Woman's Post Nails How Modern Motherhood Expectations Perpetuate Helicopter Parenting

September 27th 2016

Laura Donovan

A writer's humorous Facebook post about parenting the "right" way in 2016 has been met with explosive enthusiasm on social media, and it also points to a larger debate about what parenting does to a person's sanity.

Canada-based writer and mother Bunmi Laditan opened her Facebook post by stating that she wishes she could have been a parent during the 1970s or 1980s, when, she argued, "all you had to do to be considered a good mom is to remember to wind down the windows when you smoke in the car."

Laditan explained that parenting now is much more complicated. She wrote that she had just spent 45 minutes researching children's vitamins online, and that this relatively new parenting expectation was nonexistent during her childhood, when stepping into the sun was how she got vitamins.

Bunmi Laditan Facebook

"Do you know what vitamins I had growing up?" she wrote. "NONE. DAYLIGHT WAS MY VITAMIN. Occasionally, once a year tops, my mom would get us those chalky [Flintstones] vitamins that looked liked kidney stones but we'd only have to eat them for a few days before she lost interest in our health."

Noting another demanding parenting expectation of today, she added that someone told her that her kids need fish oils that cost $60:

"The closed thing I had to fish oils as a child was whatever the Gorton's fisherman caught, breaded, and fried. Once I got a Kid Cuisine with fish sticks as well because they were on special. Fish oils are apparently important for brains but I'm almost positive that like vaginas brains are mostly self-cleaning and don't need special soaps."

She continued that "nothing about modern parenting is simple," and that she has even gotten weird stares from other parents for giving her son a juice box at the park. Laditan revealed that she grew up drinking Tampico juice, which her parents paid for with food stamps, and that it didn't hurt her life in the least.

Laditan concluded that many parents aren't taken seriously if they aren't worried about their kids all of the time, a behavior pattern that can indicate helicopter parenting:

"So now, I'm about to spend an electricity bill on vitamins because in 2016, you don't really love your kids if you're not a paranoid mess about their physical well being and willing to spend a small fortune on dye-free toothpaste made in the woods that tastes like eldeberry and privilege. If you need me, I'll be in front of my computer crying bitter tears and searching for phthalate-free bubble bath. I don't even know what a phthalate is."

A number of parents and Facebook users thanked Laditan for calling out some of the unrealistic parenting expectations in today's world:

Bunmi Laditan Facebook

You can read her full post below:

Laditan's complaint about expensive vitamins points to higher parenting costs in 2016.

Research has shown that parenting costs have gone up significantly over the past few decades. Using data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this year that it cost $198,556 to raise someone born in 1960, whereas it cost $245,340 to raise someone born in 2013.

Earlier this year, Australian mother Storm-Manea Ellyatt published a viral Facebook post about modern parenting pressures of today, arguing that a lot of parents experience social shaming for talking about how hard it can be to raise children:

"[O]h the irony that everyone hates it at one point or another but you have to remember that hating it out loud is a kick in the face to everyone that would give everything for a moment of 'hating it,'" she wrote.