The Dumb Dads Guide to Love and Parenthood

The blissfulness of ignorance..
The blissfulness of ignorance..

Those of you reading this are parents. If you are not a parent, go away. Go outside. Have a drink in the middle of the day. Have two. Go speed dating and drive anywhere within ten hours to go see live music that makes you happy, or even sad if that’s your thing with music. Go read a book, for hours, until you are so tired you fade to sleep. You get the hell out of here. Stop reading this instant and go live the life you will look back on fondly someday. Leave this echo chamber. You don’t belong here and the chatter of this place will only annoy you. TAKE. A. NAP. and know that we all look at you with piteous envy. Pity cause babies are awesome. Envy because of every other thing. Almost literally, every other one.

Now that it’s just us, allow me to tell you, my people, the people that will ‘get me’, what’s the what. But before that, if you go around telling people things like, ‘I never had any troubles with it. My kids slept through the night from the start.’ go to hell. Seriously. Get out of my sight. Its fine if your little magic unicorn babies were perfect. I believe you and I’m happy for you. But if you’ve been exposed to the same parent talk that all of the rest of us have and you still choose to say such things to people having really difficult times, I have no need of you. Disperse. You are not welcome here. You are simply one of two types of people. You are either just straight up a mean person that practices the unhealthy art of Schadenfreude or you are so lacking in self awareness and just plain old awareness that I don’t allow that you could possibly enjoy this. Get. Scatter.

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For the rest of US, the brave truth tellers unafraid to bare themselves, failure in front (I happen to suffer a similar biological trait, come to think of it) this is our story. I wish that this were a list of misfortunes and that I would be deserving of your feelings of empathy. But it is not. It is in fact a listing of decisions made, some of them resulting in unnecessarily difficult situations, bordering on the untenable. While I appreciate the empathy you may have, I warn you now, it is undeserved. These are the decisions of a dumb and loving dad who has made many decisions that could be mocked by anyone with even a passing understanding of foresight.

  • We have a spare room, yet we choose to put our two toddlers in the same one. This is the result of idealism mixed with laziness. This is a standard form of reasoning for me. One that causes many a situation I regret, but one that almost never results in me learning a lesson.
  • We were so overwhelmed, and perhaps so old, that it took so much of our energy to get through the baby times that I walked away from a job because I wasn’t good at balancing my responsibilities. This comes from love. Pure love. Its dumb and defensible and I’d do it again. But if you’d like to donate to the dumb daddy fund please note this in the comments. I’d link to a fundraising page, but, you know, lazy.
  • We have had exactly one evening (maybe 3 and a half hours, give or take) away from our kids. Ever. Our oldest just turned 4. This may be the dumbest, and oddly, considering what it is we’re talking about, the laziest of our transgressions.
  • For all our tough talk with our kids we break like 7th grade shoplifters in the mall security office when they get feisty. Our precious little boy is now four and like many other four year olds he’s added a hefty dose of monstrousness to his repertoire. It’s to be expected and yet, it’s incredibly unpleasant. We are considering just barricading ourselves in the kitchen and throwing sugary treats at him when he gets angry emotional.
  • We have a memory of putting our little man to bed and it taking all of five minutes. Granted, the lead up has always been a bear, but now, both of them require their own hour of support, love, confrontation therapy and 7-12 separate tuck ins. I’m not really sure what of the many dumb things we’ve done has resulted in this, but make no mistake, whatever part of this is natural, we’ve done our share to make sure it is as bad as it can be.
  • Superheroes. We dumbly allowed these to happen. Damn. Wish I could have that one back.

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Their is no amount of trials and tribulations that having kids has brought us that could even move the scale when it is balanced against the shear awesomeness of having kids. But my god, will I ever stop adding to the challenges with my own stubborn commitment to being a dummy.


Author: joejmedler

Joe Medler lives in New Jersey with his wife, who is universally understood to be far too good for him, and his two young sons, who are far too smart for him. His work has been featured on MamaLode, The Original Bunker Punks and Sammiches and Psych Meds. You can find more of his work at and follow him on Facebook at

7 thoughts on “The Dumb Dads Guide to Love and Parenthood”

    1. Thats about the most thoughtful thing you could ever say! Thank you! I get about 20 views a day, though todays been better, but your very thoughtful words and constant support are priceless. Thank you, and good luck with the kids!


  1. Thank you so much, Paul! The superhero thing is crazy I have no idea how to answer the ‘why’ questions about the bad guys. I stupidly, or more apt to this piece, dumbly, took to hear the ‘3 and up’ label on the book and bought it and now there’s no turning back! That said, we have taken it away, but its in the brain now!


  2. I absolutely adore this. It feels like I wrote it, or my Husband wrote it. I adore your blog, & as you probably understand, we miss being able to relate to other adults. This does that for me. Thank you!


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