Dear medical researchers in Finland,
You have made my flipping day, and I want to tell you why. Your recent study linking pet ownership to healthy kids is the best news I’ve heard since … well, since my obstetrician said, “Okay, you can stop pushing; it’s out.”
I’ve read that Finland is the seventh happiest country in the world. With good health, a high employment rate, and more saunas per capita than cars, why wouldn’t it be?
But here in the United States, aka Land of the Free and Home of the Seriously Stressed-Out, anxiety is a religion — and moms are the high priestesses. From conception to college graduation, American motherhood is basically a series of humiliating episodes confirming that we’ve gone about parenting all wrong.
I’m no exception. I failed to introduce healthy vegetables to my kids before they could say, “Eww, get that off of my plate,” and neglected to start them on scholarship-earning string instruments before they could say, “Violins are for dorks.” I allowed them to eat sugar and watch television too soon — and sometimes, god forgive me, simultaneously.