I’ve been feeling pretty catty and resentful lately about parenting, and it’s not because of my beautiful children. They scarcely have anything to do with it, save for the fact that they’re my children that I am parenting them. Nay, what I am catty and resentful about, what I hate about parenting, is everybody else*.
All those people who make snarky remarks about another mother (or father) and their parenting technique.
All those holier than thou people who call 9-1-1 any time they see a kid at the park alone.
All those people who’s “you should/shouldn’t do this” comments spew out every second of the day.
All those people who think that good parenting is being around your children 24/7, and constantly hovering around them, helicoptering all moves they make and “redirecting them”.
All those people who give you dirty looks when you take your kids to the park and then *gasp* don’t play with them. (In my opinion, parks are for kids. Be independent and make friends. I’m not going to hold your hand the whole time).
All those people that judge parents because they parent differently.
Seriously, if you’re going to sit there and judge every single parenting decision that is different than yours, please picture my middle finger in front of your face.
By all means, if you want to be the helicopter parent that doesn’t let their kid breath without obsessing, be that parent. But don’t force your beliefs on other parents. I’m not going to tell you to stop hovering around your child or let them play with other kids without you standing over them, so don’t tell me what to do, either.
I believe in independent play. I don’t believe that I need to entertain my kids 24/7. They have imaginations, and they better put them to good use. I don’t believe that you need to constantly put your kids wants before yours. Yes, I believe your children should be well fed, dressed and warm, but I do not think that buying every single box of Lego Junior sees each time you go to Target is necessary. I do not believe that saying no and encouraging your kids to play independently is bad parenting.
The only “bad parenting” out there is neglectful and abusive parenting, but neglectful is again up for debate. It’s not neglectful for a mother to send her child to a park solo. If that child is old enough and responsible enough to handle the responsibility, then so be it. You shouldn’t be making that decision for another parent though. You don’t know that particular kid, so you can’t make that particular judgement call.
Yes, the judgement is what I hate about parenting…how every single decision you make is wrong in someone else’s eyes, even if it’s right for you and your family. It’s exhausting and wearing, and it makes me want to poke people in the eyeball.
*Of course, there are exceptions to this rule and I certainly don’t hate everyone, I just hate that mindframe, you know?