I've been seeing these articles about people, particularly fathers, singing the praises of SAHM's, and recognizing how hard of a job it is popping up. I've also been seeing a lot of articles about how rough working mom's have it popping up.
What bothers me about these sorts of things is that I feel like the authors are just trying to say that for whatever reason, their situation is harder than the other side's. They're working harder. They're suffering more. They're spread thinner. Whatever it is they've decided to focus on makes it harder for them to be a good parent than the other side, and because they're overcoming that it means they're a better parent. Especially better than the other side, who clearly has it WAY easier.
Even the ones from the dads saying how wonderful their wives are bug me because they're doing the same thing - they're saying, "Hey, look what my wife is doing - she's a better parent than yours!" I appreciate the sentiment that these husbands love their wives and are telling the world how much they value them and what they do, but I don't appreciate them saying that what they're doing makes them a better parent.
Here's the deal - parenting is hard. Parenting is hard if you're a SAHM. Parenting is hard if you're a SAHD. Parenting is hard if you're a working parent. Parenting is hard no matter what your situation is.
We've gotten to this place in the world, and especially with parenting, where it seems the more you suffer for your kids the better parent you are. The harder it is, the more you overcome, the more you struggle, the better you are as a parent and a person. That's what these articles seem to be encouraging, and I find it to be offensive.
We should definitely be proud of accomplishing something that was a challenge, I'm not saying that we shouldn't. What I'm saying is that we shouldn't put MORE VALUE on someone's experience because they struggled with it, especially when it comes to something that is hard across the board - like parenting.
I feel like it takes the joy out of the job. You should ENJOY parenting your children. You shouldn't be focusing on how hard it is, or how your situation is harder than someone else's. Make the best of your own personal situation instead of writing a novel on how difficult it is for you. It's difficult for everyone, and I'm going to go out on a limb and say that as bad as you think you have it, someone out there has it a million times worse.
Parenting is not a competition, as much as it pains me to say that, because I love me some competition. And it's certainly not a competition to see who has it harder.
These sorts of things just fuel the fire and further the divides between all of us as parents. Instead of trying to prove that you're somehow a better parent than me because of XYZ let's try to find some common ground. Do you love your kids? Me too! Do they drive you crazy sometimes? Me too! Do you sometimes feel totally overwhelmed and like you're screwing them up? Me too! Would you walk through hell and back if it meant your kid was happy? Hey, me too! Look at that!
Every family has a different situation, and every family has decided to parent in the way that is best for them. What is perfect for my family might be the worst possible situation for yours, and vice versa. That doesn't mean that we're doing it wrong and you're doing it right - that means that our families are different and have different needs and we are addressing them as best as we can.
We're all doing the best we can when it comes to our kids, let's not try to make it about who's doing the better best.
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