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In Attachment Parenting There Are No Fathers of the Year

There are some GREAT dads out there. My husband is one of them. But when it comes to Smugtachment Parenting, there is no time for bullshit. When baby first comes -for a moment-  it is understandable. We are all adjusting to being a parent at first. But as time goes on, I call BS. If you want to play in the big leagues (Smugtachment Parenting) then you better be ready to operate on cylinders you didn’t even know you had. We are not going to settle for less than perfect around here, or you better believe you’ll have a not-so-gentle whisper lecture coming your way in the family bed later!

Here’s an example:

Small giblet trips and falls, starts crying. “Wahhhhhhh!!! Mommmmmmmyyyyyy!!!”

Silly (Dummy) Dad says: “Kaboom – oopsy! Uhh… Want daddy to show you what happened?”

Teary- eyed child wipes snotty nose and sniffles “Yeah, daddy do”.

Dummy Daddy demonstrates the fall with over-exaggerated motions, sad baby starts to giggle, daddy gives himself an inward high-five! I’m such a good dad, he thinks smugly to himself, I’m so involved and he’s so happy with me.

Uh-oh. No no, Dummy Daddy. That was not a win, that was a fail. (And by the way, that’s the wrong kind of Smug. You’re all confused and this has been explained to you so many times!) You messed up, and in perfectly-perfect world, you messed up big.  I didn’t spend all day in time-consuming limit setting and inward pep talks about how the crying is good, the crying is goooooood, just to have you arrive on the scene and squander- WASTE! – a perfect opportunity for a big cry.  An injury! Perfect! They are going to cry anyway! Let’s segway this sucker into something epic. Let’s make strides in the areas of emotional intelligence, confidence, and attachment to other humans! They would have shed off the stress of the day, sob by sob, melted into a puddle of blissful sleep that night…but instead they gobbled it all back up in 3 little cute giggles. Slurp! hee hee! All back inside my tum tum now! All because you didn’t have the balls, the brains, the memory, the learning capacity, to just go with it. Integrate the things we talk about.  I’ll say it – lazy, selfish move Dummy Daddy. You’re better than that.

I don’t have time to be a gentle parent to the father of the child whom I am parenting gently. His parents did it their way, and I suppose it wasn’t half bad if I agreed to marry the guy! But now we’re on to bigger and better things and I don’t have the time to explain how it works again and again in Dummy Daddy language.  So DD: if you think you are getting a Father of the Year award by sticking to basics like being around a lot, being super sweet and calm, helping with bedtime, leaving late in the morning, coming home early in the evening, doing dishes, laundry, paying bills, complimenting my mothering, not guilting me about sex, and reading articles that I send you during your workday, you have got another thing coming! I expect nothing less than perfection, and what do I call that balls-less move where you didn’t let our child cry but instead distracted him back into having fun? Less than perfect. In Smugdom there is only pass/fail, but tomorrow is another day – after all, we wouldn’t want to compromise the family unit.

Smug MommyA stay at home mom by day, a classical singer by night, Rebecca started the blog Smug Mommy as something fun to do to release some of the built up tension.  She ended up accidentally practicing most of the principles found in the parenting philosophy called Attachment Parenting, but has often struggled with how seriously it takes itself.  Smug Mommy is a resource for parents who dabble in the Smug idea that this way of parenting is the bomb.  Rebecca thinks it is, but likes to roll her eyes about it.  Rebecca enjoys one hour a day after babe’s bedtime to drink wine, peruse Facebook for parenting drama, and on Monday she watches The Bachelor.

***Find more from Smug Mommy on her website and Facebook.