pajamas and posing for a Xmas card have been a big deal? No.
Thankfully, as we get older, we have fewer fucks to give.
I think this year Im going to send out holiday cards featuring just me in a pair of pajamas.
If youd like to get on my holiday mailing list, sign up for my newsletter.
Parenting Note #126
First, its a pool cue, and I should know that from playing pool in my basement for hours at a time as a kid.
Second, Im not sure if this was a joke to mean I want him to shoot pool or I didnt know what to buy for a 1-year-old.
Heres all I can offer as a reason behind thisummjoke?
March 2020 will mark ten years of parenting notes. I honestly never imagined the notes continuing for much longer. I assumed I’d run out of steam, run out of ideas, or people just wouldnt care anymore.
Ten years and over 600 notes later
Im thankful readers stuck around, and Im grateful new fans show up every day.
Especially after scratches like this note.
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Chris, thanks for writing an awesome (and hilarious!) article that many parents can relate to. My favorite one was your one about connecting with other dads and moms “our kids arent murdering one another, want to hang out?” Anyhow, thx for an insightful and entertaining read.