A while ago there was a ridiculous post being peddled around Facebook along the lines of “If you climbed trees, scraped knees, scrumped for apples, got felt up by a paedo in a park, *insert other nostalgic archaic nonsense here* came home when the sun went down and you turned out alright, re-post!”. It really annoyed me. Posts that wang on about how things were better in the past really wind me up. The world we live in now is far more exciting, far more accessible on an international level, bursting with information readily available at our finger tips, but most importantly it is SAFE. We don’t leave our doors unlocked and our kids unaccompanied in parks, or by rivers or whatever other ludicrous notions it promoted because we are aware of rape and murder and kidnap and paedophilia.
I am increasingly aware that even though I thoroughly agree that our technological age means that our lives and our children’s lives are much safer, it also means that there is a staggering amount of information floating around us constantly on how to be a parent. When I was pregnant with my first, only 5 years ago...it felt like I was swotting up even by buying a few pregnancy guides....even the silly one with the crazy Aussie woman in it. These days, if you haven’t joined a parenting group or network or whatever by your first missed period then WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?! How on EARTH do you think you are going to PARENT PROPERLY WITHOUT THOUSANDS OF MUMS/DADS TELLING YOU HOW?!
Recently a lot of there seems to be so much stuff in the media about what we should and shouldn’t be doing to or with or at our kids. Parents are heaping huge amounts of pressure on themselves just to parent their own children in a way that society deems acceptable. We’re constantly comparing ourselves to our peers consciously or subconsciously. Just today there was an article in a national hate-rag about how Helena Bonham-Carter had brainy kids because she educated them with “Mozart” in utero. WHAT.
Of course the quest for parenting guidance is nothing new. It’s just that historically your field of knowledge and comparison would be so much smaller. You close friends, family and neighbours would be your information points. These days we have not just peers on social media constantly shovelling heavily filtered visions of parenthood under our noses but “celebs” sticking their four-penneths in too! Which is turning us all into paranoid jibbering wrecks about whether or not we are doing it right.
We need to back the fuck up now and realise that what we are doing is really probably ok. Let’s take some of the pressure of ourselves and stop overanalysing every little thing we do or don’t do for our kids. I hate to say it but we really probably do need to return a little bit to the sentiment of those ridiculous status updates and worry a little less about how our kids are doing. Because we turned out alright didn’t we?! Re-post, LOLZ!