Thursday, May 25, 2017

Judgment Judgment Everywhere and Nary a Drop of Truth

I've been wanting, for some time, to write a post that sort of brings together various articles I've read and insights I've had related to the stress that comes from being a mother in this modern era.

It boils down to one simple fact: In today's modern parenthood there is no truth, only judgment. 

Every single day there are at least two articles on my Facebook, Blogger, or Yahoo feed that contradict each other so fundamentally that, frankly, I am not sure how anyone could possibly know how to parent. So every day I am reminded how very extremely critically important my job is as a mother and how none of it actually matters at all. It's so important to set boundaries. But don't say "no!" And make sure you let them fail. Safely, of course, in small ways before they reach high school, and making exceptions for necessary interventions.

"I think when you use the word 'fail,' you alienate a lot of people," said children's television host Miss Lori, a mom of three. "I believe in allowing my children to stumble." Teaching them how to get up again is enormously important, said the social media strategist and contributor. "But fail, not so much, especially in school. Our education system is already failing them in most cities. Their school résumé is too important, and they have too few years to amass it."

Oh, I thought if you don't let them fail it's because you have issues with anxiety and control. If they're sick, mentally ill, overweight, or stressed, you're not doing your job right. Maybe it's because you've provided them too many toys, activities, choices, and information. You can't let them out of your sight, ever!  Besides, time with them is the most important way you show your love. But don't helicopter them! And here's a great article about how the best way a parent can prevent bullying is to teach their kids to defend themselves rather than relying on school or parental authority, except that you must also teach them that it's NOT OKAY to EVER use violence in any way against anyone for any reason.

“Responding physically to physical attacks is not the right first response,” she told TODAY Parents. “However, ... we cannot allow children to become victimized. If a child tries a verbal deflection and is met with physical threats, he or she needs to know that they have the right to defend themselves physically.” “One possible consequence is that physically defending yourself against an attack might lead to a fight. Your child might lose that fight. They may get hurt. The attacker may get hurt. The teachers, mentors or adults in charge, may get involved. Your child might get sanctioned for fighting,” he wrote.
How's that for the perfect illustration of a lose/lose situation? You have the right to defend yourself, but doing so will probably lead to sanctions and adults getting involved, but at least the bullying will stop...except probably not because the whole point of the article is that adult involvement doesn't effectively stop bullying or teach children how to respond to bullying behaviors!

Not that I need the internet to be shown my failures. Every time I lose my temper, each well-meaning "observation" from family members, all the hundreds of times per day the kids fight with each other, talk back to me, whine, complain, act selfishly, lie, break something, or eat a bunch of candy, convinces me that my parenting is abysmal and I am raising the next generation of entitled brats, and hence, that my entire life's purpose is worse than useless.

Yes, I know, this is a sign of depression. From this article, about the stress to be "perfect": "When you have depression, it's about constantly battling the negative thoughts and constantly battling the comparison. And it's so tiring." Someone who doesn't battle this disease will simply advise me not to care about other people, not to listen to any voice but my own. The problem is, I don't trust my own voice or my own perspective.

Love this post from Bunmi Laditan
How To Be A Mom in 2017: Make sure your children's academic, emotional, psychological, mental, spiritual, physical, nutritional, and social needs are met while being careful not to overstimulate, understimulate, improperly medicate, helicopter, or neglect them in a screen-free, processed foods-free, GMO-free, negative energy-free, plastic-free, body positive, socially conscious, egalitarian but also authoritative, nurturing but fostering of independence, gentle but not overly permissive, pesticide-free two-story, multilingual home preferably in a cul-de-sac with a backyard and 1.5 siblings spaced at least two year apart for proper development also don't forget the coconut oil.
How To Be A Mom In Literally Every Generation Before Ours: Feed them sometimes.
(This is why we're crazy.)

Here's a question I'd like answered: "How do we get past this?"

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