I see a lot of parenting articles that float around on the Internet about how all but the person who posted the story are terrible parents for various parent-child routines (birth plan, attachment parenting, nursing, parent-led sleep issues, baby-led weaning, TV-watching, dog fighting, diapering, potty training, JFK, blown away). It’s very important to absorb every other parents’ judgment of you and adapt what works best for your child to what works best for someone else’s child’s parent. Otherwise your kid will grow up to be a horrible, unhealthy person who leaves trash in his/her wake. I’m not sure how our own parents managed to raise us without Internet acquaintances telling them what to do.
JK. I sometimes feel self-conscious about choices we’ve made as parents, but my kid is happy, smart, and gives lots of hugs, so you can’t tell me I’ve gone wrong somewhere, with the exception that I often do not have tissues or napkins handy and her face is covered in goo. That is clearly something that I have done that has made an impact, although a temporary one, on my child. But I recently bought pocket tissue packs and stuffed my purse and her diaper bag with tissues and snacks, so I’m pretty confident right now about my parenting.
Whenever I get worked up about possibly messing up, I remember that people my age with young children were raised completely different from how we raise our children, and as adults we don’t stop and say “this went wrong in my life because I had to cry myself to sleep as a baby” (well, I guess you could say that). It wasn’t until I was pregnant that I had any idea how my parents treated us as babies. It turns out, they treated us as best as they could, which is what any decent person does. Although don’t bring up my teeth to my mom because I think she feels really bad that I spent half of my childhood at the dentist (I don’t even HAVE those teeth anymore, Mom, don’t worry about it).
While I wholly support things that make babies/toddlers/children feel secure and happy, it doesn’t stop or end with one specific element of parenting. And you’re never going to know how you were as a parent until years later when your child is an adult and is interviewed on a podcast, probably Marc Maron’s WTF ,where he always asks about parents. The people who you would want your children to emulate all say that their parents were supportive and communicative. I’m sure there are many ways to get there, not entirely dependent on where your child slept as an infant (unless dog bed – that lands your kid on Mental Illness Happy Hour).
Yes, this was all a ruse so that I could recommend podcasts again. My associate is the only person I know who listens to them, and we only sometimes listen to the same ones (we talk about Kulap and Howard of “Who Charted,” as if they are pals). Even though I don’t see any friends enough that podcasts would come up in our catching up conversations, it would be nice to know that I’m not the only one listening to a particularly good episode of the Bugle or something. So, listen to podcasts, unless you want to be a terrible parent.