Doing the obligatory scroll through Facebook after a lovely night off Mummy/Daddy duties and I find the most infuriating parenting blog article! The patronising phrases and its blame game tone are still ringing in my ears. I wonder if the authors of these blogs are aware how much of a detrimental affect ‘they’ have on our self esteem as parents?!
Who the hell are these ‘they’ anyway? ‘They’ fill our media steams, email inboxes, playgroup conversations, arguments with our partners and discussions with our friends? These mysterious people who we are encouraged to rely on, turn to and seek out in times of need and who, 9 times out of 10, either have no more qualifications than ourselves or have an agenda of their own to push!
Articles fill my social media spouting the latest parenting theory, each contradicting the last and adding to an already confusing world of raising a baby without a bloody manual. Useful taglines, helpfully explaining why it’s my fault my baby is waking up in the night or crying or generally a bit out of sorts are exactly what I need to read (not)! Blogs subliminally advertising their exorbitantly priced sleeping and feeding pattern packages by telling me there is something wrong with my baby who doesn’t sleep for exactly 2.5 hours in the day because, apparently, every baby is exactly the same.
Even before we become parents, we are threatend by the ‘they’! ‘They’ with their horror stories of labour, ‘they’ with the tales of how their marriage was never the same again, ‘they’ who not so silently judge you for not having a laminated, colour coded birth plan, complete with a timed soundtrack and mood matching candles!
Where are the ‘they’ telling us we’ve got this! That our choices are our own, our mistakes our own to learn from and that yes, not only is every baby different, every parent is different!
Be the ‘they’ that makes someone smile. That makes a new mum feel great about her choices; that makes a new dad feel confident to step in. Be the ‘they’ that helps expectant parents race towards their labour with excitement and confidence, not crippling fear and doubt.
Fuck the ‘they’!