So here’s the thing.
I’m about to have a child, and I couldn’t be happier about that.
BUT (and it’s a big but), there’s one thing I’m not looking forward to.
That thing is raising a child.
I know what you’re thinking.
“What do you mean? Raising a child is half the fun, it’s the great adventure! How could you not look forward to that?”
Well, I should maybe clarify.
If it were possible to raise a kid, on a little island in the south Pacific, in a little beachside hut with a little mini farm and a chicken coop, where my job was to teach and raise my kid with my wife in blissful solitude, THAT, I would look forward to.
But that’s not the world I live in.
I live with lots of other people around me everywhere.
Many of them are beautiful, creative, fun people that I enjoy having in my life.
That is until someone happens to bring up a certain aspect of parenting. And by “Certain” I mean one of a hundred odd issues that come up when raising a child.
- Homeschool or public school?
- Private school or public school?
- Pre-K or Nah?
- Breastfeed or bottle feed?
- Breastfeed for 6 months?
- 12 months?
- 2 years?
- 4 years?
- Until he has to shave his face?
- OMG HOW COULD YOU VACCINATE YOUR CHILD YOU BEAST
- Anti bacterial soap?
- Are toy guns ok?
- What about water guns?
- How do you punish him?
- How much screen time?
- When should screen time be allowed at all?
- How many toys do you let him have?
- You actually let him have toys?
- You let him drink juice?
- You let him drink soda?
- You don’t let him eat candy or ice cream?!? YOU BEAST
- NOTE: I use "him" just to simplify (and to practice speaking in faith) because we have not found out the gender yet.
I could go on for another hundred issues with ease I’m sure.
Anyway, pretty much what I’ve learned from everyone is: If I don’t do it the way YOU suggest, I’m a horrible parent for it. Period. No further questions.
These discussions are sometimes in person, where wholly anecdotal evidence and terribly misquoted “science” get thrown around like grenades, OR they happen on Facebook, where much of the same occurs with more medical and/or Snopes links and Michael Jackson eating popcorn memes abound.
That’s the part of raising kids I’m not looking forward to. The part where no matter how hard I try to hide my parenting decisions, inevitably people around me see the ones I make and secretly (or openly) judge me for them.
Don't get me wrong. I am and will be in dire need of guidance and advice, so I welcome those, at least, in theory. And that much more so, when given in love and not judgment.
Ugh. I’m so excited to have a child, and so disappointed that the human race is making me dread all of the fun decisions about raising one.