I’ve Made Life Too Comfortable For My Children

The little earthquakes aren’t the real problem; I suspect my parenting is

J.C. Anne Brown
Human Parts
Published in
5 min readNov 16, 2023


Image: Pexels/Melike Benli

You’re spoiled. And you don’t have a clue.

That’s what I’m thinking, but, luckily, I’m able to summon the self-control to prevent myself from saying it. No, I decide to keep the insult inside my head where it belongs.

After all, I’ve helped raise her, so I’m ultimately to blame.

I pull up to the school entrance, put my car in park, and gaze at my 11-year-old daughter, who faces me just long enough for me to register the stink eye. She exits the car and slams the door behind her.

I do nothing.

Strike two.

It isn’t even 9 a.m. — I haven’t had so much as a drop of coffee yet — and I’ve already managed to commit two of parenting’s biggest faux pas: losing my cool and failing to say goodbye when angry.

I’m killing it over here.

The little earthquake that erupted at drop-off this morning can be traced back to the breakfast table where my daughter explained why her friend, Blake, couldn’t participate in last Friday’s school-sponsored pajama day.

Students who brought in canned goods for the Community Pantry Drive were allowed to wear pajamas to school that day; those who didn’t, couldn’t. (My husband calls bullshit on the whole thing and accuses school administrators of using kids’ desire to wear pjs to school as leverage, which inadvertently puts the children of parents who can’t afford to contribute in a precarious position. I agree with my husband, but that’s neither here nor there.)

“Blake said that he told his mom too late, so she didn’t have time to get to the store,” my daughter explains between bites of her cereal.

But that probably isn’t true.

I know things about Blake’s mother’s financial situation — and not because I pry but because I can put two and two together: The countless times my daughter has asked me for extra lunch money (in case Blake forgot his); the time I’ve caught her putting two granola bars in her backpack for afternoon snack (again, in case Blake forgot his); the time I paid for Blake’s portion of the…