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Narcissistic Parenting

Virtually everything we do, at least in part, is to feed the ego. The extravagant popularity of Twitter is a perfect example. Twitter is about self-promotion, plain and simple, and it has quickly become the top social media platform featuring not just athletes, businesses, celebrities and entertainers, but a plethora of people who have no real interest in gaining “followers” other than satisfying their own sense of pomp.

Ego in the workplace can be a beautiful thing. It can help us get noticed for a promotion, or help pad our bank accounts, or boost our self-esteem. There is nothing wrong with a healthy dose of ego.

Narcissistic-Parenting-ImageAs ego monsters, we try equally hard to hide our failures. And that is ok! It is natural to not want your failures exposed.

But failure happens and one of the key arenas where everyone fails is as a new parent. Becoming a new parent is tantamount to beginning a new career, one in which you have no experience, no education, no guidance, no training, and no idea where to begin. As a new parent, it is easy to feel like you’re failing but as an egomaniac, it is difficult to stomach.

No one can destroy the vainglorious exterior of an egomaniac quicker than a baby. Babies are unpredictable. When your baby erupts in a fit of spontaneous screaming at 3a and you go down the “what the hell is wrong with him now” checklist and after everything has been taken care of, he is still crying, your ego will be crying with him. There is no better example of a truly humbling moment than trying to console and inconsolable newborn.

There is no room for ego as a new parent. No matter how much literature you read, who you talk to, or what you’ve experienced in your adult life, nothing will adequately prepare you for a newborn. Fellow egomaniacs, bear in mind that I offer no assurance that everything will be alright!

Admittedly, it sucks to be ill prepared. It is detestable when you are not set up for success. As I’ve struggled through the early months of parenthood, I’ve learned to put my ego aside and learn from my own baby, since no one else is sufficiently able to tell me how to care for my own kid.

Babies are unique, just like everyone else. Accepting that you are a novice and a simpleton is the first step towards solving your own little Rubik’s Cube of comfortless fleshy tissue. I’ve never claimed to be a good parent, or for that matter, even an adequate one.

I am an egomaniacal adult who’s succeeded collegiately, professionally, and personally. I’ve fallen from the ego tree and hit every branch of humility on the way down. Up there somewhere, my baby is staring down at me…and he’s probably crying for no reason.

Colin Reed

There is literally no intelligence quotient prerequisite for procreating. Figure that one out.

41 comments

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  • I haven’t thought parenting is for the ego. Interesting definition… Parenting just comes by instinct and with the grace of God, you’ll overcome it’s challenges.

  • Yes! You are right, this is one arena where we basically all suck at first. I hadn’t thought about that before. Every one should have a baby, just so they can see how hard it is. Awesome post!

  • when i became a new mom i had similar thoughts and finally realized that she was mine and i had to and would learn on my own how to best take care of her.

  • What a great post. It’s amazing how each child is different and it seems as if you have to learn so much all over again as each one comes along. There are things that will go from child to child but so much about each child that you need to learn and they will either be an ego booster or ego breaker.

  • aaw just what I need to keep every parent grounded and that we are not alone in not knowing what to do with our kids — no matter how many encyclopaedia we have read.

  • Such a good analogy that having a baby is like starting a job that you have no training or experience for, I think that is so true. At least, from what I have observed, since I don’t have any kids. I know that I know nothing so I always assume it’s more difficult and unpredictable that I can imagine – I figure that’s a safe assumption, lol!

  • Awww! Having a new baby is so hard but so worth it! My daughter just graduated from high school summa cum laude, so I’m letting my ego think it was all me 🙂 LOL No second guessing when it comes to parenting! Just trust yourself completely and go with the flow.

  • Hey Creed,

    Funny, I never thought about parenting in terms of ego. That’s a really interesting perspective. It’s true, that as human beings we are learned to not easily accept failure; then these little people come along and couldn’t care less about that. You’ve gicen me food for thought about my own expectations as a parent. Nice post.

  • LOL. I thought I was a genius until I had children and realized that at every age they manage to stay a step ahead of me. No matter how hard I try, my learning curve isn’t fast enough. You’re right. Parenting is an exercise in humility!

  • I’ve always said that the best parents are those who have never had kids and the best babies are those who have not yet been born! We all learn what kind of parent we will be when our kids are born. Until then–you really don’t know.

  • I think it’s so funny how before you become a parent we have these dreams of how it’s going to be but then we become parents and BAM, everything changes. This sentence might be the best thing I’ve read in a while!
    “No one can destroy the vainglorious exterior of an egomaniac quicker than a baby.”

  • I can totally relate! I often doubt myself if I am doing the right thing when it comes to parenting but I realize that there’s no book or manual that can tell you how to be a parent to your child, because all of us are different. What works for one mom might not work for me.

    It’s still a learning process for me.

    • I wish there was a manual. God, wouldn’t that be great!? Like “Ikea” instruction pamphlets for how to navigate every situation as a new parent!

  • Thanks for such a wonderful, honest post! I help my sister with her baby a lot, and I an see how difficult it is. I have not yet had a baby of my own, though we are trying, and it’s posts like this that make me aware of things I never would have considered.

  • What an honest post! I know I had never felt more lost than the first few months after bringing our son home from the hospital. You really see just how much you don’t know. Swallowing you pride and asking for help is hard, but so much better than trying to wade through everything on your own.

  • I also feel like we (at least moms) will ask other moms if they do this or that to mentally compare themselves to each other and if you know you’re doing the better option for your child, it feeds the ego. Before I had my first child, I did so much research to be as “prepared” as possible because I was a control freak and wanted to do everything right. After realizing that was foolish of me to think it would be smooth sailing, I was taken down a peg or two. After I had my second child, I just learned to let go.

    • It is remarkable how much “expert advice” there is on the interweb and how irrelevant it can become when you actually have to use it. I’ve learned from my own baby much more than I did from the “experts” out there.

  • Ego really has no place ANYWHERE when it comes to a newborn–I am not a parent but I have had the dubious honor of attempting to calm one or two of those “why the heck is she so upset and screaming” infants on occasion-usually when one of my friends looked like they were about to murder the little one!



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