CAR­RIE BICK­MORE

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Contents - Car­rie co-hosts The Project, 6.30pm week­nights, on Net­work Ten. car­rie bick­more

is fed up with the vit­riol hurled at “shar­ents” on­line.

Grow­ing up, my sis­ters and I would spend many Satur­day nights curled up un­der the ta­ble at our lo­cal res­tau­rant while our par­ents ate din­ner and drank wine with their friends. We were tired, they weren’t ready to leave, so we’d make our­selves comfy and have a lit­tle nap.

Imag­ine post­ing that on Face­book to­day: “Gonna have an­other wine. Kids knack­ered, so they are us­ing nap­kins as pil­lows un­der the ta­ble. #par­ent­lyf”

Imag­ine the he out­rage. “Neg­li­gent par­ent­ing!” rent­ing!” “How bloody self­ish!”

It didn’t feel el neg­li­gent or self­ish. In fact, t, we loved it.

Par­ent­ing in the age of so­cial me­dia ia is a risky busi­ness. Post t your lat­est birth­dayy cake cre­ation and you’ll be shamed for set­ting et­ting stan­dards too high for other mums.ms.

Share a pic of your kid’s school lunch unch and some­one will point out how choco­la­tee crack­les are the first step tep to child­hood obe­sity. es­ity.

Par­ent­ing can be a daunt­ing ex­pe­ri­ence xpe­ri­ence and shar­ing iss a way of cop­ing with the he ups and downs of the world’s tough­est est job. Mums have been shar­ing sto­ries for cen­turies, but so­cial me­dia has made parental shar­ing (shar­ent­ing) dif­fer­ent. A few months ago on air, I men­tioned how my nine-year-old had started walk­ing to school on his own. I shared how I had no idea you were meant to call the school to check your child had made it safely. I emailed the teacher at lunchtime af­ter my friend filled me in on the par­ent­ing pol­icy! Bit late! The panel then dis­cussed how times had changed. When I was a kid I had to walk “three kays” to school on my own and my mum never had time to call to hear abo about my ex­cit­ing ar­rival. She was tooto busy work­ing and mak­ing rad c cakes. I thought I was shar­ing a trivi triv­ial anec­dote about my son’s new-foun new-found in­de­pen­dence, as part of a con­ver­sa­tion­conve about he­li­copter par­ent­ing.paren But I had opened a can of nasty worms. Peo­ple went out of their way to tell me nine is too young for a kid to walk t to school, and I was neg­li­gen neg­li­gent for not call­ing to check he’d m made it safely. I’m not sure i if the fact the school is 75 me­tresme from our house and re­quiresre no road cross­ing wouldw mit­i­gate the ang anger, but it’s not like I didn’t have my ow own wor­ries about se send­ing my pr pre­cious boy off on his own for the first time. Yet, my phi­los­o­phy has al­ways been I need to teach him in­de­pen­dence so he knows how to cope in the world on his own.

It reminded me of the out­cry af­ter Rachael Finch men­tioned her daugh­ter spends week­ends with her grandma, so Rachael and her part­ner can have some time to them­selves each week. She might as well have put her hand in a blender.

She was, un­sur­pris­ingly, pil­lo­ried for be­ing, you guessed it, “self­ish”. Per­haps she might spend more time with her daugh­ter dur­ing the week than a lot of other mums or wishes to main­tain a healthy re­la­tion­ship with her hubby.

Re­gard­less of her rea­sons, the im­me­di­ate re­ac­tion was vi­cious out­rage. In a world where there is so much to be out­raged about, where does the en­ergy for this come from? There is noth­ing wrong with hav­ing an opin­ion. But do we re­ally need the vit­riol?

We want mums and dads to share their lives with us; we want and need to feel part of a com­mu­nity.

“I thought I was shar­ing a triv­ial anec­dote, but I opened a can of nasty worms”

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