Thursday, December 29, 2011

Modern Parenting

Is anyone else getting sick of the "modern parent"? You know the one...the never ending ball of energy who scrapbooks, gets crafty, and is blessed with never ending patience. As To Love Honor and Vacuum pointed out recently, modern parents are all expected to be super-creative, energetic cheerleaders. I get her point loud and clear! Today's parents strive to constantly entertain their children and cheer them on no matter what.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy taking my children to the zoo, the mountains, and the beach. I like the occasional trip to the park and even taking them to Michaels and Lowe's for some crafty seminars. BUT, I think it is just as important for children to learn to entertain themselves, as well. Both of my girls are perfectly capable of entertaining themselves for hours and even days at a time.

I also cheer my girls on for sports, grades, and good behavior. BUT I do not cheer my six year old on for cleaning her room. That is expected. I do not cheer on my 10 year old for not getting in trouble at school. Again, it's expected. And as they get older, more and more is expected, but there are so many other things that are worthy of cheering.

But, this isn't the only way in which society is now setting the bar too high. Today, mothers are supposed to stay home (which you can't afford in today's society), they are supposed to become gourmet cooks (with almost no training), they are supposed to home school their kids, and keep a tidy house. Yes, there was a time where moms regularly stayed home, cooked and cleaned, but that was a slower time where dads brought home the bacon and kids were expected to show respect for their elders.

Society has overburdened motherhood. We are expected to be able to dish out money on command, be chairperson of the PTA, make gourmet meals, become an interior decorator and crafter extraordinare. I am a full time mother and a full time employee, I think society has gone insane.

Yes, seeing all of the "modern" moms has caused me to strive harder to be a better mom. Three years ago, it didn't seem all that important to have my child in sports and I had never taken her to a free "make and take." Heck, it took 6 years for me to start my daughter's baby/scrapbook. So yes, some of this stuff is a good inspiration, but I am tired of feeling like a failure because I can't fully commit to being a "modern" mom.

Being a mom shouldn't have to be as hectic as everyone makes it out to be. It is okay for mom to be a woman, too. It's okay to be a wife. It's okay to be an employee. I think what's important is that you are happy, that you teach your children about balance, and that you make the most of the time that you have with them.

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