Sunday, November 16, 2014

A rough job

I read an article written anonymously entitled "I Don't Like Being A Mother."  Reading it made me kinda sad because the reactions to it were so angry.  Plenty of people blaming the author for being unhappy and others making it clear that she must be doing it wrong because parenting is just *so worth it*.  The thing that is clear to me is that we really need to stop glorifying parenting and insisting that everybody who tries it made the right decision.  That isn't true.  Some people aren't happy as parents.  Sometimes that is because they just aren't suited to it, sometimes it is because their particular children aren't a fit for them, sometimes it is their partner that turns out not to work so well.

Parents all have good moments and bad moments.  There are crying times and happy times.  Unfortunately when we insist that everyone must agree that it is all worth it we make people feel terrible for any regrets they may have while lying to ourselves.  It is worth it for some people but as in all things our experiences vary greatly person to person.

I am one of those people that just doesn't have those sublime moments in parenting.  There are fun times, good times, but there aren't moments that just make me melt like other people seem to describe.  That doesn't mean I don't love my daughter nor does it mean I am going to give up on doing my damndest to be a good parent.  My coworkers are fine, it is just the job description that doesn't work so well for me.

I think a lot of people who are already parents feel like if they tell the truth about their experiences that others will simply elect to never have children.  They desperately want other people to make the same choice whether to validate their decision, to provide more rugrats for playdates, or just to have more relatives around.  Some of course truly do love bringing up children and want others to share in that but unfortunately there is just too much desperation for that to be the only reason for the push to procreate.  Nobody pushes other people to try a particular job that is just super fun the way they push for children.

I am happy for people who do truly love parenting, truly.  I want them to share their joy with others.  I just want all of those to respect that other people don't have that experience and that doesn't make them wrong, flawed, or even bad parents.  It just means they have a job that they are doing their best at even when they don't like it.

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