The Shitty Parents’ Club

Feb 9, 2011 | 4 comments

Mother and Son, 1956

       Even though I had belonged to it for more than a half century, I only learned of my membership in the Shitty Parents Club a few years ago from my friend Linda.  According to her, all parents belong.  And, if you are not a parent, you have given your own parents that privileged status, whether they know it or not. 
    To the best of my understanding, most parents become initiated into the club when their first child is about two.  It might be that the child suddenly wants nothing to do with you at all and will only respond to the other parent.  Or to grandma.  Or even to a smiling stranger.  You wonder what you’ve done or not done to deserve such treatment.
     Usually, after that initial terrible twos stage has passed, you know exactly what you have done to get the Shitty Parent treatment.  Often, the things you consider to be in your child’s very best interests – the vegetables, the dentist, the curfew – will serve to re-activate your membership.  And, if you are a “Good” Shitty Parent you realize that only time will rectify the situation.  Usually.
     Shitty Parent status, of course, is a lifetime honorific and, though children have moved out of the nest and the cords have been cut with finality, parents retain membership-in-good-standing whether they want it or not.  Even when the child grows to adulthood, becomes a parent and fellow club member, retirement or resignation from the Club is not an option.  The best you can hope for is a continuing sabbatical.
     I am happy to report, therefore, that I spent time with both of my children during my recent California get-away and, as far as is obvious, I am not currently active in the Shitty Parents Club.  Hooray!


  1. Kyle Brewe

    Was wondering why you haven’t been at the meetings.

  2. Diana C

    The corollary of course is having a shitty child.

    Which contrary to logical thought of being abused, neglected or abandoned, can occur in the most stable, supportive, normal and loving homes.
    If you are truly blessed you get to have more than one child and you may have another shot at winning the jackpot!

  3. Stephanie Frieze

    Congratulations! I am currently not attending meetings either, but that’s subject to change and the wind.

  4. Nancy

    Oops! At first I shamed and blamed myself for not attending recent meetings. Then, I considered that perhaps I hadn’t paid my dues recently and had been removed from active membership status. Third consideration was that I had paid my dues. Might I have been awarded an honorary life time membership?


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