So asks Ruth Graham, current non-parent, in this lovely piece on Slate this morning: “My Life is a Waking Nightmare.”
…the parents writing these stories are, almost without exception, very capable women… they are competent, loving parents who occasionally feel overwhelmed. They are parents who think and read and write about parenting. Almost by definition, they are doing just fine. Yet, culturally, we applaud their “bad” parenting while becoming less and less tolerant of actual bad parents. This is a country that is increasingly willing to prosecute pregnant women and young mothers for their mistakes with drugs, or for leaving their children home alone in moments of desperation. In a middle-class parenting subculture in which self-acceptance is a bedrock virtue, it’s impossible not to notice a disconnect. (emphasis added)
It’s an economic luxury to complain. It’s an economic luxury to whine. It’s an economic luxury to point fingers.
Is anyone writing about joy? Is there a way to do it without seeming obnoxiously smug or totally dishonest?
Man, I hope so.