So, Pinterest has released their parenting trend predictions for 2018. Go there, Jessie Collins advises, if you dare.
Ah 2017, the year you tried and failed to nail the Story Starters trend (a written prompt left open for your child to continue on as they create their own tale), or the fairy garden that began with such high hopes of creating a patch of make-believe nirvana, complete with coloured stones and miniature well, that so quickly resembled a bit of scrubland off the Naas Road, where even the most verdant seeds refused to grow, and worryingly began to resemble your own attempts to finally get a handle on your own patch of outdoor space.
Or when the woodland craze reached peak Pinteresting and you decided to bring half the park home, only to create a teepee that looked like something more suited to a Build A Bear and one or two of his mates – yes it might not be that hard to say goodbye to some of the parenting fads of 2017. The year was very much focused on deep analysis of how much gender programming you were inflicting on your poor blank canvases (every parent knew this was a red herring) and that we are potentially creating a nation of zombies with excessive screen time. There was at least hope at the the close of 2017 with the report by the Educational Research Centre (ERC) which ranked Irish children highest among their peers for literacy levels in the EU, and which amazingly, their parents mostly got credit for – stick that in your XBox and smoke it.
For 2018, Pinterest have released their round up of this year's parenting crazes, made for parents both to scoff at, and secretly beaver away on after hours in the quiet of their own homes just in case word gets back on the preschool grapevine that you do not have any finger puppets, nor know what they are. Either way there is pretty much something for everyone.
Top of the list is again wood-related- saves for “wooden toys” are up 173%, which is only logical. Every parent knows the plastic breeds, which seem to spawn even cheaper and noisier new plastic nightmares. There isn’t one parent who hasn’t at one point at least, dreamt about scooping up the whole lot and just tipping it out the front door, to be left with the joy of natural objects that don’t break into the most Casio version of B-I-N-G-O every time someone sneezes.
Apparently it’s all about grown up nurseries now. Forget your storks flying on the walls, this is minimal furnishings with hanging basket chairs and pouffes. The real question is, do we get to move in, too?
New parents are tackling pre-baby bucket lists and perfecting the art of prepping for new arrivals (saves for “baby prep” are up 207%). My advice? Go for it, it’s the last time you will be that organised till you are in your 60s.
Say yes to yarn: Pom poms are at peak popularity, a parenting trend I can live with but I am not sure I will do anything about. (Saves for “pom pom decor” +444%)
According to Pinterest these are “blankets but better: weighted blankets are known for their kid-calming, sleep-inducing superpowers.” It’s basically the new swaddling, but with some advantages, one of them being it might take them just a few more minutes to wake up or get out of bed, which is a trend we can all get on board with. Saves for “weighted blankets” are up 259%.
Just when you thought you couldn’t construct and then deconstruct another mini fort, it's fine, because now, you can keep them up. A trend suited only to the large of house or highly spatially tolerant of you. Saves for “forts” +108%.
And if you didn’t have enough guilt tripping about the various ways you are not making it in A-Grade parenting, then watch out for when the eco-parenting trend really gets stuck in and disposable nappies become a bad word and it’s all about reusing and recycling. Not to mention the last vestiges of your personal style, with teething necklaces now something parents can also wear. Thank God. (Saves for “teething necklaces” +146%.)
Personally, my resolutions are from a different place. I want more community, more socialised parenting, and after five years of approaching a night out like I’m planning a small skirmish into Uzbekistan, I want one night a week that is just mine – be it to take part in some activity that goes some way to undoing the crumpled up back and body I’ve developed or just to sit somewhere, gin and tonic in hand, and think about something I haven’t thought over for years. And to fill all of our lives up with more art, that, and hangover-free wine.