Our Story Begins:
You Don’t Say?! An Average Dad Weighs In On
Celebrity Parenting Advice
I’ve decided.. I need to write a book. It won’t necessarily be a great book, maybe even just an okay book. But it seems clear that someone needs to write a book that actually has some real life in it.
I came to the conclusion after weeks of the most ridiculous celebrity comments. I mean, I cannot imagine that anyone out there in the world actually believes single parenting is a breeze. I don’t pretend that I’m a success. I do alright, and most times alright is Good Enough. Rene Syler wrote her book a few years ago…maybe we give the parents a refresher course?
Why? Well, for some reason when self-proclaimed parenting expert Gwyneth Paltrow said working moms (which I read parents) have it easy because they spend their mornings and evenings in quality time with their kids, someone must be listening. Then Salma Hayek opined how difficult it is to have to tell your chef that your children won’t eat the same meal. And the Kardashians…I don’t even know where to begin.
No, I’ve come to the conclusion that the good parenting books fell off the shelves. After all, celebrity parents are all I hear about lately.
My book can be chronological: I get up at 5:30 am so I can walk, in the dark, a couple miles every day. It’s the only time I can. Then I can show how I help with whatever the kids can’t manage – which in their minds is everything – to get their morning going. I put on coffee, prep for breakfast and then shower. Did I mention coffee?
I can talk about how I used to be a single guy, then husband, making homemade Chicken Cordon Bleu and Filet Mignon. Now the Crock Pot is my best friend. I can explain that I make quadruple batches of pancakes or waffles on Sundays because I can freeze them and then on weekdays put the waffles in the toaster – my second best friend.
That’s after I have another cup of coffee…
Celebrities make it sound like work is a breeze. After all I do get to meet interesting people and write every day and put stories on the air. I don’t do 14 hours on a film set. For me it’s 8…unless news breaks, which is all the time. Then it’s 10 or 12 or 14. (God I need to get coffee and write a thank-you card to the inventor of the Crock Pot. At least my kids will eat this way)
Sometimes the school calls and my son is injured or sick. But I have sick leave, right? Never mind the 10 projects on my desk and the daily writing and the GEM article that’s due.
Coffee. I need coffee for my drive home.
Walking in the door I’m pummeled with information about which sibling irritated which sibling. I make dinner (or serve it out of the aforementioned crock pot). I have to ride the kids to do dishes while I make homemade treats. After all, one bought cookie and my kids are like The Flash on speed… It’s less healthy eating and more self-defense. That’s if they finished their homework. Did they get into the coffee? I’m almost out! I make lunches and write between loads of laundry. Nigh Midnight I look up and realize I have to be up in five hours but hey, I got all that quality time…you know…with the kids.
Then…about 1 am, as I drift to sleep . . . my son walks in crying. He misses his Mom. Gwyneth, Salma and Kim…do you have ideas for me here? I learned to sew, do laundry…became cook and pastry chef. But I can’t glue a broken heart back together. Nothing you have offered up helps this, nothing at all. So I hug him, tuck him in the bed next to me, and sigh. Because I miss her, too.
This is the perspective of a real person’s parenting prowess. I can give the world my perspective, that harsh reality.
Oh, wait…I get it now.
So if I just write that thank-you note…after I run and buy more coffee.
What do you think? Do we listen to the advice of celebrities? Do we read it just to feel better about ourselves? You can weigh in with your comments…and read Dave’s letter to the creator of the Crock Pot on his Blog here!