This has been a hard week to be human. Hell, it's been a hard year, or two. Or three. Or, well, always. Lately, it seems like a week can't go by without feeling horrified by something on the news. I've always been profoundly affected by the awful events that continue happening in the world, but I have to say that the news is harder to watch once you have kids. Or, at least, it is for me.
Days like yesterday make me wonder what kind of world I'm raising my children to live in. Whether it's the Pulse shooting, or the senseless shootings of unarmed black men or a planned, violent attack on law enforcement or, god help us, another Sandy Hook, it is absolutely terrifying to turn on the news. I actually have friends who go on regular news "vacations," so that they can remember what it's like to just enjoy having kids and being a parent without constantly worrying what world you'll eventually leave your kids with.
I know we can't bury our heads in the sand, especially as parents who have not only a responsibility, but an obligation to be informed. I know that simply turning off the news and ignoring wha tis going on in the world is a privilege not afforded to all; The news is someone's backyard; Someone's community; Someone's constant state of being; Someone's inescapable reality. I know that every single tragedy that occurs can be part of a larger set of lessons that all good parents should be teaching their kids. We need to love people, we need to recognize that every single human life is worth saving, worth fighting for and worth valuing. Still, every single time I sit down to watch the news I find it more and more upsetting, and the moment I start to envision my child in a similar situation and imagine how I would react as a parent who has lost their child, a knife twists into my gut.
Here are seven reasons why having a kid makes it harder to watch the news.