I have often remarked to my husband that I wish parenting were simpler, like when we were kids. Our parents had never heard the term "screen time limit," nor did they worry about us being bullied on social media. They also didn't have 84 different kid body washes to choose from at the store, half of which claim not to contain a list of ingredients I'm not even sure why we should avoid!
Apparently, that modern parenting has grown increasingly complicated is a theme that resonates with many moms and dads, judging by the response to a now-viral post by popular mom blogger Bunmi Laditan. Her rant about buying vitamins for her kids has received more than 92,000 reactions, 9,000 comments, and 54,000 shares at the time of writing.
"Being a modern parent is terrible," Laditan declares in her Facebook post from over the weekend, adding hilariously, "I'd give my left tit to have parented in the 70s or 80s when all you had to do to be considered a good mom is to remember to wind down the windows when you smoke in the car."
She goes on to share that for the last 45 minutes she's been online comparing kids' vitamin brands. "Do you know what vitamins I had growing up? NONE. DAYLIGHT WAS MY VITAMIN," Laditan proclaims. "Occasionally, once a year tops, my mom would get us those chalky Flinstones vitamins that looked like [sic] kidney stones but we'd only have to eat them for a few days before she lost interest in our health."
Laditan writes, "I'd been buying my kids' vitamins at the same place I purchase extension cords and wine coolers but recently heard that the Disney Pixar Cars gummy vitamins are sugary trash that cause leprosy and ADHD, so now I'm on the market."
And that she has to take so darn much into consideration when making what should be a fairly straightforward purchase is pissing her off. But it seems part of her frustration also stems from the judgment cast by other parents. "I've seen the way some parents look at me when I give my son a juice box at the park. It's juice, not Red Bull or margarita mix so calm down."
I totally get what Laditan is saying. Our parents fed us chemicals and sugar, and out of plastic dishes they microwaved no less! And guess what? Most of us don't have brain damage.
But nowadays, Laditan laments, she's "about to spend an electricity bill on vitamins because in 2016, you don't really love your kids if you're not a paranoid mess about their physical well being and willing to spend a small fortune on dye-free toothpaste made in the woods that tastes like eldeberry and privilege."
Wait, where can I buy that brand? Just kidding! In my opinion, what we as parents should strive for is balance. Yes, we know all this scary stuff about, well, every product every made. So it's about making smart buying decisions for the most part, but not letting the paranoia take over. For instance, once in a while, I buy the fruit snacks with the dye and high-fructose corn syrup, but most of the time, I look for the ones that have mainly natural flavors. You can't win 'em all. And if you try, you'll end up in a mental institution!
What's your take?
Melissa Willets is a writer/blogger and a mom. Follow her on Twitter (@Spitupnsuburbs), where she chronicles her love of exercising and drinking coffee, but never simultaneously.