In my generation, raising kids-or should I say “parenting”- has become a very serious endeavor. More times than I can count, what begins as a lighthearted conversation about children takes on weighty importance as each contributor feels the need to stand on a soapbox about “their” topic, be it car seat safety, nursing, or organic food.
We have become so intense about certain issues, and so vehement in campaigning for them, we go overboard with serious emotion even when presented with factual information. Recently, I was attacked in an online discussion (topic: do breastfed babies need water in hot weather) where I stated that “breast milk is mostly water.” Apparently I wasn’t giving human dairy “enough power.”
Ummm, what’s up 10th grade science, if anything on the planet Earth is a liquid, it’s generally “mostly water.” (And for the record, breast milk is 88% water, which in my world is “mostly”).
To all this, I have my own personal philosophy: lighten up. Not because these issues aren’t important. They are. Not because I take things like car seat safety with a grain of salt- I don’t. I mean, I’ve spent the past 3 winters horrifying every old person I come across because my kids aren’t wearing coats in the car.
Humor about my kids, and about raising them, is what gets me through, allows me to enjoy my kids, and reframes the at times crushing inner monologue of guilt, self-doubt, and plain ‘ol exhaustion that comes along with modern parenthood. This is why, after a frustrating day, you’ll hear me say I’m going to drop them at the fire station. Or when the whole breast vs. bottle debate comes up, I’ll remark that my first child might just go to kindergarten despite being fed “the powder.”
While my particular blend of humor (sarcasm, extra dry) isn’t for everyone, I do think every parent would benefit from a laugh or two. Need somewhere to start? Honest Toddler is a good for a giggle any day of the week. For those of you who are more hardcore snark, and not easily offended, Scary Mommy can’t be beat.
What better way to teach our precious snowflakes to enjoy life than showing how laughter-just like composting-begins at home.