'Confessional' Blog Lets Parents Vent Frustrations Anonymously
COBBLE HILL — "Sometimes, I wonder what life would be like if we’d just adopted a dog."
That's just one of many parenting confessions posted on a new website that's "a place to share what you wouldn't dare say to your playgroup."
Parenting Confessional is a Tumblr page for caregivers to vent frustrations, anxieties and funny anecdotes they have from caring for children, said Cobble Hill writer Julia Fierro, the website's creator.
The site was inspired by her soon-to-be-released novel, "Cutting Teeth," a book about a group of Brooklyn parents who gather at a ramshackle beach house on Long Island. The book portrays the insecurities felt by parents and the desire to be perfect in that role.
The website, which launched last week, is a safe and anonymous space where parents can let off some steam or have a laugh at other people’s confessions, Fierro explained.
“It’s hard for me to imagine any parent that doesn’t have a moment of doubt or self-scrutiny,” she said.
While some posts are funny ("I ate the cookie dough meant for my son’s class party. And then I blamed it on the babysitter") or inspirational ("I think my body looks better after childbirth. Take that, world!"), others reveal deeper feelings many parents often keep to themselves, Fierro said.
Some young, urban parents face a pressure to be perfect that often stems from living in certain Brooklyn neighborhoods, said Amy Shearn, author of "The Mermaid of Brooklyn" and mother of two young children.
That, and staying keyed in to a constant stream of media and online coverage on parenting, can “make you crazy,” she said.
Parenting Confessional can provide a space to talk about uncomfortable or unpleasant moments many parents don't share in public, said Shearn, who now lives in Kensington and said she felt that pressure in Park Slope.
“It’s easy to kind of poke fun at crazy parents," she said. “But they all just want the best for their kids.”
Many parents, like the characters in the book, tend to keep secrets or hide their feelings for fear of being judged, Fierro said. She hopes the website will show people they’re not alone.
“It’s important for people to remind themselves that they’re not the only ones having these doubts and secrets,” said Fierro, who has a 4-year-old daughter and a 6-year-old son.
”You’re not as alone as you might feel,” she added.