Month: February 2012

You’re Fired!

Yes…that’s right.  To all you parents out there…start looking for a new job because your kids don’t need you anymore.

I made a very sad statement to somebody the other day.  “If it wasn’t so hard to raise a child now, I might think about having a third baby”.  Yes…that’s right.  I said that.  Here’s why.  My first daughter was born thirteen years ago when I was wonderfully naive and ignorant.  I have good memories of caring for her and nothing sticks out as being overly traumatic (aside from the day when she was 6 months old and my knee gave out on the cement steps causing her to fall and bang her head.  But I’m not guilty.)

My youngest daughter was born four years ago (AFTER I had completed a nursing degree, AFTER I had aged nine more years, and AFTER high intensity parenting came into vogue).  I’ll put it this way, I now listen to Deepak Chopra and inhale essential oils in order to debrief at the end of each day (which, by the way, are two very effective stress management tools…shout out to Deepak).

But now all of this is going to change.  Parenting as we know it has now been replaced by a “non-parenting” model.  Micro-management didn’t work, now the world has shifted so that the parents have relinquished all control to the kids and they can raise themselves.

I noticed this phenomenon a few years ago.  My eldest daughter began to have “student-led parent teacher”.  Am I the only one who sees a problem here?  The event is called “parent/teacher” with emphasis on the “parent” and “teacher”.   I can only assume the rationale here is to involve the child in every aspect of everything.  I say ridiculous.  No teacher is going to divulge any issues in front of a student for fear of ruining their “self-esteem” or something of the like.  There are things that a child needs to stay out of until their involvement is actually required.  The power shift here is absurd.  I now anticipate that by the time my youngest child has parent-teacher it will actually be called “child-parent/teacher” wherein the child will present a list of all inadequacies they have discovered about their superiors (only nobody will be a “superior” because hierarchy is WRONG!!).

Then today I was reading an article in a parenting magazine (guilty as charged).  It talked about “baby-led feeding”.  Yes..that’s right.  Skip the pureed stage and head right to combo number 1 with the fries up-sized and Coke to drink.  Common sense advice on introducing soft foods initially is BAD.  Now, your child needs to be free to express himself and eat that box of Cracker Jacks should he choose.  In essence, the child is skipping an entire stage of development.  Is this because the parents are too crunched for time or is it that the parenting world has fried itself from the “micro-management” phase and now children can just do whatever they please. Now, our only duty is to care for the child until he/she is able to put food in their mouth and then we’re done.

Sad but not surprising I guess.  If you mentally trace the trajectory of parenting over the years, it would look something like this:

1970’s-“you’re eating what I put in front of you or you don’t eat”
1980’s-“if you eat your supper I will let you play until 8:30 tonight”
1990’s-“it’s tofu and you won’t even be able to taste it in this spaghetti sauce”
2000’s-“honey, when you throw your food at Mommy, it really tugs at my inadequacy complex”
2012-“you don’t want that silly old bottle do you?  Here, have a turkey drumstick instead.  It develops your sucking reflex too”

Needs To Work On Sharing…

At some point in my younger years, this comment was made by a teacher (most likely on a report card).  I remember this, and also recall making a conscious effort to be “nicer” in an attempt to appease those in charge.  Being “coerced” into behaving a certain way made me feel slightly anxious and a bit distressed.  It wasn’t that I didn’t want to share all the time…however there were certain moments in the day that I just wanted to play with things alone, work on things alone, and generally just be in charge of my activities and thoughts by myself.  I have always been okay with being alone.  I have also been relatively peaceful with not requiring constant reassurance, attention and validation for my ideas and contributions.  This is not to say that being recognized is not a great feeling…it most definitely is!  This is about my feelings on “over-sharing” and my observation that people seem to now need CONSTANT validation for everything they do…right down to the most minute details.  This blog may make people cranky or assume that I am a bitter, opinionated bee-yotch (hee hee).  But it’s the truth as I see it, and perhaps as you see it as well.

True story…a relative of mine had a “friend” on Facebook whose husband did some pretty nasty things.  When the individual found out about the “nasty things”, she went bonkers with her ranting on Facebook so that EVERYBODY knew what the dirty details were.  Who could blame her…she was hurt (rightfully so).  The issue became this…a few months later (after unending posts about her moving on with her life sans husband), she decides to give him round #2 and takes him back.  Now, the posts contain syrupy statements about how wonderful of a man he is and how complete her life is (this is further accented by comforting posts by her friends who agree that Dirtbag is the most loving husband ever).  Call me crazy…I find this hard to stomach due to TOO MUCH SHARING IN THE FIRST PLACE!  The world does not need to know the nitty gritty of your life.  My motto…only post it if you’re okay with your kids seeing it when they’re older.

Facebook and Twitter have their place…I agree that they are great networking/communication tools.  They are not an invitation to discuss how your latest weight loss endeavours have given you chronic diarrhea or how your sister has slept with your husband.  I’ve wondered about the possibility that this may be a problem with me-perhaps I am overly sensitive and my tolerance level has dropped to sub-zero.  It may be…but I also think we are in an epidemic of  “sharing-itis” which can be further defined as a chronic inflammation of people’s sharing mechanism rendering them virtually unable to use their filters anymore.  This condition causes people to scream for attention making them very annoying to those not affected by the disease.  Here’s some status updates I’ve read in the past to give support to what I’m trying to say:

-you spent 2 hours at the gym and are down 2.3 pounds this week (you are going to look smokin’ in that new bikini you bought for Bermuda in April)

-your son received an 74 in math class, an 83 in gym, a 52 in chemistry, a 68 in history and 95 in marketing class this term

-after not having pooped for 4 days in a row, you have discovered that you shouldn’t feed your 11 month old toddler so much cheese

-you’re back from the doctor and there is a reason why you’ve been having so much pain in your pelvic region…that boil has gotten infected!  Who knew?

-you ate some really bad take-out and have vomited non-stop for 3 days now (author’s note:  umm…what are you doing on Facebook if you’re that sick?)

The best posts are the posts about how amazing your spouse and/or children are.  I am guilty of this and learned the hard way that…inevitably….you could probably take that statement back within a few hours of making it.  After all, we’re all human…we can’t possibly live up to a Facebook post about our greatness!

Moral of the story…sometimes too much is not good.  Sometimes it’s okay not to share.  Don’t feel bad…your public will thank you for it.