In the discussion on parenting styles, Mommy Wars (working moms vs. SAHM), twixter woes, and related topics, I thought I would list some of the lies I was told in my own generation ( tail-end of babyboomer). They went like this:
- Don’t have more than two or three children
- divorce is better for the kids than unhappy parents
- You can’t afford more than two or three children
- Making a home doesn’t count, having a stylish home base does
- You are only as worthwhile as the paying job you hold
- Being with children deadens your mind
- You have power to mold your children contrary to any other factor
- You will not be able to wait til they are in school!
- You will have a life again as soon as your children are in another’s care
- Your generation is different- and better
- Old fashioned mores aren’t applicable anymore
Those were just the ones I grew up with, after becoming a Christian I took on a few more lies:
- Children need discipline starting early- show them who is boss by making them “cry it out”( leaving them in the crib)
- Your children should be exemplary examples of what you can do with them
- They, and you, need to “act right” – the way the great WE deem best
- Christian women who ‘work’ are better than Christian women who don’t
- Volunteer for everything you can
- Be at church every time the door opens
- Don’t have so many children that it crimps your volunteer availability
- Christians who dress right and dress well and who have children who do, are better
- Women ought to shut up- especially you
The thing is, you have to wade through lies that don’t appear to be lies …everyone else is giving their lives to the same prospects…and you are all on one great lemming run together. Along the way are interventions of revelations, stop-and-view-the-results moments, harrowing experiences of seeing other people’s lives fall apart, and some honest looks at what your Bible really says; along with reading historical accounts of people and hearing speakers that found insights into alternatives. Supported with actual results.
But sadly, those last two examples are few, most is “live and learn”. It seems the norm for humans to go through phases of reassessment. In fact, maybe all these discussions on twixters? Maybe those are the reassessments of the thirty, forty and fifty somethings of today. Who are ready to give the very best five years of their lives to raising those ungrateful kids… and then feel they deserve a grand retirement with all the frills as compensation. Like their moms and dads received.
But, you know, life as we have known it in the past couple decades seems like an unusual blip on the history of the generations being responsible for and to each other. There is so much out of balance that the corrections look like they will be very harsh. I hope not, but I think that it will take more honesty than the present discussion has given forth. It will take more than snarky Simonisms, tongue-clucking, and slick commentary.
Perhaps it will take a social valor we find uncommon, in finding the course and staying true- with all the sacrifice that means for our own little kingdoms and fairy tale castles in the air. I am not sure we have the heart for it, to tell the truth.
Our lies have made us so comfortable….not unlike our kids……