I’m a parent.
I have issues. I have hang-ups. I struggle in this role I’m in.
I don’t think anyone ever said parenting would be easy. In fact, I think I repeatedly heard how this will be the toughest thing I’ve ever done.
As Jeanmarie Wilson so truthfully said, “Parenting, similar to aging, is not for the faint of heart.”
But there IS a real problem with parents nowadays.One mom dishes the goods. Here's the REAL problem with parents nowadays. #parenting Click To Tweet
To circumcise or not to circumcise? To co-sleep or not to co-sleep? Television or no television? Homemade baby food or store bought? Disposable or cloth diapers? Stay-at-home mom or working mom? Daycare or nanny? Homeschool or public school?
There are endless articles, scientific studies, news reports, and blog posts to counter the decisions a parent makes. It seems as if every parental choice faces some form of public critique. It’s overwhelming and discouraging.
My children, just like anyone else’s, misbehave in public places. I will immediately reprimand them and redirect their behaviour. Yet, I cringe when this happens. I look over my shoulder and wonder what other people are thinking. Is someone watching all of this? Is someone recording it? Will I encounter a rant on the internet tomorrow morning because some know-it-all wrote an epic dissertation on how parents need to be firmer/more lenient with their children?
If your child does something stupid, you’re shamed.
If your child gets hurt while in your care, you’re shamed.
Anyone who knows me or my blog knows that I do not profess that I know it all… especially when it comes to parenting. I share my honest journey of trying to become the mom I want to be.
Yet, when I share my shortfalls, I get berated.
Like when I confessed that I want to stop yelling at my kids, I got bullied by an individual who said I was a bad mom for yelling and that I needed to stop immediately. Naturally, I shared his sentiments that I needed to cease yelling (hence the fact that I wrote the article in the first place), but the guilt trip, belittling, and shaming was completely unnecessary.
The real problem with parents nowadays.
Over the past few weeks, I have witnessed the online badgering of the parent. From the gorilla mom to the poor parents whose son lost his life to an alligator… I have seen cruel, hateful, and disgusting responses.
It sickens me because I see these situations, and I think that it could have easily been me. I mean, just a couple months ago I shared how I made two huge parenting mistakes and both nearly cost my daughter her life. Worse yet, these parenting mess-ups happened within a 36-hour time span! The amount of grief and guilt I felt over these situations weighed heavily on me. If either scenario ended in serious injury or death, I don’t know how I would cope. But I can tell you something… getting berated and criticized would be devastating.
All of these events helped me come to a conclusion… the real problem with parents nowadays is the people who judge and condemn them.
Frankly, I’m sick of the judgmental, “perfect” brood who sit behind the safety of their computers and cast blame. How dare they be so self-righteous?!
Why are they like this, though? I believe that the people who behave this way fall into one of the following categories:
They don’t have children. They have never had children, so they don’t know what it’s like. They have no inkling of what sleep deprivation does to a parent. They have no idea about the struggle to decide on what to do and how to do it. They don’t know what it feels like to be torn between the need to protect and the need to let our children have a bit of independence.
They are unhappy. This group of nasty commenters are miserable people who would say something negative about anything. They spew hateful things because they, themselves lack love and joy.
They think they’re perfect. Yes, sometimes the cruel articles and comments come from individuals who are under the delusion that they are perfect. Spoiler alert! You’re not! No one’s perfect.
They are clueless. They have no idea what they’re saying and they “speak” quickly before thinking things through.
One of my favourite quotes which I discovered in my early childhood career was: “It takes a village to raise a child.” The village is dynamic. Diverse. Supporting. Loving. Caring. Understanding. However, if this online bombardment of parents is what the modern day “village” looks like, I want nothing of it.
When I screw up, I face enough burden and heartbreak without the social media world pouncing all over it. When my guilt and shame are heavy, I need compassion. I need empathy. I need light in my time of darkness. I need someone to say that we all make mistakes. To me, that’s the village that I want to be part of. That’s the world I want to live in.
So as I pour out my heart here, I want you to consider something… every word you speak carries great weight and responsibility. Whether the words come from your fingertips or your mouth, you are accountable for what you say.
Sometimes we need to share an opinion that’s contrary to what’s popular or common, but if your words are erring on the side of judgment, hate, or condemnation, I encourage you to pause and reconsider. Speak truth but also speak with kindness, love, and respect. I can promise that if you speak the truth with love, it has far more impact than words spoken with hate.
Just because the words are sent out from behind a screen, doesn’t mean they have less weight… they are just as powerful. I urge you to use that power to do good.