Let them eat cake.
Well, not my child, but whomever choses.
Recently I reposted THIS article from HuffPost Parents on my personal Facebook page. I’d love to be featured there, but I won’t do it via parent wars. So here, I offer my rebuttal:
At first read, this opinion holds a lot of water with me. Why go so crazy for every holiday? I don’t see the point. But hey… that’s not my family. I also don’t see why people drive $100,000 cars, hate tattoos or still have flip phones. But judging others won’t change them, it just makes my point of view narrow. I see how some holidays have gotten, for my family, out of control. So I choose to not make traps for leprechauns or host color-coordinated Easter egg hunts. This doesn’t mean I’ve sworn off Pinterest or the fun crafts that come with the holidays, it just means that I don’t stay up until 1am for every holiday making a path of coins or creating a huge mess from a Christmas elf. But you know what? I wrote THIS piece over Christmas about why I don’t want to be judged for my Elf on the Shelf. My parenting my child does not affect you. I am not teaching hate, bullying, judgment or harm. I am instilling memories, silly times and having some fun myself- all in a way that does not overwhelm me. I defend my creepy little Christmas doll because he adds some more wonder to the holiday. As with the rest of our celebrations, we incorporate food, but not candy or sweets, and like to teach a lesson- as simple as a Bible verse or learning to save the change from our pockets. Another child gets 8 nights of gifts, and sure, that seems unfair to a child who only gets one… but there is a story, religion, culture and familial beliefs surrounding all celebrations. It is not up to our children to dictate how we observe holidays, or for other parents to redefine our celebrations.
Who am I to judge you, parent who takes the time to handcraft Valentines for each class member or makes fondant topped crafted confections personalized for your child’s birthday? I am not one to pass judgment on anyone.
If I choose to make an observation, it’s that any child who doesn’t have what another child does and has a tantrum because of it, does not deserve a stressed parent who will appease said child. It is a life lesson- a family lesson, if you will. “We do not celebrate by doing x, y and z for the holiday.” End of story. I know tears and a few “it’s not fair!” arguments will ensue, but it is! Fairness is celebrating with your family as your family does.
When we look to others to make ourselves feel better about what we, as parents, do differently, we are creating this rift we claim to be fighting against. Our lives are all different from each other. We can’t preach love and acceptance to our children if we, ourselves, do not believe it. I am not a lazy parent if I choose fill-in Valentines, and I am not an over-achieving parent if I choose to make handcrafted gifts for all of my child’s teachers. I am simply parenting as I do. Let us release our insecurities. Let’s do more than teach that difference is OK- let’s believe it.