21st Century Parenting: Who’s Feeding the Family & Who’s Raising the Kids?
There are some people who just make life look so easy. Nothing personal against men, but the super humans I’ve known have mostly been of the fairer sex.
In interviewing both male and female tattoo artists during my various ink binges, I was told that women could stomach some of the most painful tattoos on the most sensitive places of the body. Women could even withstand hours upon hours of pain without even flinching. Meanwhile, I have heard testimonies from some of the oldest tattoo shops and highly talented tattoo artists in the business that they’ve had male clients actually cry or even stopped the tattoo artist because the pain was too intense.
You can have sex and conceive a child, but that doesn’t make you a mother or a father. It just makes you a sperm and egg donor. A real mother and a real father are not amazing just because they created human life. There are some people in the world that should not conceive because they are not ready to be parents, and they’ll only bring a life into this world that will result in suffering and misery. The child ends up in an abusive home, living with drug addicts or alone with all the money in the world except without what they truly need: Their parents around.
The latter scenario is much more common today than dramatic stories of abuse. Neglect doesn’t necessarily mean the child lives in poverty. Kids now often have two very successful, workaholic parents. Children from affluent families, especially, tend to be raised by a nanny, relatives or grandparents, personal assistants, and care takers while their biological mother and father work non-stop.
It takes much more selflessness to be a super hero. The mothers that I’ve known to be true saints are not always the ones with degrees or great job titles. That’s not to say that you can’t succeed as a working mom, because there are so many successful at parenting, as now days most couples both have to work. But, it’s great when parents make an effort to put their family first, and that means whatever sacrifices both parents agree to in order to raise healthy, non-neglected children that aren’t being raised by baby sitters and learning everything they need by watching television.
Good parenting isn’t doing just enough to get through the day. It requires more than laziness. Perhaps this is why so many people today are opting to wait to have children. With age comes wisdom. Older parents are more ready to put in the real effort it takes to be a pro-active, attentive, caring and willing to discipline and instruct their children with positive reinforcement while also promoting healthy boundaries. Older parents are more financially stable, set in their careers, have lived out their partying days, grown out of selfish tendencies, lived for themselves for most of their lives and now wish to live for more than just “me.” I admire women who adjust career plans in order to put their children first. I respect parents who sacrifice to realize that having a flexible work schedule is more conducive then working 60-hour workweeks and letting strangers raise their children.
I have always been a workaholic, career-driven type of individual. I rarely cooked and would never have imagined that one day I’d enjoy cooking. The real chef at my house, however, is my boyfriend, as he absolutely loves food and thoroughly enjoys cooking. There isn’t anything wrong with eating out all the time, working 50-60 hour workweeks, and letting baby sitters raise your children.
But, there is something special about a home cooked meal around the kitchen table, old school like. There is something nostalgic about sticking to family traditions that kids can look back on and tell their children about one day. And if you don’t have a family tradition, there is something exciting about being creative enough to make memorable traditions that your children can look forward to.
21st century parents now don’t seem to have a favorite dish that Mom or Dad makes. This is because lots of parents are too busy, and they don’t take the time or energy to think it important. I see more and more parents today, losing the apron and practically living at restaurants because no one wants to cook anymore. It’s as if it’s become so unfashionable to stay at home with the kids, actually bake real homemade cookies from scratch and sit around the dinner table after work and school. I am a huge proponent of equal rights for both men and women, but I find it really sad when I see so many of today’s parents getting extreme with the “just let the nanny do it” sort of mentality. Just sit the kid in front of a television, let them play video games all day, drive by McDonalds for breakfast, and we’ll eat at that fast food Asian joint just down the street for dinner.
While I am a self-professed feminist I equally have more respect for stay-at-home mothers who put their children above themselves. There’s nothing wrong with being a working parent, especially if you are a single mother. I am amazed by how some single mothers work so much, yet also spend just as much time cooking a home cooked meal for their child and being an active parent. One of my sisters is the most amazing mother that I know. Out of all of my family, I find her to be the best mom. She sacrifices for her child over and over. She has never moved away from the East coast because she wanted to make sure that her child stays near her father.
She attends every cheerleading competition and school activity. She works a lot, but equally makes a ton of time for her child. Strangers have neither raised her child nor does she spend every meal eating at some chain restaurant or fast food joint. And she didn’t have it easy growing up; none of us did. But she especially went through some trying experiences, none of which she repeated with her own child. Despite any and all mistakes or trauma, she has gone above and beyond to ensure that her child never ever suffers or experiences an ounce of the type of stuff she had to endure.
I respect single working mothers who are so dynamic. I don’t use amazing to describe just anyone. But, there are some mothers – single mothers, stay-at-home mothers or entrepreneurs – who make a concerted effort to put their children first. To me, these women are absolutely amazing.