From author and speaker Melanie Dale comes a laugh-out-loud hilarious parenting book that teaches you how to dial back the stress of raising children with the simple premise that we all just need to lighten up a little bit.
Most of us thought we’d be amazing parents—and then we had kids. Now we spend what little free time we have comparing ourselves to other parents, comparing our kids to other kids, and panicking that everyone else is nailing it except us. Between constant social media postings to conflicting advice found in parenting books, we often have no choice but to freak out. But there is another way. We all just need to calm the h*ck down.
Melanie Dale—a special needs parent, adoptive parent, in vitro parent, and reluctant cheer mom—believes we are all putting too much pressure on ourselves and our kids to be perfect. Instead, she argues, we need to take a step back so we can actually enjoy this journey called parenting.
Calm the H*ck Down is filled with stories from Melanie’s own life, as well as real-life research for learning how to lighten up about every aspect of parenting—from poopy diapers and germs to family vacations and adolescent angst. She also discusses the pressure to knock it all out of the Pinterest park, the challenge of instilling some kind of faith into your kids, and worrying about their future while still trying to live in the present.
Infused with quirky humor, profound insight, and accessible advice, Calm the H*ck Down gives you the permission to finally relax and enjoy this ridiculous thing we do called parenting.
In this amusing work, Dale (It's Not Fair), a podcaster and mother of three, urges fellow parents to lighten up, warns against "competitive parenting," and recommends setting realistic goals. For instance, rather than spending precious time on homemade lunches, Dale lets her kids purchase their meal at school: "What happens with the food they buy is between them, their mouths, and the garbage can." Likewise, parents can get carried away with kids' craft projects, but Dale suggests "cheating," such as purchasing a prefab gingerbread house kit (her go-to during the Christmas season). For birthday parties, Dale's theme is "zero clean-up," which, depending on a child's age, could mean a movie or a trip to a fast food restaurant, rather than an elaborate, parent-executed celebration at home. Though Dale is funny and lighthearted, she offers valuable tips on talking to kids about sex, inspiring them to do chores, and encouraging them to read (she's not above bribery) among other subjects. Dale's humorous outlook is a refreshing change from the more somber parenting books out there. Laughter is important in Dale's family, and readers of her entertaining guide will find it's contagious, too.