I'd like to think the latter. Both of these recent articles paint a picture of modern mothers desperate to parent the “right” way and deeply judgmental of alternatives; mothers who sacrifice both themselves and their friendships to this cause of perfect parenting. The unlimited breastfeeding, baby wearing, co-sleeping parenting police make a good story, but are these extreme and judgemental parents real?
Not in my world. I met a few when my children were young, but not anymore. Where did the extreme parents go? Did they join a commune in Oregon? Are they hunkered down home-schooling? I doubt it. Instead, they’re doing the same things we all do, helping with homework, figuring out how to explain sex to their pre-adolescent children, trying to balance school work, sports, family life. They might still insist on organic produce only, or forbid all television to their 10, 11 or 12 year olds, but they’re not judging other choices, or even necessarily advertising their own choices. They’ve made peace with how to organize the lives of their offspring. They’ve made peace with motherhood. They’ve outgrown extreme, judegmental parenting.
And so, we can’t get ourselves incensed about these stories, because, we’re just so over it. All this hyper-parenting and the damage that goes with it (complete loss of personal life, alienation of friends), is a just a stage – a stage typically limited to the first 2 to 6 years of parenthood. Thankfully, most of us emerge largely unscathed and usually with reasonably well-adjusted, school age children, and a high level of tolerance for the many ways one can be a parent.