Moms Gone Wild: When Extreme Parenting Backfires
I know a mother that doesn't allow any sugar in her house. Not white, not brown, not raw. Nothin'. No one in the family is diabetic - she is just extremely health conscious and so she forbids the children (and her husband) to have sweets of any kind. This mom recently discovered that her five-year-old son had a secret stash of sugar packets hidden under his mattress. It seems that while she's been busy ordering her half caf extra hot soy latte, Junior's been raiding the creamer station.
I know another mother who feels that she should never be apart from her children.
She will not put her baby in a swing or stroller. He is held or in a sling at all times. All three of her children sleep with her. If she's driving and her baby cries in his carseat, she will pull over immediately and comfort him even if it's rush hour during a blizzard.
When it comes to breastfeeding, she believes that it's up to the child, not the mother, to decide when to stop. Even if that means nursing a third grader.
Because she won't leave her children with a sitter or family member, she and her husband haven't had a date night since their oldest was born.
The last time they had sex Jennifer Love Hewitt was still whispering to ghosts.
I'm not saying her kids should be raised by nannies and only presented to their parents for an hour before afternoon cocktails (though some days being Lady Grantham wouldn't be half bad) but I tried my friend's extreme attachment approach the first two years of my twin's lives. By their second birthday I was five minutes from being curled up in the fetal position on the front lawn in my nightgown.
Another friend told me how awful it was that I sat my twins in front of the TV to watch "Baby Einstein" while I made dinner. "We don't watch any television in my house." Then her three year-old pointed to one of my kids' books and said "Big Bird!"
I looked at my friend with eyebrows raised. "Really? She doesn't watch TV?"
"Well, she's seen “Sesame Street” a couple of times, but that's it!"
Why do we put so much pressure on ourselves to be the perfect parents? And why do some parents feel the need to judge the parenting of others? I ask this as someone who has judged and been judged.
I guess what seems extreme to some is totally normal to others.
Well, gotta put down my vodka gimlet. Here comes the nanny with my perfectly starched, perfectly mannered children. (A girl can dream...)