Raise your hand if you think that parenthood is exhausting. I’m not talking about I-just-ran-a-marathon-and-I-can’t-feel-my-legs kind of exhaustion. I’m talking about the what-have-I-gotten-myself-into type mixed in with a little I-better-rethink-this-whole-soul-sucking-change-in-lifestyle-thing-called-parenthood-again. Up until a certain age (the earlier the better), you have to cook, feed, clothe, teach, discipline, protect, clean, and care for these bundles of joy. Despite the plethora of parenting books out there, the constant advice from loved ones, and your own common sense and experience, there is no set or proper way of raising a family. You wing it and hope that they don’t turn into sociopaths or jackasses.
I used to beat myself up for those moments of “bad parenting”. Have you? You know those moments. I’m talking about feeding your kid commercial baby food because you didn’t have time to puree organic sweet potatoes. I’m talking about bribing your kid with jelly beans at the mall so you can have 5 more minutes to try something on before they scream bloody murder. I’m talking about having your kid run around in just a diaper because you didn’t feel like doing laundry.
It’s OK. Really.
Besides, you can’t be any worse than the yahoos on www.parentsbehavingbadly.com. Whatever happened to “survival of the fittest”? Why are these people allowed to breed? Sterilization, anyone?
I refuse to feel guilty for letting my son watch television. I refuse to feel guilty for letting him eat cake at birthday parties. I refuse!
I will let him play in the dirt. I will take him McDonald’s (sometimes). I will not use flashcards (actually, I’ve given up).
We need to stop being “helicopter” parents. It doesn’t seem to work. We now have too many lazy, dependent and inept brats who can’t think for themselves . Have you seen the tools on MTV lately? Kids need to play, explore, eat junk (occasionally), and get into trouble. It was good for us back then. I think we turned out pretty good.
The next time you beat yourself up for not being the (impossibly) perfect parent, check out www.babble.com/bad-parent-taboo-smashing-confessions/.
You’re fine. In fact, you’re awesome.