An Airing of the Parenting Grievances

Today when I was as Costco, in the checkout line, I had a situation with an employee who was anxious to point out that Clive was being unsafe. The scenario in question was him climbing out of the shopping cart, which he’s done a ton of times and I was aware and watching him. I may have been a bit curt as I informed her that it was fine and that he knew how to climb down. She stood there for a few moments longer, seemingly unsatisfied with my response, but I paid her no mind as I completed my transaction. In retrospect, I’m sure she was only trying to be helpful, and not questioning my parenting techniques as I initially suspected, but I still felt annoyed about it. And it got me thinking about parenting pet peeves, so I decided to sit down and make a list of all of mine…an airing of the grievances if you will…because clearly I have nothing better to do during my kids nap time than air grievances. Ha!

An Airing of the Parenting Grievances // The Little Things We Do

My 12 Biggest Parenting Grievances (i.e. Pet Peeves):

1. Toys that play annoying songs

The songs that haunt my nightmares are typically the ones that get played on repeat on the stupid, plastic light up toys. WHYYYY?! Clearly the people who created these toys are not parents or maybe they actually were parents once and now want to torment those of us who are currently parents in some type of cruel and unusual joke.

2. Balloons

Balloons are the bane of my existence. They last for one day if you’re lucky. But probably you aren’t lucky and the balloon will be popped or will be accidentally released into the heavens prematurely and then you will have to deal with a very distraught child. I kid you not, it is pure drama EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I just want to be like: “Are you new here children? Did you forget that balloons are not forever?” Clearly I’m a super empathetic mom.

3. Stickers

Just like balloons…stickers don’t last long. They lose their stickiness and get lost and then my kids lose their ever-loving minds.

4. Strangers who try to parent my kids

No. Nope. Nuh-uh. I don’t care if my kid is being a complete jerk. You do not get to reprimand them. I will be the first to take issue when my kids are acting the fool, but if for some reason I am distracted by one of my other children and miss something, please let me know and I will handle it myself. K, thx bye.

5. People who helicopter parent

I get it…really I do. It’s hard to let your child go learn lessons when you could so very easily jump in and save them from those mistakes. I struggle with it myself sometimes. But man…it sure is exhausting to be around people who do it.

6. People who police my children’s safety when I am clearly watching

This happens often, because my I tend to let my kids test the boundaries of their physical limits. They love to climb things, jump off things and generally run around like crazies. I can’t stand it when people try to tell them something isn’t safe when I am very clearly watching. Believe me, I’m quite aware that they may take a tumble in attempting whatever they are about to attempt, but it’s a calculated risk. If you see me watching, but not saying anything, then it probably means it’s not that big of a deal for my kid to try. I know them and their limits and will step in when necessary, but I also want them to learn for themselves what they are capable of.

7. When they suddenly hate the thing they just asked for

This happened at breakfast this week. The conversation went like this…

Me: Clive, do you want sliced almonds in your oatmeal?

Clive: Yeah!

Me: Why don’t you try one first to be sure before I pour them in.

Clive: OK. (takes a bite). Yes! Those are yummy! I want almonds in my oatmeal!

Me: (pours almonds in)

Clive: (2.6 seconds later as I’m still pouring) NOOOOO!!! I didn’t want almonds in my oatmeal! Almonds are yucky! Pick them out Mama!”

8. People who stare during public tantrums

Clearly I am struggling here with a non-compliant kid and it’s already embarrassing enough, so do you really think your stares are going to help the situation? Yeah, no.

9. Kids menus

Most kids menus suck. The options are: mac & cheese, grilled cheese, hamburgers, pizza or spaghetti. Oh…and sometimes chicken nuggets. Rarely is there anything green or remotely resembling a vegetable (unless you count french fries) and a lot of the meals come with a soda and some type of dessert. And don’t get me wrong, I get that meals aren’t always going to be healthy and that life is all about balance, but come on…couldn’t they at least put a healthier option or two on there? There is also the excuse that kids are picky and wouldn’t eat healthy options, which OK, yes, but isn’t this just catering to the pickiness? Ugh. Over it.

10. Kid complaints about food

If there is one thing I cannot stand it is kids complaining about the food that is offered to them. I do not put up with this nonsense. I’m not saying my kids never do it (they totally do), but it still annoys me a ton and I am really working on drilling it into their heads to not complain about food they are offered by others and we actually just had a conversation about it this afternoon at lunch because they were complaining about what I made them (insert eye roll here). I mean, I would prefer it if they didn’t complain about my food either, but if I can get them to at least be polite at other people’s houses, I’ll take it.

11. When server’s set food and drinks right in front of babies/toddlers

Have you only been a server for two seconds slash never met a baby or a toddler before? They like to grab EVERYTHING. We have had so many drinks spilled as a result of this and it has definitely reached full pet peeve status at this point.

12. When people state their child’s age in months for way too long

“How old is your son?”

“Oh, he’s 27 months.”

“So, he’s two.”

After age two (and honestly probably before then) you can drop the month thing. Let’s be honest, none of us want to do the math and while it’s true that there is a big developmental variation between a 23 month old and a 30 month old (i.e. a two-and-a-half year old), no one but you really cares all that much about it. Instead of doing the month thing, you can say “she just turned two” or “he’ll be three in two months”. Or you can just say the actual whole number, if you really want to simplify your life. It just makes more sense.

So, there you have it. An entire list of petty. Haha! What would you add to the list? I’m sure I missed a few really obvious pet peeves in the midst of all these!





  1. Lyndsey Nava says:

    Number 11. WHY?!?! Hot plates, drinks, anything really at all should not be placed in front of the child! You forgot a good one – “friends” that reprimand your kids behavior but not their own kid.

  2. #7 is literally going to take years off my life

    • @Jane Grqybeal – It is seriously so irritating. I can’t even. My response to the almond scenario was basically “Bye Felicia.” Hahaha! Over it.

  3. I can not STAND IT when soon to be moms say “when my baby comes Earth side” or “welcome Earth side little one!” Your baby is already on Earth unless your pregnant self is living on Mars.

    • @Jess C. – Bahahaha! Oh man. I am totally guilty of writing this phrase (insert embarrassed emoji). Ha!

      • Haha I don’t know why it irritates me so bad – one of those irrational annoyances I guess!! As a new mom (my girl is a bit over 6 months) is how every “older” person thinks she constantly has gas. “Oh that’s a gas smile!” “Oh she’s crying – must be gas!” Surprised my babe hasn’t floated away with as much gas as she must have haha.

    • Haha! I totally agree. I hate that one!

  4. I hate it when people say things about how many kids you have. A good example is “are they all yours?”. I just want to say “No, I just found them wondering around the parking lot outside!”

    • My husband actually does say that, or he’ll say “we collect them as we go along” or something. We have 6, which is a major head-turner. Super fun to be looked at like you’re from Mars.

  5. I recently flew without my hubby with my 3 kiddos- 4.5, 2.5 and 11 months. “Oh wow, you’ve got your hands full” was on repeat EVERYWHERE I went. Yes, maybe I do but your (harmless) comment is unhelpful and HELLO my kids can hear you. “Mama, why are you hands full?” And later, “mama, why did you want to have 3 kids?” Thank you, stranger.

    • I get that one a lot, too. But every now and then I get a real gem of a comment. One lady said, “my, how God has blessed you!” which was super nice, and then a guy at Costco, after observing me struggle for a minute, said “What a wonderful challenge!” Those two comments I loved, the “you’ve got your hands full” one? Not so much.

  6. I have friend from high school that insists on still using weeks for her daughter’s age. Her latest FB pictures are declaring that she is 50 weeks old… I don’t even know the translation of that. Major pet peeve!!!

  7. My daughter had the meltdown of her life at Target last week when I was visiting family in Minneapolis. It was so bad that it made ME cry. Full on crying in Target. And NO ONE HELPED or even gave me a sympathetic look. They mostly glared or rolled eyes. I couldn’t even believe it. Worst day ever. It made me really miss the warmth of Omahans. Edie randomly started screaming at a restaurant today and almost everyone smiled as we left and two people even said “You’re doing great, mama!” And “We’ve all been there!”

  8. Ha!! These are spot on and hilarious. I think I could write a book on my pet peeves with potty training ‍♀️ “pleeeeeeeeeeease, just poop the potty!!”

  9. See, number 4 is where I feel different from mainstream culture. Can you articulate why it’s annoying? Are you afraid people won’t say the right thing? I get that it’s kind of weird. But, I think it’s important for kids to respect all adults and I think it’s even really helpful when other adults, even strangers, can back me up and say “No, those aren’t toys” etc … I’m sure most people are ok with family members helping to teach children but I’d really be fine with strangers stepping in occasionally too. Even to say “Listen to your mom, now. She’s right.” I’ve said that to strangers before and the moms seem OK with it.

  10. Cindy Willey says:

    YES!!! YES TO ALL THE THINGS!!!!! Especially #5 & 6. My kids are all very physical, very rough and tumble. For the most part, I enjoy watching them run and jump and climb. I can’t handle the watchful eyes or helicopter friends, it is exhausting! I have said many times that children can not ASSESS risk if they are not allowed to TAKE risks.

    Ugh! Does anyone think I would really let them face true, real danger right before my eyes? The biggest danger they face is me, if they complain about my dinner again (# 7)….Get out of my head Lauren, we are leading parallel lives!

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