I’ve realized that I’ve become a “survival” parent rather than the thriving parent I thought I would be (or that my wife and I could be).
This may be a mixed post on self-reflection and/or a critique on our society.
Having our son in daycare has really opened my eyes to what other parents get their children involved in on a day to day basis – some parents, for instance brought in little Valentine’s Day cards (that they clearly wrote on behalf of their toddlers), while some brought in nut-free food for kids to enjoy/share.
Since we’re still in the throws of crib-training (after a 6 month break), we barely have enough energy to get up, get him ready for school, and physically get to work in the mornings. I started wondering though, when my wife showed me the Valentine’s day card, how my mom would help me do those when I was in elementary school (so clearly I was much older), and immediately felt like one of those “burn out” parents. Then I quickly jumped to explaining it away, citing potential reasons for “their ability” over “our ability” to do these superlatives (maybe the husband or wife are stay-at-homes, maybe one of them works part-time, maybe one of them xxxxxxx).
It’s a nasty habit to get into, comparing yourselves to others, but all of us do it, since it’s only human to be comparative. This inherent “peer pressure” starts early, as early as day care, as I learned, since my son is capable of drinking out of cups, feeding himself (probably not as much as we’d stuff him), engaging in social behavior, etc. due to other peers conducting their business as such. It’s herd mentality – if everyone else is doing it, I should too!
I’m not an anthropologist, and am the farthest thing from being an expert on psychology, but I know when I’m being absurd, and realized as much when I was getting defensive with myself and how adequate of a parent I am – I’ve just come to accept that my son well have to understand that his Mom and Dad will probably never bake cupcakes for his classroom, but we’ll buy vegan ones for his class mates; we’ll probably never do hand written cards, but could potentially order them online in time for his class. What we are good at doing is making sure he gets to school semi-on time 🙂
It was amazing to see how times have changed over the year…here’s a little before and action fun!