Even before they have minors, most people have pretty strong opinions about how parenting “mustve been” done. At some stage or another we’ve all found guilty of claiming that we’d never give our minors watch too much TV, or feed them processed food, or look at our phones while our( hypothetical, still nonexistent) off springs frisked on the playground.
Those plans hold up really well, too…right up until you have an actual human infant. That’s when you discover that sometimes disconcerting minors with the TV is no other style you get to take a shower, and processed food is better than your kid starving because he refuses to eat anything but buttered bread for three weeks in a row.
Don’t even get me started on the sainthood that would be instantly reinforced any mother who actually managed to look at her kid each of the 5,489 terms he screamed, “MOM, LOOK AT ME! ” on the playground.
In fact, author and humorist Dave Barry once summed the phenomenon up perfectly.
Basically, it’s easy to know exactly the “right” thing to do…if you never have to do it.
Parenting changes you in a lot of ways though, in part because reality barrels in and steamrollers over your entire life the minute that first baby is born. Suddenly, as much as you thought you’d never become “that mom” who lets her toddler have a stage five meltdown on the floor at Target, by the time your kid is three you find yourself wondering if you have time to browse in the peace and quiet of housewares while he finishes freaking out in the shoe department.
One of the things that all too many people (including lots of experienced parents) judge heavily is the use of a toddler leash.
While nobody owes anyone else an explanation for their individual parenting choices, Clint Edwards of No Idea What I’m Doing: A Daddy Blog took to his Facebook page to set some things straight…
Not to mention it saving his sanity, which is something any parent knows is pretty priceless.
As easy as it is to assume parents can carry their toddlers, or put them in a stroller, or hold their hand at all times, that’s just not realistic.
Especially if you have a “wild child.”
Edwards goes on to point out the biggest problem with parenting high-energy kids: no matter what you do, you just can’t win.
If he puts his climbing, darting, running, curious child on a leash, people give him judgmental looks.
But those same people will give him judgmental looks if he doesn’t put her on a leash and she gets in their way, or she gets lost, or she gets hurt.
Luckily, he doesn’t let the judgement of others get in the way of doing what he knows is right for his daughter, at this particular stage of her life.
His post now has over 3,500 comments, and the reactions have been pretty surprising — and often pretty funny.