When you string those powerful words together, it sounds like the dastardly headline of yet another Hollywood tragedy. I’m guessing you wouldn’t conjure up any of those words while thinking of everyday moms and dads who work ceaselessly to be good moms and dads. I know I didn’t used to.
But what if booze, parties, and sex actually help a lot of parents be better parents? Is that possible? I know many parents who would adamantly tell you, YES. It’s not only possible, it’s very much a reality.
But before you string me up by my ankles for defacing the sanctity of parenthood, read the following paragraphs and let’s have an interesting discussion about it.
1) Tanya, a single mother of two, really enjoys any chance she can find for booze, parties, and sex.
2) Tanya, a single mother of two amazing girls, works two jobs to make ends meet. Finding time for herself can be challenging with how much she gives her little ones, and there is no doubt that the stresses of life can often be overwhelming. Her social life is usually the last thing she worries about, and her friends are lucky to break her away for a night of fun. Her boyfriend often feels neglected in their relationship, but is generally understanding that her schedule simply doesn’t allow much time for him. Sometimes, after the kids are in bed, the two of them forget about everything else, finish off a bottle of wine, and savor some much needed intimacy. On other even more rare occasions, she is able to find a babysitter and go out for a night on the town with her girlfriends. They go dancing, karaoking, and usually get drinks together. This, of course, leads to all sorts of silliness and fun. When the night is over (whether it’s with her boyfriend or her friends) and it’s back to real life again, she always feels so rejuvenated and ready to take on the world. She’s more patient and pleasant with her kids and somehow the strains of life give her a temporary reprieve. I really need to find time for that more often, she always thinks.
These are obviously two very different paragraphs, yet essentially they both say the same thing, don’t they? Tanya (a fictional mother) drinks, has fun, and seeks out intimacy. The difference is, when the only thing we read is paragraph #1, we tend to think something very differently about Tanya than we would if the only thing we read is paragraph #2.
As outsiders, we tend to watch other parents and we scrutinize their every action. We judge parents like Tanya based on the limited information that we get from externally observing her and her activities. We hold her against our own beliefs of what is right and wrong and we blatantly decide whether she is a fit parent or not. We see her out and about, being careless, having fun, going a little crazy with her friends, and we think what kind of mom is she?
>> I published this post on my Babble Voices blog, and I’m only permitted to post a snippet of it here. Read the whole thing and comment on Danoah Unleashed. >>