Monday, May 11, 2015

Parenting - Why Can't we Live & Let Live

It's 8.30am on a Monday morning. My son left for school 40 minutes ago so I've been catching up on the news and some social media (cough). I have already read two articles with subtle undertones of parental judging. Why the heck does parenting have to be juxtaposed with what other parents (presumably "bad" parents), are doing wrong? Why can't we just get on with it; live and let live?

The first is the most subtle kind. It's about abortion, but it's not nasty and ranty. It compares the story of a woman who was heartbroken to have to abort her pregnancy with the writer's story, where she chose not to. The writer declares, about reading the former story, "I wept, not out of joy, but out of compassion". But then we read her comments about the first woman "She saw only darkness. She believed she couldn't give her child a good life". Ah, the first signs of something wanting. And then the true colors - "Women who abort their children do it because they say they want a better life. But it's not a better life they want - it's an easier one." Where is the compassion in that? I read nothing but judgment sandwiched between words like "I feel your pain" and "I wept as I read it".

The second was of the "I'm such a bad mother" variety which seems to be the new, judgy trend at the moment. (Just Google "Slacker Mom"). I must admit I only got half way through reading about how this mom/mum sometimes forgets to have her kids brush their teeth in the morning and (gasp) sends them to school with a non-healthy (but only just) snack or lunch. Yawn. While I welcome a mild backlash against Type A mothers who put everyone else to shame, this new movement of self-appointed slackers is possibly more annoying. Their "sins" are so benign, mot of us have been quietly doing them for years. Why the need now, to shout if from the rooftops? And the comments in the discussion thread are even worse, with people signing up for the slacker bandwagon as if they were being offered three weeks in Bali without the family.

Please people. No two parents are alike in their parenting styles and - klaxon - That's OK!

PS. Yes, this is a judgy post, but I"m judging people's judging, not their parenting.