Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Dear Parents Magazine

Dear Parents Magazine,

I see your drastic "RENEW NOW" stickers. I see the specially wrapped issued reminding me it's time to get a new subscription.  But, like the laundry, I'm ignoring you until you go away. 

First off, I'm not sure how you found me.  You're like all those bridal magazines that starting showing up within one week of my engagement.  By the time our wedding day rolled around I was getting FIVE different magazines and I paid for zero of them.

But really, it's not your mysterious appearance in my mailbox that bothers me. It's the content of your magazine. I have two major complaints.

1) You call yourself "Parents" but yet there is little to no content for fathers.

Your magazine and your advertisers act as if Dad's are only around on the weekends to throw around the football and weed the lawn. I'm here to tell you my husband does neither of those. 

At best in the issues I've perused, I've seen one small spread geared towards Dads. There are thousands of hands-on Dad's that change diapers, sing endless silly songs, sit in the carpool line AND do the dishes.  I'm sure you have great tips Dads can use but like my husband they are turned off by articles on skin care, Midol ads and the pictures depicting women doing all the work and play.

2) You fear-monger more than your average cable news pundit.

By the time I was done casually flipping through a few issues, I learned how easy it could be for Max to have cancer, a stroke, a vitamin D deficiency and/or severe asthma.  Also, the "It happened to Me" article is enough to make even the most lax parent wrap their toddler in bubble wrap and never let them leave the house.

It's absolutely terrible that your toddler almost lost his/her eye from running with a fork but IT WAS AN ACCIDENT.  A terrible, horrible, accident, but an accident none the less.  Of course experts warn not to leave utensils out where your toddler can reach them. Of course you shouldn't let your child play unsupervised by a 2nd story open window. But the way those articles are written it makes it sound as if these tragedies WILL happen to your child unless you constantly keep 24/7 surveillance on them, complete with a GPS wristwatch that turns into a protective shield at the first sign of something pointy.

As a member of Mom Against Ostriches, I will try to minimize as many death threats to my son as possible but in the end I remember that a part of childhood is skinned knees and bruised elbows.

I'm sure, Parent Magazine, you have great tips and suggestions that would help me navigate this strange new world of parenting.  However, the two reasons above are enough to keep me from actually paying for you.  Instead, I'll get my parenting advice and tips from friends, family, bloggers in the parenting trenches and my Mom.  Hell, I mean, if she kept the four morons below alive, she's pretty much Supermom.


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