There’s this funny phenomenon that occurs when you have kids. Ever heard that saying, “it takes a village to raise a child”? Well, almost from the moment you announce your pregnancy, the village arrives ready to shower you in congratulations and unsolicited bits of advice.
This is especially true if you frequent social media.
Articles and videos involving children are almost always guaranteed to be inundated with comments about what the parents should have could have done. No matter how innocuous or innocent the content, someone somewhere is going to be offended.
That’s a risk that comes when you use the internet. And I knew this the day I posted a public video of my 2yo after he smashed an entire carton of eggs on my kitchen floor. In the video, I didn’t know what to do. Laugh? Cry? Scream? It was one of those messes that takes your breath away, and leaves you wondering how someone so small can make such a huge mess in so little a time.
I stood there filming as he belly-flopped in egg guts and chased an unbroken yolk along the linoleum. I didn’t scream at him and make a scene, which, to patrons of the internet, automatically meant I did nothing–I let him make the mess by being a neglectful parent (where was the mom?!), and then, being judged by this one incident, I was accused of raising one of those wretched children who thinks it’s okay to walk all over authority and get away with whatever they want.
Am I upset about some of the comments? I was for about five minutes, before I realized that being upset was pointless. One, because I opened myself up to that kind of criticism by posting it publicly. Two, because no matter what I do as a mom, someone somewhere will not agree. Someone somewhere will slap “if that were my kid…”, or “my children would never…” into the comments. It makes me more upset when I see other parents catching flack.
Parenting blogs can be some of the most savage places on the internet. Why? Because the internet is full of Susie-perfect-mom’s. People who think they know it all when it comes to raising kids. They don’t take into account that every child, every parent, every household is different. They don’t take into account that what worked for them won’t work for some people.
But, hey. To each his own, right? Unless you’re a parent, in which case you’re probably screwing up your kid in some form or fashion. And I figured, since I now have all this amazing wisdom about parenting thanks to the digital village, I might as well share it with you guys!
So here’s a comprehensive list of all the ways you’re screwing up your kids so that you can avoid making these mistakes:
Helicopter mom? – Time to cut the cord, lady. How are they ever going to learn independence?
Free-range mom? – Admit it, you’re just lazy. We all know it.
Co-Sleep? – Yeah, your kid is screwed. They’ll be codependent the rest of their lives.
Let them cry it out at night? – How do you even live with yourself, you cold, heartless monster!
Breastfeed? – Don’t even get me started you promiscuous hippy. You’re probably just trying to steal my husband with your milk bags.
Bottle-feed? – Um, excuse me… do you even know what’s in that stuff?
Natural birth? – Okaaaay, and this makes you special how? What, you think you’re better than everybody? The only reason women opt for natural birth is so that they can brag about it. We all know it.
C-Section? – Oh, girl, please. You didn’t “give birth”, you laid on a table and bled for a few minutes. How are you even considered a real mom?
Feed your child? – But what are you feeding them? It has to be Vegan, gluten, and dye free otherwise your future grandchildren are going to sprout tentacles.
Feed your child a special diet? – Are they allergic to sunlight, too, or what? I mean, really. Enjoy your gross rabbit food.
Medicate for a legitimate medical condition? – I hope you enjoy being a puppet of the pharmaceutical companies. ADHD isn’t even a real thing. Duh. And Autism is only caused by vaccines which you totally could have avoided if you read those fifteen articles I tagged you in. Just sayin’.
Choose not to medicate? – Yeah, good luck with your essential oils and herbs there, witch doctor. Maybe you can smother some coconut oil on your brain.
Spanking? – You know who else believed in spanking? Hitler.
No spanking? – You’re everything that’s wrong with our society. Your children are going to grow up to be entitled and selfish just like you! The only real way to discipline a child is with violence.
Working parent? – What was the point of having kids if you were just going to let someone else take care of them anyways? Awful.
Stay-at-home-parent? – Must be nice to just sit on your butt all day long, sipping wine or drinking beer, and channel surfing. Bro, do you even work?
Public school? – Sure, if you want your child pregnant and on drugs by the time they’re 15. Public school is the devil.
Private school? – Sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll, but with embroidered uniforms and a cricket team. Woo-woo!
Homeschool? – Homeschool is for religious nut-jobs who don’t want their children to believe in science. Duh.
The moral of the story here, kids, is that someone is always going to have an opinion about the way you parent. Whether it’s your doddering mother-in-law, or strangers on the internet. You just have to take it all with a grain of salt.
Or, you know, you could surrender to the digital village. Because the digital village knows all, sees all, hears all.