I’ve been gone for a minute. We had a death in the family and I wasn’t really in the mood to write. But now I’m back and I’ve decided to be proactive in preventing my children from falling victim to the epidemic of rose-colored glasses. Because something funny happens when children grow up: their parents forget what it is like to have young children. And this amnesia causes them to foist gratuitous nostalgia/thinly-veiled digs on new parents about the “way things were” when their grown children were young. For instance, in reference to my toddler’s antics, my mom has repeatedly told me something along the lines of “you never acted that way,” when you were her age. And my friends have similar stories about their parents (i.e., their well-meaning mothers), commenting on back in the day feeding, behavior, play, potty training, or the absurdity of modern day car seat zealotry.
I don’t think these grown kid parents are being dishonest or malicious. I just think they are delusional. The years since we were running around their feet have blurred the tears and frustrations, and given way to an idyllic daydream about the bygone times they cherish and miss dearly.
And if I’m being honest, I’ve already done it too. Like when we decided we wanted to grow our family, all I could think about is how much fun it is to have a newborn. Fun.
Or the time I had an older/regular sleep schedule baby and I asked a friend with a brand new colicky newborn if she “just loved having a baby?!?” B*, please.
Although I think the epidemic comes from a mostly innocent place- after all, delusional people probably don’t know they’re delusional- it can be harmful. In my experience the epidemic, which lends itself to recalling only the sweetest of moments, creates unrealistic expectations about how women will/can/should feel about their children and how they should successfully parent.
So I’ve decided I need a new series of posts: “From the Trenches.” They will be messages to my girls in the future from way back here in 2017 when I had a baby and a toddler. In typical narcissist fashion, I think what I have to say will be insightful, hilarious, and undeniably helpful. Eventually when I tire of this blog, I will print off copies of the posts, put them in a binder, and save it for them someday. I will love passing on a wealth of present day knowledge and burdening them with another keepsake from their overly sentimental mom. And, assuming they procreate, what new mother wouldn’t love a tome of parenting advice from their mothers crammed down their throat before their babies even arrive?
And for all the other readers-those not forced by guilt and familial relations to read my shit– my letters will most definitely contain gobs of unsolicited advice and my personal parenting philosophy. So if reading other people’s ideas on how to raise kids makes you violent (I understand), you might want to tune me out now.
But if you are still here, first up: feeding my babies. Watch the blog this week for that cluster of a topic.