Why Does Parenting Feel Like A Crisis To Parents?

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Have you walked into a book store recently? Do you know which section is most flooded with books? You are probably thinking “spiritual and self help” Yeah, that too, but it’s not the biggest. You’d be surprised to find that the answer is ‘parenting’. In the previous month, if my visits to three book stores have told me anything, then it is that “parenting is the new IT.” It is bigger and scarier than ever. And that’s not it, you can get parenting advice on every possible subtopic: from ‘how to make your child financially smart”, “how to help your child become successful” to “how to raise scientists” not to forget “101 ways of effective parenting” and many more.

Aren’t you bugged up with your job, children’s hobby classes, preparing food, cleaning, doing laundry or homework enough, already that you also need to feel worse about all that you can do additionally or all that you are doing wrong? And the biggest argument is, do you really need them?

Why are we parents in this perpetual search to find a magic formulae which would make our children the best in academics, sports, hobby, etiquettes, arts, finances and in every possible category that is there to measure a human’s worth socially and otherwise. Why don’t we have it easy which was the original deal, right? Parenting was supposed to be fun and the technology, the computers, the internet, this whole invention spree that we are living amidst, promised us to have an easy life and more time to spare. But we can’t seem to have any of that. Our mothers were spending a lot more time on household work than we do and they were happier, why?

Are you aware that women in 1965 used to spend much lesser time with their children than the average mother today, and that was when they were not even in the regular workforce? Today in spite of having a career, women spend much more time than their previous generations did with their children and still there is crappy feeling that says “Am I doing enough?”

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And it’s true for men too. This generation of men is by far the best when it comes to spending time with children. They play with them, indulge in various activities, talk to them, go for walks, sometimes drive them around for hobby classes and all of this along with working full time, but there is always a sword hanging telling them that there is one more advice that you are not following and you can still do better.

Why is it that parenting gets so hard for so many of us. Why raising children gets related to so much anguish and confusion? When there is no one goal to reach, why we all are running frantically? According to a research ‘parents experience more stress than non parents’ and I fail to understand this. Aren’t we supposed to be happier with the people that we have brought on this earth: small tiny people who we love to cuddle or who we care so much about, then why are we stressed out and what exactly would make us happy?

I do not think that the problem here is children or the extra work that comes along. The culprit here is that mirage of parenting, the pinnacle of perfection that we are trying to achieve for our children. One research suggests that “the parents experience lesser marital satisfaction than non parents” strange! Isn’t it? Children are supposed to bring us closer and we feel they do but this ocean of overwhelming parenting movement makes a house look like a boot camp. The entire household revolves around the needs of the child and what makes it even more confounding is that we don’t even know what we are preparing our children for. One parenting book wants us to become tiger moms to raise super successful children and the other calls it b**s**t. One book asks us to teach them a foreign language before they turn 15 and the other wants them to be proficient in at least one professional sport, the result? Parents are exhausted and burned out! And they think, it wasn’t supposed to be like that? Parenting was supposed to be fun? It was and it is the only thing stopping us from making it so.

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If you too feel that you are chasing that elusive parenting mirage! Stop running and ask yourself some hard questions, try looking at the bigger picture, the balance sheet of your resources in terms of time, travel, money and the tangible outcome. If you can, do everything by all means but when you think that it’s becoming bigger than you, stop right there, hug your children and tell yourself to slow down, trust your instincts, you are doing the best that you can and you should be proud of yourself! You probably know more parenting than you’ll ever need.