I have a topic I’ve been wanting to write about for awhile, but I’ve been trying to figure out a way to talk about it that won’t offend people or make me seem judgemental about it. Here goes.
For awhile, parenting blogs and articles across the web talked all about the joys of parenthood. How sweet and amazing it is to raise such incredible and affirming children. Life is grand! Then, at some point it become more trendy to snark about raising kids. Sites like ScaryMommy exist to appeal to all the “real moms” out there who “tell it like it is”. Honest talk about the dirty, ugly, frustrating and awful moments about parenthood. Now it seems like a schtick to me — like an easy way to make clickbait headlines that people will share on social media with the caption “the struggle is SO real”.
I totally get and appreciate the need for solidarity, to have our struggles acknowledged and appreciated. To know we aren’t alone when it’s 4am and the baby has been awake playing for hours. But on the flip side, it has cast such an aura of negativity over parenting. At least for me.
When I was pregnant, I did that thing that I do where I read tons of Internet articles about it. And I tried to prepare myself for what “being a mom would REALLY be like” by reading pieces like “8 Things About Newborns that Will Drive You Crazy” or “7 Reasons I Am Happy To Be Done Breastfeeding”. The end result is that I came into being a mom assuming it would be the hardest thing in the world, that I would be exhausted and stressed and sore and miserable. That I would get frustrated and need alone time, that my friends would ditch me, that I’d be clamoring for help with “sleep training” and that people would be judging me left and right for my parenting choices and I’d have to defend myself constantly. That my life would change for the worst and I’d have to give up everything I love.
Maybe it’s because I have a unicorn baby. Maybe I am just lucky. Maybe it’s only been 5 months and I am destined for hardship in the future. But parenting has been nothing short of incredible for me. I’m never tired, I’m not frustrated. I haven’t given up anything I don’t want to give up, and I haven’t lost my friends who matter most. I don’t feel judged and I go with the flow. Adding Henry to our life has made things better in just about every way. I am 100% overwhelmingly happy and attached and madly in love.
These articles are supposed to show the honest side of parenting, but they have been disingenuous for me. The net effect made me wonder if people even enjoy their kids anymore. Am I weird that I don’t have complaints? My time spent in peaceful/gentle/attachment parenting groups is so much more rewarding than reading articles about how miserable moms are. 🙁 Call me an optimist, I suppose.
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