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Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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73 Responses

  1. MKP
    MKP June 23, 2011 at 10:00 am |

    And what’s with “put on a dress”?! Pretty sure I could be a competent (and a frustrated, human, sleepless, loving) parent while wearing pants, shorts, jeggings or wrapped in a towel.

  2. Florence
    Florence June 23, 2011 at 10:04 am |

    MKP: And what’s with “put on a dress”?! Pretty sure I could be a competent (and a frustrated, human, sleepless, loving) parent while wearing pants, shorts, jeggings or wrapped in a towel.

    You could, but you would also be a slob. And that is unacceptable.

    Jeggings. Psh.

  3. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub June 23, 2011 at 10:04 am |

    Katie Roiphe is a jackass.

    Really, can parents ever express frustration and make some bleak humor about it? Can they be human? I don’t have kids but I laughed so hard I damn near peed my pants because hell, MY parents could have written that book when I was a kid.

  4. Natalia
    Natalia June 23, 2011 at 10:09 am |

    Totally ignoring whatever Katie Roiphe has to say on the subject.

    The book is awesome. And the YouTube vid. Oh my.

  5. Natalia
    Natalia June 23, 2011 at 10:13 am |

    Haha, I love this YouTube comment on it:

    “..and when they’re teens, it’s called “Wake the Fuck UP!”

  6. Angela
    Angela June 23, 2011 at 10:24 am |

    That’s hilarious! It reminds me of the following TED talk on parenting taboos, and what we should be more willing to talk about without guilt or shaming: http://bit.ly/fSTGBa

  7. Lori
    Lori June 23, 2011 at 10:35 am |

    I read the Roiphe piece this morning and said to myself: “what? That’s not what this book is really saying. ” There are definitely times as a parent when you want to tell your kids to shut the fuck up or go the fuck to sleep, but you don’t. (Although I’m a bad mommy and have said fuck in front of my kids, which once prompted my 5-year-old to start saying “fuck” when he dropped things at school! Oops!). That’s what the book is capturing, not the over-intellectualized Roiphe take on things (and why is she constantly trying to make things about sex, I must ask?).

    Now, I won’t take on the Ayelet Waldman piece, because when it came out years ago, I found it ridiculous in it’s attention-seeking ‘look at me, look at me, I love sex sooooo much’ and maybe if I’m provocative enough, I might get myself on Oprah! But we’re not debating Ayelet here, so I won’t say any more about it. We’ll agree to disagree.

    On the Roiphe piece, I am with you, Jill!

  8. Andie
    Andie June 23, 2011 at 10:36 am |

    Does Katie Roiphe have children? This is the first I’ve heard of her. Does she have children with sleep issues?

    Sheelzebub:

    Really, can parents ever express frustration and make some bleak humor about it?Can they be human?

    In my experience, bleak humour is a great coping mechanism for parenting. It gets you odd looks from strangers in grocery stores sometimes though.

    That being said, I loved this book…

  9. EG
    EG June 23, 2011 at 10:37 am |

    I’m going to write a new picture book called Shut the Fuck Up, Katie Roiphe.

    I wonder if she’s actually read the book. There is no indication in it of yuppie helicopter parenting–putting your child to sleep is not exactly some kind of new-fangled, previously unheard-of super-care. It’s…part of being a parent or caretaker. An often frustrating part.

    I also like how, even though the book is clearly being narrated by the father, it’s the mother who needs to doll herself up and stop paying so much attention to the kid, according to Roiphe. She and Rebecca Walker and Molly Jong-Fast should all get together and do a seminar on how to leech off your famous feminist mother’s name recognition.

  10. Elle
    Elle June 23, 2011 at 10:40 am |

    I clicked through and read the New York Times piece by Ayelet Waldman, and I’m startled to learn that it was ‘very controversial’. I don’t remember seeing it when it was first published, but it was *exactly* the advice my late grandmother gave to me on the day I was married, 25 years ago. She said always to put your husband first, even ahead of your children. And she had raised seven children by then, all of whom are now stable, well-adjusted adults, most with grandchildren of their own.

  11. Meg
    Meg June 23, 2011 at 10:44 am |

    This hit major popularity waves just as I was wrapping up my class on illustrated texts. I played it for the few students who wanted stick around after the review for the final exam. The one who laughed hardest was the mother of a six year old. Being a hard-working college student (who I know worked at least one job in addition to going to school), I seriously doubt she was a yuppie helicopter parent…

  12. Florence
    Florence June 23, 2011 at 10:49 am |

    Andie: Does Katie Roiphe have children? This is the first I’ve heard of her.

    If you want to lose an afternoon to rage, google “Katie Roiphe feminism”.

  13. Emolee
    Emolee June 23, 2011 at 10:55 am |

    “When the father turns back to the waking child’s bedroom, we look out at the comfy, sexless, vaguely depressive scene of his wife sprawled asleep on the couch under an ugly old blanket. No wonder the slouchy dad is full of rage.”

    Ughhhh. This is just one of the oldest, anti-feminist sentiments! Moms, doll yourself up for your man. Don’t wear “comfy” clothes or use “ugly” blankets! Tired, overworked? No excuse. BE PRETTY AND SEXY. Or your husband won’t be happy.

    I’m all for sex. In fact, I think it’s important (and awesome!) But sometimes, especially when a baby or a job or whatever is wearing you down, you do need a comfy, ugly nap on the couch.

  14. Emolee
    Emolee June 23, 2011 at 10:57 am |

    oh, and if the dad is “full of rage”? NOT NECESSARILY THE MOM’S FAULT.

  15. karak
    karak June 23, 2011 at 11:06 am |

    This is just to say–I found the Ayelet Waldman essay really surprising. Most of the women in my family openly admit to loving their children more than their partners, for the simple fact that the actual fathers of the children have usually checked out or walked out. My aunt once told me, “A man is just a man, and might not be there, but your kids will always love you.”

    So, it’s a great nuclear family model to love your partner more, but it just doesn’t workout like that for most people I know.

  16. Emolee
    Emolee June 23, 2011 at 11:13 am |

    Love who you love. Assuming you are taking care of your minor children, I don’t beleive there is a “should” as far as who to “love more”- your partner or your kids. A hierarchy of love seems silly to me.

    But the advice to put your husband first sounds to me a lot like “keep your man at all costs!”

  17. EG
    EG June 23, 2011 at 11:18 am |

    Yes, I agree–children are less replaceable/more permanent than partners. But in general, I think it’s rather creepy to quantify love. I don’t love my uncle more or less than I love my stepfather; I love them differently.

    That said, I don’t really care if Waldman loves her husband more; what I do think was an asshole thing to do was to publish an article detailing that feeling. Does she think her kids are never going to learn how to read? That article ain’t going anywhere, and it’s the equivalent of sitting your kids down and saying “Guess what? I don’t love you as much.” It’s unkind and unnecessary, in my opinion.

  18. Pam
    Pam June 23, 2011 at 11:22 am |

    I have read the book.
    I have children… and I have “step” children. And I can say for sure that i am not a yuppie helicopter parent — I work full time out of the home (at a rate too low to be a yuppie) and I am the primary earner. My children go to public school and are involved in exactly ONE activity each… I expect them to play by themselves (at 10, 9, 8 and almost 7 its not impossible to expect that)… and yes, I expect that after this amount of time with the same bedtime to go the fuck to sleep instead of playing these games.
    Wanting your children to sleep is self preservation, not selfishness… getting up at 6am to work 10-12 hour days at a job, coming home and trying to meet the needs of a family unit — attention needs for the children and partner, keeping the house tidy, making meals for people — even when shared over a partnership can leave someone freaking exhausted… and guess what? Some of us are waiting for the kids to go the FUCK to sleep because social convention states that engaging in sex with your partner while the kids MIGHT interrupt you is also bad form… hell… I’m sure that the parents in the book were hoping for a night when the kid went down easily so they could sneak off and get their own freak on…

  19. ericka
    ericka June 23, 2011 at 11:33 am |

    Yeah, Roiphe was waaay off base on this one.

    Kids are horrible sleepers. Even my vermont-raised near-feral son, whose dad stays at home with him while I work outside the home.

    We’re about as far away from Park Slope and yuppies and helicopter-parenting as a family can get.

    Yet my son refuses to go the f*ck to sleep.

    Go figure.

  20. becky
    becky June 23, 2011 at 11:35 am |

    I’m not a parent, but I’m a frequent babysitter for friend’s kids – and yes: go the fuck to sleep already! i thought the book (and especially jackson’s rendition :)) was funny, charming, oh-so-true and actually taking the load some other books that tell parents they have to be the Perfect Parent who can get a child to sleep just like that, in perfect makeup, with a smile. it’s hard work to raise children. why is this so hard to admit for some people, and why is it so wrong to make fun of it? mocking stuff like sleeping drama gives people a little space to breathe, i think – can’t see anything too yuppie-ish about that…

  21. Sienna
    Sienna June 23, 2011 at 11:37 am |

    I thought that NYT article was…interesting. Aren’t women always told in some way or another to put a man first? Men come and go (break up, divorce, etc.) but your kids never stop being your kids.

  22. Shawn
    Shawn June 23, 2011 at 11:37 am |

    Reading the Rophie article I was struck, like many of the commentators, by how little it had to do with the bookwas about. She had a “parents these days suck” conclusion, and was going to make it no matter what the topic happened to be.

    My daughter, who’s now 14, had a terrible time going to bed and I commiserated with lots of people who had grown kids and who had gone through it. Not once did any of them say “you crazy helicopter parents. Back in my day we didn’t put kids to bed”. Sleep, food- they’re pretty universal parenting problems.

    There were, of course, lots of other issues that really were generational- from play areas in grocery stores to scheduled activities and playdates to daycare to tv/video games/computers to … But not bedtime.

    Doesn’t Slate have any editors?

  23. Sienna
    Sienna June 23, 2011 at 11:50 am |

    I definitely believe that you should have other interests and give yourself some time away from your children. More in love with your husband than with your kids seems weird to me. Why can’t you love them equally?

  24. redheadedfemme
    redheadedfemme June 23, 2011 at 12:13 pm |

    Just feed the little rugrats a couple of Benadryl. That’ll take care of it.

  25. Past my expiration date
    Past my expiration date June 23, 2011 at 12:57 pm |

    I am certain that if there is one thing that children of the picture-book-read-to-them-before-bed age are NOT going to tell their parents, it’s “Stop hovering over us. Live your own goddamned life.

  26. Bridget
    Bridget June 23, 2011 at 12:58 pm |

    I think the book is really funny, and if you enjoyed it you should watch this also: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ESFANzZTdYM&feature=feedu

    Though I suspect that the baby referenced in that song may have been crying because Daddy’s hair is scary.

  27. Erica
    Erica June 23, 2011 at 1:33 pm |

    It’s Slate. They’re the same “news” magazine that had a two-page article about why Sbarro’s sucks, why pie sucks, why outdoor movies suck… come to think of it, that’s Slate’s stock and trade: pick something totally innocuous and then rail against it for approximately 5000 words. Call it Andy Rooney journalism, maybe? Although the Katie Roiphe byline adds another dimension of fail.

    For the record, that Youtube clip made me fall off the couch in hysterics.

  28. 1ceuponathyme
    1ceuponathyme June 23, 2011 at 1:38 pm |

    “Likewise, if we can’t manage to hire a baby sitter and get out of the house..”

    Imagine that. Professional shit-stirrer Roiphe is so out of touch with reality that she blames parents who can’t afford to hire a babysitter.

    I agree with whomever suggested writing a book called “Shut the Fuck Up, Katie Roiphe.” She’s always made me want to jab pen in my eye socket.

  29. Anna
    Anna June 23, 2011 at 1:46 pm |

    Like I pay that much introspective attention to whether I’m raising my child to be a self-involved, over-coddled, manipulative little (littler?) Napoleon.

    The novelty of the book is of wide appeal because it says something parents just want to say out loud many nights of the week, and I suppose one could say that I–as a woman, put the kid ahead of myself many times, and it’s not because I am afraid people would judge me for being a bad mother, but because I love my child and want to do that for him. F*ck other people’s opinion of me (and it’s none of her damn business if I’m still having sex or not).

    But whatever. Honestly, the only thing I really hate about parenting? It’s not the sleepless nights or that I haven’t been to the theater to see a movie in 3 years, it’s when other people–who may or may not be parents–tell me that I’m doing it wrong.

  30. Anon21
    Anon21 June 23, 2011 at 2:05 pm |

    Sienna:
    I definitely believe that you should have other interests and give yourself some time away from your children. More in love with your husband than with your kids seems weird to me. Why can’t you love them equally?

    I mean, I guess you could, but it just seems like the intuitive answer would be: because people choose their partners, but do not choose their children. Presumably, the one you choose is more likely to be a good fit along various dimensions. Of course, this is confounded by the very different roles that partners and offspring play in people’s lives, which probably means that even if you could choose your children, you would be looking for some fairly different qualities than you would look for in a partner.

  31. tinfoil hattie
    tinfoil hattie June 23, 2011 at 2:08 pm |

    I think conflating parental love and romantic love is a dicey thing. Romantic love is reciprocal. It’s something two people feel for one another, and consciously decide to build a relationship from said love.

    Love for your kids is different. It’s all-consuming on a different level, but it is not reciprocal. Your kids do not, and should not, love you in the same way you love them. They cannot possibly. They don’t know anything about being a parent or why parents (generally) love their kids so much. It’s ridiculous to set it up as a contest.

    I believe the hardest thing for a parent to do, and especially for mothers, is to hold on to yourself. It’s hard to hang onto whatever identity you have when you’re so invested in taking care of someone else.

    Kids leave, and sometimes so do mates. So what we have left is ourselves.

    My grammar is horrible in this comment, and I’m not sure I’m articulating very well, but I hope you get the gist.

  32. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. June 23, 2011 at 2:10 pm |

    So…what I’m getting from the original book and this thread is I *shouldn’t* tell my nieces to go the fuck to sleep already.

    Oops.

  33. tinfoil hattie
    tinfoil hattie June 23, 2011 at 2:10 pm |

    PS When our kids were infants, we made up horrible, hilarious, obscenity-filled “lullabies” and diaper-changing songs that we sang in sweet, loving voices. THAT is part of the fun of being a BAD parent.

    Worse? Now that they’re older, we teach them the songs we used to sing. And they think it’s funny.

  34. Azalea
    Azalea June 23, 2011 at 2:52 pm |

    I call Bullshit. That book is awesome and Samuel L.’s reading is even better. The problem here is: little kids HATE sleep but they need more of it than we do and their bodies let them know because they get sleepy but they fight it. Most times, a sleepy child is a cranky or annonying child because if they arent going off they want your attention they want to know what you’re doing even if you’re trying to have “happy time” with the hubby or watch a movie at home that you dont want to watch while your child is still awake.

  35. Azalea
    Azalea June 23, 2011 at 2:56 pm |

    Jill: Well, Sbarro’s DOES suck.

    Gasphemy!!! Sbarro’s is AWESOME second only to Uno’s pizza!

  36. Daisy
    Daisy June 23, 2011 at 3:23 pm |

    My mom used Nyquil.

    redheadedfemme: Just feed the little rugrats a couple of Benadryl. That’ll take care of it.

  37. Florence
    Florence June 23, 2011 at 3:38 pm |

    tinfoil hattie: I believe the hardest thing for a parent to do, and especially for mothers, is to hold on to yourself. It’s hard to hang onto whatever identity you have when you’re so invested in taking care of someone else.

    Kids leave, and sometimes so do mates. So what we have left is ourselves.

    EXACTLY, thank you. Yes, your kids are “forever” in that most of us have that lifetime bond and relationship, but your kids aren’t “forever” in that we typically, eventually want our kids to grow up and have their own lives and differentiate from us. So what’s left? Whatever hobbies, relationships, and interests we’ve been cultivating over the last twenty-some years of child-rearing. And if you’ve sunk every ounce of energy into child-rearing, you’re screwed when your kids grow up and move on.

  38. Alphabet
    Alphabet June 23, 2011 at 3:41 pm |

    I’m skeptical about anything Katie Roiphe has to say. She takes one anecdote (I saw a mom use her kid as her Facebook pic!) and uses it to bash a whole generation (All moms today use their kids as their pics and dads never do and it shows how pathetic moms are today!!1!!).

    I’m also skeptical of the concept of helicopter parents taking over this generation of parents. I have not seen it in the real world (I have never been to Park Slope, but I don’t think that counts as representative of the real world). Claiming you saw some mom totally helicoptering only proves you saw some mom totally helicoptering. She probably would have been doing a generation ago in a different way.

    I just see a lot of parents and non-parents accusing folks of it while denying it in themselves. I have never seen any credible data on it. Are parents different today than fifty years ago? Yes. So are cars and tv shows and fast food and college. It isn’t a reason to demonize a whole bunch of people (mostly moms).

  39. Miss S
    Miss S June 23, 2011 at 4:09 pm |

    /slight derail

    I don’t think I’ve had Sbarro’s pizza, but I did get coffee from there one morning in New York while waiting for my bus. I didn’t know how far a decent coffee shop was and didn’t want to miss my bus home.

    Worst. Coffee. Ever.

  40. Cathryn
    Cathryn June 23, 2011 at 4:53 pm |

    I gave up trying to define my parenting long ago. As a mother I feel marginalized by both sides of this debate. There is always someone with a derogatory term for what he or she believes I’m doing wrong.

  41. Archie
    Archie June 23, 2011 at 5:49 pm |

    The only time my wife and I have to ourselves is after the kids go to sleep. Whatever your opinion is about the value of a nuclear family or the permanence of a committed married relationship, the book is piquant precisely because until we had kids, so much more of our time really was our own. I think this is probably even more true for single parents.

  42. IrishUp
    IrishUp June 23, 2011 at 5:52 pm |

    redheadedfemme:
    Just feed the little rugrats a couple of Benadryl. That’ll take care of it.

    LOLLOLOLOLOL – here’s what a goddam bad parent and spouse I am. Once when everyone in the house had truly horrible coughing, phlegmy, noxious, uncomfortable feverish colds, and I was at my wits end because it was like day three or forty, I gave EVERYONE a benadryl – dad, eldest kid, baby benadryl for weeIrish, perhaps even the dog – just so *I* could GET THE F*CK TO SLEEP!

  43. Lis
    Lis June 23, 2011 at 5:54 pm |

    Cathryn:
    I gave up trying to define my parenting long ago. As a mother I feel marginalized by both sides of this debate. There is always someone with a derogatory term for what he or she believes I’m doing wrong.

    I don’t think there’s any parenting style that hasn’t been called wrong, cruel, and abusive by somebody along the line.

  44. IrishUp
    IrishUp June 23, 2011 at 5:56 pm |

    Also, tinfoil hattie: WORD!

  45. Alex
    Alex June 23, 2011 at 5:57 pm |

    I’m just shocked that nobody has talked about Werner Herzog’s reading of Go the Fuck to Sleep yet!

  46. Sarah J.
    Sarah J. June 23, 2011 at 6:03 pm |

    Yeah, I work in a preschool. Therefore, it is often my job to put a classroom of children to sleep at naptime.

    Trust me, if I could get away with telling them to go the fuck to sleep, I would. Several times over. And if you think I’d be corrupting them, let me introduce you to the two year old who screamed “FUCK” repeatedly, at the top of her lungs, in my face and then followed that up by telling me to shut up.

    Side note: I do like children. I really do. But there are days when Samuel L. Jackson really needs to come read them a bed time story.

  47. Broce
    Broce June 23, 2011 at 6:09 pm |

    Brilliant take down. I havent read the book yet, and my son is nearly 24, but oh dear gods and little green monsters, do I remember the “shut the f*ck up and go to sleep” days.

    Sometimes kids are annoying. Motherhood (and I assume fatherhood as well) is *not* a rosy television commercial. It’s damned hard work, much of which is frustrating and thankless, punctuated with rare moments of utter bliss.

    Yeah…sometimes you want the little buggers to shut up. Sometimes you want them to go to sleep. And sometimes you cannot stand one more reading of Goodnight, Moon, or one more watching of Mary Poppins or one more chorus of “This is the song that never ends.”

  48. Broce
    Broce June 23, 2011 at 6:15 pm |

    Does she think her kids are never going to learn how to read? That article ain’t going anywhere, and it’s the equivalent of sitting your kids down and saying “Guess what? I don’t love you as much.” It’s unkind and unnecessary, in my opinion.

    My parents did exactly that…we always knew we were lower on the affection scale than they were for one another. When my dad died (I was 11), it really left things quite odd for us…we were clear on being far less important, and therefore with his death, unworthy of attention which had to be paid instead to my mother’s overwhelming grief. I think we all spent the rest of our childhoods trying to make up to her for his absence.

  49. Safiya Outlines
    Safiya Outlines June 23, 2011 at 9:06 pm |

    Ayelet Waldman’s essay is controversial because she talks about being able to survive if her children died, but that her world would end if her husband died. Whereas most people (certainly in societies with low child mortality rates) feel the other way around. I do not envy her children growing up and hitting Google on that one.

    I agree with those who say it is strange to quantify love. I love my daughter, husband, parents hugely, but in completely different ways, I think it’s the same for most people.

    I would say that the love you have for a child is not something you expect to have fully returned, I don’t think a child’s love for a parent has the same intensity as a parent’s love for a child, however, but then give all that love to your child so that they are able to grow up and love others. (If that makes any sense).

    Can’t be arsed talking about Roiphe’s article too much. It’s just fingerwagging at parents with a bit of shaming women for not being sexay enough thrown in.

  50. Athenia
    Athenia June 23, 2011 at 9:06 pm |

    This is especially funny because I’m reading Jane Eyre right now.

    “One wonders if this hostility toward the child, who is naturally and rightfully manipulative, is just a tiny bit misplaced.”

    Oh Katie my dear, do you realize that that’s how people justified child abuse back in the day? You know, when orphans didn’t have parents to put them to sleep?

  51. Stephanie
    Stephanie June 23, 2011 at 9:30 pm |

    I love this story. I have a two year old who most nights goes to bed pretty well, but about every 1.5-2 months either stays up 2-4 hours later than usual, with zero interest in going to bed, or wakes up at midnight or so, and stays up for a few hours, once again, no interest in sleeping no matter what my husband or I tries. Believe me, at such times my thought process is not perfectly relaxed.

  52. rayuela23
    rayuela23 June 23, 2011 at 10:36 pm |

    Safiya Outlines:
    Ayelet Waldman’s essay is controversial because she talks about being able to survive if her children died, but that her world would end if her husband died… I do not envy her children growing up and hitting Google on that one.

    Well, I mean, I can see reading about your parents’ AWESOME SEX LIFE!! could be rather unwanted but really… I think my mother does love my father more than she loves me. That doesn’t hurt my feelings at all. I think that is the way it should be. I love my husband more than I love her, after all.

  53. Pottermore: The Saturation Point. By “The” I Mean “Mine.” « Iconoclast or Malcontent?

    [...] killing time while the eggs cooked surfing the web from the laptop. I was reading the post “Bad Parents and Go the F*ck to Sleep” at Feministe, and clicked through to the original article, “Why So Angry, Dad?” [...]

  54. Helen
    Helen June 24, 2011 at 5:00 am |

    Around the beginning (I think) of the twentieth century, anyway long enough ago that people were using candles for lighting, the Australian writer CJ wrote a poem which might have not been as sweary but expressed the same desperation and longing as GTFTS does!

    You are much too big to dandle,
    And I will not leave the candle.
    Go to sleep.
    You are growing naughty, rather,
    And I’ll have to speak to father.
    Go to sleep!
    If you’re good I shall not tell, then.
    Oh, a story? Very well, then.
    Once upon a time, a king, named Crawley Creep,
    Had a very lovely daughter . . . .
    You don’t want a drink of water!
    Go to sleep! There! There! Go to sleep.

  55. Carrie
    Carrie June 24, 2011 at 9:12 am |

    Parenting requires a sense of humor. It is as wonderful as it is horrifying and sometimes, you just want your day to end. I don’t really trust anyone who can’t laugh about those moments of parenting that are difficult or thinks something like this is hostile toddler bashing that signals marital dysfunction.

    Sleep is important, too. Kids need sleep to grow and be happy in the morning. Parents need a beak from parenting. It’s a win-win.

    Some kids are better sleepers than others. Some need more training than others. It can be frustrating to have a difficult sleeper. Frustration is okay, normal and natural. It’s healthy to express appropriately. I think this book is an appropriate outlet and modeling that behavior for the author’s kid makes it even better (read: One day said kid will read this and learn that frustration when properly directed can make others laugh and buy a summer home maybe).

    Sometimes a cigar is really just a cigar.

  56. Azalea
    Azalea June 24, 2011 at 9:46 am |

    Jill: OMG Uno’s?! Azalea, do I need to FedEx you some real pizza?

    Uno’s is the grail of deep dish pizza! But I will take any and all suggestion you have for the DC metro area lol.

  57. Jennifer
    Jennifer June 24, 2011 at 10:13 am |

    tinfoil hattie–you should put out a CD of your vulgar tunes! My husband was very good at this kind of thing–I remember him telling our baby son in a very sweet voice to “shut the f**k up.” He also did a “voice” for our son that was obscenely funny, things like “I crap, you wipe, dad–get to work, asshole!”

  58. Andie
    Andie June 24, 2011 at 10:57 am |

    Archie:
    I think this is probably even more true for single parents.

    Yes, yes it is, and thank you for bringing this up. Single parents don’t always have the luxury of another adult then can pass the reins to in order for a little sanity time to read a book, watch tv undisturbed or even have a shower, so sleep-time becomes all the more important.

  59. DammitJanet
    DammitJanet June 24, 2011 at 11:35 am |

    RE: The perils of centering your life around your kids. I get why this is not ideal, but lately my life has been so shitty that my kids are the *only* reason I get out of bed in the morning, and sometimes even they aren’t enough.

    And, still, come bedtime, I just want them to go the fuck to sleep so that I can enjoy some ice cream and pizza and television and all the other stuff I deny them during the day. Because I am an unashamedly bad mother.

  60. R. King
    R. King June 24, 2011 at 3:06 pm |

    Waldman’s article was of course not really the point of this post, but she brings up some issues that I would love to see discussed at some point. I thought her perspective on maintaining a strong marital bond was pretty cool, but I was way weirded out by the way she positioned the other mothers in her groups in contrast to her fabulous, rambunctious “getting some”. She mentions that these women might still be experiencing pain from the birth as well as the extreme stress that a baby puts on the body, but then moves right on to the real culprit of “these ladies must just not love their husbands as much”. Now, I’ve never been a mother nor have I had such a serious long-term partner, but I know what its like to have a medical condition that can render sex very painful. I think we tend to assume that if someone isn’t having sex with their partner its because they don’t desire it, and a lot of people seem quick to pin this on new mothers, but to me this just seems extraordinarily unfair. Apologies for the non-sequiter, the Waldman essay just raised some tricky questions.

  61. Comrade PhysioProf
    Comrade PhysioProf June 24, 2011 at 4:50 pm |

    Katie Roiphe doesn’t write with any purpose other than to pick the most inflammatory possible position on a given topic and make a big dramatic display of taking it. She’s been doing this since forever, and it’s been a consistent money-maker for her.

  62. Rachel Farina
    Rachel Farina June 24, 2011 at 7:31 pm |

    I read the Rolphie piece on Slate.com and immediately cringed simply because an irritable father is rousing all sorts of conversation on the exasperation of parenting, and yet women have born most of its brunt for so many centuries.

    The gender role/issue is mostly absent from commentary on the web. Am I crazy? A gal on Slate.com was pulverized in the comments section by a bunch of men because she pointed out how women did the dirty work for years and often still do.

    I get that the book is a joke, that’s fine – I don’t think irreverent humor about the arduous task of parenting is inappropriate. I simply lament that the global conversation seems to be that the author of the book has allowed parents to finally ‘vent’ their frustrations.

    Good for him.

    I supposed my argument can sound a bit two-dimensional, but isn’t it kind of obvious…? I do think it’s great that the fathers are in on the parenting now, but this really seems like a Gen X deal.

    It bugs me that this dude got to complain about getting his kid to sleep (and make a profit from it, meanwhile sharing the load with his wife) when women did the job for years without splitting the load.

    Thank God Jill at least hinted, at the beginning of the article, that the parenting is often left to the woman.

  63. Safiya Outlines
    Safiya Outlines June 24, 2011 at 8:27 pm |

    Comrade PhysioProf:
    Katie Roiphe doesn’t write with any purpose other than to pick the most inflammatory possible position on a given topic and make a big dramatic display of taking it. She’s been doing this since forever, and it’s been a consistent money-maker for her.

    Sigh. Why did I bother getting a proper job? Trolling for fun and profit sounds far more lucrative.

  64. pragmatic realist
    pragmatic realist June 25, 2011 at 12:16 am |

    I think that the world would be better off if no one had children, and we let the human race die out so the earth could heal itself. If you can’t restrain yourself from having children, you should take care of them, because if you don’t who will? Stop complaining about how much trouble they introduce into your life.

  65. Virginia
    Virginia June 26, 2011 at 1:37 am |

    I’m apparently one of the ten people in the United States who didn’t think “Go the Fuck to Sleep” was all that hilarious. Nevertheless, Katie Roiphe is an idiot,* and if she hates the book, I’m thinking maybe I should give it another shot.

    * At thinking and writing, that is. At getting attention and money for being an idiot, she’s kind of a genius.

  66. Dave
    Dave June 28, 2011 at 12:37 am |

    My favorite parts

    “we look out at the comfy, sexless, vaguely depressive scene of his wife sprawled asleep on the couch under an ugly old blanket”

    Clearly, ugly old blanket = disinterested in sex. Unsexy blankets, people! That’s what’s wrong with America.

    Also, no one has ever watched a movie at home together while eating microwave popcorn and gotten sex EVER AGAIN.

  67. Jenny Gonzalez-Blitz
    Jenny Gonzalez-Blitz July 3, 2011 at 1:19 pm |

    1)I’ve never read anything Katie Roiphe said that was really, really hard to take seriously. In the 90′s she was critical of anti-rape movements within 3rd Wave feminism, now she can’t laugh at a book. Whatevs.

    2)I don’t have kids, but I have friends and relatives who do and I remember being one and just not wanting to miss anything that went on after bedtime. I’m pretty sure kids not wanting to go to bed when they’re told is a commonality across economic classes, so why is she trying to make this a “yuppie” thing?

  68. Nutmeg
    Nutmeg July 3, 2011 at 11:00 pm |

    Thank you, I work at a Barnes and Noble…this book is in the humor section because it’s FUNNY…it’s not advocating neglect or abuse…it’s simply a book that reminds all child-care givers of those times where the children in question refused to give you a break. No one is blaming the kids…it’s simply expressing the sheer frustration and desperation that are associated with child care…if Roiphe had ever actually put a stubborn and “not tired” child down for bedtime or naptime…I suspect she would understand the book

  69. Darlene
    Darlene July 7, 2011 at 10:49 am |

    I laughed so hard I cried when I read “Go the Fuck to Sleep.”

    Dear Katie: sex doesn’t happen while babies/children are awake, nor many other self-fulfilling activities. I would be all about taking care of myself rather than focusing all my energies on the kid, but tell that to my screaming child. I like being a mom, I adore my kid, but come 8 pm, I can’t WAIT for that kid to sleep. That “unsexy” mom sleeping on the couch? She’s fucking exhausted. She doesn’t feel like sex or much else for that matter. She’s probably been up since 6 am after being woken up once or twice during the night, and is just grateful daddy is putting the kid down.

    I thought the most interesting part of the book, actually, is the end, where, as the father gets more desperate, he starts questioning his parenting abilities. This felt so familiar to me, and is perhaps another under-discussed part of being a self-aware parent.

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