Do you watch Modern Family? I watched it the other night and there is a scene where the dads get the baby locked in the car and one of the dads shouts "Help! Our baby is locked in the car and people are judging us!!". I found this incredibility funny.
And it struck a nerve. It feels like there has been a lot of stuff in the news about being a good parent. Stuff about shouting and spanking, stuff like "news flash: OMG, TV isn't going to make your baby smart!".
A blogger that I follow with a devotion that makes my husband tease me (he says "Nova, what would KMM do??") called for a break in the madness. http://mommazen.blogspot.com/2009/10/lay-off-parents-already.html
I was too overwhelmed by life to add my voice to the comments, but I was relieved to hear it. I was glad to hear someone say, Lay Off The Parents.
Here's my bit. I had/have some post partum depression. When I came home from the hospital my anxiety was crushing. It hurt to be that afraid. What was I afraid of you ask? Was I afraid I was going to be a bad mom? Nope. Was I afraid that my life was over? Nope.
I was afraid my baby was going to die and I would never be happy again. Before we left the hospital we were given STACKS of DVDs to watch. SIDS! Shaken Baby Syndrome! Infant Suffocation! Because I'm a crazy rule follower and a desperate people pleaser I was very susceptible to the propaganda. I became very sleep deprived from staring into her bassinet. And when she was about 3 weeks old, I said to myself "I am not going to be able to keep her alive with my eyes, it's time to relax a bit".
Why did those nurses that cared so lovingly for Ramona and me put that kind of fear in me? Couldn't they see that I was a careful person that wasn't going to do anything stupid with my dear baby? They did it because they are worried about the tons of parents out there that have the parental capabilities of a sock drawer.
I'm a teacher, believe me, I see some actual bad parenting. It really wouldn't hurt for some of these people to read a book or take a class.
But sheesh, I think most of us are doing a good job. It goes back to the middle path. A little learning and research is ok, but it's pretty easy to OD on the stuff. But where is that line? How do you know when you've had enough?
Middle path is wisdom and wisdom ain't easy, folks.