I remember my mom joking, “you boys are going to drive me to drink!” My brothers and I were three rambunctious boys who tore through the house like an F5 tornado on a daily basis. In high school, we were inviting friends over during our lunch hour and free periods for Tekken Tag tournaments. My mom would always have the house clean, and food and sodas would be waiting for all who came over. I never fully understood how stressful that could be, that is until my wife gave birth to our son.
The stresses of parenthood seemed to have shifted. While parents still have the stresses of wanting a clean home, and making sure your kids are happy and healthy, it seems more and more that society keeps adding more stress. Parents seem to be held under microscopes when they are out in public with kids. Grandparents and people without kids seem to have opinions about everything, from what your child is wearing into the store to how to react when your child has a meltdown in the toy section.
Here is where I say that unless you are family, my kid’s teacher, or someone who deals with my kid on the daily, keep your mouth shut. Just because something worked for your kids who are now in their 40s, or because you are taking classes in child development, that doesn’t give you insight into how my kid’s brain. I have been with my kid everyday for the past 5 years (minus a couple weeks when we sent him to CO with his grandparents) and I know how to deal with him. I’m pretty sure we’ve come across the same articles, so I don’t need you throwing your shade along with “helpful” quotes. There is a time and a place for this kind of help, and mid tantrum in public is not the time nor place to share your opinions.
Not only are we getting unsolicited advice from strangers, but we are getting flack from our own! Parents seem to be judging other parents more and more each day on playgrounds throughout the country. Right now, you are all probably judging my parenting (and writing) techniques. Why are we turning on each other? We are in the exact same damn boat! Let’s cut each other some slack and just let our kids play on the playground while we relax and talk about our favorite shows, movies, comics, and memes.
Unlike my mom, my kid will not be driving me to drink. If things keep going the way they are, it will be adults. It will be those judging my parenting from the 5 minute interaction they will have with me and my kid on the playground, or at the store. It will be those complaining when I take my kid to the movies, even though he’s usually quieter than most teenagers at the movies. It will be keyboard warriors who spend most of their time critiquing parents when they have no kids of their own.