When you’re already deeply insecure about the job you’re doing as a parent – pandemic or no pandemic – it doesn’t help to see friends on social media who seem to go to great lengths to show you how shiny-perfect they and their kids are doing. “Muting” and “unfollowing,” rather than unfriending, come in handy. I’ve done more of that since the whole COVID-19 thing hit.
In between moments of railing about Ted Cruz, writer Dan Sinker makes me feel a wee bit better when he reminds the rest of us deeply flawed parents that we’re doing the best we can:
Every parent wants to be a good parent. And every parent, every day, fails at that because, right now, being a good parent is literally impossible. A fine parent? Maybe. An OK one? Possibly. But a good one? We’re eleven months into a pandemic that sent all our children home, laid waste to jobs, killed a half-million people in this country, and sickened many millions more. Politicians like Ted Cruz ensured it would hurt as much as possible by fighting against public health measures and relief efforts that would have made a difference. So no: a good parent isn’t really an option. We’re all just barely getting by.
Not that I disagree with him about Ted Cruz; it’s just that (a) I don’t want to spend my Lenten time fuming about anybody, let alone Ted Cruz; and (b) that’s not my takeaway from all this.
(Hat tip for this link and quote, by the way, goes to the wonderful Austin Kleon, who blogs even further and far more eloquently today about being a “good enough parent.”)
My takeaway: Let’s go easy on ourselves, parents. And let the shiny-perfect families be shiny-perfect in muted, unfollowed limbo.