The Mandalorian has delighted viewers with its fresh storyline, catchy soundtrack, some droids and a few funky weapons. But all of that was nothing compared to The Child, who we are all calling Baby Yoda even though we know it’s not really Yoda. The Mandalorian, it turns out, is not just another Star Wars saga in a long line of sagas. The Mandalorian is a story about single parenting.
The Mandalorian is not the first person to ever be thrown unexpectedly into a parenting role. But he did so with grace, patience and an innate sense of what really matters when caring for a little one. Here’s what Mando taught us about parenting.
Embrace the temporary all-consuming nature of new parenthood
New parents can feel overwhelmed by how quickly their lives go from being a nice little mix of career, family, friends and romance to All Baby, All The Time. We talk about “losing” ourselves as though it’s not perfectly natural for the care and well-being of a young child to totally eclipse everything else.
The Mandalorian goes from being a hard-working, highly respected bounty hunter (among the top in his field!) to being primarily concerned with keeping this little guy alive. We can relate! But those of us who have been there also know that eventually, it will get easier and he will soon be back in action, impressing all those clients again.
Favor “natural consequences” over discipline
Kids—they push boundaries. How serious are you, really, about them not jumping on the furniture? They’ll jump a few more times just to see. Is toy-throwing definitely never okay? Let’s chuck this one across the room to find out.
You could yell, you could send them to time-out, or you could introduce them to the “natural consequences” of their misbehavior. Jumping on the bed with their friends? You guys need to find another place to play. Throw a plastic dinosaur at your sister, that plastic dinosaur goes away for a while.
Mando reminds us that experiencing natural consequences in life is the most effective teacher—which is why Baby Yoda is not allowed to sit near the buttons on his ship:
Babies really don’t need that much gear
Even though we know babies are super small, take up very little space and don’t do much more than eat, sleep and soil some diapers for a while, we still feel compelled to buy them enough crap to warrant a bunch of “guess we’re gonna need a bigger house” jokes at their baby shower.
The Mandalorian doesn’t go overboard here. A nice little floating cradle, a cozy outfit and a cup of bone broth once in a while is really all they need.
You can’t do it all alone
Mando strikes me as the sort who’s a bit of a loner most of the time. You might have to let go of that identity when you’re a brand new parent, though—especially if you’re a single parent! You need to find your village and find it fast. You need friends; you need people who will watch over them and play with them when you have a couple of errands to run.
You may even need a nurse droid. It does not hurt to have a nurse droid.
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