Keep Parenting Horror Stories To Yourself
We are all use to parents talking liberally about the horror of being a new parent. We want everyone’s empathy, sympathy and even pity, when we’ve been slogging all day over a baby (or babies!) But have you thought what it might do to someone who doesn’t have babies yet? Or who might be considering children? Read on and see why it might be good to keep your horror stories to yourself.Parents love to share horror stories of sleepless nights, temper tantrums, sibling rivalries and stinky diapers because it makes the struggle a little easier to bear.Misery loves company.The other day, I was engaged in a full-blown vent fest with another mom, ranting about the terrible twos, wild boys and sassy preteen girls, and how unbearable mornings can be with three strong-willed and overtired children in tow. When we reached a break in our conversation, our childless friend who had been listening intently from the sidelines chimed in: “This is why I will probably never have kids, hearing your stories is the best birth control ever.”At first, I was insulted. How could she possibly think my stories validated her hesitation to have children?What I hadn’t realized was that all of the words spewing from my lips were negative. I hadn’t said one nice thing about being a parent, I had only blathered on and on about how horrible it is. The truth is my children are always the best part of my day, and being a mom is the best thing I have ever done. But no one wants to hear my gushing professions of baby love when they’re having a bad day with their own little tots.If someone came to you in distress over a disagreement they had just had with their spouse, would you respond by bragging about how wonderful your spouse is? Unlikely. Because misery doesn’t only love company, misery loves empathy.The Internet is flooded with parenting stories of burnout and panic. How-to, and what-not-to-do articles create a frenzy of fearful parents who question their child-rearing abilities and self-worth.In the same vein, viral stories on how today’s generation of parents is failing seem to have become rampant as well. Everywhere you look, there’s another story about how parents are doing it all wrong — don’t do this, don’t say that, don’t hover, but don’t let them run free. With all this pessimism swirling online, it’s no wonder so many millennials are afraid to take the leap into parenthood.Parenting may be the hardest job there is, but it is also the most rewarding. Let’s not forget that the pros outweigh the cons. It’s time to stop instilling fear and start focusing on the bright side of parenting (at least when in earshot of our childless friends), because we don’t want to be the only ones who procreate, do we?
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