In Defense of Today’s Parents

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Photo credit: Andi Smith Photography

Does anyone else feel a little…weary?

Ya’ll. This parenting thing is no joke.  Most days, I barely have the energy to crawl into bed after a full day of working and mom-ing.  I am DRAINED from meeting the needs of so many other people throughout my day. 

It gets to be a lot. 

And then, since it’s 2017, the scrutiny of social media gets added in.  The pressure. The judgment. 

I cannot count how many times I’ve scrolled through Facebook in need of a mental break, only to come across a “rant” someone has posted about how a parent handled a particular situation with their child. I loathe these rants. They often are from someone who has grown children, and perhaps their memory of what it’s like to be in the trenches with little ones has clouded. 

Here is what I want the ranters to know.

Kids these days? They’re doing alright. 

Seriously. They are. They are JUST FINE.  And so are the parents.  Truly, most of the moms and dads I know are working their tails off to raise kids that will turn into kind and hard working adults.  No one I know is trying to raise an entitled, spoiled little jerk-face.  We aren’t so engrossed in our phones that we’re ignoring our kids. We’re teaching them respect. We’re teaching them humility.

Mostly, we’re doing what our parents did.  We’re going to soccer and dance and piano lessons.  We’re juggling careers and families and trying to put something that resembles dinner on the table each night. We pack lunch boxes and check homework and kiss boo-boos.  We do time outs and say sorry and hug.

But we’re also parenting under the watchful eye of social media. And we’re the first generation of parents to do so, so please give us a little grace.

We’re inundated with pinterest-perfect everything.  We don’t dare post a picture of our child in a car seat without 786 disclaimers.  And our children’s tantrums aren’t just met with eye rolls, we run the risk of a perfect stranger broadcasting our parenting pitfalls on social media. 

And, well, that kinda sucks. 

But what I know is this – those rants? Those broad-sweeping judgments of a fleeting moment of motherhood? They don’t truly capture what we’re doing as parents. 

Because the ranters don’t see that you stood your ground during 17 other tantrums that day. Or that your child is melting down because they aren’t feeling well. Or that, dangit, you have a migraine and giving in is the path of least resistance and that’s what you need to do to make it til bedtime that day.

They don’t see the countless games you played and songs you sang and all of the quality time you spent before you let your child play on a device while out to dinner or when you check your e-mail at the park. 

They don’t know how much you worry. How much technology is too much? When does a child need a cell phone in the age of no pay phones? How do you even begin to navigate these things in a world where “sexting” is a verb??

Fellow mamas in the trenches, we got this.  The bad moments don’t define you, neither do the bad days. We’re navigating new waters with our babies, and here’s my prediction:

They’re going to be just fine. 

 

 

 

 

 

2 COMMENTS

  1. I think that social media just makes it easier to rant. Many people would never dream of confronting a mother with a tantrum throwing three year old in the store. It does happen but not at the frequency we now see online. There is no Perfect Parent Handbook. If there is, I never got my copy. We are all doing the best we can and your children will grow to be strong, amazing people because of the parent you are.

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