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Parents Magazine: Friend or Foe?

I have a love/hate relationship with Parents magazine.

After my first child was born I began receiving this magazine for free because someone had “gifted” me a subscription. No one ever fessed up to giving this to me and once I saw that a year subscription was only $7 I figured they must “gift” all new moms this magazine to get you hooked.

Well it worked.  I have never been one to cut out articles but this magazine compelled me to.  I was cutting out (and actually making) recipes and finding the advice incredibly helpful.  As a new mom, I felt that it was giving me amazing insight on how to handle my upcoming years in motherhood.

Fast forward three years and one set of twins later. The magazine still comes every month, but my time to read it is less and less. So it would arrive in the mail and sit on my counter for a month until I put it in the magazine rack for some magical time when I have hours and hours of spare time to read them all and catch up.

This past summer, things were a little crazy in our house.  The kids were out of school and seemed to have somehow formed an alliance against me with the goal of driving me insane. Never underestimate the leadership skills of a four-year-old. They were a well-oiled machine. Seamlessly taking turns throwing tantrums, two on, one off (I’m sure they figured they could hold out a lot longer if one of them was always resting). Making sure to like a meal one night but refuse it the next night just to keep me guessing.

And then my Parent’s magazine arrived. And on the cover the title of an article read “3 No-Fail Discipline Tricks.” No Fail? Really? You’re going to tell me there is no possible way this will fail?

I am pretty sure I threw the issue straight into the trash. I was in no mood to read an article about 3 “no-fail” solutions to the anarchy in the house. I felt like if I even read the article I would know the 3 ways I was failing at parenthood (I hadn’t yet learned about Unicorn Mothers).

But school has begun again and the troops have backed off. I’ve gained some ground back. And this month when Parents magazine arrived, I read it. I found new dinner ideas, tips on low-budget Halloween costumes and made sure I didn’t recognize any of the recalled items. And I remembered how much I loved it.

P.S. Anyone happen to hold on to their June issue? I might want to read it just in case the troops are planning another attack.


Cynthia Lopynski

I loved my Parents Magazines!! Not only great dinners and creative Halloween costumes but it made birthday parties a breeze. Wish there was a Parents magazine for teens…. cuz we’ve outgrown it.


Chris leafed through them. I tended to just toss them out. Felt slightly guilty, but still did it. At least it was helping train me in feeling guilty about parenting decisions?

Meredith E.

Oh, Parents magazine, how I loved thee. I started getting it like ten years ago (I only paid for like half that time b/c somehow my subscription got extended for years on end) and loved the kids’ sayings and the funny stories sections. I used to read the issues cover to cover and then I got busy and only read those two sections before stashing them away in a Xerox box (and then into a second Xerox box) for when I had time to go back and read them. I was sure they’d be great to reference when I had children. Well, the subscription eventually ran out and I finally broke the ties after our move in March and Freecycled my boxes of old issues because I was so busy with the move and my first pregnancy and I just wanted two boxes fewer to deal with. Maybe I will renew our friendship down the line, but the baby is four months old now and I am still writing thank you notes for my baby shower in April, so I have a feeling I’ll just have to admire from afar for quite a while, yet. I hope the young male renter in my condo is enjoying Family Fun magazine that I can only assume I started getting free years ago because of my subscription to Parents’. lol Did you have any mystery Family Fun magazines show up as a result of your subscription, Susan?