The online world of parenting has firmly shifted into the realm of being ‘real’. The more raw you are, the better. Where there used to be a martyr rivalry, there is now a competition for who can appear the most neglectful without actually harming your children.Women are applauded for admitting that they can’t do it all. On the surface this isn’t a bad thing. No one is perfect, and the belief that it is can be detrimental. Most of us are able to look at those who are being raw and say ‘that’s nice, but not for me.’ What about the women who are struggling? Does this movement really help them?
A few weeks ago a discussion started on a friend’s status update about the stupid things that crisis line workers had suggested when we were in crisis. It was the catalyst for a rant to Paul about the unfairness of relying on other people to help you when you were feeling vulnerable. It spilled into conversations with my psychologist about how I now use having to deal with crisis lines as a deterrent for self harm.It was through these conversations that it hit me just how unbalanced the power is when it comes to a person with a mental illness. This imbalance spills into other parts of their life as well. Their physical needs are often written off as symptoms of a mental illness. Chest pain is a panic attack, stomach pain is anxiety, an allergic reaction is depression (this one happened to someone I know!).
Have you perused the comment section of a parenting site lately? I know, I know, don’t read the comments but we all do it. One thing that has become glaringly obvious to me is that the childless aren’t allowed to have an opinion on parenting styles. It needs to stop.
One thing that I have learned since I started blogging is that for every post telling you not to do something, there is just as many posts telling you to go for it. There are posts telling you to lighten up and posts telling you to write with more feeling. There are posts telling you to stop writing for free, and there are posts telling you that accepting payment is the worst thing you can do. Then there is everyone in between who is just trying to make sense of it all. A few weeks ago a post did the rounds which said that all Mommy blogs sucked. This isn’t a new thing. Traditional media hates on digital media, including blogs on a regular basis. This post in particular though stung a little too much. Maybe it stung a little too much because it came from inside the ranks. Or just maybe it stung a little too much because the writer used her own experience to tar an entire blogging community.
Right now, thanks to an article doing the rounds in local media, baby sleep experts are up in arms because Crying it Out (CIO) has been supposedly given the big tick. The study is quite limited, and hasn’t really shown that crying it out is better long term. It has simply proven that it works quicker than other methods studied. That’s not my beef though. I have an issue with the black and white thinking that you are either loving your child by not doing CIO or you aren’t be a loving parent if you leave them to cry.