The ‘Dadbod’

by Grace aka costofcollege

What Is the ‘Dadbod’? What Does It Mean?

… The dadbod is a physique characterized by undefined muscles beneath a light layer of flab, usually topped off with a beer belly. “The dad bod says, ‘I go to the gym occasionally, but I also drink heavily on the weekends and enjoy eating eight slices of pizza at a time,'”…

Do you (or your partner) have a Dadbod?  What about your peers?  Do you work hard to fight against the Dadbod, or do you embrace it.  What’s the female version?  Are we more accepting of Dadbods than of Mombods?

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241 thoughts on “The ‘Dadbod’

  1. When I started college, I was doing a weigh-in, and the guy abruptly commented “you need to bulk up. seriously.” I was eating a ton, drinking carb and protein shakes, and periodically lifting weights, but it was impossible for me to gain weight.

    Now it’s no longer impossible. I’m about 25 pounds heavier than I was as a college freshman. I might have the “undefined muscles beneath a light layer of flab,” but not the beer belly. What kills me about the difference is how badly I really wanted broader shoulders when I was 18, because narrow shoulders made me feel weak. Then, at some point, chest and shoulders got thicker, and I kind of hate it. I look at pictures of myself and feel like I’m looking at Teddy Roosevelt.

  2. I think as we age, most of us will move toward the Dad/Mombod if we are EXTREMELY diligent about eating and exercising (unless we are extremely lucky in the gene department). I think it is less about the physical shape than the why behind it. For example, has the dadbod come on with age as the dad is spending more time at his work desk and behind the wheel carting kids to/from activities? That is different from has come on due to a beer and pizza addiction.

    I think we are more accepting of dadbods than mombods. For mombods, those women having kids later in life, when it is already harder to shed a pound, can find getting back to pre-baby bod harder than just maintaining as they age.

  3. If anyone has advice on weight loss while nursing, please help me.

    I have been either pregnant or nursing for the past several years, and have 10-15 pounds to lose. I’ve tried weightwatchers, calorie tracking down to a net 1200 a day, Whole30 (I lasted four days), and am out of ideas.

    I do 45 minutes daily on the elliptical and do walks a few times a week pushing the 100 pound double stroller.

    Would weight training help? Should I wait until he weans in six months? Not sure I could do whole 30 again without chewing on the furniture.

  4. It seems most parents around my neck of the woods have dad/mombods. I wondered if the totebaggy norm was more fit parents because of some comments I remember around here.

    My H has described the process of what an aging body goes through as “thickening up”, and the Teddy Roosevelt reference was a good one.

    “the dad is spending more time at his work desk and behind the wheel carting kids to/from activities”
    Maybe it’s an excuse, but it’s really hard for most parents to find time for exercise and healthy eating. It might be part of the overly involved parent phenomenon, where we might feel guilty about making time for ourselves.

  5. “it’s really hard for most parents to find time for exercise and healthy eating”

    And it’s mainly the eating, from everything I read lately.

  6. Unless you are genetically long and lean even without the pizza and beer it is hard not to morph into a Dadbod or a Mombod. For women if your face is lean, you tend to look older compared to someone with the same fitness level but with a broader face.

  7. DH has more of a dadbod than he used to, but more with redistribution of weight than gaining of it. With more work in the forest, he may move more toward the lumbersexual body than the dadbod. :)

    I agree 100% that Society is more accepting of dadbods than of mombods. Almost all the guys I work with are chubby with a small or large gut. The dividing line seems to be 45 for those who were formerly in shape – some never were. Most of the women partners are quite overweight, but there is one who is super in shape.

    My town has a large number of the lulu moms and they are all pretty skinny; the second subset is the mombod, which I think of as a little to a lot chubby but more defined by an aggressive frump factor (mom jeans, crossbody bags, hairstyles that haven’t changed for 20 years, transitions lenses). I try to go for a look that is more a cross between “Business Mom,” “Tomboy” and “Anime Character”. ;)

  8. When I exercise regularly, I find my cravings for foods that are “less than healthy” decreases. When I am not exercising and feeling stress, those cravings increase and so does my weight and/or feeling frustrated/hungry. Pre-kids, we would get home, take a 20-30 minute walk and then make dinner. We found cooking dinner to be less stressful, we weren’t snacking while cooking, and more relaxed after the meal. Now it feels much more like being a line cook in a diner – get this ticket out of the kitchen!

  9. it’s really hard for most parents to find time for exercise and healthy eating

    Is it really about “healthy” eating? Or, is it just about eating too much. You can eat pizza and drink beer if you want but two slices and 1 beer not 4 slices and 6 beers.

  10. DH and I were both skinny at the time of our wedding. We both worked out hard and life was easy. Well, it’s been more than a decade and life has changed. Both DH and I have mom/dad bods. Multiple hormonal treatments and imbalance has made me gain a lot of weight. The responsibilities of family and little time leaves no room for workout sadly. I gain weight if I eat out, but cooking all the time and meeting demands of high energy toddler leaves me exhausted and with a really messy house. It’s a vicious cycle really. On the other hand, with a few months of eating at home and drinking ton of water has slimmed down DH considerably. He has no muscle.mass because of no exercise but he can get that back easily.

    As for.me, I need to stop stressing about an underachieving career accept things for what they are. Doing that should keep adrenals and cortisol in check. We are.also in process of making some changes so hopefully we should be able to go from mom dad bods to hopefully hot bods.

  11. no advice on weight loss while nursing. I honestly would just try to eat healthy foods and eat when hungry. you need about an extra 500 cals a day while nursing.

  12. Sky, why do you want loose weight while nursing? Just focus on nourishing nutrient dense food.

  13. Sky, I’m on Day 10 of the Whole 30, I don’t think I could do it while nursing.:) Why don’t you just do a paleoish diet like 80% of the time to see if that works? When DS was around 9 months old I stuck to that type of diet and I got really thin, even while nursing him. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.

    DH is naturally pretty thin, but last fall he was around 170 pounds with a slight gut, we started eating better and he’s been doing the Whole 30 w/me and he’s now down to 148. He keeps looking at his abs in disbelief because he’s had that little bit of a gut since college and it’s disappearing (I think the no drinking thing is most of it). He’s also been taking 15 minutes every night after dinner to run while oldest DD rides her bike around the neighborhood. It’s not a huge time commitment, but it gives him some time with her and some exercise. We’re both now thinner than we were in college but as a disclaimer, we’re still in our 30s.

  14. Sky, why do you want loose weight while nursing?

    Isn’t weight loss one of the benefits of nursing?

  15. My neighborhood has a lot of SAHMs and over the years they are by far the most fit people. They tend to follow the same exercise routine. So I don’t think the runners are now doing Crossfit.
    There is one neighbor who stands out because inspite of her efforts she has not managed to morph into Ms. Thin. She had a personal trainer come to her house, went on long walks but nothing helped. Now all these efforts were in full public view – I was cheering her on silently but so far it has been a losing battle. She is fit but heavy, can’t be called fat.

  16. Rhett, weight loss is a benefit of nursing but by kid #2 or #3, it definitely doesn’t fall off quite as easily.

  17. “Real dads fight the dadbod, whereas the young frat men of Clemson embrace it.”

    Yeah, that. Also the bit about dadbod being what fratbod turns into. Looking back at the guys I knew on the hockey and football teams, this is exactly what I imagine they all grew into. Also totally agree that the mombod corollary is more about style — mom jeans and hair, etc.

    @Sky: FWIW, my advice is to cut yourself some slack here. When your kids are little, it is almost impossible to manage them and everything else in your life and take care of yourself properly. But it isn’t always going to be this way. I mean, it’s hard for me to accept that my almost-70 dad can kick my butt in almost every physical way. But he also doesn’t have to fit a job and childcare into his daily routine; he can afford 2 hrs at the gym, or a day-long bike ride, whenever he wants to. So do what you need to for your minimum health and well-being, and don’t worry about the rest — if you like to run for your own mental health, then make that a priority, but don’t do it because you want to lose 10 lbs.

    My only other advice is to see if there is a way to kill 2 birds — I had a great riff going at the gym for the first 2 years of DD’s life, because (a) the gym had daycare, which was a welcome respite while I was on the waitlist for the regular daycare, and (b) the gym was also next door to her full-time daycare and I was 2 hrs west of my office, which made it easy to close up shop at 3-4 and get in a workout before getting her. I lost all of that when we moved east and floundered for several years. More recently, the gym-and-shower at my office has allowed me to go in early to beat traffic and make it a more regular part of my routine again.

  18. “Isn’t weight loss one of the benefits of nursing?”

    never for DW. It was like a weight-retention program.

  19. “You can eat pizza and drink beer if you want but two slices and 1 beer not 4 slices and 6 beers.”

    If I ate 2 slices and a beer for dinner every night, I’d gain 20-30 lbs by the end of the year. That’s the part that sucks about getting older — even a half-a-tomato splurge of 2 slices of pizza and a beer has to be made up for somewhere else in the weekly diet.

  20. Sky, it totally depends on the person. Like Mrs. Milo, with #1 when I was nursing I held onto about 10-15 extra pounds. I would try not to stress about it (it is so hard!!!!) and don’t worry about doing so much cardio, that may be counterproductive. Then reassess after weaning to see what the new normal is.

  21. If I ate 2 slices and a beer for dinner every night, I’d gain 20-30 lbs by the end of the year.

    Two slices of Tombstone frozen pizza are 360 calories. One beer is 164. Combined we get 524. Your typical dinner is less than 524 calories?

  22. I’m nursing a toddler, not a baby, and on the advice of my doctor, not his (cancer risk reduction). He only nurses at night, and I doubt he gets much more than 150-200 calories based on his weight and what he eats during the day.

    I’d like to lose the weight now because it has been too long since I looked in the mirror and saw myself, rather than the mom version of the Michelin man.

    I have lost most of the baby weight while nursing, but I find the increased hunger offsets the calories burned.

  23. Rhett – To maintain 150lbs, with walking for 30-45 minutes a day, I cannot have more than 1500 calories. You would be surprised how quickly that adds up. One slice of Gatti’s large cheese pizza is 282 calories, Italian sausage is 326. Have one of each and you are at 608, plus one Sam Adams (160-190 range) is almost 800 calories. A Chili’s Bacon-Avocado-Chicken sandwich alone is 1600 calories before you even add the fries.

  24. The one thing I have that screams mombod to me is saggy boobs – totally fixable once I’m done pumping – get a few, new, properly sized, bras with underwire and slight padding. Other than that, I don’t have a mombod (and I won’t mention why because Sky would hate me and I really do love her)

    DH has a dadbod, but he’s had one the entire time I’ve known him. He has gotten a bit larger in the midsection – teetering towards paunchy – and he doesn’t like it. The problem is that he kept up with me while I was pregnant – I have two helpings, he has two helpings. I still eat a lot to maintain my weight and he doesn’t need to. I’m hoping to get him out with the jogging stroller in the next few months (DS needs to fit in it properly first). Pushing a 15 lb stroller with an ever growing baby while running around the block 8-10 times should do him wonders. And to stop snacking.

    Our peers seem to have dadbods – but I think that’s just the general area or time of life. Many dads were gym rats, but now are dads. Or they were never gym rats and don’t care about their body shape as much as the moms do. I don’t think I can survive a girls’ night without one woman or another complaining about eating too much, or not liking their body, or something else dealing with weight/nutrition.

  25. “but now are dads” should read “but are dads who have decreased or given up on gym time”

  26. “Two slices of Tombstone frozen pizza are 360 calories. One beer is 164.”

    Two slices of Papa John’s spicy Italian (large) are 760. That’s a full day’s calorie intake, even with a run. Plus I will be starving the next day (too many carbs do that to me). I could do one slice and a beer, but now we’re into quarter-tomato territory.

  27. I don’t see a lot of Mombods around me, most of the women are pretty thin around here, like L describes above. I see more dadbods. I have one friend who is a bit overweight and she complains about her weight but most of the thin women I know seem pretty happy with how they look and never talk about dieting.

    I was recently really looking at the kids at my oldest’s school after a discussion we had on here about overweight children. I had never really noticed many kids that were overweight but when I really looked around the playground, I noticed more boys than girls seemed to have some extra weight in their stomachs, I was surprised.

  28. Two slices of Papa John’s spicy Italian (large) are 760. That’s a full day’s calorie intake, even with a run.

    You eat 924 calories a day?

  29. oops — bad math — I forgot the 760 was already the total for the two slices. But, yeah, that would still be 2/3-3/4 of my day’s calories.

  30. I think I maybe want to join a gym and take at least a weekly class in something, or maybe get a trainer. I don’t like to face this fact, but I would benefit from something scheduled and structured that really kicks my ass and makes me sore.

  31. Sky, what works for me (when I manage to do it) is eating filling, low calorie foods, not eating junk food, and being as active as I can. Cauliflower soup, lots of water/tea, carbmaster cultured dairy “yogurt” (60 calories/carton) from Kroger, hard boiled eggs and chicken [low fat] sausages all help with this. My problem is that I want to eat all the time.

    Right now, I’m struggling to maintain weight nursing a three month old- I gained weight during the first few months of nursing the twins. I swear my gut bacteria are determined to extract every single calorie from what I consume- they must be breaking down the cellulose in the celery. Turning 40 doesn’t help either, nor does having other kids around/housework so I can’t take off with Baby WCE in the stroller. It took me 15 months to lose the weight after twins, and I was nursing two babies exclusively for a year.

    I haven’t tried Whole30 or other restrictive eating plans, mostly because I still have to cook/prep for the rest of the family.

    Milo, I am sorry for your DW, but it’s kind of nice to know other people struggle with this too. My babies grow extremely well but there is no way nursing consumes an extra 500 calories/day for me. I borrowed a dairy science textbook from a retired professor when I was nursing the twins, and I think I’m a Hohlstein, marvelously efficient at converting anything I eat into volumes of milk.

  32. I started the Whole 30 a few weeks ago on Ada’s advice, but quit four days in when – surprise! I found out I was pregnant with #3.

    I had a harder time losing weight while nursing #2 than I did with #1, in part because I was hungrier. What really helped me was to keep a ton of cut-up veggies and the like around – if I’m going to snack all afternoon, I’d rather down half a bag of baby carrots than half a bag of chips.

  33. I think that nursing is a lot like exercise: in theory, there is the ability to create a calorie deficit. In practice, the calories are well compensated for. With all three of my children, my weight reached a nadir at the six week checkup (and was lower than my prepregnancy weight). By the time I weaned, I was 10 to 15 pounds heavier. Nursing made me feel like I was starving to death. Unfortunately, the pounds didn’t fly off when I finally weaned for the last time.

    Sky, I do think that if you’re starving to death while doing a whole 30, you are doing it wrong. There should be the ability to eat large amounts of wholesome food until you were no longer hungry.

  34. I think the other important factor here with parents and weight control, is sleep deprivation. Lack of sleep makes you feel miserable and eating crappy food makes you feel better in the short-term. There’s also some cortisol disruption that plays into things. My theory on why night shift work leads to increased morbidity and mortality from lots of different causes is the fact that people who work night shifts eat lots of crappy food.

  35. What I need is more willpower. The Whole30 was good that way because it offered strict rules, but my inner litigator kept asking “will the tiny amount of sugar in this mustard really matter? I think not.” Then I ate the mustard. Sigh.

  36. Talking of calories – I continue to be surprised that super sized sodas are a Big No, but what about all the coffee shop drinks ? Are people really consuming those Venti drinks ?

  37. Oh, if sleep deprivation is a factor, I’m doomed.

    DS2 is finally outgrowing the medical condition that was waking him 4-5x/night, but now DS3 is starting. I’m hoping it is just teething.

  38. Are people really consuming those Venti drinks ?

    I have two venti iced americanos every morning.

  39. Oh, man, I dropped weight like a stone after DD was born — would find myself in a fog, with the shakes at 2pm because I’d forgotten to make any lunch (if you knew me, you would realize exactly how far out of the norm this is). With DS, I had more experience, plus a toddler who always required food in the house, so I didn’t get behind it quite so much. That and the extra 5 years, and I ended up never losing the extra weight until my big effort a year or two ago.

  40. “Are people really consuming those Venti drinks ?”

    Certainly not! If I go to Starbucks, I strictly limit myself to a Grande Salted Caramel Frappuccino (yes to the whip). A VENTI?? No wonder people are so fat! It’s disgusting, honestly.

  41. Sky that’s why I do like the Whole 30 so far (I have a feeling I am not going to like it at parties this weekend) – these are the rules and you follow them. When I tell myself I’m eating “paleoish” I eat a lot more sugar. I will quickly lose resolve if there’s too much gray area.

  42. Anon, congrats. Not sure if you know Baby WCE was also a surprise- we got through all the scary stuff and she’s so much easier than my other kids at three months. If you gave away your other baby stuff, there’s always craigslist.

    Ada, thanks for reminding me about the sleep deprivation. We are planning to talk with the pediatrician about our twin who still wakes up a few times/night and never seems to sleep soundly. Combining that with Baby WCE has been rough on me, and I’m not even working yet.

    Sky, we got our non-sleeping twin a CD player when he was 3 and told him he could listen to CD’s when he woke up. (We made copies of the originals because he tended to scratch them.) This helped him manage his night wakings.

  43. I usually get a Venti latte with an extra shot of espresso made with 2% milk. According to their menu, it is 240 well spent calories. I figure the boost to my metabolism from the caffeine must offset at least a few of those calories.

    Weight dropped off of me after each of my babies. Mostly because I did bedrest for each and my body goes in to overdrive once I am able to do even a little bit of moving around. Then I go back to my set weight-point after about 5 or 6 months. But for those first 6 months right after, I look great! I need to start a low carb diet. I think that is the easiest way for me to lose weight. Sadly, I love pasta and bread and sugar, so it is hard.

  44. Actually Rhett – the newest research based on my poking around (due to trying to control both hypothyroidism and polycystic ovarian syndrome, both of which predispose you to gain weight) confirms that a calorie is NOT a calorie.
    A calorie coming from protein or fat is much better for you than a calorie coming from carbs. Even worse if those carbs are not ingested with enough fiber to counteract the blood sugar spike that naturally occurs. Some people have a harder time fighting this chemical reaction than others.
    So 500 calories worth of bacon and broccoli cooked in butter is much better than 500 calories coming from a cupcake.

  45. Thanks, Milo! We knew we wanted a third, but we were thinking we’d wait another year or two. After the initial shock wore off, we’re pretty excited . . . although I’m still nervous about having three under 5 (the kids will each be almost exactly two years apart).

    And WCE – we still have the baby stuff, fortunately. I feel like I just finished putting the swing, pack ‘n play, etc. into our basement storage room!

  46. Of course, it all depends on what you’re getting as much as the size.

    Black tea

    Trenta Iced 30oz Unsweetened

    Nutrition Facts Per Serving (31 fl oz)

    Calories 0 Calories from Fat 0

  47. Anon, congratulations! Our #3 was a surprise too (DS was 15 months when I found out I was pregnant), but I had always wanted 3 too.

  48. OT – I definitely have the dadbod, modified. “undefined muscles beneath a light layer of flab, usually topped off with a beer belly.”
    – muscle is actually pretty well defined because of doing weight training 2-3x/week for a long time now, including a lot of ab work.
    – can’t really say “light” layer of flab
    – admit to the beer belly.

    I just have to reduce intake and maintain everything else. “Just”.

  49. Congrats Anon!

    Starbucks has mini Frappucinos now. Almost as tasty as a dessert tomato, but with whipped cream. I am going to get the s’mores one soon.

  50. The human body is a lot of maintenance. A lot of showering, a lot of shaving, a lot of cleaning, a lot of clipping, a lot of checking. If your body was a car, you wouldn’t buy it. It’s too much upkeep. It’s a pain.

    – Jerry Seinfeld

    I was thinking about that quote when Ada mentioned sleep. I know I need to get more of it and if I make the effort I can but it’s just such a pain in the ass. Remembering proper sleep hygiene, no screen time in bed, get up if you’re not tired, go to bed and get up at the same time every day, take a hot shower, etc. And then, after going to bed early, I need to get up early to go to the gym. Then I have to keep an eye on what I eat and resist the temptation to go down to the cafeteria for an afternoon snack. In the meantime my executive function resources are needed for any number of other tasks: attaching the new cover sheets to the TPS reports, yelling at Comcast, etc.

  51. “I know I need to get more of it and if I make the effort I can but it’s just such a pain in the ass.”

    This is such a foreign idea to me. I love sleep. I wonder if you would feel differently if you’d ever had a job where you were regularly denied the opportunity for normal sleep.

    In one of the Tigger and Pooh Super Sleuth DVD segments, Tigger has some complaint about sleep like “Ahhh, I hate sleeping. Nothing but wasting time lying there staring at the backs of your eyelids.”

    Fred – This is not a brag, because I love all other forms of carbs, but it occurred to me while I was driving to work this morning that I can’t quite remember if I’ve ever actually bought beer from a store. I’ll buy it at a brewery, on tap, and I’ll drink it from bottles or cans if I go to someone’s house, and I usually have some at my house because people will bring it over, but I typically don’t drink it. My Dad will come over and have one bottle of it and slowly deplete my supply. But I’m not sure I’ve ever bought it.

  52. My H had the dadbod but worked really hard to get fit and has kept it. I, on the other hand, have yo-yo-ed for the last, um, 15 years and definitely have a mombod now. Probably 50 lbs gained since college but I’d be happy to lose 25 of them. I still try to dress in non-frumpy clothes and I do ok at picking clothes that are slimming. . .if only I could pick the foods that are slimming! I get a reasonable amount of exercise, but I have only been able to really lose weight when I kick the exercise intensity up a lot and get control over the food at the same time. Lately, I have just been too stressed to even try. I’m seriously thinking about trying Whole 30 to give my body a jump-start when H & DD are gone for about 10 days in June.

    P.S. Personal update: H started a new job last week, and I met with a realtor at lunchtime today.

  53. This is such a foreign idea to me. I love sleep.

    As do I. But, you’ve mentioned that you like to go to bed early and get up early. My natural tendency would be to go to bed at 3am and get up and noon. So, I have to fight it to get to bed by midnight.

  54. I wonder if you would feel differently if you’d ever had a job where you were regularly denied the opportunity for normal sleep.

    I did work two full time jobs for many years 9-5 and 6 to 2am.

  55. And it’s mainly the eating, from everything I read lately.

    As far as weight gain/loss. But exercise provides the muscle tone (and lack of exercise causes it to go away).

  56. The moral is not that the little bit of sugar in the mustard will harm you, it is that making your own food choices will (as evidenced by not being happy with where you are right now). I think of it as outsourcing the executive function needed to eat healthfully.

  57. “I did work two full time jobs for many years 9-5 and 6 to 2am.”

    This is not trying to diminish or anything, but ime–and I’m curious what DD and Ada think–the 4 am hour is the WORST. Before that, you’re just up really late. After that, you actually start to wake up again as your body seems to accept that it ain’t happening. 4am it’s screaming “WTF are you doing to me???”

  58. Around when I hit 40 it suddenly got much more difficult to keep weight off and it started to go to my stomach instead of my hips. That combined with some of the pregnancy changes (a little ribcage spread, all the extra skin) resulted in what seems to be a permanent widening of my figure — about 5 inches wider through the waist and hips than back in the day, so now I’m more of a pear than a true hourglass. The (half-assed but regular and frequent) exercise I do is partly to at least maintain my figure as it is, but even more because it helps me feel younger in the sense of not getting aches and pains, being able to tote and carry and twist around without feeling like I’ve pulled something, and having a better energy level. I could use more cardio but my schedule makes it tough to add in more than what I can get from adding in a little extra distance to where I’m walking anyway.

  59. Milo, I think everyone is different as far as their preferred hours of sleep. Some people are morning people and some are night owls like Rhett. I had a friend who only needed to sleep an hour or two a night.

  60. As far as the OT, I definitely don’t have a dad bod. I dropped about 60 pounds about 8 years ago and did a great job of keeping it off. But the last year or so I’ve started slowly gaining again.

  61. I wish I had the mom bod in my town because a lot of the moms are really fit. They work out all of the time, and this includes many of women that work full time because they go to Crossfit or Soulcycle at 5AM. I have to work really hard to just stay at my weight. I’m about five pounds more than before DD, but I think my clothes look a little better because I work out so much more than I did when I was working full time.

  62. “My natural tendency would be to go to bed at 3am and get up and noon.” — So, really, it’s not the sleep that is the PITA; it’s the getting up part.

  63. This is not trying to diminish or anything, but ime–and I’m curious what DD and Ada think–the 4 am hour is the WORST.

    I’ve done 7p to 7a for weeks at a time and I love it.

  64. So, really, it’s not the sleep that is the PITA; it’s the getting up part.

    I don’t really have a problem getting up. It’s just that to be well rested I need to force myself to go to bed early, which is hard.

  65. I was told that the last 10-15 pounds stay on while you are nursing as a “just in case” situation – as in just in case you find yourself in a famine, or lost in the snow, etc.

    On dad bod vs mom bod – I know that Alec Baldwin gained some weight during 30 Rock, but his suits were so beautifully tailored that you just didn’t notice it as much as if it was a woman.

  66. Fred – I just read the last few comments on yesterday’s topic – I am so sorry for what you and your wife had to go through – I can’t imagine how awful it must have been for you.

  67. I’ll let Howlin’ Wolf (song originally written and performed by Willie Dixon, who was very rotund) comment on a mature male figure

  68. Anon – I’ll add my congratulations!

    Sleep is something that I need a lot of… more than DH. Last night, I went to bed an hour later and boy am I feeling it today. I had a tough time staying awake for a meeting this afternoon. Ugh. Thanks to Baby Rhode I’m slowly becoming a morning person. Blech. I did so much better as a night owl.

  69. LfB,

    I am curious to see how the kid turns out. My thinking is he will go in the opposite direction as being an only child to two stay at home parents (one of them a little nutty) is too much for anyone to handle.

  70. HM, any exercise I do is full-assed, not half-assed. Despite reasonable effort, the last 12 lb are sticking like a barnacle on a boat hull. At least I’m still losing inches.

  71. @Rhett — my money is that his kid will be Just Like Him (because he seems to have the same temperament), but that there will be at least 1 grandchild who goes full-on Disney-Princess-Sales-Douche.

  72. I think 4am is a terribly hard hour – as Milo said, you are no longer just up really late. I start getting cold around 3:30-4:30. I will go pull a blanket out of the warmer and hibernate in my chair for a few minutes. A lot of the staff will put on sweatshirts or go out for a cigarette. We all look at the clock and say, oh shit, 4am. I think it has something to do with the cortisol trough at that time – same reason we see croupy babies (or severe asthma) at 2-3am, and heart attacks at 4-5am.

  73. Anon – congrats!

    Rhett, my DH is like you but more severe. Now that he has been working at home for so long he routinely goes to bed at 5 am – last night was 5:38 am. I am really hoping our kids don’t end up like that because it will be very hard for them to get a regular job.

  74. L,

    In college when I had the opportunity, I’d go to bed when the sun came up. But, now with the need to get up at 7am – I get up at 7.

    Speaking of that, something Kaleberg said a while back solved a mystery for me. My grades in middle school were quite good and in college there were quite good but they were terrible in high school. Back then I could not, under any circumstances, fall asleep before 2am and I had to be up at 6am.

  75. LfB – seriously, I am just going tohire you to fill in for me! If I wasn’t me, then I would think we were one person posting under two names. You busy next, week? Need someone to go to the PTA meeting? ; )

  76. In grad school, Mr WCE figured out he runs best with a 28 hour day. He has chronic sleep issues, because the rotation of the earth hasn’t adjusted to his optimal day length.

  77. WCE, Moxie, better the non-killer 10 minute workouts that you can fit in most days of the week and don’t mind doing, than the impressive 1.5-hour high-intensity one that you’ll do only twice a month because it’s so easy to find excuses not to.

  78. I agree about MMM, I think that was one of his best posts.

    Relevant to recent discussions:

    Some parents like to focus on academics: “Until you graduate, getting good grades is your only job.” But I like to think of a good education as a highly diverse set of experiences. Working and earning your own money at any age – even if it includes stocking shelves and assembling wheelbarrows at a hardware store – is a key part of this.

  79. And I particularly like:

    It may be that most parents of the very-upper-middle class are still operating from a scarcity mindset. If they are addicted to a high consumption lifestyle, earning $600,000 per year but still making car and house payments, they will assume that their children will need to earn and consume just as much in order to be happy. This of course dictates a job in the top fraction of the top percent of the economy, and education with enough prestige to secure such a job.

    On the other hand, having crossed the threshold of having more than enough money for a good life almost a decade ago, I cannot even imagine my son not earning a plentiful and permanent surplus very early on in his adult life. Thus, there is no need to fight for traditional elite status. It is much more efficient to rise up to into your own niche without the constant drag of material addiction telling you you aren’t good enough. Paradoxically, this path is rare enough that you might end up earning even more money in the end.

  80. I cannot even imagine my son not earning a plentiful and permanent surplus very early on in his adult life. Thus, there is no need to fight for traditional elite status.

    Isn’t MMM’s entire financial life based on his very high starting salary as a software engineer? Software engineering is one of the most elite careers out there.

  81. Rhett – it’s a good salary, but not one that’s too difficult to replicate, and certainly not one that can only be attained through a lot of stress and elite colleges.

  82. Milo,

    It’s the 2th highest starting salary of all majors. Where are you getting that it’s “easy” to replicate?

  83. I liked the MMM article today too and agree with a lot of it. And the pressure put on high school kids I find unbelievable and ridiciulous. I was reading that story about the kids in Palo Alto that Rhett posted the other day and was thinking that it seems like all of the fun has been sucked out of being a teenager. It makes me want to go move my kids to my small town but then I think, oh wait, the kids in small town Massachusetts are now doing heroin! It seems like once a month something shows up on my FB feed about this.

  84. “My natural tendency would be to go to bed at 3am and get up and noon. So, I have to fight it to get to bed by midnight.”

    My brother is like that, so he got a job working 3pm to 11:30pm. He gets a shift differential, and his boss was very happy that no one needed to be forced to work that shift.

  85. “I have only been able to really lose weight when I kick the exercise intensity up a lot and get control over the food at the same time. Lately, I have just been too stressed to even try.”

    I find exercise to provide stress relief. Physically tiring myself makes for better sleep, and it’s easier to get stressed when I’m sleep deprived.

    If you don’t have a lot of time for exercise, I suggest intervals or circuit training. Actually, even if you do have a lot of time for exercise, I suggest intervals or circuit training.

  86. He gets a shift differential, and his boss was very happy that no one needed to be forced to work that shift.

    I always volunteer for the night shift when a project goes live. I love the night.

  87. DH goes to bed at 1 a.m. many nights. When he has early conference calls he is forced to go to bed earlier. If he goes to bed at 1 a.m. then his wake time is around 8.45 or so. To tie the threads – he says his job as a software engineer with issues occurring outside normal business hours has contributed to this sleep/wake cycle.

  88. Wow! I picked a bad day to be absent. What a fun topic!

    I don’t have a Dad’s Bod nowdays, but I have a Granddad’s Bod. That is primarily due to gravity, not weight. I shudder when I see myself naked. I’d take a shower in a wet suit if I could. Things just sag, and I’m reasonably active.

    When I graduated law school I was 6’0″ and 159 pounds. Over the years working long hours in biglaw I ballooned up to 224! That was way, way beyond the pale. I went on my own diet. “If it tastes it you can’t have it, pig!” was my mantra. In about a year I got down to 190. Since then, I’ve gradually reduced my weight by a pound or so each year. My mantra became, and has remained, “Eat it! Whatever. But very slowly and only as much as you really want and no eating before bedtime.” This morning, I weighed 163, a little below the 165 my Dr. wants for my blood pressure. I have no idea how tall I am, but I’ve shrunk.

    As you all know I am a pizza and beer sort of guy. One, and I mean one, slice of pizza (loaded with meat, of course). Beer, of course, is another story. I do keep active, and I’ve gotten better with food since I’ve worked from home. I have to cook it! And that is very unappetizing just in thought.

  89. “If it tastes good, you can’t have it, Pig!”

    Geez. When am I going to learn to type, or proofread worth a damn?!”

  90. No one will be surprised that I mostly agree with MMM regarding the idea of “status” as a goal in life. I’m not sure I have the same emphasis on my kids earning money as teens that he does. I had a paper route and worked the concession stand during high school, but doing the ACT prep book had a much better ROI for me. Frugality is a core value for MMM, and I don’t view it as a core value in the same way- I want my children to be able to support themselves and being able to do stuff yourself (which MMM seems very good at) is necessary to live well with a modest income.

    Specifically with regard to earning money, some children of friends work at church camp in the summer, cleaning toilets, drying and hanging life jackets, cutting vegetables, whatever, when they are 16 in exchange for room and board. We may encourage our kids to do this, because it will allow them to have fun and re-enforce our religious values at a time when it’s pretty hard to get a summer job anyway. If frugality were really a core value for us, we’d have them get a paying job.

  91. “I shudder when I see myself naked. I’d take a shower in a wet suit if I could”

    lol!

  92. I think we do some of the things MMM espouses but not everything. We have reached a good place – having no worries regarding any sort of debt and at the same time being able to save. We don’t want to be in a position of working all these years, spending every penny we make and having nothing to show for the years of work. I always think of Meme’s acquaintance, wonder if he found a job, changed his family’s spending…..

  93. I like that he addressed the Lieber book. Not that I’ve read it, of course, but there’s something a little too precious about the premise.

    MMM is the best thing we ever got from Canada.

  94. Rhett – I just read your article. Otherwise, I have followed only what I hear on WTOP.

    Seems like a possible extortion gone bad.

  95. Lol. That was more like abduction for humiliation. I think that’s my Dad’s favorite line in the movie: “I guess a healthy bottom line doesn’t mean much if to get it, you have to hurt the ones you depend on. It’s people that make the difference. Little people like you.”

    That, and the way he walks with his entourage in the beginning.

    No, I’m thinking, “We want $5,000,000. We know you have it.”

    “Ok, ok, calm down. I can’t get you that much cash right now. I can get you $40k right now.”

    The $40k arrives, but then what? People start flipping out.

  96. Milo,

    I’m just saying if I were the Kate Beckett of the DCPD I’d pull the financials and do a key world search for “jelly + club.”

  97. Milo,

    I’m just waiting for the day 20 years hence when you invite your senile aunt over for Christmas dinner and she says, “Is Milo still in the navy?” And you and your dad lose your shit.

  98. Haha. Did you realize Rusty is 40 years old??

    Someone posted on Facebook a while back that if the Wonder Years were to air now, it would be start in the early ’90s.

    Depressing.

  99. the only thing I ever knew about Betty Boop was her appearance in Roger Rabbit, so I was pleased that the write-up addressed it:

    “Returned after a nearly 50-year hiatus to voice Betty Boop for Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988).”

    That one I saw in the theater. We went to Fuddrucker’s beforehand.

  100. that if the Wonder Years were to air now, it would be start in the early ’90s.

    Have you watched The Goldbergs?

  101. A few weeks ago, I messaged a couple people on Facebook with Joshua Kennon’s blog post about Procter and Gamble stock performance. Ever since then, I see several ads a day for Cascade and Dawn.

  102. “watched The Goldbergs?”

    No, I got to do that. We should be able to fit it into our summer lineup now that Mad Men is over, and NCIS had its season finale, and I think Nashville has, too. It can be stressful trying to fit it all in, but it just takes resolve and old fashioned hard work.

  103. . It can be stressful trying to fit it all in, but it just takes resolve and old fashioned hard work.

    We were just talking the other night about how assisted living c. 2055 will be the perfect time to catch up on Game of Thrones, Scandal, Dexter and all the other shows we didn’t get watch when we were young and busy.

  104. On a topic from earlier my middle schooler’s humanities teachers uses a lot of Crash Course history videos on Youtube. They were funny and pretty informative. The class got her a life sized card board cut out of the guy who does the videos ( Is there a real name for the guy who does the video in a Youtube video?)

  105. I think what’s remarkable is how modern TV series, even the ones that their fans think are so culturally significant, have such small followings. On Sunday night, the colorized reruns of two I Love Lucy episodes received twice as many viewers as the Mad Men series finale. You would never in a million years draw this conclusion based on media coverage in the typical outlets for the Totebag demo.

  106. As for Lucy. Your link stated that the show was the Shakespeare or television commedy, The top three episodes are the Candy Factory, the one where she sells Vitavegiment and the one where she makes wine it Italy. I bet those will be as funny 600 years from now as they were 60 years ago.

  107. Maybe half watch it live.

    No, don’t remember that castle. I did have a plastic castle, apparently by Fisher Price.

    I has forgotten about it, like all other toys, because I outgrew it and my parents were always happy to clean up and donate and move on. My aunt, on the other hand, is all about keepsakes and organizing this and that. (For example, in their front hallway, they have the picture frames for each of their kids that has a K-12 school picture for every year. My Mom would never do that.)

    So we were out in the Heartland for a reunion and I was supervising kids in the basement and all of a sudden I notice this castle that I hadn’t seen for almost three decades. That was unlike any other reminder of the past that I had ever experienced. It turns out my grandmother gave one each to my cousin and me one Christmas. How my aunt can keep track of this is kind of scary to me. I can’t remember who gave my kids something two months ago.

  108. I think this is it. As long as it has the interior slide. That’s the key app.

  109. Rhett/Milo – a suspect has been named in the DC killings. From DNA on leftover pizza that was ordered.

  110. Rhett – have you seen – Up in the Air with George Clooney ? I was LOL and saying to myself “that’s Rhett”.

  111. Louise,

    I love that movie.

    My two favorite lines are – “How do you know it’s me? Your the only one with this number, Mr. Bingham.” And, “Mr. Bingham, we’re moving heaven and earth to get you into a Stratus.”

  112. There’s DNA on pizza crust after it’s been in a house fire? Wow.

    Interesting on Rubio. I thought that the first key factor was that he has a generous pension from Congress, but that’s not quite the case. You have to serve five years for initial eligibility, and it starts out modestly, and even then, not until the age of 62 (or 50 with 20 years of service):

    Take Kay Hagan, the North Carolina senator who lost her bid for a second term, for example. After finishing just one six-year term in the Senate, Hagan, who will turn 62 in 2015, will be eligible for a pension of nearly $16,000, according to calculations done by the conservative National Taxpayers Union. Hagan’s pension would be a little more than 9 percent of her most recent salary of $174,000, the amount paid to rank-and-file House and Senate members.
    </blockquote
    http://www.factcheck.org/2015/01/congressional-pensions-update/

    But more importantly, at any point in time, he can go be a lobbyist for an immediate 7-figure income.

  113. This paragraph was mine:

    But more importantly, at any point in time, he can go be a lobbyist for an immediate 7-figure income.

  114. Milo,

    With all the kids in school Mrs. Rubio could also get a job. I’m sure the wife of a sitting U.S. Senator could land a flexible +100k job quite easily.

  115. OK, I love this bit from the Rubio story: “But my debts are not some exotic instruments contrived to support my extravagant lifestyle,” Rubio wrote. “They consist almost entirely of two things: my mortgages on my two homes and my student loan from law school.”

    Two homes? Dude. (yeah, yeah — not exactly Rockefeller territory, just the tone-deafness).

    @Risley — pet peeve = misleading title-writing. Big difference between “C students can be very successful” and “C students are the *most* successful.”

    Re MMM: yeah, that “scarcity mindset” bit was what grabbed me; I lived there a long time and really only started to come out of it thanks to some discussions we had here a few years ago.

    @Moxie — hah! Will happily trade with you any day. Especially given that my last week has included both a 3rd-grade recorder concert and a full-hour-long MS band concert (shoot me now). We can tag-team it. :-)

  116. LfB,

    In 2008, he abruptly amended his financial disclosure forms after reporters asked why he had not listed a $135,000 home-equity loan he secured on his current home, purchased in December 2005 for $550,000.

    The loan came after a Miami bank, controlled by some of Rubio’s political supporters, reappraised the home at $735,000 — only 37 days after it was purchased. Rubio denied favoritism and called the failure to disclose the loan an “oversight.”

    I’m curious if by mortgages on my two homes – he’s leaving out a significant HELOC balance.

  117. “With all the kids in school Mrs. Rubio could also get a job”

    She has one. The article said as much. She’s some kind of event planner for a foundation of one of PTM’s rainmakers. They made it sound like her role was a little bit of renting chairs and propane heaters, but also ensuring compliance with whatever regulations they’re operating under.

  118. LfB & Milo,

    Ah, here we go his financial disclosures:

    U.S. Century Bank Home Equity Loan $100,001 – $250,000

    But my debts are not some exotic instruments contrived to support my extravagant lifestyle,” Rubio wrote. “They consist almost entirely of two things: my mortgages on my two homes and my student loan from law school.”

    So, while what he said may be technically true, it’s also a total lie.

  119. Also, he said that while he did cash out $60k from his retirement accounts he, “still has two active retirement accounts.” But, his financial disclosures seem to show a balance of between 1,000 and 15,000. So, basically cashed out all of his retirement savings.

  120. Risley: Great article and very timely for us, given the stress of final exams, etc. Thanks for posting.

  121. Just yesterday, DS argued that 92.5 was an A. Doesn’t it round up to 93, he argued ? He was getting shortchanged by being on the cusp, LOL. His teachers were mean and giving him the lower grade. He would write a formal letter of complaint, against such a mean policy.
    Ummm…..I don’t really know. I think it has to be 93 (no rounding up) and above to be an A.

  122. Milo & Rhett – I win! I had both those Little People sets. And I’m pretty sure they are still in my parent’s basement, right next to Rainbow Bright. The Legos and My Little Pony have been moved to my house.

  123. Rhett- Where is the photo of the Sesame Street/Fisher Price clubhouse? That was my favorite. My aunt still had it in her basement with ALL the parts (including the tire swing, barrels, etc), and brought it out when we visited with DS a few years ago. I had more fun playing with it than he did.

    I think that is one of the best articles MMM has ever written. Agree with LfB about the bullet points being the best part. I think his kid has a 50/50 chance between being even more extreme (see link below) or being a Pharma Sales rep.

    http://www.chicagoreader.com/Bleader/archives/2015/04/28/living-off-the-grid-in-a-yurt-on-abandoned-chicago-land

  124. Louise – did the teacher (or school) provide a rubric? Some teachers grade to the 10ths place, so rounding does not occur (so your kid’s 92.5 is just that, not a 93). I remember a syllabus stating “A/B = 87.5 to 92.5, A = 92.5 and above.” If you fell on the 92.5, your grade was determined to the hundredths place and rounded from there. So a 92.54 was an A/B and a 92.55 was an A. Of course this was college where professors are allowed to be pedantic.

  125. assisted living c. 2055 will be the perfect time to catch up on Game of Thrones, Scandal, Dexter and all the other shows we didn’t get watch when we were young and busy.

    My parents never watched TV, and my dad used to say they’d save it for when they were housebound. Then he died before that happened and Mom’s dementia got so bad she couldn’t possibly have followed an I Love Lucy episode. So, children, remember: Watch your crap TV now, before it’s too late.

  126. Lemon – Rainbow Brite!!! I had forgotten all about her but now am happily remembering the sweet Rainbow Brite color cottage I had.

  127. I think our Junior Senator is doing quite well financially. As I recall when he was in the state legislature, he had access to a republican party credit card, which he used liberally. His pet billionaire is Norman Braman, a car dealership guy. He has apparently used and generously compensated Mrs. Marco’s planning business since her husband became U.S. senator.

    I wonder if Senator Rubio has any need for money whatsoever.

    I suspect Marco will continue to be our senator for another term. While Florida law (unlike many other states) prohibits a candidate from running for two positions simultaneously, and Marco has made a big deal about giving up his senate seat (a great personal sacrifice, of course) to run for president, the filing deadline for senator from Florida is a year from now, by which time Jeb! or somebody should have clinched the republican nomination. So his options are still open regarding the U.S. Senate (despite what he says). Then again, he might want to cash in as president of some state university or go to Fox TV before running as a more serious contender in 2020 or 2024. But by then he’ll likely be bumping up against George P. Bush.

    A lot of people down here think that Marco’s financial dealings will be his downfall once the spotlight is seriously turned on him. It’s kind of hard for anyone to think of him as anything but a stalking horse for Jeb!, but Jeb! needs to get his act together and get rid of all the people that surrounded his brother.

    What do I know?

  128. I must be missing something in the MMM post.

    I cannot even imagine my son not earning a plentiful and permanent surplus very early on in his adult life. Thus, there is no need to fight for traditional elite status.

    His inflation adjusted salary in 1998 when he was 24 and had just moved to the US was $110,880. He made $110,880 because he had one of the highest paying and most elite jobs in the US.

  129. MMM is entering the phase where he is getting bored with being the equivalent of the star of a cable show about an unusual lifestyle. He has commented before about how the more extreme fans are becoming disappointed with his transition into a middle aged man who lives off his rents and spends a lot of time outdoors and does speaking seminars, rather than a man who devises even more ludicrous money saving moves than transporting refrigerators with a bicycle. His basic principles have helped a new generation of people for whom Stanley’s approach was dated or too culturally specific. I have always suspected that in marriages the natural tightwad, or even worse, the former spendthrift who has had a conversion experience, use MMM’s anecdotes, rather than his principles, as authoritative guidance to control the other spouse.

  130. I want to see MMM’s son become a millionaire like dad while doing something that earns a pittance – like a minimum wage shift work job. Then I’d be impressed.

  131. Rhett – How so? I think the point is that the Palo Alto type parents don’t need to stress that their kids will match their Stanford degrees and $600k incomes. But the difference between earning $110k and $80k, or whether you earn it at 22 vs 26, is not really important.

    Meme – Very interesting.

  132. “Hey, are you following the Josh Duggar sex scandal?”

    Holy sh1t, No! Just reading about it now.

  133. But the difference between earning $110k and $80k, or whether you earn it at 22 vs 26, is not really important.

    It is if the goal is, “a plentiful and permanent surplus very early on in his adult life.” And, the reality for those kids is, the right school, major, etc. can mean the difference between $25k at 24 or $110k at 24. If the kid wants the kind of freedom that MMM has (which MMM seems to assume) it’s going to take a long time at $25k.

  134. Re: the Duggar allegations, I’m kind of wondering what is supposed to happen to a minor who does something like that (possibly within his own family).

  135. It sounds like Jim Bob acted in accordance with his beliefs and turned his son over to the authorities. Probably put a big scare into him. There is nothing I read that implied that Jim Bob did it knowing that nothing would come of it by reason of the trooper’s personal history or the family’s position in the community. Most Biblical literalist Protestant Christians are aware that teenagers and young adults have strong natural impulses and encourage young marriage – they obviously counsel restraint for those who are not married, but they don’t treat extended periods (years and years) of restraint into a desirable part of spiritual discipline, as can be found in other devout Christian strains.

  136. Josh Duggar – not surprising. But color me surprised that Jim Bob allegedly turned him in. Poor Jana.

  137. Humm. The Duggar scandal is interesting. I’ve been waiting for one or more of the boys to come out as gay. In this case, was the underage “victim” a girl or a boy?

  138. And people wonder why I don’t like sleepovers.

    This could possibly threaten his continued employment with the lobbying outfit.

  139. Cat,

    Jim Bob told police in 2006 that when Josh returned home in 2003, Jim Bob, accompanied by some of his church elders, took Josh to Arkansas State Trooper, Jim Hutchens. Jim Bob knew Hutchens personally. Hutchens did not take any official action and instead gave Josh a “very stern talk.” As In Touch magazine reports exclusively in this week’s issue, Hutchens is now serving 56-years in prison for child pornography.

    Nice work Jim Bob.

  140. “Seems about par for the course.”

    isn’t that just another way of saying that it only happens among people who are not like us?

  141. Rhett – And if it were your 14-year-old son, you’re sure that you’re going to keep taking him back to the police until he’s criminally charged?

  142. Milo,

    I would send him to be evaluated and treated by the approximately trained professionals that deal with this sort of thing not to a “Christian program.” that isn’t even that as “Michelle Duggar later admitted to police that Josh did not receive counseling and instead had been sent during that time to a family friend who was in the home remodeling business.”

  143. “treated by the approximately trained professionals that deal with this sort of thing”

    Treated how? What sort of thing? He’s a curious minor going through puberty. What do you think a professional can do?

  144. What do you think a professional can do?

    Give him some porn and some hand lotion so he can get it out of his system without having to resort to molesting his siblings.

  145. “He’s a curious minor going through puberty.”

    And boys will be boys? Yeah — no. Every day, millions of curious minors go through puberty without molesting young girls/women as they sleep. Boy needs to learn some serious boundaries, respect, and empathy. Counseling may or may not do that, but it’s got a better chance than “hard work” for a family friend.

  146. I’m sure that’s not the limiting factor. I think you’re doing the same thing as Cat. You want to believe that the parents made a mistake somewhere, conveniently for you in an area in which your values differ.

  147. Milo,

    Do I believe that it’s Jim Bob’s sexually repressed chickens coming home to roost? 110%

  148. LfB – I’m not saying it’s OK, I’m just saying it’s something that is a lot more common than we want to imagine, and the generic “counseling.”

    The Fundamentalist Christians think that prayer is the answer to everything; Totebaggers put the same level of blind faith in someone–anyone–with a PhD.

  149. “Do I believe that it’s Jim Bob’s sexually repressed chickens coming home to roost? 110%”

    So at 14, he should be encouraged to find a consenting sex partner, and that will solve the problem?

  150. he should be encouraged to find a consenting sex partner,

    Yes, his right hand like any normal 14yo boy.

  151. “that “scarcity mindset” bit was what grabbed me; I lived there a long time and really only started to come out of it thanks to some discussions we had here a few years ago.”

    My experience was similar, and that is largely what put us in the place we are today, financially comfortable enough to be able to easily weather things like a car breaking down or a roof needing replacement.

  152. okay – I didn’t realize it was a visit to a police officer after an incident came to Jim Bob’s attention and not a formal report to “the police” that was torn up by the officer. That is a lot more likely. And the kid was 14 at the time. Since when is that scandal material. I am not sure that it is even a crime as long as the other kid was about the same age. And isolating the kid from a particular temptation or bad influence is SOP for many parents. And most totebaggers wouldn’t send a kid to therapy for something like that, just supervise him more closely.

  153. I don’t necessarily fault JB and Michelle (although I do tend to lean towards Rhett’s thinking) for what their son did. I do fault them for how they handled it. But I think they are terrible parents, so maybe that is clouding my judgment about them.

  154. I’m sure that nothing they’re doing is preventing that.

    You’ve mentioned that Jim Bob’s fascination with “the kiss” and with his kids sexuality in general is kinda creepy. You don’t think Jim’s brand of crazy extends to their sexual relationship with themselves?

  155. Rhett – I would guess that it’s vaguely referenced as part of “The Talk” and that he probably hints that it’s something to try to avoid, and I’m sure that it’s entirely unsuccessful.

  156. and I’m sure that it’s entirely unsuccessful.

    And, if you are wrong, then you’d agree his brand of crazy may have been a contributing factor?

  157. I don’t think it’s biologically possible that I’m wrong. Hypothetically assuming infinite personal willpower, it will happen in their sleep.

  158. Mémé! I’m disappointed in you! Did you read the report? He was fondling his sisters, plural. while they slept, on the breasts and vaginas, and as I read it, one of them reported him to something like CPS. Since when is that a crime?? Since at least the 20th century.

  159. And yes, Jim-Bob’s creepy obsession with his children’s sexuality is a cause. Go ahead, Milo, mock me as an educated liberal feminist. I can’t be who I’m not.

  160. Rocky – I’m not looking to mock you, but I’m not even sure what you’re saying. As Rhett pointed out, I’ve said that Jim Bob is a little creepy about the whole kissing/touching/side hug thing. I don’t know that we disagree at all.

    As to your argument with Meme, when DOES it become a crime? By 14, yeah, probably. At 6, certainly not. So when?

  161. I am sure he knew it was wrong when he did it. And if he had a normal childhood with a strong peer group , he would have found other avenues to satisfy his curiosity.

    As a parent, I don’t know what I would have done. TBH, I might not have taken him to the police the first time.

  162. Dell – I would guess that what you wouldn’t do is send him to renovate homes in the hopes that would somehow rehabilitate him.

  163. “I would guess that what you wouldn’t do is send him to renovate homes in the hopes that would somehow rehabilitate him.”

    Well if she’s not going to go to the police, what difference does it really make?

    “And if he had a normal childhood with a strong peer group , he would have found other avenues to satisfy his curiosity.”

    So as long as someone isn’t homeschooled and has a normal peer group in school, this will never happen?

  164. “And if he had a normal childhood with a strong peer group , he would have found other avenues to satisfy his curiosity.”

    Absolutely, because their way of life is not normal like ours is. Normal children with strong peer groups never do that kind of stuff.

  165. from his webpage

    Josh: As I became a teenage young man I was constantly tempted to have lots of wrong thoughts, and often battled to keep my heart right. One of the greatest things that helped me in my struggles was my parent’s commitment to accountability. They were faithful to talk with each one of their children – if we were willing to share honestly & openly with them – to maintain a clear conscience. I learned quickly that great freedom can be achieved by accountability, and great accountability requires humility & openness. I often had failures in my early teenage years, but found I had a clear conscience only when I was willing to confess my thoughts and temptations quickly to God & my parents. (1 John 1:9)

  166. I would think most of here would have handled this differently if our own child is molesting his younger sisters while they sleep.

  167. I guess I am not understanding, Milo. You think the only 2 options are go to the police or basically do nothing? At a minimum, you might want to consider not putting your family on TV so the entire US can learn how your daughters were molested by your son.

  168. I’ve said that Jim Bob is a little creepy about the whole kissing/touching/side hug thing.

    Then why are you so sure that couldn’t have been the problem?

  169. Normal children with strong peer groups never do that kind of stuff.

    They do it less as they have their friends’ naughty bits to play with and thus don’t have to resort to their siblings.

  170. “Then why are you so sure that couldn’t have been the problem?”

    I’m not entirely sure, but I don’t see how the obsession with kissing only at the wedding, or whatever it is, and THIS is really related. Nobody is going to think that this is appropriate.

  171. “They do it less as they have their friends’ naughty bits to play with and thus don’t have to resort to their siblings.”

    Or they come up with a game when their younger sister is having a sleepover. So yeah, it might be less likely between siblings, but that doesn’t really solve the problem.

  172. Of course incest happens in other families, but other families aren’t the ones making a fortune by televising their Christian Perfection. If you’re going to hold yourself and your family out as a beautiful example of How To Do It Right, and your teenage son is groping all the girls, then yeah, I’m going to call you names and be less sympathetic.

  173. Milo, you seem to claim that this is normal reaction/ instinct for a teen boy. So by that standard, all teen boys should feel that way and most of them don’t do what he did.

    So yes, I stand by my argument.

  174. I think you’re being deliberately obtuse, Milo. It’s the household dynamic of sex being ALL-IMPORTANT, but YOU CAN’T HAVE ANY. It’s the very best thing ever, and Mommy and Daddy are obviously doing it like bunnies, and Daddy chortles and drools about it constantly, but you mustn’t touch. And it’s all the damn time, continously, because they don’t even get to leave the house to go to school.

  175. “You think the only 2 options are go to the police or basically do nothing?”

    No, but what are the realistic options. I’m pretty damn sure that many, many, many parents, including many, probably most on this board, would not be going to the police. People can do a lot of rationalizing when it’s their own son.

  176. “So by that standard, all teen boys should feel that way and most of them don’t do what he did. ”

    Most homeschooled boys don’t do it, either. What you said was that if he’d had a normal peer group, he wouldn’t have done it.

    Rocky – It’s a separate issue about reality TV. I’m not disagreeing with that part.

  177. I’m not entirely sure, but I don’t see how the obsession with kissing only at the wedding, or whatever it is, and THIS is really related.

    He’s growing up in a family that is, by your own admission, creepily obsessed with sex. You can’t see how that might impact deviant behavior?

  178. I am not sure what I would do regarding the police. But I sure as hell wouldn’t make my daughters forgive him. And I certainly wouldn’t try to make millions of dollars off of my wholesome family. They are really disgusting. They seem to have very little value for women.

  179. We are all understanding of the situation. But this family is fundamental evangelical, that goes around preaching their values and beliefs while judging other people and telling them they are headed to hell if they don’t fall in line. So yeah, I feel free to judge by different standards they claim to espouse.

  180. So it sounds like the problem is just that you don’t like the Duggars and their presentation of the perfect exterior when there have been serious problems underneath. That’s perfectly understandable.

    What’s not reasonable is to be so sure that whatever we do differently would definitely prevent this from ever happening.

  181. I think any social worker in a conservative Amish/Mennonite area would confirm that incest in large, isolated families, religious or not, is fairly common. It’s also helpful to remember that incest is morally problematic in secular society and fornication is not, but in traditional Christian teaching, both incest and fornication are morally problematic [very sinful].

  182. I don’t think anyone is sure it won’t happen, though not being a creepy parent sure won’t hurt. I just commented that I was surprised that JB went to the police. Then I read what actually went down and it seemed much more in line with what I would have predicted they would do.

  183. “People can do a lot of rationalizing when it’s their own son.”

    Of course they can. What I don’t get is rationalizing away the fact that the victim is your own daughter. Because, what, she matters less?

    I don’t know if I’d call the cops for a first offense and hope never to have to deal with this. But, yeah, counseling would be mandatory. Not because I have some blissfully-ignorant pie-in-the-sky trust in a Ph.D as the arbiter of all that is right and good. But because I figure starting with someone who is actually trained and experienced in dealing with this has a better chance of working than any other option I can think of.

  184. I’m sorry, I stopped at the first or second google hit when I looked up that to which you all referred. It said nothing about the other party being in his own family and in the same house, or being asleep. I naturally assumed it was with a fellow tween outside his own family. Obviously a totebagger would get therapy for both him and the affected sibs. I doubt they would call CPS on themselves. Sending him away makes even more sense now as a protective measure.

    Jim Bob monetizes his family. That is my main complaint with him. Sanctimony and hypocrisy is found at all points on the spectrum.

  185. Milo, I know you like the Duggars, but they do worse than merely presenting a perfect exterior.

  186. Dell – I’ve liked watching them. And in many ways, I’ve admired them. In other areas, I’ve been critical.

    Totally separate from the Duggars, I do hate the immediate reactions in any situation like this when people are so quick to point out why it happened to others and, therefore, could never happen among people like us.

  187. could never happen among people like us.

    Of course it could. We just think being creepily obsessed with your children’s sexuality might sometimes cause problems.

  188. What I don’t get is the multiple offenses/multiple victims. After the first time, the girls should have had, at a bare minimum, the ability to lock the door at night.

    After the second offense? I don’t know. But there certainly shouldn’t have been any opportunity for it to happen a third time.

  189. One of them got cornered in the laundry room. You simply have to remove the boy from the premises. There’s no escaping him.

  190. I do wonder what his wife will do. She has very small children, another on the way, no education or skills, likely a family who doesn’t really believe in divorce and a perv for a husband. Poor thing.

  191. Cat S, I imagine she feels that he’s long since prayed and been forgiven for it so why should she worry. And his situation as a married man is different from his situation as a young teen boy with no access to girls outside the family but lots of access to his sisters — I wouldn’t assume that he’d be prone to molest his own children. Nor would I assume that he’s sexually attracted to children as such.

  192. Bill was a philanderer, not molester of his own sisters. Hilary knew of his tendencies and chose to stay put. Here the wife Amy not even have any other option.

  193. I would take my husband sleeping with many women during out marriage over him molesting his sister. A thousand times over.

  194. Cat – Ideally he wouldn’t do either. The point is that Bill’s were certainly not all consensual.

  195. Milo you are picking and choosing what we say to argue. What about what I wrote about the wife not even having a choice.

  196. Milo, you said that your.mom hates Hilary because she chose to stay. What does she think about Duggars where women don’t even have a choice?

  197. Sure. But with one, I am not sure I would ever leave my kids with him. I don’t know how you stay married to someone like that. If only because of your kids.

  198. Dell – No, I’m just poking some fun at what we become outraged over and what we justify and even idolize.

  199. “But with one, I am not sure I would ever leave my kids with him.”

    Would you let the other work as his intern or assistant?

  200. No worries Milo. I am also poking fun at what you are trying to justify.
    Anyway it’s a sad story. Like I said, I don’t if I would have gone to the police. But I would have certainly not carried on as Duggars have.

  201. I am sad about the Duggers. It is another reason not to have a reality TV show.

  202. Sure. But I would advise to toss the blue dress and not to trust Linda Tripp.

  203. Rocky has been absolutely brilliant this afternoon.

    If I had ever fondled one of my sisters, I know exactly what my parents would have done. Seriously. Without a doubt, because this penalty was threatened for far less serious transgressions. My sisters would have seriously beaten me up. I mean seriously beaten me up! Heck, I couldn’t even go into their rooms to borrow a cigarette without getting a slap!

    Then my father would have beaten the daylights out of me. Sorry, but that happened on occasion and I never ever repeated the offending behavior.

    Third, my mother would have sent me to counseling and I would have been separated from my sisters by being sent to reform or military school. I would not have been given a second chance. Yes, God could have forgiven me all he wanted, but I wouldn’t be allowed near my sisters.

    One poster mentioned door locks on the girls’ barracks. Yeah! Why wasn’t one there? And if there was, why wasn’t it being used?

    I feel very sorry for the kids.

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