I’m probably going to piss some people off with what I’m about to say, and what I cannot stress enough is that this does not apply to anyone I know. All of my mom & dad friends are absolutely doing it right.
Every week, I get someone in my newsfeed sharing a warm and fuzzy blog post or news article about how parents need to stop being so hard on ourselves, and stop comparing ourselves, and let ourselves off the hook if x, y, or z doesn’t happen. That EVERYONE is doing their best and we should all just be satisfied with that. Some of you need to read that stuff, because you are doing it right.
But here’s the thing, all you need is one trip through your local Walmart to see that not everyone is doing their best. Yea, I said it. I’m not talking about the two year old throwing a tantrum. That shit happens. It happens to me, all the time. I’m not talking about if your hair isn’t perfect or you don’t go to mommy and me pilates class every week. I don’t expect that much from anyone. Chances are, if you’re wondering if you’re fucking up, you’re probably not. I’m talking about the pregnant 17 year old, smoking a cigarette and selling crack while her other three obese, filthy children in just a dirty diaper, jump up and down screaming obscenities in the shopping cart while they’re drinking rum and juggling razor blades. (I may be exaggerating. But you know the ones…YES YOU DO.) The trouble is, she’s probably going to read that warm and fuzzy shit too and go “Ahh..see I’m doing fine!” And when she shares it on her newsfeed, her mom will probably read it too. And it spreads like herpes. Yay!
As a country, our test scores are in the shitter.(25th in the world! TWENTY FIFTH!!!) Our teen pregnancy rates, well, one out of three girls is pregnant before age 20. Speaking of one out of three, one out of three girls is molested by the time they’re 10. One out of five boys are, too.
We have more juveniles in prison, illiterate adults, and a higher crime rate than anywhere in the world.
Sure, we can blame the school systems, or the country, the welfare system, social services, drugs, society, whatever..Hey, some of you probably will find a way to blame Obama. But at the end of the day, it’s clear to me that not everyone is doing such a great job at this parenting gig. Let’s stop jerking each other off and get our shit together.
I don’t want to get into a great parenting debate. I don’t want to talk about whether or not you breastfeed, cloth diaper, vaccinate, eat organic, make them sensory bins or what the fuck ever. I don’t. I don’t care about your position on these issues. I care about MY position on them so that I can figure out how to do my best for my kid, not so I can defend them to you.
I want you to give a fuck about your kids. Think about the things you are doing and saying with them, to them, for them. I know parenting is hard. I get it, you’re tired, I’m tired. We’re all tired. But these kids are our contribution to the universe, seriously. When I’m dead and gone, I want to know that at least I left behind one decent individual. He doesn’t have to win a Nobel Peace Prize or the Superbowl..just be a decent person, with a decent existence.
I get that shit happens. I get that sometimes, a parent does all the right things for and by their kids, and they’re still psychopaths as adults. I get that sometimes, parents are fuckups and the kids turn out just fine. But those are the exceptions, not the rule. I get that you’re trying. We’re all trying.