The adventures (and non-adventures) of a marginally seasoned attorney.

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Sunday, December 28, 2014

Things self-important parents should never tell non-parents not to say to parents

One of my least favorite things the internet has brought about is the self-important parent. The self-important parent claims moral superiority over other parents and ESPECIALLY over those horrible subhumans known as non-parents.  Non-parents aren't allowed to have opinions about kids or whether they should have them, and they definitely aren't allowed to think that your kid who is screaming loudly indoors about some injustice like broccoli could be better behaved. That's because when you give birth, the mommy fairy comes and blesses the self-important parent with infinite knowledge that non-parents will never be able to acquire, bless their hearts.

The self-important parent also feels that they are chronically oppressed. Nevermind that as a thirty-year-old southern Christian woman without children, I'm in the minority and made well aware of the social implications of being childless every day, but hey, what do I know? I haven't been blessed by the mommy fairy's infinite knowledge.

Anywayyyy... Against my better judgment, I clicked on a link called "Things Non-Parents Should Never Say to Parents," a commentary to scold those naughty non-parents who clearly are telling you these things because they are selfish, heartless human beings who can never know the plight of the self-important parent. As a non-parent, I'd like to address each of these statements that I'm not allowed to say to self-important parents:

1. Ugh. No way. I don't want to have kids. Like, ever. - Some people who don't have kids want to have kids someday. Some people never want to have kids. Either is okay. Why do you care about a person's personal choice? I think that says more about you than them.

2. What do you mean you haven't seen that movie/heard that song/checked out that new TV series yet? - You'd probably find it even more offensive if I assumed you were completely disconnected from everything, so this one is a lose-lose for the naughty non-parents.

3. You never call anymore. - If you're honestly telling me that you can't set aside 10 minutes every two weeks to call a friend - or even multitask during those 10 minutes every two weeks - then I don't know why ANYONE would want to have kids. I'm sure that raising a very young child is hard, but there comes a point when I don't believe that excuse anymore.

4. We're having a picnic in our backyard, but it's strictly for adults. - If a host doesn't want kids at their house, then they shouldn't be forced to have your kids there. Your friend will understand if you don't come, but don't be a jerk about it because they'll stop inviting you altogether.

5. We're thinking about having a baby, so we're getting a puppy first to see if we can handle the job. - I don't think anyone actually thinks they are the same. But if they do, to each their own. Most people don't know what they're doing when they first have a kid, let's be honest, but the human race has managed to survive.

6. You're not going to start buying mom jeans now, are you? I've never heard anyone say this to anyone ever. But seriously, don't buy mom jeans.

7. It must be so relaxing to be at home all day with the kids. - A lot of people would love to have the luxury to be a stay-at-home parent - and yes, it is a luxury.

8. Don't be so lame! You're kid-free tonight! Light weight... - Your non-parent friends were nice enough to invite you out even though you've made it clear that you think they are heartless horrible subhumans, so cut 'em a break. But seriously, I have many parent friends who stay out late every now and then and are also awesome parents, so it's not immoral of me to ask you to get another drink. 

9. That kid is OUT OF CONTROL! - Well, he is.

10. Try to be here on time. - I think an episode of Friends sums this up the best. Ross tells Rachel they need to leave for the movies at a certain time. She yells "NO! Why do we always have to be on your schedule?" To which Ross replies "It's not my schedule, it's the theater's schedule." Sometimes things require us to be on someone else's schedule - and many times, that is not your child's schedule.

11. I didn't invite you because you never say yes. - I'm lying. I didn't invite you because you told me you didn't even have time to talk to me on the phone.

12. You look tired. Are you doing okay? - HOW DARE YOU ASK ME HOW I'M DOING YOU NAUGHTY NON-PARENT! 

13. Well when I have kids, I'm gonna ____, and my kids will never ______, and the rules will be ________. - Let me fill in the blanks, gal who wrote the original post. When I have kids, I'm gonna be respectful of my friends who choose not to have kids, and my kids will never be used as a reason for me to claim moral superiority, and the rules will probably change over time, but I want my kids to learn how to be kind while still sticking up for themselves. Cool? Cool.