How Parenting Became a DIY Project
It seems that every time you turn around these days there are reasons to feel inadequate as a parent. Most recently I have been apologetic to my peers that I didn’t have my daughter hand make Valentine’s cards for her friends, that I didn’t even buy Valentine’s cards for my 2-year-old son to distribute, that I never made baby food from scratch — heck I never even considered doing it, and that I’ve never once lost sleep wondering if a vaccine might be harmful for my child. I haven’t joined a CSA, never wrote a birth plan, and haven’t spent much time looking for alternatives for my daughter’s ok-but-not-fantastic after-school program. I pay for other people to host my kids’ birthday parties and I haven’t stitched, sketched, glued or embroidered a single decorative item for either of my children. I did paint the stencil on the nursery wall, but that was before first child was born, and therefore, before I was technically a parent. If you read my blog posts much, none of this will really surprise you. However, here’s my big confession: I don’t actually feel guilty about any of this. I occasionally wonder what the heck is wrong with me that I couldn’t imagine finding the time in my day to do any of these things when many of my fellow working moms do at least several of these things regularly. But I don’t really sweat the fact that I don’t do them. It’s not a popular position these days, which is why I have closeted this fact until Emily Matchar wrote this article in The Atlantic.
Matchar takes, what I presume will be an offensive position to some parents, that a lot of moms have turned parenting into a DIY project more in order to fulfill needs of their own rather than for what’s really in it for the children. I’ll let others debate that point, but for me it’s simply reaffirming to know I’m not on an island of my own.