|Even though we know the perfect family is a myth,|
why do we try so hard to have one?
There are so many times, as a parent, when you just feel as though you are doing everything wrong. On those days when your find yourself slamming doors in frustration or muttering under your breath while your children are yelling at each other and you feel as though you've botched yet another attempt at remaining cool, calm and connected, it's pretty easy to feel like a lousy parent.
And there are so many ways in which we compound this feeling by comparing ourselves to other parents and feeling as though someone else is doing all the things we're not doing. The more we know about parenting and how our children develop, the more we can become painfully aware of our own shortcomings.
This morning in the LA Times there was an article about how much movies that depict parenting have changed because, in fact, parenting itself has changed over the years.
"In the past, people parented based on instincts and how they were raised, but now with technology and the ease of transmittable information, we know so much more about parenting, We do so much more thinking about parenting, You can't turn on a morning show without an expert talking about college anxiety, how to keep our kids busier...Everyone wants to know how everyone else is doing it."
|Have the massive amount of parenting books I've read|
in the last 5 years helped or made me more stressed?
Logically, of course I know there is no possible way we can all do everything "right". It could make you insane to try. As one mother in the the LA Times article comments:
"The focus on having the right things and what are they eating...lactation consultants, crib consultants, I swear to God there are curtain consultants. Parenting has become this whole other culture".And yet, I do get down on myself for not doing more. Logically I know that I am a good mother and that I do a lot of things really well, but are there areas in which I wish I did things better? Of course. Are there areas in which I look at others and compare myself? Of course. Its that pointless and self-defeating? Of course. But perhaps it's also human nature to compare and contrast. Would I prefer not to know so much? I'm not sure. I would imagine that our parents and grandparents had a much different experience being parents than we are having. They were probably less self-critical of their parenting and less stressed out. But was ignorance actually bliss? I suppose for some, but I don't think I'd trade in knowing so much.
The other angle of all of this increased interest in parenting that intrigues me are the parents who see their children as extensions of themselves. As the Times article points out, "It's almost like keeping up with the Joneses. Instead of who's got the nicer car, it's who's doing better for their kid." Living in Los Angeles this is an all too common occurrence. A friend of mine told me recently about being snubbed at the park for bringing Doritos for her son to have as a snack by a mom who had brought organic, grilled salmon and quinoa for her own child.
|At the end of the day, what I want most|
is for my children to be happy.
My sense is that no matter your philosophy, we're all doing our best to raise happy, healthy children. The fact that there is so much information out there on how to do it is both wonderful and overwhelming. I think the best we can all do for the children involved is to choose what information resonates in our hearts, be gentle with ourselves when we mess up and just be as loving, kind and respectful as you can be...in my experience, when I do those things, I find that I am a pretty awesome parent.
Thanks for reading!
The Twin Coach
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