Real Talk

Thea Arvisu: Sorry Not Sorry

Thea Arvisu, the Co-Founder of The Virago Soul, shares how this generation of unapologetic parents is rewriting the rule book, and breaking the mold of the “perfect” parent.

This story about Thea Arvisu appeared in the Modern Parenting Mother’s Day and Father’s Day May 2024 issue.

In today’s parenting landscape, where advice flows as freely as your toddler’s spilled juice, you don’t have to look far to see that more and more parents are throwing caution—and conventional wisdom—to the wind. We’ve found ourselves charting our own course through the rain and shine of child-rearing, armed with nothing but love, caffeine, and an internet connection. 

To nobody’s surprise, “parenting by the book” is on the verge of extinction, and rightfully so. We’ve embraced a more improvisational approach, reminiscent of our Spidey-like instincts with newborn spit-ups when we had nothing but our bare hands to save the outfit (or the furniture). And as much as we can all relate to typical parenting woes, the fact remains that raising kids is, was, and never will be a one-size-fits-all gig.  

Breaking the mold and redefining “normal”

Finding yourself in charge of a new life prompts you to confront certain things about your own. How many times have you thought about the way you were raised that (you swear!) you would never do with your kids? How many experiences have you had that you hope your children will never have to endure? Finally, which made you decide to do things differently? 

Most of us want to do better. Each generation is supposed to be an upgraded version of the last. The truth is that as much as we’re willing to try, being a parent can still be tough. As quirky and unique as our kids are, we’ve had to turn the mirror onto ourselves and say — hey, so are we

There is no cookie-cutter version of the perfect parent — not really. We are finally embracing the messy, beautiful truth that being normal doesn’t mean the same thing for everyone. 

The buck stops here

In this grand rebellion against the status quo, it seems that the most compelling reason behind this shift towards individualized parenting is this: we’re tired. Tired of trying to live up to impossible expectations. Tired of comparing ourselves to the perfectly curated highlight reels. We’re over the guilt of feeling like we’re constantly falling short. We’re waking up to the realization that perhaps our parents felt the same way and weren’t able to do much about it. 

Gone are the days when becoming a mom or a dad came with a strict set of “shoulds” handed down from generation to generation like a worn-out heirloom. We have boldly set ourselves free from the dread of choosing between tsinelas o sinturon (a belt or a slipper) and mealtime spiels of starving children in Africa. Time pushes forward as we leave outdated methods behind.

We live and let live

With the world at our fingertips and a smartphone in every pocket, today’s parents have access to a treasure trove of information — and misinformation — about parenting. From mom blogs to influencers to that Facebook group where everyone argues about the best way to feed a baby, the internet has become our virtual village in a world that can often feel isolating.

At The Virago Soul, we stand for unapologetic motherhood because parenting is hard enough without adhering to the pressure of what everyone around us says. We celebrate you for exactly who you are and for making the choices that elevate you as an individual and, by default, benefit your family as a whole. 

We are the generation of parents who are turning the tide and taking accountability for our words and behaviors: we apologize to our kids and mean it, and we don’t have to pretend like we know everything. 

So here’s to the parents who are breaking the mold, one temper tantrum at a time. May your coffee be strong, your patience be bottomless, and your sense of humor unwavering in the face of sibling rivalry, picky eaters, and the eternal quest for five minutes of peace and quiet. And to the generations that follow, allow me to say, as the demigod Maui once said — you’re welcome. 

Thea Arvisu is the Co-Founder of The Virago Soul, an unapologetic motherhood community. 

She is also a certified Mindfulness Teacher and Mindset Mentor for moms.

To read the full article, grab a copy of Modern Parenting Mother’s Day and Father’s Day May 2024 issue —available on Download the e-Magazine from Readly or Press Reader for more exclusive features and stories.

More about parenting?

Parenting Problems: How to Deal with Your Spouse Over Conflicting Strategies
Coregulation: A Successful Parenting Strategy That Helps Tame Toddler Tantrums
Conscious Parenting: Redefining a Happy Home

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