Everyone knows how annoyed I get with the way my sons dad handles parenthood, but in reality it’s society making him think he has the right to praise and worship for just doing the bare minimum.
Sometimes as a mother I just need to be told I’m doing a good job. Not for glory, but to know someone appreciates it. But genuinely my mother and I do everything for my son and his dad gleefully takes all the glory–“you’re doing a great job raising him” “so proud to see what you do for your family” but the thing they forget is this: girlfriend or not I am THE family. At the end of the day it will always be the three of us linked. Only I know what he actually does for his “family”. And I sacrifice, and I cry and struggle and worry whether or not my son is breathing at night. I taught him to say please and thank you, I stay up and cry with him when he’s sick, I pray with him and for him every day, and I do fucking not ever ask for sympathy or back pats for doing so because that is my job. Its what you’re SUPPOSED to do for your child, not a favor to humanity or all the men in the world that need to “see your example”. That’s bullshit.
There are also mothers in the world that don’t care about their kids. Deadbeat mothers are real too. But usually the mark of someone not doing much is bragging about all the things they do. I can not and do not know any parent that actually takes parenting seriously that can sit and list out all the shit they do for their child. It’s impossible. So why on earth do we take so much time patting people on the back for what they should do. That’s like giving out awards for people breathing. “You’re doing a great job breathing, Timmy congrats on your accomplishment.”
I mean come on. Parenting isn’t a competition or a challenge that should merit a trophy every time you do something for the “greater good” of your child. If you post it and glow with excitement when people give you stickers for being outstanding at doing the same shit people have been doing for centuries, you’re doing it for glorification. I can not remember the last time someone snapped a “candid” photo of me walking beside my son or watching tv with my son. Then magically it shows up in my phone for Instagram? Um no.
The technology age is so ignorant, in my opinion. Look at all the people (mothers, even) on twitter trying to one up each other to be the best mom. Since when did the actual measure of a persons worth come from people you barely know on the internet? What does it say about people that genuinely garner self worth from how many likes they get on a “candid” photograph of them and their child? My point here is that you can’t tell if someone is a good parent based on the pictures and statuses they post or the things they say to you. My sons dad posts about missing my son almost every day on Instagram and twitter where he can get likes and retweets but he never asked about him during the polar vortex. Never calls him and never shows an interest in him that he can’t chronicle online. If people didn’t like it, or if they didn’t enjoy the show he puts on online, I can bet my whole life savings and anything I will ever make that he wouldn’t do it.
That’s not parenting. And it’s honestly why I stopped putting things about my son and my relationship with him on my twitter. I don’t need the approval of a bunch of people I don’t know to feel like a good mother, but you can bet your ass no one that knows me has ever called me a bad one. The moments I have with my son that some like to use as photo ops are private to me. I don’t want to exploit his love for me or mine for him. And honestly, I don’t believe anyone else should either. Kids aren’t accessories to brag on when you have them out or to tout how much you spend on them, they’re humans. That will probably turn out to be an asshole if you’re not careful. People steal children. There are seriously sick people in the world trolling the internet for photos of children naked or vulnerable. People that can come up to your child that still doesn’t know better and call them by name so your child thinks they know him/her. It’s not all sunshine and roses and to me, it’s not worth having to use the internet to beg a kidnapper to release my child or to have those pictures in my phone or on Facebook or on Instagram be all I have left.
The approval of the public should never actually come before the well-being of your child. It should never be more important to look like a better parent than to actually be a good parent. It may make me seem weird, and it may make my son weird, but I refuse to raise him to need other peoples opinion to validate his self worth. Let your baby be a baby, and stop trying to make them Instagram famous.