My latest issue of Parents Magazine came in the mail over the weekend.
I didn’t pay for a subscription, so I’m not sure how it finds its way to my mailbox every month. I’m not one to turn down free reading material though. Especially pretty, glossy magazines.
I may never read it again however. After flipping through the March issue I feel like curling up in the fetal position and rocking back and forth as I contemplate the dangers the lurk around every corner, and my poor parenting skills.
It was page after page of alarming information.
Let me give you the terrifying and depressing rundown. Along with a bit of personal commentary. BONUS!
Page 31: Your parents babysitting your kids could be detrimental to both their health and your child’s health. (Me being with my kids 24/7 is detrimental to my health and theirs.)
Page 32: Drop-side cribs are deadly. Not teaching your kid to swim could also result in their death. Oh, 3-D media isn’t harmful to kid’s eyesight. Whew! Wait, 3-D glasses could be.
Page 34: At-home DIY genetic testing kits can tell you all about the diseases that might kill you and your kids someday. (Yes, please tell me now about the horrible death I will die so I can look forward to it for the next 40 years.)
Page 36: Always check the feet of you child’s sleepers before dressing them, because a string could be inside. The string could become wrapped around their toe, and cut off the circulation resulting in loss of a toe. (This has happened like twice. Ever in history.)
Pages 38-46: Your family eats too much salt, watches too much TV, doesn’t exercise enough, is over-weight, doesn’t sleep enough, doesn’t eat enough vegetables, spends too much on medical bills, and caffeine can cause psychiatric problems. (OK, caffeine. I get it. That’s what’s wrong with me.) Basically the genetic testing for disease (See Above) is pointless, because you’re killing yourselves anyway.
Page 54: Your kids don’t know anything about money, and if you don’t teach them they will end up broke, penniless and living in your basement at 44.
Page 70: Lying to your doctor will kill you. (This one seems obvious.)
Page 72: Carrying kids around is bad for your back. (Ya think?)
Pages 92-97: Pick the right family pet or you will ruin your lives and the pet’s.
Pages 117-120: Your kid’s obsession with collecting is fine. Probably. Or it could mean they’re OCD.
Pages 122-126 (Cont. on Page 176): You’re a terrible driver, and you put your kid’s life in danger every time you shuttle them to school.
Page 140: If your baby sleeps in a room alone before the age of six months they’re more likely to be a victim of SIDS.
Pages 142-144: There are germs everywhere just waiting to make you sick. (Evil germs.)
Pages 146-149: Pre-schoolers are selfish. (No way!)
Pages 150-152: You don’t criticize your children properly, and you’re destroying them.
Let me sum all that up for you.
Your children are doomed.
Your family is doomed.
You are doomed.
We. Are. All. Going. To. Die.
If you knew nothing about parenting, and you picked up the March issue of Parents, it would lead you to believe being a mom consists of two things:
1. Choosing the perfect nursery decorations that are at once entertaining, and intellectually stimulating.
2. Worrying about everything all the time because the sky is falling, Chicken Little, OH. MY. WORD. THE. SKY!!!!!
This isn’t the first time my issue of Parents was wall-to-wall with scary stories.
I know fear sells magazines. I know a lot that is true, however small the percentage of people actually affected is. I know that we should be vigilant, and do all that we can to keep our kids, families and ourselves safe and healthy.
I don’t, however, want to live in fear.
I want to watch my kid climb the monkey bars without envisioning him plunging to the ground and breaking his neck.
I want to put my baby to bed, and not lie awake wondering if he’s going to survive the night.
There is a balance between being cautious, and living your life consumed with worry. You kind of just have to let go of most of it, and not think about it all the time. Always dwelling on the What Ifs will make you crazy. Having all the ills that might befall you written out in black and white every month is not helpful.
Give yourself a break.
Parents Magazine, give us a break.