I normally don’t post rants on this blog. I try to keep it to stories or inspirational ideas. I try to be positive as much as possible. But I saw something on Facebook the other day that literally annoyed the living jeepers out of me. It annoyed me SO MUCH that I just needed to get it out of me.
So, what was it that I saw that just irked me beyond my right mind?
“Now that I’m a parent, I just can’t stomach child abuse.”
ARE YOU FLIPPING KIDDING ME?!?!?!?! WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN???
Are you saying that before you just kind shrugged off child abuse? Or are you insinuating that those of us non-parents are just kinda “whatever” about it. Or are you posting that this is some kind of revelation you’ve just encountered? “Oh my gosh! Now I know that child abuse is wrong!”
Here’s the thing about first-time parents…..they all seem to go through this moment of clarity about children and they think that those of us without kids need that bit of wisdom they just discovered. They say annoying things to non-parents like:
1. “Until you have a child you just don’t understand.”
Of COURSE we don’t understand! Why would we? We live a life of sleeping until about an hour before we have to leave for work, spending a half an hour getting dressed and making coffee and then driving directly to work. We don’t have to get up and make breakfast, make sure the kid has brushed his teeth, is wearing his pants the right way, can find his shoes and his bookbag and that his homework is actually IN his bookbag while trying to pack his lunch only to then drive him to school/daycare before going to work. I come home from work and I don’t have to immediately get to work on dinner because my kid’s gonna get off the bus and want food. I can play video games whenever I want, for as long as I want. All day if I want to, because I’m an adult and I can! I can watch whatever movie I so choose without having to worry about language and violence or parental supervision. I don’t have a bedtime. I don’t have to enforce a bedtime.
I DON’T GET IT! Isn’t it great? I honestly don’t get it!
And I’m okay with that. I like having the ability to realize I don’t have the yellow squash I wanted to add to my meal and just run out and get one without having to think twice about it. I like that I can run into a store in five minutes or less and get the yellow squash and then run home and pick up where I left off without being concerned that my kid wants a juice box and some goldfish crackers. I am quite happy without the knowledge of what it’s like to get a kid ready for the outside world, thanks though.
2. “Cat’s aren’t like children.”
Well, pardon my french, but: No, shit, Sherlock. I have two cats that I can just leave at home for about 19 hours without concern. I don’t have to teach them life lessons. I don’t have to help them with their Math Homework. I don’t have to make sure they get a balanced diet. I fill their dishes with dry food and water when they’re empty and I scoop the crap out of a box. Largely I can pretty much ignore them and they’ll be just fine. They sleep about 20 hours of the day and when they aren’t sleeping I might throw a toy mouse at them or tantalize them with some ribbons. Maybe I’ll even chase them around the house just because I can. Sometimes they like to curl up and nap with me, sometimes they just want to look out the window. Basically, I don’t need to concern myself with keeping them occupied all day long. They’ll do their thing, I’ll do mine. It’s a lovely little balance. That’s precisely why I picked cats! They’re just their own little beastie doing whatever they want.
It’s a cat. It’s not a person. And I’m not an idiot. Thanks for pointing that out to me, though.
3. ‘My kid went potty today!”
Well, congratulations. I’m sure there was an epic celebration in your household. Perhaps some fireworks. Maybe some tears were shed. And there was probably cake. Or at least a cookie.
But, I go potty everyday. Several times, actually. Yes, I was potty trained about 27 years ago. And yes, it’s very exciting when there aren’t accidents and all your hard work has paid off. But I don’t really need to know.
And for the love of all things holy, PLEASE STOP POSTING PICTURES OF YOUR CHILDREN ON THE POTTY! Oh yes, for those of you equally disgusted: that’s a thing. And it happens on Facebook. New parents post pictures of their babies on the potty. Or the aftermath of the potty. STOP IT! STOP IT RIGHT NOW! Not only is it just disgusting, but it’s pretty embarrassing for your kids. Can you IMAGINE how upset you would be if you found out that your mom put a picture of you on the potty on a billboard for the entire county to see? Because that’s basically what you’re doing.
By all means, take all the pictures you want of your little one doing their business, but keep them to yourself. Please, please for the sake of humanity, we are all begging you.
But, I digress. The point is, as a non-parent, I’m pretty happy with my life. I just bought a house with my husband about four months ago and we are very happy here. It’s a three-bedroom so we have room to make for a kid when we are ready. The fact remains, however, that we are not. There is a lot of growing for us to do yet. We want to be able to say, “Wanna go to Cedar Point today?” and then just go because we can. We want to be able to say, “Wanna go catch a movie?” and then just do it. We want to be able to watch violent movies and play violent video games and eat whatever we want whenever we want simply because we’re adults and we can do these things. The moment we have a kid, this beautifully free lifestyle will change for us.
Friends, I’m not saying I won’t rejoice with you when you are pregnant. I will. I will go out and get you stuffed giraffe’s and diapers! I’ll give you hugs and care packages. I’ll ask my mom to make you a baby blanket. If we’re lucky I’ll even hold your baby. I’m not saying I don’t want to see your baby ever, because I DO! And I am certainly not saying that your baby isn’t the most beautiful baby I’ve ever seen, because he or she actually IS!
We all know how deeply I grieved for Olivia. Even now, randomly, I’ll have a moment when I think of her and I’ll find myself crying. Hell, it happened today, for crying out loud. I passed a spot in my living room where she sat in her carrier and I found myself feeling so much sorrow that I couldn’t contain it without a few tears.
I love your baby! Your baby is amazing! Your baby is a perfect little blessing. Your baby is beautiful and special. I’m happy for you!!!!
I just don’t need to be reminded that I’m the weird one for not having a baby of my own. Or that babies aren’t like pets. Or that your baby went poop today. I mean, unless you are a really awesomely close friend, I don’t care that your baby went poop. Newsflash: babies poop. They poop a lot. That’s why I’ll give you diapers, because you’ll need them. Because no matter how many diapers you have you’ll always need more.
And someday I will have a baby. And these new-parent feelings that annoy me now will come over me and I’ll be all philosophical about how I finally understand what it actually MEANS to be a parent. But today is not that day. And I don’t want to be judged because I’ve chosen not to be a mommy yet.
This post has been submitted to January 2014 NaBloPoMo. NaBloPoMo is a month-long challenge to post once a day on your blog, hosted by Blogher. Each month has its own theme. January’s theme is “pressure.”