Thursday, July 19, 2007

Backlash?

This recent entry in Newsweek's 'My Turn' section made me pause. Could it be that there is a backlash forming against 'extreme parenting'? Read the article before delving further into this post or it won't make much sense.

Done reading? Ok, good.

First, I would like to say that I could not agree more with what Ms. Friedman has to say regarding people backing off women's biological clocks. It is no one's business but the couple or the woman's. Stop asking that question people! Stop touching pregnant and not-pregnant belly's! I'm still amazed at how it's even done to us folks who have already reproduced. Maybe we want to hang out in the 'only child' club for a bit longer than others. And that's just fine. My uterus doesn't work well under pressure. No one's does.

Second, Friedman talks about the her friend's kid punching her in the face... please. Sadly, haven't we all had these situations? WTF is wrong with parents today? "You really shouldn't talk down to kids." is what the mother told Friedman. Seriously? Maybe someone should stop talking to the kid and start talking to the mother. Hand her a copy of this book.

I suppose I'm doing a little bit of judging here on other parents which I try not to do, but sometimes I just get so angry that we parents can get such a bum rap as being extreme zombies hell bent on not eating brains but having the smartest, most talented kid in the hemisphere. I know for me I didn't want to have kids partly, because like Friedman, I didn't want to become one of those extreme parents, overbearing mothers, or worse the parent who becomes blind to anything and everything their "little angel" does. The 'kid can do no wrong' syndrome. Does anyone really set out to become that type of parent? Probably not. Does it just happen over time and you don't see it happening? Do your friends become like-minded and not see it either? Then before you know it your kid is the playground bully, or future drug ambassador of their school and you still think they are a straight A report card carrying boy/girl scout. Or is it really just as simple as figuring out what type of parent you want to be before baby and then sticking to your guns and not caving to neighborhood/mom group pressures?

I'm not entirely sure. I just know that despite being a parent, I am still on the fence. I'm stuck between the land of the parent/child empathizers (yes, it would be really nice if men's rooms had changing tables. No, I do not think babies belong in movie theaters) for a more child-friendly world and with those who do not have children and feel that they are being pressured into having kids regardless of their situation or desire for children.

I do know one thing- somethings brewing out there and it just might be a backlash. There's a quest for a return to modesty so why not less extreme parenting, more minding our own business?

2 comments:

  1. From Char in N.M-

    I liked your post this morning. I find it annoying when people ask about when we are going to have kids. EVEN when they know we are having trouble. I especially dislike people recoiling in horror when i tell them i'm not going to undergo any treatments because I don't believe in it. and then they have the audacity to tell me that my choice is wrong and that I owe it to God and my future kids to go in for fertility treatments and that it will be on my head in The Final Judgment that I refused to do all in my power to have children. Whatever happened to having FAITH that if I was meant to have kids I will simply get pregnant and if I wasn't I won't? Whatever happened to simply being polite and tasteful and respecting people's personal choices enough to not spew any of your own opinions on someone else's reproductive choices? I mean, if you agree with my choice feel free to back me but if you don't, keep it to yourself.

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  2. gretchen5:46 PM

    This is a great article and I like your response to it. Heaven forbid a woman be trusted to make her own decision.

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