The world is full of imperfect people yet there tends to be a push for people to be perfect. I know I say that quite often, but I am reminded of it just as often. Perhaps it is the internet where information is vast and everyone has an opportunity to voice their opinion, of which I am doing now. As a result there is a great deal of shaming and blaming.

Today was one of those days I was reminded of how the internet shames  people. I know the author meant well, but just reading the title was enough to discourage me from ever speaking to people again. I had read the article a few weeks ago. I had the same reaction. It was a list of five things that you should not say and one thing that you should say. The trouble: most of those things you should not say are not bad. Why then are they considered bad? Most people do not intend to say things to purposefully offend or hurt others. Why can we not just accept they meant well even if it was not exactly the best thing to say? Why do we expect people to know exactly what we need and say exactly the one thing that will not offend us?

The article I saw today is not the only one out there that does that. There are articles for everything out to let you know that even if you have good intentions they are actually wrong and you are being offensive. You are not giving someone adequate space, your personality is too overbearing, you will scar your child for life by too much or too little discipline and so forth. Really? How is anyone ever going to live up to the standards put out by society when you cannot do anything right?

When my oldest children were younger I participating in a few online parenting forums. Forums to help people parent better and make it through difficult times. It did not take me very long to realize that I would never be a good parent, or person, based off of everything that these parents were saying. I was a bad parent no matter what. I was a bad person and inconsiderate of others' needs no matter what I did. It is exhausting trying to be a good parent, or person, when you are bombarded everyday with lists and articles telling you everything you are doing wrong.

So, what do we do about this? Is it possible to do something about this? Of course, but not in the way you may think. There is no need protests or angry outbursts. It simply starts within yourself. For me, I have to recognize what the author was actually trying to say. Just as people may misinterpret my good intentions I need to make sure I am willing to accept theirs. I have to look within myself to determine if what I read is really going to dictate who I am and what I do. I have to be willing to not find offense, because that is usually not what is intended. Finally, I have to accept that I am an imperfect person who is not capable of reading minds, but I do have good intentions. I will get it wrong from time to time, but that does not make me bad.

Chin up. Parenting is hard. Life is hard. This is life. 

Published by Jenny Eddington