I think I should state for the record that this has nothing to do with any sort of bitterness over not having any of my submissions accepted, because I’m not bitter. You can’t be a writer and hold grudges like that or you’ll go nutballs. I’m much too busy to go nutballs, you see. So no, this isn’t about bitterness.
Scary Mommy is getting harder and harder to read. For me. In general. Because THE OPINIONS, my God, the OPINions! I can’t handle the “I’m never doing this again” or “Moms who do this are crazy” articles and there’s just so many of them.
I’ve been a mom for less than 2 years so I am hardly an expert but I gotta tell ya, the road to sanity for this parent is all about flexibility, adaptability, and an understanding of the bigger picture.
This is how it works:
- I have a parenting theory based on a value so I’m going to do THIS.
- Wow, THIS failed spectacularly. I’m gonna have to do something different. I’ll try THAT.
- No, THAT didn’t work either. OK, how about THIS OTHER THING.
- THIS OTHER THING seems to be going well but I feel bad that THIS and THAT didn’t work. Am I a bad parent? No. Because forcing THIS or THAT on my child when it clearly doesn’t work for him would be bad parenting. I have to understand that my job as a parent is to get my child safely through childhood, instilling good values as best I can, until he becomes an adult and can choose his own values.
And that’s all there is to it*. I’m not going to shame myself or let myself be shamed for failure to follow through on something that’s not working, something I don’t believe in, something someone else is pushing on me but I feel iffy about, or some bullcrap that some freaking mommy blogger with a PhD in skimming Parenting magazine articles and then forming a silly opinion that she thinks applies to every other human is touting as gospel truth. No, thank you.
I’m not saying I won’t read magazines or blogs or Pinterest or even Scary Mommy sometimes because I’ve gotten some really good ideas from them. But just because it’s working for one parent or even several doesn’t mean that it’s for me.
And that’s… ok.
Unless you’re writing one of the overwhelmingly prevalent articles for Scary Mommy where you bitch about all the people making bento boxes for their kid’s lunches because WHO HAS TIME FOR THAT CRAP?! Well, the parents making those boxes are using the time they have to do something they enjoy to make their kids happy. Does that mean you have to do it too or you’re a bad parent? No. I’m sure some of those box-makers are smug better-than-youers, but some of them just enjoy food art.
What about those stupid crafty parents making HOME MADE HALLOWEEN COSTUMES?! HOW DARE YOU use your skills and hobbies to benefit your child because it makes both you and your child happy? HOW DARE YOU then post your creations to social media where you can show your friends and family something you’ve made that you’re proud of? HOW DO YOU THINK THAT MAKES ME FEEL not having the same skills nor the time nor the patience to do the same for my child? I’m gonna write a Scary Mommy article about that shaming you because if I feel bad that I can’t do what you do, you should feel bad about it too.
Moms, Dads, Guardians of children, Guardians of the Galaxy, you all need to relax. There are as many ways of showing your kids you love them as there are children in the world. All you have to do is find the thing that you know how to do or that you’d like to learn how to do and figure out how to use that to show your child you love them. And it doesn’t have to be showy or impressive and you don’t have to post it on Pinterest or Facebook to make it count.
Just love your kid the way you can. Just… love your kid.
Me and my son, pretty much.
*Haha, just kidding. Parenting is wicked hard.