Parenting in the Kidwest

Hi! My name is Riane Konc. I’m a writer and mom living in Cincinnati, and I’ll be writing a new monthly parenting column for Cincinnati Parent magazine. In my experience, parenting and writing are both about constantly adjusting your expectations, so let me start with one adjustment: my name. I don’t know how you said it in your head, but a lifetime of first days of school and awkward job interviews has taught me that you were probably wrong. My first name is pronounced like “Ryan,” and my last name is pronounced like the first syllable in “concentration.” My husband likes to say that it’s like the first syllable in “constipation,” which is why I don’t let him explain things.

My husband and I have one 3-year-old daughter, who I will be calling “R.” I work from home, and he works evenings, so depending on the day, we are both stay-at-home parents who also work. We also have two cats: Oliver is 9 years old, and Mira Clebra is, we believe, a non-Earthly being who is outside time. The vets believe she is 8.

What I hope to do with this column is tell funny stories about parenthood. I think that parenting is life-giving and life-draining; it’s hard and hilarious and bizarre and impossible, and I think the best way through it is with laughter.

That’s what this column will be: a lighter look at the bizarre, insular world of parenting. I am not interested in giving advice, or making broad proclamations about what is and is not the right way to parent. There are certain parenting strategies we would agree on, and probably many upon which we would disagree.

But here is something that I feel strongly about: I think there are a million ways to be a good parent. A writer and parent I admire said something recently that I think all parents could stand remembering. It was, “Remember that if you don’t abuse or neglect your kids, and you love them unconditionally and feed and care for them, then you’re in the 1% of parents in all of human history.”

So just remember two things:

We are all in the top 1% of parents in all of human history! Congrats to us, the amazing parents!
If something I say ever makes you upset, then you probably misunderstood me and I meant to say whatever your exact opinion is, so please don’t yell at me.

I’m looking forward to sharing stories with you each month.

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