Sturm und Mom

The Storm & Stress (& Joy) of Motherhood

The Incredible Shrinking Parent

I wanted to bring home a copy of Maclean’s magazine from the checkout, but couldn’t. The headline above the masthead read “Should you let your kids have sex at home?”. Since my kids have been told by their teachers to “start reading the news,” I thought I should at least provide some news they could read.

But, I also left it untouched because I am tired reading about, hearing about, and seeing this new breed of Mom and Dad — the Incredible Shrinking Parent. I already know what the whole tone of the article will be: Mom and Dad would love if their kids just didn’t “do it,” but since we can stop them, well, let’s just make it safe. Could you imagine if you had that attitude to your spouse? “Oh, it would be nice if he wouldn’t cheat, but since he is, it’s better he does it close to home. That way I can call him if I need someone to kill a spider.”

Parenting shouldn’t become one long defeat, an unending triage of your life to kids’ bad behavior.

Update – Hey I saved myself $4!

The mother of an 18-year-old daughter in Toronto expresses the conflict many parents voice. “There’s this leftover ‘boomer-ish’ residue of how hypocritical it would be to make such strict rules. But I was born in the ’50s and there’s part of me that thinks I don’t want to be ‘so Dutch’ about this.” She’s adopted a “don’t ask, don’t tell” approach: “I avert my gaze,” she says. Her daughter’s boyfriend is allowed to stay over on the guest mattress or guest couch. “That’s where he sleeps, as far as I know,” she says. “I have no official knowledge that anything happened.” She knows she has little control, and if her daughter is “going to do it, she’s going to do it.”


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