Monday, 9 September 2013

I'm doing everything wrong.

I'm a mom - so everything I do is wrong.

When my children were babies I breastfed, creating a brood of dependent, breast-obsessed Mama's boys. I picked them up when they cried, destroying any chances of them ever learning independence. Ever. When I did leave one crying for a minute while I helped the other I destroyed his ability to trust. Ever. I didn't sleep train, soothed them when they woke, rocked them to sleep and even sometimes let them sleep in our bed, likely preventing them from ever learning to get a full night's sleep without me as long as they lived.

I stayed at home to raise my boys, depriving them not only of countless learning opportunities and critical peer interaction, but also of a strong female role model, ensuring they'd never learn to respect women and single-handedly setting back the women's right movement by decades. When I returned to work and did put them in part-time daycare it meant I was a failure as a parent, sending them off to be raised by someone else, missing their childhood and risking raising latchkey kids.

My children are very active in competitive sports, robbing them of the freedom of an unscheduled childhood. I let them watch TV and play video games, which everyone knows automatically means I'm a bad parent, and I have even been known to check email on my smart phone while playing with them at the park, so I'm negligent as well. I've yelled at them when I'm angry and used words I'd rather not have, probably qualifying me as borderline abusive - confirmed by the fact that I actually punish them with time outs and suspended privileges when they misbehave.

I go out of my way to make birthdays and holidays and special occasions over-the-top, qualifying me as a show-off to other moms, and we do a lot of family field trips and vacations, which will likely turn my boys into spoiled, self-indulgent brats with an over-inflated sense of entitlement.

We're very focused on healthy eating in our home, which should be a good thing, but apparently means we're risking our boys overindulging later in life and becoming obese. When we allow the occasional treat, it teaches unhealthy habits they'll never be able to break. My husband and I generally have a drink with dinner, so the boys will probably become alcoholics, and because we place a priority on education we plan to pay for their post-secondary schooling - almost guaranteeing they'll never learn the value of money and will drop out of university due to a lack of motivation.

It's a shame, really, that I'm so obviously and hopelessly incompetent as a parent. These poor kids are going to grow up completely dependent, self-indulgent, narcissistic sociopaths with no social skills, no motivation, an eating disorder or two and a pronounced drinking problem. They'll be in therapy for the rest of their lives.

It's too bad, with the abundance of parenting advice available from other parents, online forums, magazine articles, mommy blogs, doctors, in-laws, and television experts, that I haven't been able to figure this parenting thing out.

But I'm a mom, so everything I do is wrong.

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