Desiderata for Parents: A Poem

Desiderata for Parents: A Poem

By Joel Ryan of

Based on “Desiderata” by Max Ehrmann

GO PLACIDLY amid the noise and paste, and try to remember how much boredom there used to be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all childcare providers.

Speak your discipline quietly and clearly; and listen to toddlers, even the napless and whiny; they too have their incomprehensible story.

Avoid tween drama TV shows, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with Pinterest boards, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be people who can make crafts out of a child’s handprint that you never even thought of.

Enjoy your clean house facade as well as your overflowing closets. Keep interested in your own sanity, however fragile; it is a real possession in spite of unimaginable responsibility.

Exercise daily with whatever you can find; for your children are full of energy. But let this not deplete you of what relaxation there is; many persons strive to do it all; but occasionally you’ll need a nap.

Treat yourself. Especially, do not forget your spouse. Neither be dismissive of romantic love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is what got you into this mess in the first place.

Take kindly the counsel of the grandparents, gracefully telling them when they overstep their bounds.

Nurture consistency of discipline to shield you from sudden tantrums. But do not limit yourself from going out in public. Many meltdowns are born of fatigue and hunger.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with all children. You were once a child, no less annoying than the neighborhood kids; all children have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, the sheer and utter chaos of parenthood is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with your children, however many you conceive to be, and through all the sleepless nights and guilt-filled days, in the noisy confusion of life keep your wits. With all its responsibility, hard work, and shattered dreams, parenthood is still incredibly rewarding. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.


About the Author

Joel Ryan is not a stork; he just pretends to be one on the Internet, creating absurd content as The Glad Stork about parenting, marriage, cubicle life, rap music, and more. In real life, he is a husband, father, cubicle dweller, writer, designer, photographer, humorist, children’s book author, illustrator and idiot. He can be found on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and