Walking The Parenting Tightrope

Photo by Marcelo Moreira on Pexels.com

You’re sitting in a public place when suddenly it happens!  The instagram shoot commences.  “At last!” you tell yourself “some entertainment!”  and 99% of the time it is relentlessly entertaining.  

This happened to me.  I went to the beach yesterday and saw not one, but two young women clad in their thongs, pose whilst staring back at the cameraman longingly over one shoulder.  The women were on different parts of the beach and obviously with a male that they trusted (said cameraman).

The photo shoots were not short.  The first woman we passed while walking on the beach in one direction was hard at work. As we flipped and headed back to our starting point they were still at it, twisting, splashing, and hiking things up to capture “it all” at just the right angle. 

As we returned to our seat we then had the pleasure of watching the next girl for at least ten minutes.  She stood up. Walked away from the camera. Walked on her tippy toes, and looked back over her shoulder.  This process repeated at least 5 times.   

I sat drinking my mojito, watching and judging and began thinking of my daughter, and all the many young women who currently (or one day may), feel their value is derived through posting these images and receiving as many possible likes as could be conjured. 

I consider myself a feminist.  I think most women should consider themselves feminists.  I believe women should be able to wear whatever they want and feel good in, be it sweat pants or a thong.  The simple fact that these young women feel so confident in their skin that they can post their pretty much naked butts on social media is awesome.  The ramifications of these actions however may not be.  Will they get enough likes?  What if someone decides to be mean?  Call them fat?  At what cost is their happiness derived? How many positive comments negate a negative one? And what message are they sending to girls who don’t look like them?  I worry about these things.  I worry about all things.  I’m Italian. I think worrying is baked in the bread.

Worrying about my daughter once again (and for the 100th. time that day), I started to reflect on my own actions with social media and my book.  I have no publisher and therefor have all marketing responsibilities.  Social media is free.  Needless to say, my phone has been in my hand much more than it used to be.  But at what cost? 

I wrote my children’s book BRAVE, about my children and for my children.  They are my world.  They are my love and my greatest accomplishment.  The struggle is understanding how I instill in my children the confidence and self-respect they need in life, and still get my sh$t done?  Sometimes my daughter will simply swat away my phone and say “don’t look at your phone, look at me!” with her fat little finger pointed in my face (she’s Italian too). This is both heartbreaking and angering at the same time.  You just can’t always do both.

So here’s where Im at:  It’s a fine line.  A tightrope if you will (or maybe even a thong?).  One day you may be on one side of the rope with your three year-old slapping your things across the room acting like the godfather.  Other days you may fall on the opposite side where they think you’re their best friend and follow you to poop. Occasionally there will be a “gem of a day” in between where you are somehow able to manage all sides.  But the question will always remain: “How do I give my child everything they need, while also giving myself everything I need?”  

If my girl wants to get in her thong and take selfies for insta one day, then so be it, but you better believe she will not be doing it from lack of attention and love on my behalf.  Even if that attention involves playing tea party with one hand and having my phone in the other (cue tightrope act.)

One thing’s for sure, If you’re around kids you love, you’re signed up for this circus act and it will be great. Because in the end LOVE always wins. So love your kids.  Love them right this second.  Love them, and tell them you love them.  I have a feeling( err….hope) that if they know just how much they are loved and are able to feel that love throughout their lives, they just may skip some “phases” in their lives.  And if not, you can always “❤️” their half-naked posts.

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