Thursday, June 16, 2005

The Madness Of Modern Parenting

The Madness of Modern Parenting

This woman scares the bejesus out of me. For anyone who is too busy to read the whole article, here are the basics. High-powered Wall Street woman decides to have a baby. When the baby arrived, she discovers what all new parents discover: Parenting is a bitch. A wonderful, amazing bitch, but a bitch nonetheless.

But instead of simply rolling with the punches, she decides to apply her type A skills and experience to becoming supermom. And along the way, she has a brilliant idea: Why not create a TV channel for people in the same situation. Alpha Mom TV tries to show you how you can have it all. Just the thing for women with five nannies, and who cry when their 2-year old isn't accepted into "the Harvard of pre-schools."

The article itself is very clever--I can't decide whether it's a hatchet job or a puff piece. But the screamingly obvious irony which the author clearly intends to highlight is simply this: The woman who wants to teach you how to be supermom spends barely any time with her child, thanks to her army of nannies. She's proud of being a mom, but sees her son for less than an hour per day.

It's as if she decided to create her new TV channel because she wanted to feel like she was being a good parent, but without actually parenting. Instead of sleepless nights and playtime, she has substituted sales, marketing, and strategy. She came face to face with the challenge of taking care of her son, and chose instead to retreat to the familiar world of business.

It's not like I don't sympathize--Lord knows, I know how tough it is to parent children. I have two kids under the age of three. But I somehow manage to hold down a job, have a life, and spend 5-6 hours a day with my kids without an army of nannies.

My secret: I just repeat this mantra. "Billions of people have been parents. Many of them were probably idiots. Yet somehow, their billions of children managed to survive, grow up, and become useful members of society instead of serial killers."

It ain't rocket science, people. Love your kids, spend time with them, and try not to spoil them or act like a martinet. Things will work themselves out.

4 comments:

Ben Casnocha said...

I don't see being a parent in my future, but maybe i'll change. in the meantime, your comment about "things will work out" is absolutely correct. as i've posted about before, parental influence beyond a safe house, food, etc. is minimal. genetics!!!

Klas K. said...

How to combine a career with parenting, especially when it is more and more common that both parents have a career to think about, is an important question for the future. All companies will have to work with this, if they want to attract and retain the right people.

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