Monday, March 30, 2015

Are You Doing It Wrong? Probably. But So Did Your Mom

This post has popped up on my Facebook timeline no fewer than five times over the past couple of days.  If you want to read it, go ahead.  If not, she's saying in a nutshell that the world is filled with neurotic, over-protective parents who are ruining their children and we should be more like our own parents.


This is not to say I disagree entirely with the basic premise.  I personally practice a fairly laissez-faire parenting style and like to have some fun.

But the beef I have is that this woman writes "nothing steals joy away from parenting more than believing you are doing a terrible job at it" in the middle of a blogpost about how you're parenting wrong.

Jesus Christ on a cracker, can't the mommy bloggers of the world just take a meeting and agree that it's just as OK to be a mommy who makes a shit ton of crafts for Valentine's Day (because some people like doing that) as it is to be a mommy who doesn't?  This blogpost (and a million like them) are so judge-y about parents (who the fuck am I kidding?  mothers) who get into scrapbooks and schedules and birthday cupcakes.  Look, I am telling you on this very unsuccessful blog of mine: It's fine to get into scrapbooks and cupcakes. If you want to scrapbook your kids life - go right ahead and tell all the cooler-than-thou moms out there that they are free to not.

Then there's this:

Hold on - this one drives me to drink:

Not having access to iPads did not make superior parents!  It's just something we want to believe because our superior childhoods would then make us superior people.  And if our tab-drinking, get the hell out of the house parents were really mostly keyed up on having time to themselves, Minecraft would have been a gift from the gods!  

You know what I remember a lot from childhood: being bored as shit!  Feeling left out and ignored from games and fun.  I would have loved to have spent time in my bedroom building imaginary Minecraft worlds (I think - I don't understand that game).  

Which brings me to the point I really want to make.  This lady isn't talking about us as parents. She's  talking about us as people. Gen X.  My people.

Did you catch that?  It sounds like she's praising her mom, but the subtext here is that we are the extra awesome beneficiaries of benignly neglectful parenting while people younger than us are, y'know, crap:

I'm here to spoil the damn party: there is no generation born to man who has not been accused of being entitled, spoiled, and generally helpless by the generation that came before.  I cannot believe this woman has completely forgotten every boomer dickhead who bemoaned our general uselessness in 1990.

I'm fixing to drop the mic here -  there's a simple calculation for successful parenting: their needs come first, but not to the exclusion, of yours.  That's it.  If you feel better booking your kids in a series of summer camps or if you're OK letting him hang out in his room with Minecraft, or if you lock them outside while you drink Tab, all of this is fine, so long as you're keeping them fed and loved.  You make the call on how you want to do that, not the Internet (except this post).  

In the end, when your child is grown up, there will be a bunch of Millennials talking about what shit his whole generation is.  Because they will have forgotten the shit they took.  This is how the world works.  Quit letting other people telling you you're raising your kids wrong.  What the hell do they know?