By Jackie Semmens of An Anchored Hope
In a shocking turn of events, the nation’s parents have started to turn to online commenters for advice. Previously dismissed as the ramblings of angry basement dwellers, the comment section of parenting articles has become the trendy new source of wisdom for parents everywhere.
Sarah, a 36-year-old stay-at-home mother of four, spends endless hours each week doing laundry for her children who are too small to load the washer themselves. After seeing a response on an article about the evolution of housework where a commenter said, “I have lived by myself for the last 30 years and always have done my own laundry. I don’t see how that can be considered work,” Sarah said she had an epiphany. “I was like, yes! If this one guy can do one person’s laundry, why do I find it so hard to do it for six people? I mean, the only other thing I have to do is keep my children alive.” The mother, whose children were running around pantsless at the time of the interview, says now she simply waves her magic fairy wand and the laundry does itself.
Amanda, a 31-year-old mother of one, describes a similar experience after reading the comments on a recent news article about maternity leave. “I was reading the article on my lunch break when I saw someone say that home is always the best place for children and society’s problems would be solved if mothers didn’t work.” The former lawyer said she immediately left her office and picked up her daughter from preschool. “She cried the whole way home because she was missing the field trip to the zoo and it was her friend Jake’s birthday tomorrow. But this stranger who has never met me or my family definitely knows what is best for us.”
After accidentally accepting the friend request of a woman she met at the playground one time, Jane, a 42-year-old mother of three, says she has frequently received invaluable parenting advice. “I’m ashamed to admit this, but once I posted that it had been a long day with potty-training twins who both pooped on the floor and a first grader who has strep throat and that all I wanted was silence and a box of wine. My ‘friend’ wrote a lengthy response about how our children need us more than we need a break and I should just be enjoying the blessing.” The mother, who still has not successfully potty trained her 3-year-olds, continued: “I should have realized that parenting, like any other job, is 100% perfect all of the time.”
This new resource has proven to be a great benefit for parents everywhere. In multiple interviews, several mothers mentioned that they didn’t know how their own mothers did it back before the internet when they could only rely on their mothers-in-law to tell them everything they were doing wrong.
“I now regret dismissing commenters as generally ill-informed and mean-spirited,” Amanda, the retired lawyer, admits. “Why else would someone offer you profanity-soaked advice if not out of a place of love?”
About the Author
Jackie Semmens is a writer by nature and a mother by nurture. She has two rambunctious boys and is willing to chase them all over the hills of Montana in an effort to get them to nap. She writes about family, nature, and the experience of motherhood, occasionally with a touch of humor at www.ananchoredhope.com. You can also follower her on Twitter at @jdsemm.