A Montreal Mom is experiencing the inevitable from the Internet: she's sick of other people telling her what to do, humblebragging about what they do, and sharing everything that they do with the world.
Even better, the woman happens to be my sister. She's mother to a 15-month-old daughter and took to Facebook with a paint-stripping rant:
And then there are some of us who just parent. Period. Without reading blogs, or staying on trend with philosophies. There are those of us who parent without bragging that their kid has pooped on a toilet since they were 8 months old (yes that's my kid who is now 15 months old!), and who don't document every waking moment of our child's milestones (I don't have videos of my first steps and neither does my kid. Do I have a lesser, fulfilled life -- nope!).
There are those of us who don't understand your freaking shorthand when talking about your LH or your DH or whatever it's called. And that's not easy because of the constant comparisons to make sure that your kid is "on track," "keeping up with the Jonses", and just plain old normal. I'm tired of the praises parents seek for simply doing their job. Tired of parents making money off their kid's innocence.
Since this is my sister, and I'm a daddy blogger, I recoiled at her accusations feeling somehow that she's talking directly to me. I've put my kids in sponsored posts for everything from TV shows to back-to-school shoe shopping. I have photos of my son's first steps, videos of my son's first rolling over moments, and I've even made a few headlines with my bold parenting comments.
At the same time, I get exactly where she's coming from. The inevitable comparing that comes in parenting is made even worse in this modern age. Instead of it just being on the field at a weekly game, or three times a year at report cards, we're seeing it every single day. On Facebook, on Twitter, on YouTube.
You don't want to compare, but you do. And for those who don't overshare, the constant highlight reel of humblebragging of others is an eternal circle jerk of praise from faceless friends. It can become deafening.
New Study Finds Link Between Breastfeeding, Always Knowing What's Right For Everyone:
"The data suggests that the simple behavior of breastfeeding one's infant dramatically improves a woman's ability to identify with perfect precision what's wrong with everyone else in every situation."
This is why we have "The Mommy Wars." Some people want to just do their thing like they did a decade ago, before blogs, before Facebook, before social media. Others want to use the newfound power of their pulpit, and share, brag, boast, preach their ideologies to the world. The latter can become exhausting for the former, eventually they lash out in frustration, and cease fire gets broken again.
In our attempts at striving for perfection in parenting with all these blogs and philosophies we are getting further away from the truth of it all. You wake up, be respectful, provide the basic needs to your child, be patient, be curious, be a soft landing space, create calm through order and the wonders of childhood are created. It is a simple philosophy I learned in acting school: it's called being present, or staying in the moment.
I love you moms but I am tired of the facade and bullshit. Tell me a funny story about your kid, or share a concern, but stop trying to shove your philosophies down my throat.
We are bound to make mistakes. That's the beauty of parenting. Another acting lesson comes to mind... audiences don't like to see perfection, they enjoy character flaws it's what draws them in. Perfection is boring. So here's to doing it my way, and most likely doing it wrong, but what I do know, is that my kid is perfect in all her imperfections.... take your quotes, and blogs, and books, and theories, and philosophies, and rules... and shove 'em where the sun don't shine.
Those of us blog and overshare don't mean to be preachy (okay, some of us do), but when everyone is a media outlet and has the ability to share everything at everytime, it happens. When you push out your particular parenting theory, and find a community (big or small) that shares your ideology, you become emboldened. You can end up believing it with even more vigour, you start to think everyone is like you (or should be like you) and the preaching starts.
My sister is rebelling against it (and likely buttressing for the rebellion to her rebelling).
I am trying to focus more on a relaxed, stress free environment, and that means for me, not reading blogs, and competing... I love a competition and I hate the idea of competing with other moms at the expense of our kids. I like to think that we are all doing it, for the greater good, and we should just get on with it.
Let our children be children, let them fail, and win awards, and cut their hair, and bite our nipples, and move on. Micro analyzing every moment of our child's development was hurting my head. I want to raise a self aware, strong, woman, who is kind, and well spoken, and fearless, and capable, and all those great qualities we esteem our children to have.
I guess, I'm over the mommy club and trying to find the bridge between being a woman and a mom.
We used to not know everything about everyone. Before social media, there was a filter. There were things you didn't say in public, or tell your boss. Now, with social media, the filter is gone. The privacy of our phone in the bathroom doesn't make us feel like we're standing in front of the world, but when we post to the Internet, that's what we're doing.
And that's how the Mommy Wars start. The only parenting trend we all need is to CTFD.
Image via fosa