Americans and Parenting Religion: I'm a Worshiper! Are You? #poweroftheinternet #WTF #parentingreligion

This is the latest article making it's way around the "let's tell American moms their doing it wrong by making them feel bad" circuit: How American Parenting is Killing the American Marriage.  I read the article. A few times.  And well....it's annoying and I just can't see any value in it. 

Why? Because it's a ridiculous article that is generalizing the way some people handle their children and marriage to all American parents, more notably American moms. It's just another stone thrown in the direction of parents to make us all feel like failures as husbands and wives.
The entire article is focused on this idea of a "parenting religion".  I mean, I guess I understand the similarities between parenting and religion.  If the comparison (or term) means that parenting involves unwavering devotion to giving our all in the name of a single (or multiple) being while surrounding ourselves with like-minded parents to support our journey and devotion, then I guess you can call it a religion of sorts.
This statement near the beginning "Nothing in life is allowed to be more important than our children, and we must never speak a disloyal word about our relationships with our offspring." makes me want to scream.
Yes, as parents, our children are extremely important to us and likely nothing in life is more important because we CREATED them and our jobs are to protect them! But, not being able to say a disloyal word? I mean, every mom I know vents about how little Johnny was acting like a total butt yesterday morning to their mom friends. So, I don't know who these people are and I certainly don't think this is the public's general viewpoint on this subject. Then it was followed by this "Children always come first." I'm sorry, but since when is this considered a bad thing? I'm sorry but my husband is a grown man who can take care of himself and protect himself against the world around him.  My babies can't! And if my children didn't always come first, then you'd be calling me a neglectful shitty mom.  Now, I'm not saying you shouldn't have a date night because your little one might be a little sad when you leave.  But, what I am saying is that if little Johnny is ill and needs you there instead of at the movies, then that's where you should be.  Don't become a parent if you think otherwise.
The article talks about an author who declared she loves her husband more than her children and it gives her children a sense of security in their lives.  I'm sorry "WHAT?!"  I don't even know how you can compare your love for your husband with the love for your children.  It's a completely different dynamic and relationship! I absolutely love my husband and would do anything for him, but if I had to make a choice between throwing him or the children in front of speeding train, SORRY DUDE! I doubt there is a single mother out there that would say otherwise. Don't even try it. Does this mean I love them more than him? Nope! It just means the dynamic of my love for each of them is different. And again, it's deeply rooted in my being to protect my children at all costs.
In regards to trying to convince moms they are hurting their husbands by following this so called "parenting religion" the article tries the "put the shoe on the other foot approach" and states "Mothers must devote themselves to their children above anyone or anything else, but many wives would be offended if their husbands said, “You’re pretty great, but my love for you will never hold a candle to the love I have for John Junior.”" I mean, seriously?! Let's just say that Savy Daddy told me that he loved the children more than he loved me and would do anything to protect them.  Would my feelings be hurt? Nope. Not even one little bit.  In fact, I would be absolutely elated that I married the exact person I want by my side and as the protector of our family for all our lives. 
This "Mothers live in a clean, cheerful world filled with primary colors and children’s songs, and they don’t think about sex........It is unseemly for a mother to enjoy pleasures that don’t involve her children." I'm sorry, but this can only apply to people who have no idea about how babies are made.  And that's all I have to say about that.
They end the article with this genius phrase "In the 21st century, most Americans marry for love. We choose partners who we hope will be our soul-mates for life. When children come along, we believe that we can press pause on the soul-mate narrative, because parenthood has become our new priority and religion." Yes, when we have kids, our marriage changes.  And yes, when those kids are newborns, they require most hours of the day for their needs.  I mean, my husband doesn't need his diaper changed or breast-milk/formula to keep him alive.  He's not emerging into a unfamiliar world full of overpowering sights and sounds, our baby is.  He's also not recovering from carrying a human being inside of him for 9 months only to have it tear up everything in it's path on the way out. Having a baby is a beautiful experience that forever changes your marriage.  Do you honestly think that when you have a baby, you consciously make the decision to put your marriage on hold?  No way. But, do the needs of the baby and mother and any other children have to come first? Absolutely! Because without them, there is no family, no marriage, no anything.  It's not about putting your "soul-mate narrative" (dumb fairy-tale term for added guilt on the reader) on pause, but rather about it growing as your family dynamic changes. 
My final issue with this article is how it talks about how parenting became a religion some time between when we were kids and when we had our kids. Yes, times have changed. Not a whole lot in our world, especially in the United States is as it was 20-40 years ago.  As parents, we are now overloaded with a wealth of good and bad information at our fingertips which wasn't the case back then. And I mean, do I really need to emphasize all the issues our country is currently facing. Food Safety. Healthcare. Public Education. Government. Economic State. Just to name a few. These are all the things a parent has to research and hope to make the best decision for the present and future of their children every single day. It's the new 48 hour in a 24 hour time-frame job.
These are my reasons for worshiping!

As a parent, I stand by the natural and logical reasons why I happily practice this religion. The reasons are unconditionally devoted to me as their mother and I know without a doubt that my husband is standing right here beside me "worshiping" them just the same! This is one religion we happily agree on!
Feel free to comment below and tell me if you too are a worshiper of parenting!



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1 comment

  1. I. Love. This.

    End of story. Thank you for writing it!

    ReplyDelete

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