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7 Things Society Says You Need To Do as a Parent But You (Really) Don’t

A few days ago I was flying around the internets, as I often do – when I came across this article, which inspired what I am about to share with y’all today.

I believe that there is no such thing as a parenting expert. Theories and research have their place, but instinct in parenting is vital too. We all took some form of Social Science 101, right?

We know that as a society; we are heavily influenced by media, advertising and that old school theories, ideals and values are still very much alive and well.

When we are young we look to our parents for guidance, stability, love and nurturing. As parents, all we can hope for is that we did a a decent enough job of it before we release their wrath upon the world. I would hope that as parents, we can continue to engage in intelligent discourse over the things we disagree with and respect each-others choices as parents.

Tall order, I know. Here’s hopin’…

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  • Stop Engaging in Debauchery 1 of 7
    Stop Engaging in Debauchery
    You don't have to stop having your kind of fun when you become a parent. Sure things slow down during the newborn and breastfeeding stage (for BOTH parents, if you mamas have chosen wisely). Babysitters are a GOOD thing and you are not a bad parent for having one for monthly date nights, some random nights of debauchery with the girls, whatever.
    Being a good parent doesn't mean being a dry prude. Of course your child-free, wild abandon shouldn't become your identity, that's where moderation comes in. I've never been fond of abstinence. If that's your thing, fine - just don't judge the playa. (Before anyone gets their knickers in a knot, this picture is so 2007. Which doesn't mean I would not engage in such rowdy behaviour if called upon again to do so.)
  • Keep Up With The Joneses 2 of 7
    Keep Up With The Joneses
    You don't need to buy all of the baby everything! You don't need $100 wellies for your toddler feet that go up a size every 7 weeks, you definitely don't need 70 dollar (plus shipping) fake moccasins for baby feet that don't even WALK YET and you definitely don't need a $1,500 stroller for the birth of every new child you have. Or much of the anything all of those trend-cult mom bloggers subliminally tell you that you need, for that matter. Or that you are not a cool enough, good enough mom if you aren't buying it. Gross.

    Photo Credit: Charlotte Smarty Pants
  • You Have To Be Married To Be a Good Parent 3 of 7
    You Have To Be Married To Be a Good Parent
    Being in a solid and loving partnership, whether you are married or not will make you a good parent. A marriage certificate, unfortunately, does not contain any sort of magical fairy dust you can just rub all over your body and BOOM! Better parent. Uhm, no.
    Your children will be nurtured in the love you show each other and the home environment you create together as leaders of your family, not as a married couple. Joy, stability and good memories are built from love, not necessarily out of marriage.
  • Teach Our Daughters to be Pretty, Polite & Quiet 4 of 7
    Teach Our Daughters to be Pretty, Polite & Quiet
    I realize that not all parents believe this. Thankfully society as a whole is beginning to notice the damaging effects this can have on our daughters as they grown into women. We want our daughters to be respected and have options when they grow up. We want them to believe in themselves, have good self esteem and therefore engage in relationships that support who they are. We want her to make just as much money in her career as her male colleagues.
    We want her to be admired for her strength and attractiveness that shines through the way she eloquently expresses her thoughts. Not just in how she dresses. We want her to be considered graceful and charismatic when she fiercely and intelligently debates politics rather than being admired for the demure and quiet stance she takes, (because her husband or her neighbour's husband knows better). We really hope they don't start spouting off like this, RIGHT?

    Photo Credit: Bound Brook Memorial Library
  • Teach Our Sons to Control, be Aggressive and be Served Upon 5 of 7
    Teach Our Sons to Control, be Aggressive and be Served Upon
    Again. I know not everyone believes this, but there are enough in society who operate as parents by such old school theories. That in order to to raise a good boy into a strong and successful man they must teach him to be an authoritative figure, whose net worth is more than a woman's. Let us teach our sons how to do their own laundry, how to make their own sandwiches, how to make mom a cup of tea and how to clean a toilet bowl.
    We want them to truly respect women and therefore themselves. We hope that they come to truly believe that the ways of the Mad Men era (which is still very much alive and well), concerning man vs. woman are complete hogwash. It is our moral and ethical duty to stop the crazy train of rearing self-entitled boys (and girls for that matter).

    Photo Credit: Art Whatever
  • You Have to be Religious to be a Good Parent 6 of 7
    You Have to be Religious to be a Good Parent
    Or believe in a specific type of religion to be a good person. You don't have to follow a mainstream type of religion in order to have good morals or values.
    "Many secular humanists hold the same values as religious people: kindness, compassion and altruism. They just don't feel the need to follow an organized religion or believe in God to practice these values"...
    Steven Handell on The Emotion Machine: 8 Things Society Tells You That You Need To Do But You Really Don't

    Photo Credit: Radar Online
  • Be Happy, Blissed Out & In Love With Parenting All The Time 7 of 7
    Be Happy, Blissed Out & In Love With Parenting All The Time
    And never admit when you aren't any of those things. Especially if you aren't actually suffering from PPD. (And even then you're judged). You can say no to your children and you can be a Helicopter Parent or a Tiger Mom, or whatever the heck kind of branded parent or non-parent you want to be. There will be good days and bad days and it's okay to talk about it, admit it and still be a damn good parent.

    Photo Credit: Offbeat Mama

More Babbles From Selena…

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Selena is a crafty, culinary mom. Creative Director. Social Media & Branding Consultant. Regular writer on Disney Baby. Part-time big-mouth & frequent foot-eater. Proud of her Anishinaabe roots.

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