Bad Parents and Proud of It: Moms and a Dad Confess - WSJ.com
I read this article today. Twice. My head is spinning around all that's in here. While I have yet to meet a perfect parent, why promote "bad parenting?" I think it's because we need to know that we are not alone in this- that's why. Whether good parents or bad parents we all have our moments of each. The ability, the need, to share with one another is paramount to getting from one day to the next.
Parents need friends- especially the new ones. The popularity of these confessions lies not solely in the fact that we have ALL made mistakes, but more so that we need someone to share it with. Misery loves company, but so does happiness and so do new parents. We need to know that someone else isn't sleeping, can't lose the baby weight or is dreading the ever "helpful" visit from parents or in-laws who for sure will be FULL of advice and stories of how they did it.
Now, back to "bad parenting." Aside from over sharing (I agree with the author on this one) is anyone looking for solutions? For Heather Armstrong, author of It Sucked, I Cried...., the fact that she openly admitted to having postpartum depression, checked herself into an institution, and then wrote about it is admirable. I know I was depressed (my mother said hormonally imbalanced) after our first child was born. I refused to admit it and honestly didn't really know it until I saw how different I was after our second child. I was normal that time. By the time we had our third child I had my game on. I knew that lack of sleep was the primary cause of postpartum depression and will never forget the night I listened to my pediatrician and didn't feed the baby in the middle of the night. I cried and immediately felt the anger, despair, and sadness of not sleeping. It shouldn't have to take 3 kids to figure it out, but sometimes it does. I listened to myself, and my child, did what needed to be done and got some sleep. This doesn't mean that I needed to start a website about how I tortured my child by not feeding a two month old when hungry in the middle of the night just so I could feel better about it. It means I learned a lesson the hard way, but also realized enough to make the situation better.
So I wonder, while admitedly we are imperfect and parenting is probably not what most of us expected it to be, where is the help for the new parent in publicizing "bad parenting?" Perhaps there is not meant to be any help and that is not the market for these upcoming publications. But, if we're going to share bad parenting stories, shouldn't they come with positive parenting advice such as, "what I learned from this experinece..... here's what a friend did that helped me." That kind of thing. Admittedly, I have not read any of these new books coming out and what is cited in the article is I'm sure only a small portion of what is out there. However, if I were a new parent, I think I'd be looking for advice as well as the comfort of knowing that I am not in this alone and that others have made the same mistakes I have.