This is a picture of my husband and me giving thanks to the universe for the fact that we (and our three kids) are still standing. It’s not actually us but just go with it, okay?

So there we are —beach ready in our coordinated outfits— shouting: “Yippee ki yay, Mother Fuckerrrrrrs!” Our reason for celebration (and profanity) is simple: We are still alive and so are the kids!

We’ve made it through the sleepless nights, the shit-filled diapers, and the biting-my-sister-for-fun stage. We’ve bid adios to the: “NO is my favorite word” phase. And, we’ve said sayonara to the: “If I lay on the floor whining and writhing around long enough maybe they’ll change their mind” phase.

We’ve had each other’s backs and we’ve poo-pooed each other’s parenting choices. We’ve toasted to survival (this is no simple feat), to the passing of time (it goes by so damn fast), and to sleep (because without it, life really is hard work).

We have earned our parenting badges, though they are invisible so the kids don’t even know about them. (Which is a good thing, really, because they’d just spill chocolate milk all over them.)

The point is, we’ve earned our right to be on that beach, hands in the air like we just don’t care.

But we do care…

And we cannot deny the fact that this photo has actually been 100% misinterpreted.

The alternative fact is: This pretend photo of my husband and me carries a darker more sinister twist. This is the moment, on the cusp of the teen years, where we realized this parenting ride is about to get even more cray-zay and that the time to buckle-up and hang-on tight has arrived!

Also, just outside of the camera’s sight line is a UFO. You can’t see it but it was there. That’s why my husband and I are actually waving our arms. We were hoping to get abducted and, therefore, to honorably opt out of parenting through these upcoming teen years.

Alas the aliens didn’t stop for us and that’s probably for the best. Pretty sure it was the wine talking when we sent out our S.O.S.

Luckily for those parents, like us, who haven’t been able to hitch a ride to Mars there are books like Jen Mann’s But Did You Die? to keep us hanging on. Through their honest and open storytelling, the contributing authors make us feel like we moms and dads can do this and that Mars isn’t the only safe place.

But Did You Die? reminds us that we all fuck-up sometimes and that no matter how well we plan it, there will always be situations that rival that online story about the Roomba running over the dog shit and smearing it throughout the entire house. Bottom line, if the answer to: “But did you die?” is: “No,” then that is what success looks like.

And, I can most certainly toast to that!




But Did You Die? is the fifth hilarious installment in the New York Times bestselling I Just Want to Pee Alone series. But Did You Die? is a collection of terrible (but also kind of good) parenting advice from some of the funniest moms and dads on the ‘net. And that one super helpful childless friend we all have who loves to tell us we’re parenting wrong. So put your kids in front of the TV and let them eat junk while you read this book and laugh your tail off. We set the bar low so you can feel better about your parenting skills. You’re welcome.






Shannon Day

Shannon Day is co-author of Martinis & Motherhood: Tales of Wonder, Woe & WTF?! (a funny and heartwarming book & martini guide for moms). She is a freelance writer and blogger whose words and wit can be found at several online sites, including her own: Martinis & Motherhood. Get in touch with Shannon via Facebook or Twitter.

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