I’d like to preface this post with a disclaimer: I spent the majority of my professional life in the political sphere. I met, and first formed a friendship with, my husband working on political campaigns. Politics have always been a topic of open discussion in our home. I know that I am incredibly fortunate to live in a country that allows me the liberties to air my grievances, espeically in a post like this one, which invokes incredible irony. With that said, lets take a reflective view on three ways parenting a one year old is like this past year in politics.
1. Facebook can be the worst place to be. I really miss the days of clever album titles full of 200 pictures from one night, and “poking.” Now I often cringe when I signing on to see videos, posts, quotes, and arguments all pertaining to politics! This can be said about parenting too. Maybe it is due to the first generation of Facebook users entering into parenthood, but there seems to be a similarity between posting your opinions on your parenting style and your opinions on the election. Why post it? We all know how these posts go…. they’re often strong willed, intense, and invoke the feelings of absolute anger or agreement. Whatever your views are on parenting and political issues, arguing with someone online on both of these creates a deep divide. We personify so much of our parenting and our politics with who we fundamentally are. When we feel attacked, it’s like someone has discounted us as a person. While I appreciate the discussion, I am lobbying for more cute pictures and less negativity.
2. Screaming gets you nowhere. I feel the same way about the debates this year, as I do when my kid starts screaming in the middle of the grocery store. Please don’t do this to me. Where is the mute button?!
3. Optimism is incredibly important. Political ads are rotting my brain just as much as the lack of sleep this past year has. I just want to watch Wheel of Fortune in peace and wake up in the morning so I can afford to keep a roof over our head. But, without fail, I am constantly reminded of an alternate agenda. Even when I am relaxed, the ads put me on edge. I don’t think adults can cry it out, but that could be a creative solution.
It’s been an interesting year to enter into parenting, from a world view perspective. I have confidence that the end is near, and soon enough, things will get easier. At least that’s what I tell myself … because I’m pretty sure I’ll be here again in 4 years.