The Expectations of the Modern Day Parent
You know the drill… I write some cool intro and then dive into whatever stuff I want to write, so let’s cut the formalities as it’s 11:30pm and get right to it.
The Expectations of the Modern Day Parent
That sounds like a cool title. Let’s roll with it.
I guess I’ve kinda been thinking about this a lot lately as everything feels so chaotic 99% of the time and inevitably we feel like we’re failing constantly.
At the moment, the only down time I get is if I trade it for something else, which in this case, that’s sleep. I get to sit at the laptop and write freely with zero distractions other than my wandering mind that’s telling me to jump on TikTok and scroll some irrelevant shit aimlessly for 20 minutes before realising that I started this email.
I’ll try not to do that.
But you are hearing the unprocessed thoughts from someone who should be sleeping. So don’t expect much sense or direction.
I guess I think I’m here to question where the modern day expectations came from? Like how did we all arrive here? Is it niche social media accounts that make us feel like we’re not doing enough? Everyone falsely portraying life so we feel like ours is inadequate? Is it the increasing necessity of a duel income family due to the cost of living that makes it nigh-on-impossible to do everything due to a lack of hours in the day?
Do you even know what I mean? Am I just talking shite?
If you’re a parent to young kids these days do you feel this pressure like you have to do it all?
You have to keep the house tidy and in order. I’m not sure if the whole “Hinching” craze exacerbated that problem, or maybe it’s some old school sexist housewife shit that’s still lingering in societies air. But if your house isn’t clean, then somehow you feel like you’re fucking up. After all, everyone’s quick to show you how clean their toilet is meanwhile you haven’t handled last nights dishes yet.
Oh… and I don’t just want that house clean. I want you feather dusting your washing line before you put the clothes out. Have you pulled the fridge out to hoover last weeks alphabetti spaghetti? And don’t forget to mop your walls, don’t be lazy and stop at the floors you filthy bastard.
Oh… and while you’re at it, don’t forget to prepare your kids some homemade, highly nutritious food. And don’t just put it on a plate for fuck sake, make it look cool like this:
Non of that oven shit. I want organic. I want vitamins. I want playful characters arranged in such a way that the kids might forget it’s dinner time and mistake it for story time.
Speaking of story time… did you read to them today? Did you get a solid half hour in? Yeah, just fit it in between puzzle time for problem solving, role play so they adopt societal norms, painting to encourage artistic express and Spanish for greater cognitive development.
Oh… and don’t forget to include plenty of craft time every day. Maybe a spider made with a paper mache ball and some pipe cleaners! You might even want to get your kids to crochet a fucking crocodile. Or you could forage some leaves on your daily outdoors time and create an autumnal spread. But please do something, otherwise your children are going to be left behind and grow up hating you.
Oh… and don’t forget your career. No one wants to be “just a parent” these days. You wanna go after that promotion in work, do that overtime so you can be the breadwinner, or heck, even be a mumpreneur and manage a business, the kids, the house and your own mental sanity. After all, if you don’t, you’re an utter embarrassment to modern feminism.
I could go on all day…
The best way I can describe it is like a decathlon athlete comparing themselves to all the people who JUST compete in the individual sports. The decathlon athlete probably isn’t going to be as good at the long jump as the dude who literally trained FOUR YEARS just to do it.
That’s what we’re doing.
We’re comparing our home against that of a professional cleaner who’s ACTUAL JOB is to clean their OWN HOUSE and post about it.
I know it’s not just me that sees this pressure out there.
The majority of the time I don’t fall for it. But sure, sometimes I do. Especially when it comes to the kids.
Sometimes I sit there and feel guilty that I’ve only given the kids an hour of my evening playing with them when I should do it until they’re content.
I feel bad for doing work when I should be colouring with them or reading another book.
I feel bad for picking up my phone purely because I want to read something.
I feel bad that once again we’ve got a load of washing to do, dishes to get done, rabbits to clean and all the while the kids want to have a sing-along in the bath and I just want to sit down and look at a spreadsheet for 5 minutes.
Exciting shit, I know.
I don’t know what my point was…
I don’t know why I’m writing any of this. I think I half wanted to talk about being off my phone for the weekend and what I took away from it. But it morphed into this.
Basically, I realised that I like doing stuff on my phone. I like writing, I like making videos, I like reading stuff. I’m not a bad parent for spending time on my phone. And I’m not suddenly the best parent for being off it. Being off my phone didn’t make me want to do a million crafts and play with the kids non-stop.
I feel like society - or social media mixed with click bait articles - try to point the finger at YOU for failing as either a parent, home owner, worker, or anything else. When in reality, the expectations are making you destined to fail.
We can’t have it all.
We can’t keep a house like a 1950s housewife.
We can’t work like a someone who’s young, single and ambitious enough to want to reach the top.
We can’t plan the day out with crafts for the kids like someone who’s job it is to create crafting content.
We can’t cook funky meals after funky meals, day in and day out for the kids.
And we can’t be a one-to-one home teacher for the kids given them nothing but our full attention all day.
So don’t beat yourself up
Not that I’m saying you was anyway… for all I know you’ve just spent most of that email going “fuck up, Ross” and you stopped giving a shit years ago 😂 but there we go… I just wanted to sit down and write, because for some weird reason this is my hobby. I like doing this.
I just gave an hour of my time to write this and I have absolutely no idea why.
I guess for some bizarre reason I get to class this as “work” and this is my job. But we all know that sometimes I just like to chat shit. I just happen to sell wax melts too.
Thank you for reading!
Ross & Rachel x