BabyCenter: I *won't* get pulled into your whirlpool of parental terror

Filed under: Development/Milestones: Babies, Media, Gadgets, That's Entertainment

everett in his own little whirlpool of
terrorWhile I'm ranting and raving at mainstream media over their treatment of parents, let me just take a minute to talk to you, BabyCenter. Yes, you. You see, the thing is, I've worked for many a year in marketing. I understand what you're trying to do, with these headlines. You're appealing to my fears. You know how old my baby is - heck, I told you, I even told you his name - and your team of crack parenting experts has sliced and diced the world of parental woes until you've made tables and charts of the things I most fear, and you deliver them to me on the subject line of my email.

"Avoid common childproofing mistakes," says one. "Is your child in the best school?" says another. "7 signs that your child loves you," says another (oh! could you tug a little harder at the strings holding up my fragile parenting ego?) "Car seat mistakes almost all parents make" arrived January 29, only two days before "7 ways to be a better parent" on January 31. I can only imagine one of those ways is to adjust the car seat properly. And if you do that, your child will love you! Right?

The day after I wonder "Is your child's emotional development on track," I get "8 signs of a bad babysitter." Could my child's emotional development be harmed by his babysitter? I have to wonder. Two days after I read "Why you may still look pregnant" I get "6 real moms" who "reveal their fitness secrets." Other "secrets" I may learn this year include those for "successful time-outs" and (my personal favorite) how to "be the best mom possible in 2006" ('cause I clearly sucked so badly in 2005).

I refuse to click through to most of these lists, secrets, mistakes and open-ended, terror-inducing questions. I won't be pulled into your whirlpool of parental terror, BabyCenter. Reading your email subjects is enough reminder of all the ways I fail at being that perfect parent, whose child is getting enough sleep and has been enrolled in the "best" school since he was just the size of a kidney bean (as your weekly email so kindly informed me).

And frankly, I don't need any more terror in my life. I don't need anyone else asking me if my child is getting good enough nutrition or if his car seat is buckled properly. Reading BabyCenter rarely gives me a solution that works for me: it just reminds me to worry. And I'm all full up on angst, right here.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.