This Dad’s ‘Meal Request’ on Nextdoor Is Delightfully Tone-Deaf

So there’s this overly demanding dad whose Nextdoor meal request is taking the internet by storm, and causing quite the fuss. Allow us to preface this story with two disclaimers:

  1. Having a baby is hard.
  2. Asking for help is good.

We’re all for new parents waving the white flag and calling out for some reinforcements. Just…maybe…you know…don’t go about it like this. Maybe?

Philly resident Jack Jokinen was browsing social media app Nextdoor — a platform designed to make connecting with your neighbors easier in this digital age — when he happened to stumble upon a post from some nearby expectant parents. These parents-to-be had posted a cry for meal help when the baby arrived, and truly, it must be read to be believed. Even then, one might not believe what one is reading.

Jokinen tweeted, “…today someone posted [on Nextdoor] the most ridiculous thing ever”:

Jokinen was not, well, joking about the “millennial phrasing.”

Jokinsen’s neighbor, the young father-to-be, had written on Nextdoor, “I’m teetering on a fence of emotions. On one side is joy and excitement, of course. But on the other side is a great deal of fear! One of the things I’m most afraid of is not getting a great deal of sleep and as a result not being in the best frame of mind to offer my wife the support she needs to recover from the child-birthing process.”

The dad-to-be continued, “That’s why I’m putting together this ‘Meal-train’ or ‘Mental-health check-in Train’ or ‘Do you need any help today train.’ A meal would be awesome. If you feel comfortable reaching out before you arrive to see if we might need anything else — that’d be even more awesome.”

Now, we fully get the wonderfulness of having meals just magically appear in those foggy postpartum days. We do, we do, we do. And we think such meal deliveries are lovely. It’s just when a “request” starts to stink a bit of “entitlement” that we, like Jokinen, get a little prickly.

Jokinen screenshotted and tweeted the entire list of “awesome” demands, er, sorry… requests. The expectant parents’ wish list contained actual pre-selected recipes from sites like Epicurious and Smittenkitchen, as well as numerous dietary preferences. No processed foods or sugar, please, only whole grains. Plus Papa Bear doesn’t like mashed potatoes, okay?

Social preferences were listed as well: Please leave the food in a cooler in the yard so we don’t have to see you because baby yawn so tired. Unless you want to come by to vacuum, wash the dishes, or walk the dog. No, really. Then you’re allowed in the house. If you set up a certain day of the week to text with them in advance.

Jokinen was merciless. I hope this couple doesn’t live actually next door, because he will have no pity for them or for their screaming wee bairn, it is clear.

Twitter was predictably hilarious when it got wind of Jokinen’s thread about his neighbors using their words so eloquently.

Yes, it takes a village to raise a child, we get that. And some folks on Twitter indeed thought the couple was more “scared” than “entitled”:

Others argued that their approach simply took things a bit too far:

Our take, again: Asking for help? Always a good thing. And babies? Always damn hard. But when your “request” starts to look like Mariah Carey’s backstage dressing room must-have list or a menu swiped from a Michelin restaurant, or a to-do list for Kim Kardashian’s hired help… it may be time to rein it in.

Dear Philadelphia Nextdoor parents, you’re not the first humans on the planet to have a baby, and you won’t be the last. Just play by the rules. Live simply. Know your place in the world, not just your carbon footprint. Ask accordingly when it comes to help. Most of all? Let your request for help put the emphasis on gratitude — not on hatred of refined sugars.

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