Before I get too much into this post, let me start with a confession: I was one of those annoying, know-it-all, gonna-tell-you-how-to-raise-kids-when-I’ve-never-had-any-kids asshole kind of childless person. I was known for such great hits as:
· Comparing my pets to having children because clearly, it’s totally the same. #sarcasm
· Making comments such as, “Put a leash on your child!” in public places, especially restaurants.
· Giving the stink eye to other people’s kids who wanted to engage me in conversation.
· Giving all the eye rolls to parents who wanted me to talk “baby” to their babies. Goo-Goo? Ga-Ga? How about NO.
· Complete disregard for what really goes into labor, breastfeeding, pregnancy and pretty much raising kids in general.
Well, almost four years later, I’m singing a completely different tune.
Now that I’ve spent a few years on the other side of the fence, I know what an enormous jerk I must have been to those around me with children. It wasn’t that I didn’t like kids, obviously, because I have one of my own. My feelings were more along the lines of viewing children as I do the platypus: they are odd looking, carry potential diseases and no one really knows their purpose or function.
Having said this, I understand why kids aren’t for everyone, really I DO. I can also understand the perplexity childless people find themselves in while scrolling through Facebook and seeing endless pictures of people’s kids or how those of us with kids seem to only talk about our kids. Unless you have kids, it’s hard to explain why our world revolves around them so much.
To that end, now that I’m a parent myself, it really irks the ever-living fuck out of me when I hear some of the ridiculous shit that childless people say (Chalk that up to Karma?) but the bigger rub for me seems to be how all the good parents get lumped in with the bad, annoying or frustrating parents. In the childless person’s pursuit to nail all parents to the same cross, they forget that we aren’t all the same. Not all of us take to social media to talk about our child’s bodily functions or potty training (Double lame-o points for you if you post pictures of your kid sitting on the shitter.) Not all of us whip out the family photos on the childless, expecting you to find our little cherubs as precious as we do. Not all parents’ lives solely revolve around our children; there are many of us, like myself, who still maintain our own interests, activities and hobbies outside of the lives of our kids. To lump us all into one category is unfair and inaccurate to say the least. It really makes me wonder how those people who make the choice to not have children would feel being lumped in and judged in the same way for the choices they make for their lives.
I could be wrong but I’m guessing not so hot.
So without further ado, here are the top complaints/sentiments from childless people that really pisses me off:
ONE. All we do are post pictures of our kids on Facebook. This may be true however, I don’t say anything to you about the endless amount of gym and work out pictures and status updates that you post. I scroll right on by all your recipe and food pictures without a second thought and I never say anything when you feel the need to repeatedly and obnoxiously post political tantrums, your pet pictures, annoying memes and the results of all the quizzes and personality tests you take. Why? Because Facebook is a social platform. The whole purpose of its existence is to share our lives with each other. If my life includes kids, then so be it. If your life revolves around the gym or your pets, fine. At the end of the day, live and let live, shut the fuck up and get over it.
TWO. Comparing pets to children. Before I had my daughter, I remember the days of calling my pets my “children” and comparing them as such. Now that I have an actual child, I realize what a complete and total ass I was in thinking that way and trust me, you sound like every bit of an asshole too. Until you’ve stayed up all night with a sick dog or a dog that won’t sleep and still gone to work the next day, diapered and wiped shit from a dog’s ass (and every other body part), been thrown up on and invested around $300,000 (the average cost of raising one child) into your dog, please do us all a favor and shut the fuck up.
THREE. Getting nasty stares and comments in restaurants. It never ceases to amaze me how a childless couple can show up to a Red Robin for dinner and be annoyed that they aren’t getting a quiet, intimate meal. If that’s the vibe you’re going for, head to a Ruth’s Chris, otherwise, shut the fuck up. For the one child that is going ballistic in a restaurant, there are probably 400 more parents doing everything within their power to teach their child the right way to act in public yet, it’s always the one child that gives all of us a bad name. I’m also willing to bet that my almost four year old has better tact, manners and behavior in most restaurants than most adults do.
FOUR. The only thing my friends with kids want to talk about are their kids. I will admit that from time to time, I’m guilty on this one. Get me started on my little girl and I could go on and on forever BUT here’s the thing: I will also listen to you talk endlessly about your cruise to the Bahamas. I’ll pretend that I’m interested when you talk to me about the blind date you went on last weekend. I’ll nod and throw out a few “mm hmmm’s” while you complain on and on and on about what an ass your husband is. I’ll try with every fiber of my being to not roll my eyes when you want to talk about how your job is horrible for the hundredth time. It’s called being a friend you fucking ass hat. That’s what we are supposed to do. You listen to what’s going on in my life just as I do yours. Friendships are supposed to be mutually beneficial relationships. If the only thing we can talk about is what’s going on in your life, then I’m out.
At the end of the day, the choice couples make to not have kids is their own and I respect that but let’s not forget that respect goes both ways. If kids aren’t for you, cool, but don’t project those feelings over onto me and my child. Take a moment to remember that you too were once an annoying little shit but regardless, were the apple of someone’s eye. Take the time to remember that you too probably threw a shit fit in the grocery store or a restaurant and that maybe, just maybe, you also annoyed the ever living shit out of other people around you whether you meant to or not. This is called being human, and it’s not selective to only those of us with kids. We can all be annoying, frustrating and immature at times. Stop blaming my kid, shut the fuck up and get over it.
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