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Saturday, June 15, 2013

We Turned Out Just Fine

My husband and I were only breastfed for 6 weeks each, my brother not at all

I was spanked and slapped

My husband was circumcised

I didn't wear a seatbelt until elementary school (in fact, I rode standing up between the seat of my grandparents' truck for years)

Shame was a regular discipline tactic used by my mother-in-law

I was grounded regularly

I was yelled at seemingly daily

I was forced to potty train very early, so that there wouldn't be two kids in diapers

My husband and I were both vaccinated for everything on the CDC schedule (the schedule that was current for the time)

My mother was seemingly always on a diet

My husband grew up in a house where very traditional gender roles were touted

TV abounded in my home and Disney was king

Never once was cosleeping a consideration in my home or my husband's

We're both products of the public school system (and teachers in said system)

Crying-it-out was just what our parents did

My husband grew up on Little Debbies and Oreos

I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture.

We turned out just fine.

Or did we? Do we know any different? Do we know how much better things could've been, how differently our brains would've formed, how much healthier we could've been, how greatly our sex lives would've improved?

Is "just fine" good enough? I don't think so. It's not what I'm looking for with my son anyway.

And is "just fine" really all it's cracked up to be?


  1. agreed! i think we all could argue---well, most of us---that we had sub-optimal childhoods, parenting, nutrition, & school experiences, & yet "turned out fine". but i don't think that's good enough for OUR children...there's no point in wallowing in self-pity for what may have gone wrong for us, & there's just as little point in allocating blame. but examining newer information, trying out a different paradigm...there's a HUGE point to that. because i for one don't believe that "just fine" is a good enough bar to set for my parenting. i'm aiming for "best practices" or "ideal", to the best of my ability on any given day. i know i've made mistakes, & will make more; but my standards are high & i'm committed to working my hardest to be the very best parent i can be, so one day my daughter can say (hopefully) that she turned out well---not fine, but really well, & not in spite of, but because of, the handling she received from me.

  2. I don't think we turned out "just fine" at all. The current population has never been so obese, so unhealthy physically and emotionally, so addicted to prescription medications and so depressed as it is right now.

    This is "just fine"?

  3. It's so true.. people don't realize that many of their issues are rooted in their childhood... and who doesn't want to believe that they turned out fine. But what does "just fine" even mean?! Nicely written, zen parent!

  4. Fucking THIS. Whenever people say "just fine" (or "good enough"/"Mom enough"), I want to give them the side-eye. I definitely strive to be better than a "fine" parent.

  5. Yes! You are spot on! We are not 'fine' in any way - people are depressed, heavily medicated, have eating disorders, can't sustain long term relationships, get addicted to drugs and other things... the list goes on... people are not FINE and who would want to be! I want my daughter to be GREAT - I want her to grow into a CONTENT, HAPPY, CONFIDENT, SELF-ASSURED woman. Low self-esteem, body issues, health issues etc are not a natural right of passage... lets start getting this parenting thing right!