I started writing this blog when my kids were little, way before I started taking joint supplements and sleeping with a white noise machine. The trials and tribulations of our lives have been well documented throughout the years because I’m hoping all the anecdotes will give my family something amusing to look back on when I’m busy haunting them from above (you know, since the whole baby book thing wasn’t exactly my strong suit).
At any stage, parenting’s never seemed a cakewalk but it’s always seemed relative. There was always fodder for material and especially for a blog, there was also a community for figuring things out. There was plenty of shared concern for surviving mystery hives or adolescent heartbreak or getting overlooked for the travel team (the injustice!) and there was never a shortage of advice (and commiseration) over lost homework assignments, kids incapable of getting to school on time or insufferable hygiene. We all muddled through together and motherhood didn’t seem insurmountable. My wise friend Jackie always raised her chardonnay to “Little kids, little problems.”
These days my adult kids have their own array of big-kid problems now but again, it comes with the calendar. They’re drowning in debt, juggling student loans, and trying to make rent. They’re realizing what a paycheck can cover and – more importantly — what it cannot. Dayum, life is expensive, they lament. Yes, it is. News flash: it always has been.
It’s difficult watching your kids misstep in adulting and even harder keeping it zipped when some of their decisions are not, I’ll say, advantageous to them. Poor decisions are tough to watch and even harder to witness when splashed all over social media (*throws head back, raises fists, gawwwwwwd, why is this not sinking in???). It’s also rough because we’ve come to know: if our kids are not asking for advice …. it’s usually a waste of breath offering it. My husband gets frustrated but I’m a bit more meh. Stop solving their problems with a fifty-year-old brain I often say to him. Or, when it’s time for the jugular: You did the same dumb thing when you were that age.
Still, even now, when most of their mistakes have far mightier – and costlier — consequences than a promposal gone awry (*cue Mom’s nagging Pay your fkkkking parking tickets!) I don’t mind this stage of parenting. I look at what’s going on with “little” kids today and I thank my lucky stars that time is behind me. I’m certain I’d be a lunatic trying to navigate motherhood in these times and I’m not so sure I’d agree with Jackie anymore; little kids seem to have way bigger problems now.
For starters, the social media is a complete nightmare. Kids going off the deep end because someone didn’t like their picture? Good grief. My heart goes out to teachers. I can’t even imagine what their days are like.
Add in the bullying, so rampant and accessible with (^^^) social media (Finsta?) and it is outrageously out of control.
Add in the heightened toxicity of enraged sports parents and it’s shocking. Horrible when my kids were playing, they are – according to headlines — downright homicidal now.
Add in the seemingly daily reports of lewd and lecherous adults in positions of authority and you’re left side-eyeing everyone. What. The. Effing. Effff.
Add in the desperation for Canada Goose, Louis Vuitton, Lebron Nikes or anything Kylie Jenner is shilling lately and it seems impossible to keep up.
Add in the school shootings.
And the mean girls now emerging before second grade.
And everything else that has succinctly squashed innocence and I say my kids figuring out how to keep their electricity on sounds way less dangerous.
Kids are getting snatched in broad daylight. I see faces from every state scrolling on my feed every single day. Kids are communicating with complete strangers online. Worse, they’re meeting up with total strangers.
I know, I know. I’m not naïve and I am aware all this terrible, horrible no good scary stuff has been going on forever. It just seems that the terrible, horrible no good scary stuff has reached a fever pitch with no ebb in sight. I’ll take a 30-yo ‘kid’ still living in my house over this any day, thankyouverymuch.
If I was raising little kids today, I’d be swimming against a tide of opposition and I would not be able to let it go and Elsa my way out of it.
I don’t want to know a thing about TikTok.
I don’t want to debate anti-vaxxers.
I don’t want to give to a Go Fund Me so your kid can go to Germany. Trust me: mine have never been and they are A-OK.
I don’t want to see breastfeeding or working or exercising or stay-at-home or ANY moms get shamed for doing ANYthing. This is total bullshit. Why does everyone feel entitled to expound negative opinions on anything that has absolutely nothing to do with them? It is 100% maddening.
Please. There’s even stupid stuff I wouldn’t be on board with (settle down, Target, no, I am not interested in buying decorations for the trunk of my car at Halloween. WHAT IS THIS?).
I just want things to go back to normal before I have grandkids, that’s all. We haven’t depleted all the normal in the world, have we? (Quite possibly: just got an early morning text from my bestie, alerting me that kids at her local university got in trouble for having a Corona virus party on campus. Sigh. Thank God there was no internet when we were in college.)
These be crazy times and my observations are neither new nor illuminating. I’m just glad my worries about pedophiles on the other end of video games are in my rear-view mirror and for that I am grateful. To all the moms of little ones fighting the good fight every day, you have my sincere respect, my best wishes, and my appreciative props. I’m sorry you must send in the list of ingredients on your bake sale brownies but I’m not sorry I missed that either.
If it’s any consolation I hear help might be on the horizon. There’s talk of lowering the voting age to sixteen (that’s a super good idea, right? she mulls, reminiscing about her own 16yo fashion choices in 1982) so maybe soon we’ll be saying here comes Kanye to the rescue.
You guys can chew on that while I go hound a kid about the perils of late payments.
(Disclaimer to the Mom-Shamers: no humans were harmed in the writing of this blog, which was meant strictly for tongue-in-cheek, exasperated entertainment only. If any part of this this has angered you in any way, please: be better than me. Be Elsa.)
Tina Drakakis blogs at Eyerollingmom and recently was featured in Huff Post . She appeared in the Boston production of “Listen to Your Mother: Giving Motherhood a Microphone.” Her work has been featured in NPR’s “This I Believe” radio series yet she places “Most Popular 1984” on top of her list of achievements. (Next would be the home improvement reality TV show of 2003 but her kids won’t let her talk about that anymore). A witty mother of four, she takes on cyberspace as @Eyerollingmom on Twitter and Eyerollingmom on Facebook & @Eyerollingmom on Instagram. Her collection of essays, A Momoir, can be found here (agent interest ALWAYS WELCOME!)