Dad Rant – Little things that make parenting tougher

Dave | Updated August 21, 2020 |

Parenting is tough, it’s tiring, stressful, but rewarding, enlightening, and amazing, in fact you can throw a truckload of adjectives at the word ‘parenting’ and all of them will stick….

What I want to get of my chest are some of the little things that annoy me. Over the last 5 years or so I’ve experienced these things many times.

I’m hoping though that some of you out there will understand and even sympathize! Let me know that I’m not going nuts, or just tell me to button it… you get the idea.

A father being silenced with duct tape by his son
Oh be quiet dad!

Firstly we have…


Yes, labels.

Labels in clothes and labels in toys.

What gives with all the labelling? You buy your child a cute little stuffed animal and every single one of them has an oversized label stitched into the seams. You can’t easily remove it. What does it tell you? Pretty much nothing of any value.

What do your baby do? They don’t play with the stuffed toy, they find and play with the label! It’s like before they even know what a unicorn is, they understand that it shouldn’t have a label sticking out of it’s butt.

Cute stuffed unicorn toy
Unicorns, I know they don’t exist, but if they did they wouldn’t have labels!!!

Clothing labels are much the same. I understand somebody probably mandated somewhere that we need them in order for manufacturers to communicate the washing cycle or material composition of clothing. But we need that ONCE when we buy it! We don’t need all the other stuff and we don’t need it every day.

We certainly don’t need it sewing permanently into the seams of clothes in such a way that removing it is nearly impossible. And we don’t need it to be prominent. Can’t you just start sewing them in discreetly? Make them removable? Supply ‘wash cards’ we can keep or something? I mean how hard can it be….

Toy packaging

Every birthday at present opening time why do I need to carry a toolbox to get into my child’s present? Honestly I feel like I’m not equipped as a father unless I at least have a Swiss army knife at my disposal all the time.

I’ve not learnt, and am not organised enough yet to unbox every present and re-wrap it (with batteries included) before the day comes. So my child rips open the wrapping paper only to be confounded with a series of zip ties, knots and packaging screws that they can’t possibly get around… ‘Daddy!!’.

Let’s just spoil the moment whilst I get my toolkit.

Birthday presents for a boy
Oh goody presents, you tear them open, I’ll get my Swiss army knife

I get that you might need to secure things for transport, but find a better way. Preferably without overusing plastic either. I can’t believe it’s a security thing…. most of these toys are cheap and stores have cameras and security guards nowadays, let’s understand who we’re selling to!

The packaging for us as parents today is generally a nice experience. So why torture the kids! I’ve never unpacked a piece of expensive $$$ technology that is as tough to get out of the box as a $10 plastic figure.

Changing stations have no hooks!

Thanks for making a product and bolting it onto the walls of zillions of baby changing rooms around the world. Yes there’s nearly always somewhere you can change your baby these days.

Don’t you find that generally when you’re doing this job you have a diaper bag? I mean you need a new diaper, wipes, sometimes spare clothing, a toy to distract etc. Changing a diaper requires more than just a flat surface on which to work. So you stick all the stuff you need in a diaper bag and carry it around with you.

So why is there never anywhere to hang it or put it?

Just put a hook above the change table, integrate one into the base or the side or something. Yes I know I can just put the bag on the floor. But delving around in a bag on the floor means I can’t watch the child on the change table.

Also have you BEEN in many public changing facilities? They’re sometimes not the most sanitary of places to rest the bag you’re going to carry around with you nearly everywhere for about 2 years.

Sleep suits your baby can’t crawl in

Baby crawling out of a sleep suit
I’m now half out of this… Invent a better sleep suit!

Well, your baby CAN crawl in them but they end up crawling half out of them. You know the type, the full-leg button up sleep suits that your baby pretty much lives in for 6 months in the winter (IF you live somewhere that isn’t warm all the time).

Someone needs to invent a way to keep the legs of these things staying on their feet. We tried adding little booties over the top of the feet to keep the legs in place, but that didn’t work. They’re too easy and too much fun to take off! Might work for you though, try it… when it doesn’t, invent a better sleep suit please!

Books you can’t read at bedtime

Bedtime stories. One of my favourite times of the day. Even if it’s light outside you make the bedroom dimmer by closing blinds or curtains and put on a light. It gives that expectation that sleep is coming.

Naturally then most children’s picture books will be read in low light, or lamp light.

So why on earth do the publishers think it’s a good idea to print dark font on a dark background!

I wear contact lenses but I don’t have any out of the ordinary sight problems. I’ve just reached the age where I need a little more light to see clearly. Please stop using non contrasting font colors on books that will be read by lamplight!

Dark corners in soft play centres

You’ve built this wonderful garish 3 level maze of fun and soft things for my kid to roam about in. There’s probably swings, ropes, obstacles, slides and all manner of other fun stuff in there. Why can’t you make sure you supply adequate light inside it? Why does it have to have a dark dingy back corner?

Light’s attach to walls don’t they?

Kids soft play area
It’s dark in the back there! Put some lights on the walls not just the ceiling!!


I don’t mind them. I’ve taken my 3 year old for an injection and he’s been happy enough. He put on a brave face, didn’t cry and enjoyed the candy he received for doing so.

But why do I have to take my 6 month old daughter for deep tissue injections. Not just 1 but three deep tissue injections at the SAME TIME. One in each thigh and one in the arm.

I don’t have anything against vaccinations. I understand they’ve stopped the spread of many terrible diseases and I’ll happily submit my children to them. But can’t someone find a slightly less painful way of administering them to a baby?

I’m pretty sure both our children loved the parent that took them for their baby injections a little less for about a week afterwards. Yes they’ll forget, I know that, but it’s still heart-braking.


I’m sure there will be, I’ve no doubt I’ll keep coming back and adding to this list!

What bugs you most about parenting?


A stay at home dad and blogger. I'm lucky enough to have 2 wonderful children and the full set, a boy, and a girl! When I get a minute I like to share this tiring but amazing journey and my experience by writing!


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