Articles about child-rearing are like articles on gun-control or feminism: they demand a swift, knee-jerk response from angry people who know they’re right. Happily, this means that the comments sections on Mumsnet etc make for very specific and oddly aggressive guidance on how you should be raising your children.
These comments tend to be authored by (mostly) women with usernames such as Bored-Graduate, Cotswolds81, Mum2One et al. They are written under a toxic combination of intelligence, boredom and late-night dicking on phones.
So, if you’ve ever wondered if you’re doing a good job raising your child or panic-googled ideas for how to get your kid to fucking GO TO SLEEP or wondered about vaccinations, potty training, stranger danger or marital relations then you need this guide on how to raise your children in accordance to comments sections.
Chapter One: You Must Breastfeed
Breastfeeding is the best sign that you are excelling at parenting. You must do so wearing white linen trousers and a beatific smile and talk loudly and proudly about how you can’t imagine feeding your child any other way. Breastfeeding is not painful, or difficult or not always an option. Those women are just not trying hard enough. Breast is best for your DD. Any questions/misgivings about that just check the comments sections on posts about formula feeding. #formulaisfailure
Chapter Two: Controlled Crying is Akin to Abuse
Some parents suggest Supernanny saved their sanity by giving practical advice about CC. Let us all be clear: Supernanny does not have children. That is like an astrophysicist who’s never been to a star: it’s all theory and research. One woman, TryingHerBest92, suggested that CC worked for her little one. Comment authors rounded on her until she had to admit her child will now grow up to be a serial killer/politician.
Chapter Three: Parenting is Serious.
You cannot make a joke about your DS being a dickhead because she’s currently throwing a three day tantrum about Legoland because parenting is a privilege. You cannot call your DS a scuzzbucket for coming home with nits AGAIN because, somewhere, some child will be crying because they’ve never had nits. You can’t complain that baby-led weaning is rank because otherwise your child will grow up not liking avocados or having a sweet tooth or a complicated relationship with lentils. Husband-bashing, however, is encouraged because he gets to work in the city and wear nice clothes and get promotions and doze on the 19.23 from Paddington and then come home and be useless THE BASTARD.
Chapter Four: Don’t Judge Other Parents
At least, not to their face. Everyone is just doing their best and we are all in this together so try and vent your own insecurities online. Try putting a passive aggressive status on Facebook: ‘PhDBaby&Me is happy to offer fool-proof recipes to any mums struggling to bake for the PTA!’ Or dabble online with some helpful comments: BodenBubbasGiggle- No judgement, but have you tried aromatherapy as an alternative to controlled crying?. Another option is to write a snide column about other parents. *Takes a moment to reflect*
I really hope enjoyed this brief over-view of how to raise your children in accordance to the strict guidelines of comments sections. The online world can be a vicious one and, sometimes, wholly unhelpful. If you are unsure if you’re doing a good job of parenting your kids, then rest assured, you ARE doing a good job. Worry is one of the four pillars of good parenting: Worry, Guilt, Google, Peppa Pig. See you in the comments box!
By Sally White @wifeofawigwearer