Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Mommy wars...

So, I have recently started reading STFUParents. It's a website dedicated to the stupid/annoying things parents post on their fb. There are instances of "mommy jacking," i.e.-One person posts a status update saying they are waiting on cancer test results and it's stressful. A friend comments how they know EXACTLY how they feel, as they are waiting on test results to see if they are having a boy or a girl. (Basically, any post involving, "Oh, that sucks for you. Now back to me and my baby stuff!" Even when the mom is posting on someone else's status update.) There are "gross out factor" posts, which involve, "My kid just pooped the runniest poop ever." There are posts about mama drama. There are posts involving moms who think they are the greatest person ever just for having a baby.

This website is addicting in the fact that it reminds me no matter how annoyed or grossed out I may get by the things some of my friends post about their kids, it can always be worse. It also makes me feel like I'm not alone in thinking there are just some things that you don't need to post on facebook.

Earlier, as I was playing on stfu parents, I somehow stubbled upon another blog which had this post. Now, I'll admit, I was warned ahead of time that this post had come off as offensive. Not because the content wasn't safe for work, or was of a sexual nature or anything like that. It was offensive because it was so one sided and mean. I encourage you to read it and let me know what you think.

Here's my take on the post:

"T.V. does not rot little brains"
     Now, I'm not one to judge others for sitting their kids in front of the tv while they cook dinner or to get a few minutes peace. Do I think it's ok to allow your kids to watch tv all day every day? No. It squanders their imagination. Active minds are more creative and engaging. Children should be outside using their imagination. They should be learning the alphabet or colors or shapes. Regular excessive television viewing can lead to childhood obesity. Also, it all depends on what your child is watching. Dora the Explorer is one thing. But if your child is watching talk shows, soap operas or shows that are just too "mature" in any way, it's not doing them any good. And if you want to say tv doesn't effect your child, I better not see you in ten years blaming tv (or music) for ruining the youth of America (or any other country for that matter).

"I've been parenting for longer than you like 90 years."
     I understand that since I don't have kids, there are going to be things I don't know how to do. That being said, I have 6 nieces and nephews. I have baby sat every one of them from time to time. In a pinch, I can change a diaper, (not well, but I know the basics.) I can make a bottle. I can rock them to sleep. I can read them a story. I can play zombie games. I can play tea party. Do I know every little thing about being a parent? No. That doesn't mean I know nothing about kids. In fact, some of the people who are best at understanding kids, are people who don't actually have kids. Um, hello? Supernanny. And frankly, there are tons of people out there who have kids, but don't know the first thing about being a parent.

"I'd like to hear something redeeming."
     If you want me to praise your kids, make sure they are praise-worthy. I won't tell you that you kid is really well behaved if he just punched me in the face. Sorry, not going to happen.

"I have been beaten into submission."
     And you a better mother for it? I doubt it. I work at a job that has beaten me into submission. Am I better at my job for it? No. I'm easily annoyed, upset and stressed through my entire shift. None of which are great qualities for an employee.

"It's rude to offer parenting advice, unless specifically asked."
     I can understand this, but remember, that's a two way street. I won't offer parenting advice, but I expect you not to offer advice on my life choices unless specifically asked. This means, I don't need your opinion on my singledom, my lack of kids, or my choice of college or jobs. Unwanted advice of any kind, is usually considered rude. Also, consider that many people are actively trying to have children, but have been unsuccessful. Asking them why they are waiting or if they want kids comes off as a judgement. If that person wants a child, but is unable to conceive, those comments are hurtful and cruel. Keep that in mind.

"I wish you a difficult child."
     Wow. I don't even know what to say to that.

"Please don't tell me how tired you are."
     Oh, yes, because only parents know how to be tired. Forget the people who work full time jobs and go to school. Forget the people with chronic insomnia. Forget the people with financial stresses or difficult family situations. It's not like any of that wears down the body or mind.

The entire post seems so "holier than thou," as do many of the comments. Having a child doesn't make you better than those without children. Not having children doesn't make you any better than those who do. It means that you made a choice (or had a little surprise, whatever.) to have a child, where as I made a choice not to have one. Please don't tell me that I'll understand once I have kids. I'm sure that I will to an extent. But that comment alone is very condescending. There is nothing wrong with me for choosing to wait to have children. It's not a priority for me yet. I am choosing to put myself through school. I am choosing to spend some time abroad. I am choosing to spend my time and money on myself. This may seem selfish. Maybe it is. But it's my decision. And as long as I'm not pushing my selfish will on others, I don't see it as a problem. Isn't it better for me to enjoy my life and try to grow and enrich myself now, so that when I do decide to have children, I can be a better, happier mother?

I am in no way trying to offend people with children. Most of the people I surround myself with have children. (And I adore those children.) This post is not directed to any of those people, because frankly, they have never offended me for my lack of children. This is just my own opinion as a non-parent.

Do you agree with my opinions? I'd love to get feedback from both parents and non-parents alike. As a non-parent, I can only see the world from my side of the fence. Parents, are there any things that non-parents say that annoy or offend you?


Val V said...

You know, I agree with both sides on this one. I do hate the fact that just because I'm a woman means that I will definitely have babies running around in the next 3-5 years. Sorry. I just have other things I want to do with my life right now. I haven't traveled enough. I haven't saved enough money to even have one child. I haven't lived life enough. I JUST found out what I want to do for a living, finally! (after four years of being a college graduate) I'm 27 and I'm pretty sure over half of the people I know already have kids. That's great for them but it's just not for me. And one other thing...being a woman does not automatically mean I love children either! Babies make me squirm, and no, I don't want to hold your newborn. No offense but it just makes me uncomfortable. I feel as though society puts women in a place where we're expected to be "baby-lovers." I just didn't grow up loving kids, that's all. People always look at me weird when I tell them I'm uncomfortable around children. Wow! Really? What a surprise. You're female. You should automatically know what to do with this crying child, right?

Khristin said...

I feel the same way! I want kids eventually. But I'm not ready to give up my freedom and life for that quite yet. I want to have adventures. I want to travel and live abroad. I want to learn. And I want to be one of those few women who is actually married before I get pregnant. I want it to be a decision that my husband and I make together that we are ready to have children. I don't want a "surprise" baby. There's nothing wrong with that, it's just not what I want. It's sad to me that women like us are often times seen as strange for not getting pregnant just because we can. We are not the norm these days, but I think that my children will be better off for the fact that I'm waiting until I'm more stable. And I think it will be better for them to have a mother who is educated and has experienced a little bit of the world.