A question for the parents out there (and I do apologize in advance for lumping you all together, especially with the delicate thing I’m about to ask): What are you so offended all the time?
I’m not talking about the offense to the almost non-stop criticism parents hurl at each other every day; rather, the rush to become insulted and need to prove that your (Best! Correct!) decision to become a parent is the right one?
I can only speak for myself here but it’s a pretty big deal to decide to raise and nurture and clean up the vomit of another human being. I have a hard time trying to keep one cat alive so I cannot begin to comprehend dealing with small people who absolutely, 100 percent, must stay alive.
Kudos to you. But you know that it’s a choice, right? Though commendable as it may be (and even more wonderful that, thanks to your efforts, the human race will continue) it’s still a choice.
And yet, there seems to be this incessant need to prove that this beautiful thing you’ve done is the greatest thing ever.
It’s incomparable, which a) I realize, and b) I know thanks to the scads of parents who make sure to scream from the rooftops, or from the nearest Facebook page, that their decision to have children is the best decision to be made, along with 57 reasons as to why. Including moments when parents go so far as to belittle those who have yet to make that similar, life-altering decision.
Here’s the deal: No one really cares. You do you, boo. Have kids. Cool. In no way does your having children have an immediate effect on my life, so why do you feel the need to prove yourself to anyone? Especially strangers on the internet?
Recently, on this very site, a woman expressed her displeasure that a dog owner would dare refer to their puppy as their “baby.” The mere act of doing so is an insult to all moms as dogs are not real babies (duh).
The writer then went on to be one of those parents who provides a laundry list of reasons as to how dogs don’t compare to human babies. The reaction from parents and non-parents alike was a resounding “WTF, lady?”
The position of dogs aren’t humans and humans are better came across as the writer not only being judgmental but also trying to prove to herself that having kids was, in fact, a good decision. Hence, her overreaching to prove how human children are the most magnificent thing ever.
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Here’s something that needs frequent repeating, undoubtedly given the often aspiration-oriented photos, blogs, posts from friends, and family: what’s a good choice for one person might not be the best choice for another person.
Have you heard the Amy Poehler quote, “Good for her, not for me”? That’s what it is to have children.
Parents, be grateful for your choice. Accept that you’ve opted for a life with children and I will accept that I’ve opted for a life of ridiculously priced bourbon and Netflix.
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No one is trying to rain on your parade so there’s no need to prove to anyone else that you’ve made the correct decision for you.
Heather Barmore is a blogger, freelance writer, and policy advocate. You can follow her on Twitter and visit her website.