May 24, 2019

Parenting Guilt 101

“Back in the old days, parents didn’t feel guilty about anything. It didn’t matter what you did – give your kid Big Macs for breakfast, chainsmoke in the car with them, semi-deliberately plant the seed of any number of harrowingly irreparable lifelong neuroses deep in their hearts – because, hey, they’re just kids.

How different things are now. To be a parent in 2019 is to walk a flaming tightrope of neverending shame and judgement and guilt. You’re constantly reminded that every decision you ever make will have far-reaching and disastrous consequences for you, your child and the world at large. But does any of it hold water? Welcome to the definitive ranking of parental shame, 2019 edition.

Single Use Plastics (tat edition)

An awful lot is made about the amount of straws and carrier bags that we as a society unnecessarily churn through every year. However, to my mind, not enough space is dedicated to the real villain of the single-use plastic world: the Bullshit Plastic Crap That Gets Sellotaped To The Front Of Children’s Magazines. You know what I mean. You’re dragging your screaming toddler around a supermarket, and the only way to shut them up is to buy them a magazine that has a cheap plastic Octonaut toy gummed to the front cover. Not only will your child never actually read the magazine itself, but the Octonaut will break after three seconds and end up in the bin, destined to choke a sea creature to death three months from now. These magazines are the worst thing about being a parent, and you should feel terrible about yourself for buying them.”

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JJ Editor's Daily Picks

"The results were surprising. The center-right coalition, led by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, remained in power against the opposition Labor party, which had led in every poll for years."

"Anger seldom works against Trump; he owns the currency and can always issue more of it. In addressing the rogue President directly, or speaking about him in the third person, Pelosi usually adopts a tone that is more sorrowful than angry..."

"I am Mizrahi, as are the majority of Jews in Israel today. We are of Middle Eastern and North African descent. Only about 30% of Israeli Jews are Ashkenazi, or the descendants of European Jews."

"Kids are exposed to plenty of controversial social issues on a daily basis. And if parents don’t want their kids to watch “Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone,” they can turn off the TV."

"Are public-school teachers really underpaid? It’s a claim often made during teacher pay disputes, but the same data and statistical methods that produce the “teacher salary gap” lead to some ridiculous conclusions..."

"Tech companies are getting into the business of making cities. We need to stop Silicon Valley social engineering before things get even worse."

"Having a Library or Cafe Down the Block Could Change Your Life: Living close to public amenities—from parks to grocery stores—increases trust, decreases loneliness, and restores faith in local government."

"“What name . . . shall we give to the darkness of hell...?” The question of how we can name a place such as this is at the center of scholar Scott G. Bruce’s new anthology The Penguin Book of Hell."

"She had all six of her kids — ages 5, 4, 2 (twins) and 10 months (also twins!) in her 10-seater van. To get the kids a quick snack, Curry parked in front of the Cobbler’s Café."

"Nearly three-quarters of those surveyed said they grew up typically eating dinner at a kitchen table, but a little less than half said they do so now when eating at home."

"If you tied a rope tight around the Earth’s equator and then added a single yard of slack, would the extra material make any noticeable difference to someone standing on the ground?"

"While American Jewish women face attacks on our freedom and rising anti-Semitism, abortion opponents are appropriating Jewish history in order to push an agenda that hurts women."