Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Ready? OK!

You know what I could give a fuck about? How the French raise their kids. Seriously. I am a HUGE francophile, Paris is my favorite city in the world (that I've been to thus far), I love the cuisine and the cinema and the language and the culture and even the pretty way they write their numbers. Overall, I love me some French-ery. But the huge popularity of the "French people do everything better especially raise kids" movement makes me insane. Mostly because I don't ascribe to the idea that one faction of anything-nationality, generation, philosophy practitioning--is getting it right while I'm failing. I'm sorry, but I'm not buying it. So I guess I'm not sorry, then.

Obviously there are parts of Karen le Billon's  hugely popular "10 rules" that make a lot of sense and are attractive to me - insisting on family dinners, exposing kids to different flavors, I mean, I don't think that's intrinsically French to begin with. That fits into my own ideal. But nobody will ever convince me that I shouldn't let my child snack. I snack to get through the day, how am I going to tell my windmill of a boy he can't have a string cheese at ten in the morning? Pfft, stick it in your oreille. I know I'm stubborn and chafe at rules by default, but I'm reasonable when it comes to seeking and accepting advice when it comes to the welfare of my child. And this just seems like so much emphasis on nothing.

As with anything in parenting, if you're into it, if it works for you, rock on. And everyone has their huge THING in their family. Mine so far has not been on the eating front. Not that we do things perfectly by any means, just that getting HR to eat isn't a struggle and I have no desire to make how we approach food an issue. We've got plenty of other issues, and considering we've got a happy boy in excellent health, even those aren't so big.

I never commented about the whole stupid "Are you mom enough?" brouhaha that everyone with half a brain could tell was a ploy to sell magazines anyway (can't really blame the mag, the newsstand is not exactly a hotspot these days). But along the same lines I just want to go on record with my opinion that it sucks, the line that they are feeding us. And we don't have to take it. We can all support each other and our choices and feel good about them, you know? I think most people feel this way. All the pressure to be one thing or another, for what? Moms and dads being stressed out about whether they're perfect is going to be a lot worse for a kid in the long run than an occasional pop tart in front of the TV. We love our kids, we ask for help when we need it, we should all be feeling pretty great overall, don't you agree?

I'm not trying to say that I've got the answers, obviously, we're just doing it how we're doing it and so far we're doing ok. I just feel like a lot of times parenthood--particularly motherhood--is set up as a battlefield when really it should be a co-op. A friend circle. A hootenanny for everyone who has a remote interest in doing right by their kids. Let's be cheerleaders for each other. You don't even have to try out or wear a uniform.

No hard feelings, France.

No comments:

Post a Comment