So, there was this post. Which basically called a bunch of mom bloggers to task for what was determined to be an unacceptable form of public parenting.
I don’t care much for the original post. It’s lazy link bait, the kind of writing that trades in ‘being provocative’ and taking on women who have built a following. She comes across judgmental of anyone who talks about the frustrations of parenting. She passes off opinions and suppositions as fact. I’m all for telling stories. My preference is that they’re honest.
I got into a long conversation with a bunch of other bloggers about it yesterday. One of them wrote a post about it that you should read, too. It pretty much summed up the general reaction.
The woman has a point, even if she didn’t make it.
Parenting has become more public. Whether you have a blog or not, whether you’re a brand or just a dad trying to get through a day at home with the kids without losing your sanity thanks to the third repeat of Cars 2. Social media lets us make private moments public. And sometimes, we need to vent.
It’s one thing to talk about your own weaknesses and challenges and frustrations with the job.
Raising children is not all gooey-lit moments of wonder and unicorns and ice cream sundaes delivered by Mr. T and his pet monkey. (Tell me that doesn’t sound awesome.) Yes, it’s amazing that your precious darling has discovered her toes and just can’t stop putting them in her mouth #ohmygoditisthecutestthingeverinallofhumanhistory.
That’s a little much, too.
Maybe I’m more conscious of it, four years into the gig, but I’ve noticed this undercurrent of anger lately. As if the children are responsible for deep resentment and frustration. Status updates calling their kids assholes. Posts about lost freedoms and missed opportunities.
Comments on my blog this past weekend, where a father told me that his 31-year old son has always been a dickhead.
Doing that? That’s not a fair fight. And I don’t think it matters how old your kid is.
If you’re unhappy with your life or your job isn’t what you hoped it would be or you can’t seem to find time to make the changes you want to make, guess what?
It’s not your kids’ fault.
Or maybe it is.
I remember a conversation with my father. We were talking about why he did what he did for a living. I asked him if being an electrician was what he WANTED to do. We think we’re entitled to this now. That our work and passions should align. So, I was asking.
He gave me a look. It wasn’t angry. It wasn’t rueful or bitter. It was just a look that told me my father couldn’t understand how I could even ask the question.
“I did what I did to provide for my family.” While my parents and I have our differences and some considerable distance between us, I don’t know that he ever made me feel that his life was my fault.
There’s a lot of air given, about how the media creates unfair standards of beauty and body image. About how harmful it is to portray Dads as clueless dolts. About what the Kardashians are doing to society.
But there is a lot of content out there that is really shitty toward kids and the demands they put on you. I wonder what message THAT sends.