Recently the online parenting magazine Babble ran an article titled “Mom Confessions: I Chose Between My Kid and …”
The article featured six mothers and one father discussing a crucial decision they made between going with their kids’ needs and another need (career, husband, hair, health, etc). Three guesses how many of these people chose the something else? That’s right, zero!
All seven stories were about parents sacrificing for their children.
Who is this story for? Who is it educating or entertaining or speaking to? Don’t we all already know that we’re supposed to sacrifice for our kids? Most of us have given up our bodies, our sanity and our sleep for our kids. Most of us would willingly give up a kidney, an arm, or our life for our kids. No one needs reminders about the responsibilities of parental sacrifice.
What I’d like to see is an article reminding us that although our kids are the most important thing in the world, not everything they do is more important than anything else we need or want to do.
I’d like to see an article where someone says, “I chose an important business meeting over my daughter’s preschool dance recital.” “I chose to go out to dinner with my friends when my son had a slight fever.” Hell, I’d settle for, “I chose to finish my dinner before getting my kid another glass of juice.” Or, “I chose to finish my conversation with my husband before seeing what the huge crash in the other room meant.”
We’ll never see that article for the same reason that we’ll never see articles in a woman’s magazine that say, “I ate an entire tub of Ben & Jerry’s, and I still have a boyfriend.” Or, “I change into sweatpants as soon as I get home, and my fiancé still proposed to me.” Or, “I never remember to put on lipstick, and I got a raise.”
That’s because women’s magazines and parenting magazines have one goal, to make you feel like crap. If you know that you’re good in bed, you don’t need Cosmo’s monthly dose of ridiculous sex tips (Hey, did you know men like it when you touch their penis? Amazing!).
If you knew that no one really cares if you’re five pounds overweight, or what year your skirt is from what would you need Glamour, or Shape or Self for?
And, if you knew that actually, you’re probably a pretty good parent, that it’s ok to give your kid a bottle, or sit him in front of the TV, or even yell at her every once in a while, that you don’t have to know how to make home-made princess shaped cakes, or throw amazing parties, or come up with a new craft idea every minute of the day, if you knew all of that, you wouldn’t need Babble or Parenting, or Parents or the How I’m a Better Mom than You blog.
So, the next time you read something in a magazine or blog that makes you feel like crap, remember, it’s supposed to make you feel like crap, that’s why it was written.
Oh, also, yesterday, I chose to stay on a conference call and was ten minutes late to pick up my son. It wasn’t even that interesting or important a conference call!