When fellow writing 101 blogger Smiley like I mean it wrote about the influence of children on their parents, I laughed my brains out. It’s because of his great writing that I can take his criticism on me being a modern day parent with a light heart and a generous smile. When Simply Marquessa wrote another blog from a non-parent perspective on parenting, it made me think and wonder: what’s up with the all the eloquent parent hating?
Let me stand up for the parents of today. Parenting is hard enough already. It’s a role you don’t need degree for to become one. And even if you would find a parenting class, nothing can prepare you for it. It’s a job you pretty much feel guilty about anything you do. Or don’t do. And in today’s society where the ground rule is you can make yourself anything you want to be if you just apply yourself, we parents ought to be perfect parents. With perfect kids. Which is stupid, of course.
So let’s forget about ‘In the olden days, parents used to be better’. There are many parenting styles today, so let me introduce you to my favorite ones.
1. CTFD: Calm The F&*k Down
There is a solution for everything. Junior used to make it a rule to at least spill his glass of apple juice once a day. A day just wasn’t a day without him spilling a glass. Each and E.V.ER.Y day of the week. It made me insane. I turned down invitations from spawn-free friends at their stylish homes. And when I did come over, I refused when he was offered a drink. He just had a drink, thank you. But then I learned about this parenting style that reminded me: Calm The F&*k Down. It’s only apple juice. Its what cleaning wipes have been invented for. And the same goes for your infant greases your designer wall paper with its number 2, when she shakes out a bag of chips in search of the free toy that is in there somewhere or wipes off his chocolate fingers on to your white sofa.
So this is what you need to do according to CTFD:
1. Stop what your doing.
3. Calm The Fuck Down.
That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less. Glass of wine optional. Check out President Obama rocking his CTFD:
2. CIGT: Chill, I Got This
This parenting style relies of the concept of the truth of perception, also known as “Fake it until you make it”. This parenting style works perfectly for optimistic parents or parents with a natural born confidence. Dads, let me tell you, if you learn to master this parenting style you’ll make yourself uber sexy. Here’s how it works:
- Honey, Chill. I Got This. Why don’t you and your friends go to the spa. I’ll take care of the kids, make them dinner and put them to bed. If you want, we can watch some Netflix when you get home.
- Honey, Chill I Got This. Why don’t you stay in bed and have some sleep. I’ll get up every two hours and rock the baby to sleep.
- Honey, Chill I Got This. Why don’t you sleep late. I’ll put the kids to school and day care and go to work. You go and take your time and take a long shower.
3. Relax mama!
Here in the Netherlands, my former co-worker turned auteur Elsbeth Teeling started the ever growing Club of Laidback Moms, based on her book ‘Relax Mama!’ a humorous self help book with 99 tips and tricks on staying a laid back parent. Behind your cleaning chores? Relax, mama! As if all the other moms run a tight and clean house all the time. And even if they did… Same goes for that school performance you forgot about. You’ll have another change next year. Besides, your kid isn’t scarred for life because you missed his lousy performance as out of tune singing extra in the school musical. Overslept after a night full of sleepless babies? Relax! Just drop them off to school in your stylish joggers. With sneakers you may even pull off the ‘I’m going to the gym after this’ look too.
It is no surprise her book has been translated into German and French and soon will be published in English too.
So dear fellow modern day parents, don’t get worked up on those people with good intentions claiming to ‘know better’ or ‘if I were you’. They don’t. And they aren’t.
xoxo – Irene