I’ve always loved parenting magazines. Back in those ancient times when you actually had to buy them (you could have them delivered via a subscription too!) I used to consume them because at 21, I felt like I knew how to do absolutely nothing, except for love my baby. Then I found out even that would be hard some days. Fast forward to today’s social media experience – a gazillion parenting advice online websites,blogs, vlogs and pages. I like to read lots of their articles and apparently there’s a ‘take’ on everything.
But oh the pressures of being a mom of a young child today. There’s all these different parenting styles that have names, and followers of one style judge and look down on followers of others. In the strange flip to there’s no really wrong way to parent, there’s no right way either. And there are lots of articles by moms who apparently give no fucks and want anyone out there who also gives no fucks (but only their mutual types of fucks) to commiserate with them and feel superior to the moms who, well give a fuck?
I’m honestly having a tough time keeping up. Some articles do still give out advice. Along the lines of hey moms, put your phones down for a minute and actually pay attention to your kids. This advice brings out a bunch of moms who yell, who needs to be told that? That’s terrible parenting! You read and you get the feeling like nothing is common sense anymore. I just read an article that said something along the lines of, our parents didn’t tell us how hard parenting would be just so they could get grand kids. Why are people nowadays pumping out kids anyway? If I see another mommy needs wine meme…
Look, parenting isn’t for everyone and being that in America, teen pregnancy rates are at an all time low (as per the CDC https://www.cdc.gov/teenpregnancy/about/index.htm ), and access to birth control hasn’t yet been significantly curtailed by the Orange Cheeto of Death, let’s go on the assumption that most women who give birth want to become mothers. Here’s my own personal list of things that are undoubtedly going to happen along with a few words of advice:
- Babies cry and there are uncountable ways to get them to stop. Every mom out there has some advice for you. Ask people you like, go online and research and then figure out what works for you and then do it and give out advice to the next mom that comes along in hopes that your trick works for her. No one should judge you as long as you aren’t leaving the baby unattended or putting a pillow over it’s face. Or drugging it. You know, that kind of stuff.
- Children need to be fed, potty training needs to be done, your child should receive some type of education and sometimes any or all of this is going to be way more difficult than you ever thought it was because poop is being smeared, or curse words are flying (from them, the children). Maybe things are being thrown or thrown up. Refer back to item 1 for solutions.
- Consistency is key. In anything you ever do at any stage of a child’s life, no matter how hard (and believe me if you’re a parent of a strong willed child you know that sounds so much easier than it actually is!) But consistency is everything. Well love, too, if they’re positive you love them, you’re ahead of the game.
Ok, I have oversimplified here a bit. But the needs of moms to feel superior to some other moms isn’t getting our society anywhere. It’s divisive and doesn’t address the fact that most of us are facing most of the same parenting challenges. Times are changing and there are new and ever better ways to cope with these challenges. If you care enough to be searching for solutions or ideas, you can rest assured that unless they are being wildly mistreated or feel completely insecure, it can be hard to completely fuck up a human and you’re most likely not going to.
Take a deep breath, find moms who you can rock with and try not to judge the ones you can’t. They may have an idea you’d wish you’d heard of. You made it through the 80’s and 90’s and you’re just fine, your kids will be fine too.