by Katy McCaffrey on January 8, 2013


Babby RapperSAHM and WAHM often get mixed up.   For folks not in the mom-acronym game, those stand for Stay At Home Mom and Work At Home Mom – not to say that stay at home moms don’t work.  Believe me when I tell you they work.  That S is hard.  They just don’t get paid for it.

Fortunately, my inconsistent work life occasionally affords me actual jobs for money and I get to hire a nice lady from the Midwest to come and be a stay at home nanny for my kids.  It’s spectacular.  Since much of my work can be done from the comfort of my bedroom, I get to hear her negotiating the trials that two kids present one woman – Baby:”Waaaa waaaa!” Kid: “Don’t worry about him!  Play with me instead.  And when I say play with me, what I really mean is take my dolls and put on a 45 minute puppet show while I watch and comment on how you’re doing it wrong.”  Baby: “WHAAAAA, WHAAAAA!!!!!”  Followed by a gigantic poop sound that has surely made it’s way up the back of that tiny onesie.

It’s at that point that I turn my classical music up just a little louder and cuddle inside my desk chair, safe in the knowledge that the woman is getting paid so there’s no reason for me to feel bad about not helping.

But being able to hire a nanny here and there so I don’t have to change poop diapers myself is only one of the perks of working.  There is a very real part of every mom and dad brain that launches into a loud and exhaustive battle every day over the importance of working vs staying home.

It’s important for my child to see me succeed at the things that make me happy.
Oh yeah?  Well wouldn’t she be just as happy seeing you succeed and being happy at taking care of her?  Yes, but we need to make money…
Oh, so it’s all about the money?  Maybe you should get out of the rat race, move to someplace cheap and grow your own food – you could home school your kids and nurture their every whim!
Well, yeesh, I guess I could but I really do love my work.
So it’s all about you then isn’t it?  Why did you even have kids?  You’re a monster!

The older the kid gets, the longer the battle wages and eventually parents snap and grasp at straws.  It’s at this point they turn to making Parent Parody Rap Videos, or “Diapa-rap” as I like to call it.

“Dad Life” is the first one I remember seeing.

When this first came out, my husband and I only had one child and she was still pretty young so we had not yet traded out our old identities for these new ones called “parents.”  We still owned one nice car, for example.  But the writing was on the wall.  It had been months since we stayed up all night watching a marathon of Dexter Season 2.  We both were becoming very comfortable with wearing open-toed sandals regardless of a lack of recent foot maintenance or the fact that one of us was a man.  And who could even remember the last time we ordered a stripper, took her to a nice steak dinner and then dined and ditched, just for the thrill of it?  We were definitely feeling a lack of connection to our old young ways, so this video resonated, uncomfortably so.

And I imagine that’s what motivated these guys to make it.  Their lives felt unrecognizable to them.  Not unpleasant – who doesn’t love watching videos with their kid all cuddled up?  Deep down there still lived a piece of what they once were, heck they still listened to gangsta rap.  It’s just that the lyrics didn’t speak to them in quite the same way, anymore.  They had new thoughts in their minds, new ambitions, new recreations that landed them square inside Home Depot’s lawn and garden care section for three hours every Sunday morning.

But Mothers are not about to be outdone, or unsung, by dads when it comes to the travails of parenting.

“Mom of the Year”:

What resonates here is the complete and total lack of sleep moms get.  There has never been a song that more accurately describes it.  Before you have kids you hear a lot about how babies don’t sleep through the night and it’s tough to feel well rested, but it’s not until you actually become a mom yourself that you realize what it’s like to never sleep again.  Sleep becomes like a mythical creature you chase…and then try to cage in your dungeon so it might never escape.  I know moms who put on the same unwashed socks every time they take a nap,  kind of like wearing your team’s jersey when you watch a game in the hopes that it helps keep the streak alive.  The exhaustion is astounding and you want to warn other people.  So you write a song parody.  Makes total sense.

There are parenting songs for moms who wear mom jeans, for moms planning a bar mitzvahs, for dads who are hipsters and for dads who are Daddy, and they know it.  Because if you can’t express the ridiculousness that is being a parent through song, what can you do?

And the big corporations are catching on.  Nowhere in the land of parenting is the loss of your former self more apparent then in your car.  Sure it’s a mess, and it smells, and it’s scratched inside and out.  But you could live with all that if it weren’t so…parenty.  I used to drive a convertible.  I would cruise over Mulholland Drive on late summer nights with the top down and  the wind in my hair.  It was a total expression of freedom.  Parent cars don’t have that.  They have safety.  And room.  And yogurt in the seat cushions.  But the people who make parent cars don’t want you to feel that way.  They want you to feel like they “get you.”  You are understood.  So they commissioned a few of their own Diapa-rapping videos.

It’s sad when the things that you love get commercialized.  Then again, it’s pretty funny and the production value is high so I guess my parenting-comedy-needs can be bought…and dang it if that Fiat isn’t cute as a button!

Of course, as with all things parenting, Diapa-rap reaches new heights of hilarity and idiocy when both parents are involved.  It’s hard to be a dad and to find you’re suddenly way uncool.  It’s hard to be a mom and think sleep deprivation torture tactics would be a welcome relief to your home-life-induced insomnia.  But it’s easy to be a parent when you have a partner who is going through this crap along with you.  You have to find someone who will share the burden with you, and laugh about it with you when the kids are asleep.  And write a rap video about it with you.

“The Parent Rap”:

Now if you’ll excuse me,

My baby is screaming and I’m late to pick up my kid,
I’ve got a deadline in two hours and I can’t find any bibs.
I’ve got my mom hair tied up all tight in a bun
And now it’s off to the playground for some serious fun.
I’m livin’ the Mom life,
uh hu that’s right,
it’s just the mom life

Katy McCaffrey (Contributing Editor, Los Angeles)

Katy is a mother, a wife, and a TV producer, mostly in that order. Once she wrote some sarcastic things next to some pictures a guy took with her stolen iPhone. She was then semi-well known for three days afterwards. If You Must Know is what’s happened to her since then.

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