Should I Get a Puppy or Have a Baby? (The Answer is Here.)

puppy-or-baby-smallIt’s a silly question, but I think it’s one that many couples debate. Even if the question itself is never explicitly asked out loud, it’s a real consideration for a lot of couples.

And it isn’t always “puppy or baby,” but more often: “Which one should come first?”

If you want a dog and want a baby, chances are you will end up with both at some point. Instead of trying out which should come first, should you simply declare “I want to make my life as difficult as possible” and go for both simultaneously?

What I’ve typically seen (anecdotally) is that couples like to first get a puppy, then have a baby.

It’s just good prep, right?

Let’s examine the merits of all options…

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Why You Shouldn’t Save for College (…or should you?)

Most expenses that we incur for our children are absolutely necessary.

Food? Check.

Clothes? Check.

Housing? Check.

Diapers? Debatable…

Okay, fine, they’re necessary too.

But there’s one thing you’ll find on many parents’ lists that isn’t quite as critical: saving for a college education.

Conventional parenting advice would tell you that saving for a college education is a prudent decision that you’d be crazy to go against. After all, how can you expect your child to get a good college education if you don’t pay for it? [insert sarcastic tone]

Look, I get it. Paying for a child’s college education puts them in a good economic position when they graduate debt-free, and allows them to focus on their studies while in school without worrying about working to pay for tuition.

That’s all great, in a perfect world where you have lots of money and your son or daughter is internally motivated to get a college education.  But it’s not a perfect world.

And remember, I’m here to occasionally take a contrarian view on certain issues.

So let’s get into it.

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Should I Find Out the Gender of My Baby? (And Why or Why Not?)

SHOULD I FIND OUT THE GENDER OF MY BABY-smallAs you probably already know, a pregnant woman can find out the gender of her baby via ultrasound between 16 and 20 weeks into the pregnancy.

This tends to bring up the debate of:

Should I find out the gender of my baby?

This really isn’t a life or death decision by any means.  

It’s a personal preference.  

It’s between you and your spouse, and it’s a decision that really affects no one but the both of you.

With that said, I have a few thoughts on it…

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How to Get Your Dog Ready for a Baby (5 Key Tips)

Image Credit:
Image Credit:

If you’re anything like us, you decided it would be a good idea to get a puppy before you started trying to conceive your first child.

After all, raising your first baby isn’t difficult enough. You like a good challenge and you were excited about the prospect of not only changing diapers, but walking a dog and cleaning up dog poop.

And keeping dog toys separate from baby toys.  And keeping the dog from attacking the baby.


You thought of all these things and getting a puppy still seemed like an AMAZING idea.

[cue the whomp-whomp-whomp downer music]

Don’t worry, I’m right there with you in the oh-shit-we-didn’t-really-think-this-through department.

Okay, so, the baby is on the way.  The puppy is maturing into a not-so-terrible dog, but still has plenty of crazy puppy tendencies.

At least, that’s how ours is.

And now you’re wondering how to get your dog ready for a baby.

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What is a Chemical Pregnancy? (It’s Not What It Sounds Like)


When I first heard the phrase “chemical pregnancy,” my mind immediately jumped to an image of a baby being created synthetically in a lab with chemicals.

“Chemical pregnancy” also sounds like a good name for sci-fi movie or maybe a punk rock band name.

Alas, it’s none of the above.

What is a chemical pregnancy?

A chemical pregnancy is essentially a very early miscarriage, generally occurring during the 5th week of gestation (i.e. within the week following your missed period).

If you didn’t know you were pregnant at the time, you would likely attribute it to a late period, as this is what most of the symptoms amount to.

I’m not a doctor and would never claim to be an expert on this subject (so if you think you may be experiencing this and have concerns, please do talk with your doctor), but my wife and I did experience this the very first month we tried to conceive.  We were initially unsure of what this meant for our future conception chances.

I’ll explain further…

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Welcome to Cynical Parent.

Yes, I’m the Cynical Parent.

I started this website/blog to document my journey through parenthood, beginning with the initial pregnancy and ending with…well, we’ll see. I don’t claim to be an expert of any sort, but I can promise you that I am a thoughtful, methodical, and cynical person.

What’s a “cynical parent?”

A cynical parent is one who doesn’t believe something just because someone said it or wrote it. There’s so much misinformation in the world (especially on the internet), and even so-called “experts” disagree on some very basic ideas and principles. Many have an agenda that they’re pushing, self-serving or not. All of that nonsense can and does cloud the facts.

My basic assumption is that people generally don’t know what they’re talking about until they prove otherwise. It’s a sad way to go through life, I’ll admit, but it keeps me on my toes and forces me to get to the truth (or as close to it as I can get).

Parenthood is one of those adventures that has lots of paths – lots of twists and turns with many decision points. It’s like one of those “choose your own adventure” books from 20 years ago, except that it’s 6 million pages long and can literally mean life or death in some cases. (Do they still have those books?)

So, what better way to tackle parenthood than with a sprinkling of cynicism (or perhaps a giant vat full) and a blog to document everything along the way. Hopefully someone out there can benefit from both my findings and mistakes (and I can guarantee there will be plenty).

There’s no topic I won’t touch – everything from poopy diapers (and where to get the best prices on them) to discussing whether or not parents should save for their children’s college education. This is the kind of stuff we all have to deal with when it comes to raising children (and sadly, some parents choose to simply not deal with it at all).

You don’t have to agree with everything I write; in fact, I hope you’re just as critical as I am and share your criticism with me in the comments of each blog post. I’m always up for a good discussion (or debate).

Whether you’re currently a parent, parent-to-be, or hopeful that you’ll be one someday, I think you’ll find something useful and interesting here.

(If you’ve stumbled onto this site accidentally, here’s the exit.)