Why the hell am I still subscribed to anything from babycenter.com? (And no, I'm not mangling the name, because if anyone wants to find this post through Google, they're welcome to do so.)
Last Friday's email header was something like "Are other parents just like you?"
Let me parse that one. In detail.
1. Jeebus, I hope not.
3. Are all parents supposed to be exactly alike?
4. If all parents are supposed to be exactly alike, why didn't anyone tell me this before now? Man, I'm way behind.
5. If I'm "different," what does that mean? Is my daughter doomed to be a serial ax murderer, rampaging through the country slaughtering innocents?
Seriously. "Are other parents just like you?" Are they kidding? Are they morons? I'm guessing the answers to those questions are "No" and "Yes."
This is not the first e-mail I've gotten from them that has a subject line that makes me scratch my head. And I know perfectly well the e-mails are crafted to get you to click through to their website, where they can count you as a visit and sell more ads.
But trying to generate ad revenue through parental competition is crazy. Why not generate visits through interesting, thought-provoking topics? I'm far more likely to click through to find out something new, interesting, or informative than I am to click through to find ways to worry that I'm screwing up at mothering my child.
Isn't there enough competition already? It seems never-ending, sometimes. My baby did thus-and-so at X months. I only feed organic, and I make every bite of food my baby consumes. I even grind the wheat myself! I read to my baby for seven hours a day. I have thrown out all the televisions in my home. I sew all my baby's clothes from sustainably grown organic cotton fabric that I hand-loomed and wove. I've never even thought about using crib bumpers/letting my child sleep in a swing/using a binky/insert whatever here.
Seriously, we don't need help from babycenter.com. Most of us beat ourselves up quite enough already, thanks.
I am a judgmental person, no doubt about it. But I have become much less judgmental since becoming a mom, because when it boils down to it, whatever is legal and safe and works for you and your family is absolutely fine by me. Binkys? Go for it, if that's what works for your baby. Your 16-month-old still wants her bottle? I am not going to lecture you on that one.
It all works itself out in the end, most of the time.
Until then, babycenter.com: shut up.