Don't Be A Dick

The shelves of bookstores sag under the weight of varied parenting advice books proclaiming different methods for you to get it all right, but this one piece at Huffington Post pretty much nails it.  The writer is a reasonable mom of two who sums up her parenting “philosophy” as:  

I try not to be a dick to my kids, but it’s okay if sometimes they’re inconvenienced by my needing to be a human in addition to being a mother.

You really don’t need more than this very basic concept to be a good mother, or good at any relationship I think.

She also points out that childbirth itself is basically just “one really rough day,” that in the first couple years of motherhood, “you may lose your mind” (and if so, get help), that it’s worth joining a nurturing non-judgy mothers’ group, and that it’s worth fighting the urge to be controlling (it’s the hyper-controlling attitude, not motherhood itself, she wisely notes, that makes people lose their sanity, sleep and sex lives.)

I like this piece because it’s refreshingly cavalier without demeaning the way many moms experience motherhood as awesome and profound.  She’s not saying that you ought not care, that you shouldn’t be really deeply invested, or that your children should be trained to comply like little French Automotons.  She is saying, take it easy.   

So, do that.