Things You SWORE You’d Never Do If You Became a Parent (BUT THAT YOU’RE TOTALLY GOING TO DO)

So regardless of whether you have or even want kids, you have vague ideas about what you’d be like as a parent.  We ALL had ideas about what we’d be like as parents and most of those ideas were about how we’d be a thousand times better than the idiots we saw walking around being parents. Except that guess what—all those things you swore you’d never do once you became a parent?  You’re totally going to do them.

And you’re reading this going, “No way.  If I had a kid I’d do everything totally differently from how most people do things.  YOU HAVE NO IDEA.”

Except I do have an idea.  A really good idea.  Because all those things you swore you’d never do?  They’re totally inevitable.  Here’s what you’re going to wind up doing once you become a parent whether you want to or not.

things youll do theuglyvolvo


  1. Dealing Meth


NO WAY,” you’re saying.  “Maybe some other parents have a kid and immediately wind up dealing meth, but even if I came down with some freakish cancer diagnosis and wanted to make sure my family had enough money to survive in the case of my death, I’d get the money in a much more responsible way than by becoming a meth dealer.”

Everyone says this before they understand what it’s really like to have kids.  You are absolutely going to start both cooking and dealing meth.   Sorry if you’re in major denial about this.

  1. Putting your kid on one of those kid leashes

kid leash the ugly volvo
Look–  I’m not saying you’ll definitely put your kid on a leash, I’m just saying that after having a toddler who would, without a second thought obliviously run over the edge of the Grand Canyon, the idea of anchoring them to something seems much more reasonable.  I’m not saying you’re 100% definitely going to put your kid on one of those kid leashes, I’m just saying that I’m 99% definitely not going to judge you for it.

  1. Being late for something because of your kid

being late the ugly volvo
Please try as hard as you can to be on time for things!  That being said, to get a feel for what getting a kid ready to go outside is like, go to the sloth exhibit at your local zoo and stand next to the sloths while screaming, “RUN!  RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!! C’MON!  GO GO GO, MOVE MOVE MOVE RUUUUUUNNNNNN!!” and e-mail me the results.*

*Fun fact: one of the results will probably be, “zookeepers escorting you off the premises.”

  1. Letting your kid eat at least some junk food

charlie and the carob chip the ugly volvo
Always happens!  Sorry!  No matter how well you feed them and how much you insist they’ll never get to touch junk food, your kids are going to find out about the good stuff eventually.


  1. Getting together with other parents to corner and set fire to a local child murderer only to have him return as a bloodthirsty dream-based serial killer

nightmare on elm the ugly volvo
Who hasn’t done this, right??!?  I used to hate how parents got all riled up about something so dumb like school board elections or common core math or the vigilante justice of setting a local child murderer on fire because he should totally be in jail but was somehow released on a technicality.  And I swore I’d never get caught up in that horrible mob mentality but it’s a different story when those parents are suddenly my entire social circle and peer group and they casually approach me going, “Hey, we thought we’d all get together and murder this guy and we just want to make sure you’re definitely in?”

  1. Spending your kid’s entire childhood preparing him to lead the human resistance against Skynet, a highly advanced artificial intelligence that sees humanity as a threat to its existence.

terminator the ugly volvo
If there’s one thing I really have a hard time with, it’s those parents who, instead of letting their child sort of figure out his own path, turn their kid’s entire childhood into a training camp for the day a computerized superpower deploys an army of Terminators against humanity.  Why do so many people wind up doing this?? It’s like geez, just let them be kids for a while???

  1. Coming up with some sort of cohesive theme for this list.

“Hi– I’m a reader trying to make some sort of sense out of what you’re writing here and I just wanted to check in to see if this is supposed to be a real list of things people who have kids are going to do or a list of outdated movie references?”

Hello!  I have no idea what this list is supposed to be!  I think it started out as one or the other but what with trying to control both a three-year-old child and an international Meth empire (so stressful!) it’s become a lot like the actual experience of having a kid, i.e. sort of all over the place.  I’m so sorry about this!   To get back on track here’s one I’m sure you are so smugly positive will never happen to you!

  1. Accidentally Shrinking Your Kids (WE’VE ALL DONE IT)

shrunk kids theuglyvolvo
Get off your high horse, non-parents!  I’m sure you’re all like, “If I had a dangerous experimental shrink ray in the house I’d set firm limits with my kids about rooms where they were and weren’t allowed to be,” but look, things don’t always work out like you think they will.   Before I had kids I swore this would never happen, but I’m toooootally guilty of this one.

  1. Letting Your Kid Cry in a Restaurant

baby in restaurant theuglyvolvo
Please don’t do this.  I KNOW it’s hard (It really, really is) and kids cry for literally no reason but any time you’re able to take them to the bathroom or outside to calm them down it is so appreciated.  If you’re upset because you had wanted to enjoy your dinner and now you’re stuck in a dingy restaurant bathroom, shoot me an e-mail while you’re in there since there is a 70% chance that I am also sitting resentfully in a dingy restaurant bathroom and at least this way we can vent about having children and/or compare meth recipes.

  1. Absolutely firmly sticking to everything you said you were going to do before you had children

watching tv the ugly volvo

“I’m not going to be one of those parents who plops their kid down in front of the TV.”

I’m not going to be one of those parents who constantly posts photos of their child on Facebook.”

“I’m not going to be one of those parents who organizes a giant, extended-family-trip to Paris and is literally boarded onto the airplane and flying across the ocean before realizing that I left my 8 year-old at home in the attic.”

home alone theuglyvolvo

The gist of it is, our intentions are always terrific, but once you become a parent there are some things that are hard to predict.  You’re positive you’d never get your kid an iPhone but suddenly all the other kids have iPhones and yours feels left out.  You swear your house won’t be a toy-strewn mess, but you no longer have the energy to constantly clean it.  You can’t imagine that you’d ever fight your child in a lightsaber battle in which you wind up cutting off his hand but LOOK– sometimes you’re being completely reasonable about the merits of going to the dark side and your kid is, as always, totally tuning you out and eventually you hit your breaking point.  Like they say, it’s all fun and games until somebody loses a hand.

And I know people without kids are shaking their heads going, “You’re a monster!  How could you cut off your own kid’s hand???  People like you shouldn’t be allowed to have children!!

I know, I know, it seems awful, but it’s just one of those things that happens.  I know you’ve heard this a million times, but you just can’t understand until you become a parent.

       *               *               *

If you enjoyed this post, please follow The Ugly Volvo on Facebook or Twitter or scroll to the bottom of the page and sign up by e-mail to find out when I put up new posts (spoiler alert– not as often as I’d like to).  If you read this post and got really angry because you think the things I wrote are definitely true and not satire, you are right!  I absolutely deal crystal meth and cut off my child’s hand and am insinuating that you will do these things also!  All these are totally true things that are really true and super real and any resemblance to popular film plots is just a totally crazy coincidence!  

Also, I have a book coming out this fall.  It’s either a graphic novel about over-caffeinated office workers who have sex with broken fax machines or a book about the first two years of parenting but either way, you can pre-order it here!

14 CommentsComment

  1. And now I’m addicted to the blog and scaring the co-sleeping child by laughing aloud (he’s only 8). 😉

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    Megan Saunders

    Toddler on a leash… So every year on our anniversary we go camping. Baby is just over 1 year and running all over the place trying to catch up with his 7 yo old brother, jumping of couches, etc. I see at the thrift store a monkey baby leash for $3, and think for $3 its worth a try on the family camping trip just to keep him on the trail while walking rather than carrying him everywhere. We get to camp, set up the dog run between 2 trees for our border collie, and immediately hook up the baby to the dog run for the photo op (because I knew it was horrible and would be hilarious to show him as he got older). He was not impressed and it only lasted about 1 minute, but the photo of him and our dog on the run is priceless.

  3. The first time my very good friend/co-worker came over the meet my new baby, she started a tirade about what a terrible mother her aunt was and how she was never going to do anything she did to spoil her niece. And also said I “only looked 5 months pregnant now.” And that was the end of that friendship!

    I said I would never co-sleep, which I’m surprised isn’t on this list. But that basically got vetoed immediately.

  4. So . . . I’m an uncultured dunce and kinda was hoping somebody in the comments (or the author if she so chose to spell it out for me and perhaps ruin the humor) would clue me in the movies. I got Honey I Shrunk the Kids, of course, and I got the Home Alone reference and I got Star Wars, but was the Meth thing from a movie? And I also didn’t know the serial killer movie? (I did love Willy Wonka included in the illustration and I particularly loved Lady and the Tramp, with the Tramp eyeing the kid critically out of the corner of his eye.)

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      You’re in no way an uncultured dunce for not having seen the Freddie Kruger Nightmare on Elm Street movies, as those are not considered the height of high culture 🙂 And the meth thing is from Breaking Bad, which is worth seeing!

  5. Yep, did the kid on a leash thing too, when I swore I wasn’t going to. It was Disney World, he had just started walking well and decided that he did not want to hold on to Mommy’s hand anymore. It was the kind that you’re both wearing on your wrists, but it was totally a leash.

    The other big thing was the spit face wipe. I would definitely never do that, I declared. But oh yes, I have already a number of times. I just hope I stop before he has to tell me to.

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    Ray Lancon

    Fantastic. I loved this. I would show it to my kid, but she volunteered to take her sister’s place in the Hunger Games.

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    Lindsay Green

    Ha ha ha! THIS: “Hi– I’m a reader trying to make some sort of sense out of what you’re writing here and I just wanted to check in to see if this is supposed to be a real list of things people who have kids are going to do or a list of outdated movie references?” came up at just the perfect time. SO. FUNNY.

  8. I’ve totally done the leash thing— in an airport with a three year-old. And, while I may have received judging glares (wasn’t paying attention– running after child on leash), what I remember most was this middle-aged woman coming over to me and saying, “WHAT a great idea!” And my child and I ended up on the same plane. That’s a win, folks.

    Thanks for another hilarious post!

  9. Posts like talking about me. Thanks a lot!

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    Hysterical. Spot on. Can’t wait till your kid’s a teen…your best work is still ahead of you. #miserylovescompany

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      already terrified

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        Getting through the teens years requires long-term thinking. The best reason, it turns out, for not burying your teenage daughter in the back yard and tell the neighbors she went to live with the nuns:
        After she drops out of college and goes through her stripper phase and marries a weirdo who is her perfect match she may procreate you a grandchild or two.

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