I Am Parent, Hear Me Roar

Parents are a vocal bunch. So when a particularly provocative topic hits the news, they aren’t about to stay quiet. The funny thing is, while you’d think parents would be most aggressive when defending their kids, more often than not they are equally as loud, if not louder, when they feel the need to defend themselves.

Because not only are parents vocal, they are sensitive.

We got additional evidence on this front last week, with the TIME Magazine cover controversy.

I’m always hearing how time-consuming parenting is, and I can vouch for that. But that doesn’t stop oh so many parents from effusively and repeatedly railing against the way parents are treated. Lately, and particulalry in the wake of the breastfeeding cover, I keep hearing the phrase “Parenting War,” and, in blog post after blog post and comment after comment, I hear about how the media is pitting moms against moms, moms against dads, etc.

To which I respond: who cares?

Unless the media is corralling the breastfeeding and non-breastfeeding moms into caged arenas where only one will survive, what is everyone so worried about? We all have the right to parent however they want (within both reason and the law, of course), so what’s the benefit of getting all bent out of shape over whether someone else is letting their kid suckle their breast until he’s eight or not? At best the kid has a superhuman immune system and won’t get your kid sick, at worst he’ll never leave his beloved mom’s side and you’ll never even see him unless you check into his motel.

But!, you say. You don’t have a problem with other parents (god knows I do, but only when they are judgmental “Other Parents”); your problem is the media, specifically with headlines like TIME’s “Are You Mom Enough?” Apparently that headline, along with the controversial photo, implies that parents who breastfeed longer are tougher/stronger/better moms than those who don’t. I suppose you could see it that way, if you want to. I took the headline to be a joke and a provocation; an attempt to get you curious enough to buy the magazine, not an endorsement of a specific technique.

The only thing TIME is endorsing is TIME. And by getting all het up over a publication’s sensationalism and blathering about it online is exactly what the publication wants.

The only people creating a war on parents are warring parents themselves. Be happy with your own technique and let all the constant comparisons and easy belligerence go. Someday, the aliens will come and tell us all exactly how to properly raise our kids. The few of us who have been doing it correctly will be placed on golden thrones and exalted for eternity. Everyone else will be branded with the mark of the beast and their children will be fed to wolves.

But we’re not there yet.

So until then, stop worrying about what everyone else thinks. All that matters is if your son grows up to be a psychopath or not and you can stop worrying about that too, because there’s NOTHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT.

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2 thoughts on “I Am Parent, Hear Me Roar

  1. I am doing my utmost to raise a well-mannered psychopath! Sadly there does not seem to be any clear guidance as to which parenting method will most successfully get me there. Everybody seems to think it’s the ‘other’ way that will do it.

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