Warning: This article is part of “The Edge” series and may not appeal to those without a sense of humor or those who are completely opposed to any and all swear words. 🙂
I was born in the 70’s. There was a lot of smoking and no car seats during that decade. My Halloween masks were plastic (not BPA free!) and it was hard to breathe out of them. I made mud pies on Saturday afternoons, watched violent cartoons, and had all my birthday parties in my grandparent’s backyard with a sheet cake and a water hose. I rode my bike barefoot and it’s possible I never heard of a helmet until I was 20. My grandparents cooked everything with lard and organic just meant it grew in your backyard.
I suppose some important improvements have been made since then. We all know smoking is bad, while car seats and helmets are good. However, for every positive move forward there are at least two or three head scratchers in the parenting movement of today. To make matters worse, everyone and their opinions are available 24-7 on that mini computer we call a phone. You can read parenting advice and feel guilty all while ignoring your kid at the park. I love modern convenience. It makes mommy guilt so expedient.
Here are a few modern parenting trends that are not only tired, but have now officially given me a nasty case of the red ass.
1. Birthday Party Crap Bags
I have one feeling about this. If it’s not your birthday, you don’t get a gift. You get cake, you get to play, you have fun, and you go home. I don’t even care if you bring my kid a present. Having you there to play is gift enough and life is not about stuff. Kids don’t need a bag of crap for showing up. And that’s exactly what it is: crap. Unless you’re one of these parents who give iPods as a party favor. In that case, I hate you for completely different reasons.
Diaper bags, purses, hats, blankets, outfits, burp clothes…shall I go on? It’s enough, already! I call this the southern country club fad. I’ve always been too poor (or too unrefined, perhaps?) for the country club, which probably explains why none of my shit is monogrammed. I keep waiting for the monogram style boob tattoo to become a thing. It’s a tattoo for those with discerning taste who also want us to know their names.
3. The Crafting Mafia
The craft moms have been verbally beaten to the tune of the horse head from the Godfather. But I declare it’s still not enough. Why does every holiday or stupid school party resemble a Pinterest competition? Your hand-carved wooden snowmen and hand-made valentine cards are smothering my store-bought soul with a well-stitched, all natural organic pillow.
4. Organic, gluten-free, free-range, grass-fed, whole food holiness
Jesus. Christ. How does anyone know what we’re supposed to be feeding our kids? My solution? Feed them veggies and lean meat, and then every once in awhile throw in some Cheetos, hot dogs, and Oreos. It’s like vitamins for kids who will one day live in the real world. Because the real world is ugly and bad for your health, but also fun and delicious. Might as well be prepared. Do I want my kids eating processed garbage all the time? No. Do I think it’s the end of the world when they do? No. Please get control of yourself and have a Pop Tart.
5. New-Agey Parenting “Styles”
Trends such as allowing kids to make all their own “decisions,” and never telling them no because it will ruin their self-esteem (or something like that). If we did this at my house, we’d have a rhino in the back yard, a staircase made entirely of Hershey’s syrup, and four monkeys in the kitchen. It would be video games all the livelong day and no one would brush their teeth. I’m pretty sure this stuff is in the Bible under the “apocalypse” section. I’m going to sound like my grandfather, but here’s the only parenting style you need: Teach your kids not to act like assholes, give them tons of love, and I swear it will all be okay.
6. Mommy Wars
I don’t believe there is a war. I just think there are a few self-righteous idiots inciting arguments because they think everyone should make the same choices they do. Because they obviously know everything and the rest of us are bottom-feeding mouth breathers.
If you breastfeed you’re a nudist, tree-loving hippie. If you formula feed, you’re a selfish witch serving poison. If you stay home, you’re obviously a lazy piece of crap who doesn’t know how lucky you are. If you work, you’re letting someone else raise your kids until one day they won’t know your name or where they live.
JUST. STOP. Here’s a news flash for you: I don’t give a shit how you raise your kids as long as you aren’t hurting them. We can all have opinions about child abusers, but otherwise keep your trap shut. No one cares.
7. Yoga Pants
Only because I’m a ratty jeans devotee. You run around town in yoga gear? I run around in my jeans with holes and a sweatshirt I wore in college.
8. Mom Bloggers
Don’t you wish we would all just shut the hell up? Here’s the thing: we just can’t. Who else is going to bitch about their kids, talk about wine, and throw f bombs into cyberspace? We are providing a crucial public service.