laborofwonder

Where Whine Meets Wine

The New Accessory?

on August 17, 2011

When you were a little girl (or a little boy), did you ever sit and daydream about the days to come where you’d be in the midst of parental joys? And then your mind would wander to the days when you’d be judged for every choice you make in your parenting career? No? Huh, me either. Did you know that you would be looked down on based on your level of success over some things that are beyond your control? Or even for things that are “normal” for whatever age your child is? I had no idea. There should be a pre-requisite, crash-course for new parents on “How To Survive Judgement Day, Everyday.” Especially since, “How To Properly Judge Other Parents and Their Sub Par Children,” is already being offered.

A baby that still gets up in the night? A 2 year old that throws the occasional temper tantrum when about to be separated from you? A 4 year old that loves to run wild and investigate every inch of anything that could possibly make them dirty? *Gasp* What horrible parenting choices you’ve made that have brought you to that point! Nevermind the fact that each of these things are developmentally normal, your children should be above that. It leaves me wondering if carrying around children has replaced the miniature animals in the latest accessory craze. Today’s children are molded into adult life, instead of the adult’s life being molded around the child’s. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that you do anything and everything your child requests, and that your life is suddenly completely over while you live out theirs. But when did it become acceptable to let your newborn go hungry just because it wasn’t on your schedule? Or to plop your toddler in front of the TV for HOURS so that you can catch up on whatever it is you would rather be doing than keeping a toddler out of trouble. Or to feed your children soda and chips because you don’t feel like making them an actual meal? I’m not saying that there’s never any exceptions or that parents don’t deserve a break, because sometimes you do have to fit them into the day’s schedule. But come on! I just cannot fathom why people try to have children, and then fail to actually treat them like children. Your newborn is going to need to eat all the time, even at night. Past 6 months. Yes, there are ways around it, and children are highly adaptable. That does not, however, mean that is what’s best for your child. And yes, breastfeeding is best, even though it’s not always seen as easiest, because it is more physically demanding. Is it always easiest for you to pump away you lunch break? No, it’s not. (And pumping isn’t a whole lotta fun, either.) Is it still what’s best? Yes. Is it more time consuming to teach my children to play and actually play with my children and foster their imaginations (than to let PBS do it for me)? Probably. Is it better for them? Of course. Would I be more likely to obtain my dream of a perfectly groomed home? Obviously.

How is it that parents are so quick to forget that their babies are just that? And instead expect full nights of sleep along with full days of cooperation. These are not adults in child form, these are children. When did we lose sight of that? I feel like a minority in my belief that while they obviously need parenting, children are children, and should be treated as such. Even if (and when) it means that it’s not what is most convenient for me.

I’d ask my children how they feel about this, but the three of them are currently busy playing my electric piano’s sound effects and developing a story line around them, while building a city to go along with it. 

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5 responses to “The New Accessory?

  1. John says:

    I wish that I could make a handful of parents I see read this. I am always so tempted to tell them these kind of things. For instance, I have seen two very non-child-friendly moves (The Passion of the Christ and The Dark Knight) with toddler present who began screaming and crying at certain points. In no way do I fault the children; they are kids, and those movies are scary. I do, however, completely fault the parents for (1) bringing their children in the first place, and (2) not taking them out when the become noisy. I DO NOT WANT TO HEAR YOUR SCREAMING CHILD IN THE MIDDLE OF BATMAN!!! Perhaps one should only go half the movies one is used to after becoming a parent so one can afford a babysitter . . . 😉

    • Just remember these things in a very short time when you are more tired than you have ever been and your patience is wearing thin ; ) (not that I have any doubts you will!) Yes, those movies are so inappropriate for young children in any form, let alone for them to be in the big movie theater! If it were, say, a kids’ movie… I’d feel a little more compassionate towards the parent (especially if they had to pay for the child’s entrance). In a kids’ movie, I’d say if child starts to fuss, take to the back of the room (where you’re in no one’s way), if noise continues to come out of your child (consistently) then you need to leave. It sucks for the parent, but I think we all know that it’s the appropriate thing to do! hubby and I get to go to less than one movie a year! We do lots of “in house” movie nights. Besides, where else could I enjoy my choice of beverage in my pajamas?!

  2. Domestiç Reclusë says:

    If a person helps create a child, whether or not the child part was accidental, they should realize that they have now become parents and need to take parental responsibility. Some end up being parented by the child, while other parents are completely indifferent or nonexistent, to the point where the child ends up feeling alone and having to “grow up” before they should.

    I have often wondered if today’s inconsiderate/rude society was born from what seems to now be an epidemic of irresponsible parents who set no boundaries nor consequences for their children, nor do they set a proper example for the kids to follow.

    I worked at Child Services and was saddened to see exactly how many children live this way through no fault of their own. It’s always the parent’s fault — always. You have a kid who throws tantrums in public for hours on end? It’s the parent’s fault for not nipping it in the bud and not setting rules/consequences for unwanted behavior. You have a kid who bullies other kids? It’s the parent’s fault for possibly setting the example and acting like a bully at home, or worse, for not monitoring their kid, because it’s possible that child’s been through tough times alone (abuse, etc) from another source and the parents chose to ignore it rather than become involved in the child’s life.

    It all goes back to the parent. Even a child with special needs is not an excuse; such kids may need more parental involvement/attention or a different approach altogether, but those kids do not become “little monsters” overnight without a parent’s help. (Yes, I actually know someone who calls their special needs child a “little monster”, and another who calls hers “li’l evil.”)

  3. Beth McClain says:

    I recall being criticized for not just loving my children but being in love with my children. I was told to ‘go home and take.care of yourself’ when my newborn was seriously ill and hospitalized for 10 days. Never mind that bottle feeding caused him respiratory (breathing) problems while breastfeeding improved his oxygen levels. Only one out of a dozen Doctors encouraged me as I
    held him and fed him small amounts almost continuously. Later, I would be told by the neonatal intensive care doctors that my viligence helped my baby avoid being intubated and probably saved his life. Yes, I confess I am still in love with all four of my children. I only wish other parents would have the same joyous experience.

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