In our society, it is hard to close our eyes to the prevalence of status markers. It drives our economy, it drives our actions, and it drives the way that we dress, write and speak. What I’ve realized recently is those status markers also drive the way that we parent.
Case in point, when I was growing up, I was constantly compared to my peers.
Did you know that (insert name) got straight As in school, what about you? I heard that (insert name) placed first in the (insert competition), how come you didn’t? (Insert name) just got accepted into (insert school), where do you want to go?
As much as I (and many others) despised this as a child, the use of status markers continues when we become parents.
I remember feeling awkward when friends would ask me how much my daughter weighed when she came out.
Let’s just take a step back here and think about this.
Why does it matter?
Are you my doctor?
Depending on the weight provided, this would result in either a nod of approval or a look of surprise. What is worse is that when someone’s baby is under or overweight, you hear about it through the grapevine.
Am I the only one who sees how strange this is? How would you feel if someone asked you about your weight today? And it is not only weight.
There are even apps that you can download and use to establish where your child “should be” in terms of sleep time, average weight and walking ability. Throw in the endless comparisons that we see on social media, and we might as well throw in the towel.
Don’t get me wrong here. Having objective parameters (such as weight) are important to address health concerns as they arise. But they should not be determinative of anything beyond the medical context or used as status tools.
Rates of postpartum depression in new parents are at an all-time high.
The status quo is clearly not working.
What if there was a better way?