Monday, September 19, 2005

Crabby old earthmama

Blogging is still such a new thing for me. I started this blog so I would have a way to put some ideas out there, and maybe strike up a dialogue with some of you… so what are my ideas of late?
Recent babysitting experiences have gotten me to thinking about contemporary parenting issues. Parents today have choices to make that the parents in my generation didn’t even dream of, but there are also some areas where they are unaware that they have options --options that my generation of moms took for granted. Of course, anybody who knew me in my “young mother” days will tell you that I was just a bit on the fanatical side when it came to a variety of issues like nutrition, television, reading, the value of open-ended play time, etc. As I'm still rather opinionated, I am concerned about possible problems generated by my blogging about parenting issues:

1. My children and their present/future spouses might get the idea that when/if they have children I will be a nagging, irascible mother/mother-in-law who will criticize everything they do. I would hope not, and if I ever start showing signs of this, please shoot me! Every family has the right to choose its own methods, priorities, limits and so on, and I respect and honor that right.

2. One might get the idea that I have nothing but negative thoughts about the current state of parenting. This is not the case! Children are as sweet as ever, and the parents I have encountered all love their children and are striving to do the best they can. I have great sympathy for today's parents. They have so many more choices to make than I had to, and are subject to stressors that didn't even exist in the 70's and 80's, when my children were young. This is not to say that "in the good old days" things were easy or better or whatever... I'm not a proponent of "going back to the good old days", mainly because they weren't always all that good. We have to deal with things as they are, not as we wish they could be! And today's parents are doing that. But I do think that sometimes they lack information about what their choices are, perhaps because there is just too much information for a couple to digest and a lot of misinformation to sift through, too. Hence my comments...

3. By taking a stand on one side or the other of an issue, I may seem to be ridiculing those on the other side (or sides.) That is not my intent, and if I come off that way I hope that my readers will set me straight so I can make the necessary adjustments. I can have blinders on just as much as the next person! And, more importantly, I believe that every parent is the expert on his or her own children -- they are the ones who know them from birth, and live with them day-to-day. So any comments I make are general statements, not a criticism of any particular individual.

4. So what is the purpose of my discussion of parenting issues, or any other issues that may come up? I'm just trying to share my perspective, which at times turns out to be a minority or countercultural view that doesn't get a lot of air time. And my hope is that I will stimulate my readers to think about the issues more deeply.

5. It may seem at times that I take things far too seriously -- that's something I've been accused of quite often. But our actions, even the small ones if repeated over and over, have real and sometimes irreversible consequences for the health of our Earth and of our children and families. Blind acceptance of the status quo, as well as of the messages of our culture and the mass media, is not a reasonable option!

No comments: