Guilt-bait for parents

When my circle of (smart, career-focused, techie) Moms passed around this provocative article, How American parenting is killing the American marriage, I didn’t think much of it. Then my spouse brought it up, and joked that it was time we arrange a date night. I’m all for a date night for any reason, but I refuse to indulge the guilt-bait and bad-parent neuroses of that article, and most writing about parenthood in U.S. media.

Thanks to my Catholic upbringing, I’m no stranger to guilt and judgement as a manipulator and shamer. But even someone as inured as I am can’t stand the extreme levels involved in American parenthood, and how we are all doing it wrong. Parenthood is not a religion to me. I’m well-aware of what it’s like to attachment-parent, bring up bébé, tiger-mom, helicopter-parent, or look like I ignore my kid at the park and/or encourage independent play, depending on what angle you’re watching us from. No matter how you parent, someone’s out there saying you’re destroying your marriage, raising a loser, and compromising the future of our country.

And you know what? It doesn’t matter. Love your kid. If you’re married, love your spouse. Figure out your priorities and the life you want to live and go for it. Then, take everyone else’s opinion about what you should or shouldn’t be doing and toss it in your mental trash bin.