21 'Walking Dead' Lessons for Surviving Parenting -- or a Zombie Apocalypse

Tanvier Peart | Oct 27, 2016 Being a Mom
21 'Walking Dead' Lessons for Surviving Parenting -- or a Zombie Apocalypse

Seth Gilliam as Father Gabriel, Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes, Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier and Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes

What else is there to say about the The Walking Dead? The AMC megahit keeps us on our toes, makes us sob when a beloved character dies, and teaches us how to stay alive should a zombie apocalypse ever become a reality. (Tip: Noise attracts walkers, so exercising the second amendment might not be the way to go.) And do you know what else The Walking Dead teaches us? How to survive being a parent.

With seven seasons down (and counting), there are a number of takeaways in the parenting department that we can apply to our own lives. Who cares if the characters who inspired these "The More You Know" moments had no idea they were doing so?

After all, those who are still alive kinda need to worry about not being bitten, killed by a rival group, or eaten entirely. 

More from CafeMom: 19 Surprisingly Adorable Baby Names Inspired by 'The Walking Dead'

So to celebrate all things The Walking Dead, here are some memorable parenting-related tidbits that might help you on your journey.


Image via Gene Page/AMC

  • You're Going to See Some Scary Sh*t


    If moms had a dollar for the times they saw something gross and utterly disgusting, we'd all be billionaires. Gird your loins, ladies. There are going to be some nasty, poop-filled times ahead.

  • Celebrate You're Still Alive


    Zombie apocalypse. Surviving a colicy baby. What's the difference? Parenting is hard freaking work. There's absolutely nothing wrong with high-fiving a few other mamas going through it to reassure each other that you're alive, surviving, and doing an amazing job!

    (We miss you, Abraham.)

  • Never Underestimate a SAHM


    The next time anyone has something negative to say about stay-at-home moms, you tell them to google Carol Peletier. Carol is one of the OGs on The Walking Dead and a true badass who's not afraid to cut your jugular before nursing you back to health. A domestic violence survivor (her husband was abusive), this woman stays armed and knows how to throw down.

    More from CafeMom: 13 Stay-at-Home Moms Share Their Sanity Savers (So You Don't Lose Your Sh*t)

  • Sometimes You Have to 'Fake It' So You Can Make It


    Can we get an amen on this? How many parents feel like they have absolutely no idea what they're doing when it comes to raising a kid, but continue to go with the flow? Sometimes, you won't have all the answers and just have to fake it until you make it -- like when Rick and crew wore the blood of zombies to blend in with them.

  • The Most Unexpected Person Can Be the Best Babysitter


    Don't be so quick to assume your friend with sometimes questionable behavior won't be a great babysitter. Daryl was so loving to Judith when she was a baby and does everything in his power to keep her safe. Who cares if he slaughters the undead with his mighty crossbow between diaper changes?

    More from CafeMom: 15 Times 'Walking Dead' Star Norman Reedus Gave Us Life as Daryl Dixon

  • You'll Love Your Child in This Life & the Next


    Can we seriously blame the Governor for choosing not to kill his zombie daughter, Penny? That situation is so unimaginable! No matter how twisted this villain was, there's simply no denying the unconditional love he had for his little girl -- which just about sums up every parent.

  • Don't Take the Small Stuff for Granted


    If you survived a shopping trip to the grocery store without your child causing a scene that would inspire someone to call CPS, count your blessings. If you were able to cook dinner, do the dishes, and bathe everyone -- including yourself -- pat yourself on the back. Not all parenting victories are big, which is why we should celebrate the small stuff and not take them for granted. 

  • Sometimes You Have to Remind Your Kids Who's Boss


    Obviously no one expects you to turn into a psychopath who lines people up and tries to take off their heads with a bat. Just know there's nothing wrong with putting your foot down from time to time. Children need to know that parents are in charge.

  • Share Your Journey


    Every parent goes through a battle -- whether in public or behind closed doors. Don't be afraid to share your journey with others, as it could be a testimony a fellow mommy needs to hear to get her through whatever she's currently enduring.

    More from CafeMom: 13 Mothers Share Their Mom-Shaming Stories -- & How Bad It Hurts

  • Rethink Certain Mom Friends


    God bless the late Dr. Denise Cloyd, who likely didn't "see" her own demise. (Sorry, too early.) While she was a nice woman, Denise sure knew how to turn up the worry and talk folks' ears off. Let this be a reminder to rethink any and all mom friends you add to your circle. It's cool to have a good mix, but certain parents might drive you to drink.

    More from CafeMom: 5 Mom Friends to Avoid If You Want to Stay Sane

  • Kids Can Disappear in the Blink of an Eye


    Season two of The Walking Dead was such a hard one. Poor Carol was separated from her precious daughter, Sophia, who ran into the woods during a zombie attack. At the end of the season, viewers (and Carol) made the heartbreaking discovery that Sophia became a walker. This is such a sad and horrifying reminder that kids can disappear in the blink of an eye.

  • Dads Can Experience Postpartum Depression, Too


    One can only imagine how devastated Rick was when he found out his wife Lori died giving birth. Left with his preteen son, Carl, and a newborn daughter, this Walking Dead leader checked out for a long while. And although Rick had to deal with things like zombies, paternal postpartum depression (PPD) is very real and affects a number of new dads.

    More from CafeMom: New Dads Get Post-Baby Blues, Too

  • Don't Give Up


    Throwing in the towel has the potential to knock you back a few steps and possibly leave you hiding under a dumpster for a period of time before you can make the trek back to your family -- and give fans a heart attack in the process when they think you died (#LetGlennLive). OK ... so technically Glenn wasn't the one who "quit," but you get it, right? No matter how tempting it is to wave the white flag when you're trying to potty train, or get your kids to eat your veggies -- without having them land on your face -- keep fighting the good fight. Don't give up. You never know how close you are to victory, or making it through a swarm of zombies alive.

  • Negotiating and Bribery Are Acceptable


    As a parent, there will be times when you need to do things you're not proud of -- like bribing your kid to do what you want. Is this ideal parenting? Of course not. But does it help keep your sanity, so you can keep things moving when necessary? Absolutely.

  • Parenting Isn't for Everyone


    Stop asking people when they're going to have a baby. Maybe they don't want to be a mom or a dad. Parenting isn't for everyone, and rather annoy them with 21 questions, just live and let live.

    More from CafeMom: 17 Most Annoying Things About Parents (According to People Without Kids)

  • We All Have Our Breaking Point


    There's only a certain amount of BS a mother will tolerate before she loses it. Walkers (zombies) entering the compound. Mean moms making fun of the pie you made for the school bake sale. Critics looking down on you for not breastfeeding your kid. At some point, you might feel like you're going to flip your lid. But unless the people you plan on shooting are a part of the undead crew, woosah and chillax. It's not worth it.

  • It's OK to Check Out From Time to Time


    Obviously, every parent should be vigilant of his or her child. That doesn't, however, mean you can't get some time to yourself to recollect, indulge in a hobby you enjoy, or do absolutely nothing if the spirit moves you in that direction. Dangers will always lurk behind every corner. Don't be afraid to check out from time to time and fight your battle another day.

  • Your Kids Are Always Watching


    Oh, you thought your kids weren't going to see your bad habits? That's funny. Children are pretty good at observing all the things we want to teach them, as well as the stuff we wish they wouldn't notice. Imitation is the highest form of flattery, so try to make sure your actions are worth repeating.

    More from CafeMom: 14 #DontTellTheKidsBut Confessions Other Parents Can Admit for You

  • Verbal Affirmations Go a Long Way


    No one will judge you should you need to stare in the mirror and tell yourself I can make it. All of us hit roadblocks -- be it whiny babies, disgruntled toddlers, or sassy older kids who think they know everything. As wonderful as being a parent is, sometimes, you need to remind yourself that you can make it to the finish line -- and that's ok.

  • Never Let Go of That Special Friend


    Is there a certain pal in your life who just gets you and makes being a parent a heck of a lot easier? Hold onto this relationship! Let this special someone know how much she or he means to you. An amazing friend is so hard to come by these days, especially if they're willing to babysit on short notice.

    More from CafeMom: 16 Signs Your Mom BFF Is a Total Keeper

  • Kids Can Bring Joy in the Darkest Times


    Just because a pregnancy isn't planned does not mean it can't be a wonderful thing. Reuniting in season one, Rick and his wife Lori became pregnant in season two that pretty much shocked everyone. And while bringing a child into the world during a zombie apocalypse is probably not the ideal time, baby Judith has proven to be a beautiful light at the end of a dark tunnel.

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