Hi.

I’m a mom.  I did that on purpose.  I know many people don’t, but I did.  And I liked it.  So much so, that I did it twice.  Now I have two children.  They’re my life.  I’m obsessed with them.  I love them, want to take care of them, want to teach them stuff and show them how awesome the world is while also protecting them from the parts that suck by making them strong in who they are.  Strong and confident by teaching them at first, that I will be here to help- until they see they can do it, whatever “it” is, on their own.  My passion, like many others, bubbles over onto social media and fills up my pages with photos of my family and the awesome stuff they do as they grow.  Most people enjoy it, but I know some don’t.  They think it’s too much.  They’ve actually blocked my posts from their feed because of it.  Y’know what? I don’t care.

Yep, that’s right.  I’m a big ‘ol jerk who posts thousands of child photos on my page and I don’t care if you don’t like it.  Stop posting pictures of your pets, your food, the fancy hotels you stay in, your gardens, your chicken eggs, your weapon collections, art projects, costuming adventures and your alcoholic drinks every time you go to the bar and then maaaaaybe we can have a conversation about who is really “over-posting”.

In the beginning, I didn’t think I wanted kids.  Well, I wasn’t sure.  I thought it could be interesting, fun even- okay, I sort of fantasized about it, but I really didn’t think it was for me.  I thought… other people have kids.  I don’t have kids… but then I found myself pregnant and suddenly, whether I liked it or not, I was going to have a kid.  Then, I miscarried.  I had been on the fence about being happy about it the whole time, so when I lost the baby, I wasn’t sure how to react.  I was angry, sad, felt like I’d failed a test or lost some kind of race.  I felt like I’d been given a portal into a new future and then had the door close before I could even make the choice to walk through.  After some time, the loss of a child-to-be helped me to understand I really did want that for our lives.  After a few more failed pregnancies, I finally had my baby boy.  22 months later, I had our daughter and I cannot imagine my world without them.  I look back now, at the me who didn’t want children and realize I was just so afraid… well, that fear doesn’t leave, but the love of the child gives you strength to overcome that fear.  It’s an amazing balance.

When I chose to have babies, I did not “give up” my life to do it.  I actively chose a new life.  On purpose.  I don’t consider not going to the club on Fridays or having to miss out on “grown up” activities for a few years a big loss in the grand scheme of things.  I had also made the decision early on in the pregnancy that I would refuse to dump my kids off at a daycare or with a local babysitter who has to be paid to be nice to them just to further a career I could easily wait on for a while, as they grew up.

Now that they are here and I am a stay at home mom, I continue to find myself in positions that cause people to question or even judge me as a parent BECAUSE I’m a parent that actually enjoys my children.  I like being with my kids, so that means if I can’t go with them and they can’t go with me, I probably won’t be going wherever it is I could have gone.  I’m not “giving up” anything.  I’m just going to find something else to do for a while and some day when my kids are not looking to me for their survival, I will go out more frequently again and start building hobbies that don’t include them.  Sure, I’ll be honest- there are a few things I miss… like… money, going to parties after a day at Comic-Con, going to concerts and hanging out for hours after to see the band, getting to write a short story all in one sitting over a weekend where I’ve holed myself in a room with my computer and a coffee pot and don’t come out till I’m done… taking long baths… sure, there are things I miss and I look forward to doing again someday.  But I know this time in my children’s lives is fleeting.  There will always be more time for baths, books and careers.  There will only be a few years of time for stories, make believe, cuddling and coloring.  I’m happy with this.

I need everyone to understand where I’m coming from before I get into this, because my personal perspective is important for clarity.

This is not an unbiased post.  Not even a little bit.  I understand both sides, but I think my opinions are pretty sharp when it comes to this topic and I want you to know where I stand in my own life.

The point of discussion today, is the battle between those who have chosen not to have kids, vs. the parent crowd.  It’s an intense and heated subject, so of course, I’m going to write about it.

I chose the tag line “Got Kids?” because, just like in the milk ads, there’s an implication that everyone has it, needs it, wants it and can’t live without it.  Same thing happens with children.  People with kids forget that not everyone wants them.  People who don’t want them don’t want to be hassled about it and they are often the subject of discrimination and ridicule for their choices NOT to have children.  It’s an unfair assumption on the part of someone who has children, to judge someone without children as immature, selfish or vain, and yet- it happens quite a lot.

A friend of mine posted recently that someone was offended and literally driven to anger over his choice to not have children and I felt really bad for him.  He is a really decent guy, highly intelligent and while intimidating, (because he’s wickedly smarter than I could ever hope to be), he’s awesome to talk to and I’ve got a great deal of respect for him.  I felt that whoever this was who judged him, is making a gross error by assuming where he is coming from- implying that he is a “shitty person” because he doesn’t want kids.

The reality is, I don’t even know where he’s coming from!  That’s kind of my point, though… it’s none of my business and I don’t actually NEED to know.  So many people believe it is their right to pry into another’s reasons for having, or not having babies and the more I thought about his situation, the more it got me thinking about the discrimination people experience on both sides of this issue.  Those who have chosen not to have children, and those who have chosen to have children both receive a fair amount of discrimination, nastiness and misunderstanding.

I’ll admit this whole thing is going to be a little one sided, because as a parent, I’ve felt the sharp end of the stick on this personally… but I also want to represent those I love who have chosen not to have babies and have a right to be respected.

First off, to answer to my friend who is apparently a horrible person because he doesn’t want children, I believe I have a possible reason.  Or, at least one possible theory.  I’m sure there are many.

I noticed recently, people who don’t have children get so much resistance from parents in the same way home school parents receive resistance from teachers.
If a home school parent tells a teacher they will not be participating in public school, the teacher usually reacts with a great deal of hesitation, frustration, even anger and resentment. It’s as though the teacher feels personally attacked by the parent’s decision, as though the choice is a personal reflection on THEM as an educator, when it has absolutely nothing to do with them.  Typically, the choice to go with home school has more to do with the institution in general, the environment, a spiritual reason dealing with the sciences and politics, they may be unhappy with the dilution of history, etc., it could be because they worry about the negative social behaviors in a school environment, or other concerns that a parent feels are disruptive to learning and contradictory to their ways of parenting. In fact, most home school parents love teachers and respect them tremendously for the work they do within the confines of a broken system and yet- a teacher will be the first one to openly and very vocally judge a home school parent and take personal offense to the decision. (Disclaimer- not ALL teachers do this, some are quite open and supportive of the home school decision.)

I believe in this same way, parents, some without even realizing it, may see someone’s decision not to have children as an indicator that the childless one personally thinks they that particular parent, is stupid for having babies or may even invent ideas like, “oh they don’t want kids so they must hate children, which means they actually hate mine and they’re just pretending to like them”!  Some parents don’t recognize what they are doing, but would go so far as even saying the feeling of transference is almost inevitable.  We humans love to know that we are like-minded with our peers and it sometimes hurts our feelings when we find someone who wants to rail against what we love.  How many times do people get into arguments over a movie or a book?  A piece of music or a genre?  We become inflamed with passion over things we are passionate about and feel personally rejected when someone rejects what we love.  It’s as though we cannot FATHOM how anyone couldn’t see how amazingly profound our love is and just know because they know us, that we are right.

Well, we’re not right, because parenting, like movies, books and other areas of personal preference… is an entirely individual experience and we, meaning NO ONE, has the right to assume anything.  Because it is so easy to jump to conclusions, it is important for parents to realize the tendency is there and stop it before it manifests as defensiveness.  There are many, many reasons someone may choose not to have a child and it’s a personal decision, one each person has a right to make and their choice respected by their peers.  Just because we found it rewarding to be parents, (even if we didn’t at first want them ourselves,) we cannot tell another person how they will feel as parents, (such as; you’ll love it, don’t worry- just have one, you’ll see!) or judge them harshly because they’ve chosen a different path.  It does NOT make someone a bad person, immature, foolish or selfish for not wanting to have babies, but the conversations do tend to imply as much.

I have seen this before, and it looks something like this:

Parent: When is it YOUR turn??
Childless person: I don’t want to have kids (nervous laugh, trying to be polite but knowing what’s about to happen)
Parent: (cordially responding with an equally nervous jovial tone) Oh, just wait till you’re older/married/more stable/etc, you’ll change your mind.
Childless person: No really.  I don’t want them. (a little stronger to be clear on the certainty of the statement)
Parent: (feeling defensive) Well, why not? Whats wrong with you?  Have you not found the right man?
Childless person: Nothing’s wrong with me, (insert venomous tone here) why does something have to be wrong with me?  My relationship status doesn’t have anything to do with it!  I just don’t want to be a parent for x,y,z reason. (the specifics don’t really matter)
Parent: (feeling they are being passive-aggressively attacked) Well, that’s a little selfish don’t you think?  Does that mean you don’t like my kids? Does that mean you think I’m stupid?
Childless person: (realizing what just happened and trying to fix the problem) No, I never said I don’t like children and I think your kids are great and that’s fine that you wanted them and have some, they’re nice kids and you’re a good mom- but it’s not for me.  I’m actually fine being an aunt/uncle and drawing the line there. I like my career and my process, my day to day and I want my life to stay that way.
Parent: (it’s too late, they’re already prickly from defense and need to lash out) I think you’re immature and need to grow up.  Hopefully you’re using protection.
Childless person: (exasperated, annoyed and now ALSO offended) Says the adult who knows every Disney movie by heart playing Simon Says with a three year old all day…
Parent: (Offended, hurt and angry beyond measure) Actually, you know what- it’s a good thing you won’t have kids- you’re a horrible, selfish person with sand in your ovaries.
Childless person: Whatever, breeder.

Aaaaand end scene, lots of resentment, anger, and bitterness filling the air as we fade out.  (this is an example of a real conversation I was witness to and did my best to stay the heck out of)

The thing parents need to get through their heads, is people who choose not to have babies have a right NOT to have babies.  It’s none of our business why.  Maybe they really love children, but have a genetic thing that they don’t want to pass along to a child.  Maybe they really wanted children, but due to mental/emotional problems, medications that cannot be stopped or physical issues like severe thyroid problems and many other conditions, they cannot risk their own lives to have a child.  Maybe they were viciously abused as children and are terrified of repeating the cycle or due to abuse, the idea of having a person living inside them then tear their way out leaving them physically scarred is horrifying.  Whatever the reason, it’s not our place to judge or condemn or think somehow we need to “fix” them by convincing them they are either horrible people or just assuming they are afraid of the responsibility or just “haven’t found the right partner”.

In fact, I challenge parents who might be quick to judge, to instead admire this decision.

Now, there is a difference between people who don’t want kids and child haters.  Child haters ALSO don’t have kids, but not all people without kids hate them.  There is a huge difference between these two types of people and we sometimes assume one is the other because they tend to start out the same way.  In general, what I’ve realized is child haters are rarely born that way.  They’re made, just like any behavior trait.  They learn this behavior, usually as a defense against the criticism for having an opinion that rails against society.  A young person says, “I don’t want children” and an older parent dismisses them as foolish and immature, so the person lashes out by talking crap about the parent and about children, then finds solace in snark and sarcasm, finds other like-minded people to share that meanness with to make themselves feel better about being hated by society who all think they’re broken for not wanting to procreate.  That’s just what I’ve seen, personally.  I’m sure there are exceptions to every rule, so don’t take this to be the only option, but I know this happens because I’ve seen it and it’s not fair.  I personally have known people who made the choice in their late teens/early twenties not to have children and were criticized for a decade and by the time they reached their thirties, they now hate children and parents and families and can’t stand it when anyone talks about those subjects or posts pictures of children on Facebook.

I believe there are many people who have chosen not to have babies of their own who DO like children and for whatever reason (none of my business why) they don’t want to have any themselves.  These people get lumped by the greater collective into the “child hater” group unfairly.

Parents- we need to quit that.  Stop badgering people who don’t have children or assume they’re broken.  Let them be who they are and be happy they know themselves well enough to make that choice.

We also need to own up to our faults that can sometimes make parenting look horrifying.  I mean, a good majority of parents in general are pretty awful at it and we have to admit that.  There are children who are taught disrespect because their parents are disrespectful.  There are children who are mean because their parents are mean.  There are children who have no manners and who question authority and get into trouble because they see those behaviors emulated in their parents.  THOSE are the people who create the stigma of horrible children that all parents fight against when trying to advocate for our families.

Parents also need to realize what “selfish” really means in this context.  We are willing to call someone who doesn’t want kids as being “too selfish” to have them, but really- in my opinion, parents can, and are- way more selfish on a regular basis.  Parents who decide to have babies and then split their focus between careers, ambitions, hobbies, lovers and continually teach their children that they are second best, second to their personal desires, their needs to feel loved, their needs to be the best, to make more money, to get a promotion, to get awards or to validate their lives through some other means while the child, who has absolutely no choice or say in the matter, gets to wait and hope mommy comes home soon.  Now, who exactly is being selfish here?

What IS awful, in my opinion, is when a child has to wonder who their parent loves more… the job, a boyfriend or them, because the parent spends more hours at work or out on the town than they do with the child.  THAT, to me, is selfish.  Most people I know who have chosen to remain childless, have done so to prevent this and I respect them completely for it.

Parenting is hard.  It’s physically, emotionally and financially draining, exhausting and can be painful in ways I cannot begin to explain.  Being responsible for another living person’s every need and their development, emotional awareness and stability, considering how each action could effect their adulthood perceptions and ambitions and having to put those needs at the forefront of every single thing you do every day… is hard.  But that’s the job.  That’s what parenting is.  Not “having a kid”, where you just sort of… let them hang around and you teach them to do everything themselves as early on as possible so you can get back to your own life or you leave them with someone else so you can go do whatever you want.  I mean real and true parenting.

One of the most challenging lessons we learn as parents is the realization that once you have a child, it’s no longer your turn.  You had 20+ (on average, give or take 5 or more years in either direction, in my case I had 32) for life to be all about you.  In order to be a respected parent, I believe you have GOT to realize that as long as your babies are at home and need you for their survival, it’s not your turn.  Let me say this again.

Parents…

It Is Not Your Turn.

You had your shot to be selfish to do whatever you felt like and you will have that chance again once your babies are grown, but for now- it’s not about you.  You had a baby- whether you did that on purpose or because you weren’t careful enough- get it through your head that you were not ROBBED of your life or your youth or your freedom- you made a grown-up choice to get laid and now you have to own up to that choice and deal with the reality that your turn is over for now.  If you were in your teens, well, sorry about it sister, but you made your bed, now suck it up and deal.  You knew the risks.  You won’t get any “well, I was only a teenager when I had my baby! I deserve to do what I wanna do!” sympathy from me, because… Nope. Y’don’t.  Sorry.  It’s not your kid’s fault you made a bad decision. Don’t make another one by dumping them off with someone else every time you want to run out and play so you can pretend you never had a child.

So. Now it’s your turn to give back, devote yourself to the development of another being and hopefully, help them to be better at it than you were.  It’s a hard choice to make, but we all know it’s the right one.  Doing the right thing will create healthy, happy adults and a decent society that is built on compassion, not fear, ego and suffering from abandonment issues.  In order to gain and maintain the respect of the world, parents have to step up their game and do a better job across the board to provide compassionate experiences for their growing families because otherwise, we are just playing directly into the stereotypes of bad parents and bratty kids.

That being said now- Here is the other side- Childless friends- Listen up.

Some of you have expressed that just want to be left alone about it, you don’t need special treatment or given respect for the choice- great.  Some of you DO want respect for your choice NOT to have children- that’s cool.  I totally get it.  But do you have to be so mean about it?  The reality is, I rarely hear childless people giving respect to parents for having them or just generally being politely indifferent.  The childless crowd is intensely bitter on the whole about children and the whole subject and they are anything but quiet about it.   To those folks, I say – Just because you chose not to procreate does not make you a better person and it does not give you the right to be mean.

I cannot tell you the number of times I have heard really nasty comments about parenting and children from friends.  FRIENDS.  People I know well, and respect.  I know they respect me and my family. (well, I’ll be honest, I thought they did, but after some of these comments, I’m sometimes not sure)
These are people who are mature adults, who are not horrible people and will even coo over my children, give them ‘high fives’ and think they’re pretty cool little people…. when they think no one they need to impress is looking.  These people will absent-mindedly throw out disgusting comments and not even realize it.  They will say people who have children are “stupid breeders” or that “children are nasty, festering disease factories” or flippantly make comments about how someone looks tired and “used up” because well, obviously, she’s a mom and she gave up her life to run around after a bunch of brats.  They will post memes on Facebook about how horrible children are and how they are so much better off because they can go drink or buy a new purse and all moms get to do is buy groceries and save for braces.  They post pictures insulting people who have “stick figure families” on their cars or post about how “stupid” a parent is for taking a child to a CHILD’S movie-during the day- on a weekday.   They say horrible things to “no one in particular” with passive-aggressive, vague posts on their social media pages about how people post too many pictures of their children.  They boast about how, unlike me, because I’m a parent, they can “go wherever they want” and then tell me they are offended if they are called selfish.  They make up horrible stories about how Disneyland is a hellish nightmare because of all the damn ugly, snotty, bratty, tantruming children screaming for a Mickey Mouse doll and how dare their parents want to create a memory for them!  Really, guys? It’s Disneyland.  If you don’t like children, don’t go to a FREAKING CHILD’S THEME PARK.  IDIOT. *ahem* ANYway…

These are comments I have ACTUALLY HEARD or seen on Facebook by “friends” who will then turn right around and say it’s so good to see me and they’re glad I came out, ask about my kids, make small talk and seem genuinely happy to see me.  After all that nastiness, I’ll be honest- all I hear is, “bla bla bla… I’m totally full of crap because I actually can’t stand you or your kids and I could care less about anything you’re saying and dear god don’t show me pictures”.
It’s like the line in Cars when Lightening McQueen tells Mator; “NO more rusty old cars…” Mator says, “well what’s wrong with rusty old cars?” Lightening replies; “well, not YOU, Mator- I Mean, I LIKE you…” *eye roll*  Yeah right.

You see what I’m getting at, right?  I’m sorry friends, but there is nothing- and I mean NO THING about any of those statements that is not offensive.  You cannot have it both ways.  You cannot be someone who demands respect for a choice NOT to bear children and be asked to be left alone in your mature choice to be who you want to be, then on the next page openly condemn everyone else, talk crap, act “above it” and condescend, disrespect and belittle someone and then insult their children – or even children in general- just because they exist.  You can’t make blanket statements about how horrible you think children and babies are and then expect people with babies not to be offended or hurt by those comments.

I respect people who choose not to have children because most of them make this choice consciously as a lifestyle decision.  They know they have other priorities and don’t want to have to split their focus between those priorities AND babies.  They know they won’t and they don’t want to subject a child to that lifestyle where they will be treated second best to a career choice, or personal ambition.  THAT is not selfish.  It is being self aware, honest and willing to act according to their personal reality rather than doing something purely out of some selfish need to procreate and I think the reality is most people who don’t have children realize all of this.  As a result, they are doing the responsible, compassionate thing by not engaging in the activity of building a family because they know they won’t do it the right way, they won’t like it or they really just don’t want to split their focus and force a child into the convenient spaces between 5pm traffic and 8pm bedtime and for 12 hours on weekends, trying to cram as much love and attention into those few hours as possible and then wonder why their kids are so disconnected from them in their teen years.  Many childless people see this kind of parenting and think it’s cruel.  Many lived through it and vowed never to do that to another person.  They think, why bother having children if I am going to have to pay someone to be with them for 70% of their young lives?  They see the whole affair as a really sick, ego boosting, status symbol activity that lonely and selfish people engage in to make themselves feel valued when really, all they are doing is creating another broken human that doesn’t feel valued because the choice to have them was not about having children, it was about feeding a personal need inside the parent.  Many who don’t have children see all of this for what it is, and they want nothing to do with it.

Well, here’s the deal.  I am right there with you on most of this, oh childless one.  It’s pretty sick when people do that.  But we are not all like that.  We deserve respect, the benefit of the doubt and the right NOT to be called a “stupid breeder” or have the notion of creating a family be devalued and insulted by calling it “pooping out children”. Our children have a right to NOT be called “nasty disease factories” or “brats” or “snotty, spoiled brats”.  We have a right not to feel ashamed for sharing photos of our families with people who supposedly love us and appreciate what is valuable to us.

We don’t go around bashing the fact that you post 60 pictures a month of your dog, cat or your new comic book, or gun trophy or the photo of your garden or your dinner, or a Bible verse, or your new costume, your new poem, your new book of the day, your one of 86 posts this week demanding we all love nature and never harm animals, your favorite movie or the fact you love pie… and even if we don’t particularly like pie, we don’t run over to our own pages after seeing you post about something you are passionate about and rant “OMG I am so sick of seeing nothing but posts about pie!  I hate it when people post about pie!  Geezus people, don’t you do anything else but take pictures of pie??”  …But I bet the average of people who don’t have children who secretly (and some not so secretly) bash their “friends” who have kids for posting photos of them are a multiple times a day occurrence.
As an aside here, I should probably clarify; I personally love it when my friends post tons of pictures of the things they’re passionate about.  I love seeing their meals, their pets, their gardens, their new dice, their model planes, their new video games… because I love my friends and I love being able to share these moments that are important to them.  I’ve never understood why people get so bent when someone posts lots of photos, memes or articles about things they, personally love.

So, you see, your lack of respect, lack of patience and straight up refusal to understand that we are sharing something we are JUST as passionate about as you are about your passions, is incredibly unfair.

If you want to have the right not to be bashed for not having babies, we equally have the right not to feel that our children are secretly hated because you “jokingly” and condescendingly talk or post about how gross, stupid and horrible children are and how much you HATE having to be around them and those idiot, doting parents. (Gods forbid we actually LOVE our spawn, right? How DARE we!!)

Oh but no, I understand- it’s not MY children… just… y’know, those OTHER children.  Over there…  Mmmhmm… Right.

Another thing; not all of us are oblivious, entitled nitwits.  Making assumptions that you understand what is going on in our family because you see my 3 year old crying in a store is rude, presumptuous and actually pretty idiotic.  Yes, lots of kids are spoiled.  Because mine is crying in public, don’t assume that mine is.  Just because he really wants to touch something on a shelf in someone’s house and is told no and cries, you assume he’s a little bastard who needs a spanking, but really, that’s just being a toddler.  That’s learning boundaries and it’s all about growing and learning to control those desires and emotions.  Sometimes growing hurts and it’s hard for them.  They cry and scream and fight it because their brains can’t understand the whole picture yet, but they’ll get it- and it’s my job to be patient with them as they learn this, so next time in the store, they will know what to do.

Sometimes the child screaming has a story and the reason.  It really isn’t your business, but it would be nice if you would be a decent person about it and not make it worse with your attitude and judgement.  Maybe the child in the store is autistic and can’t control his meltdowns.  Maybe the parent is doing everything they can to control the situation and your judgmental and condescending stares, whispers and rude remarks are making that meltdown worse.  Maybe it’s none of your business and you should just be a decent human being, offer a gentle smile of compassion and move on with your day instead of assuming you understand what you are seeing as though you’ve known that family your whole life.

Look, some of us do “get it” and do what we can to make sure our families are respecting others’ space, time, property and environments.  Our children know to hold our hands, not touch items in stores, not to yell at strangers, or disrespect someone else’s home.  However- our children are toddlers and a fair amount of “x factor” can take place, such as overtired, tummy ache, diaper change, teething, scared, overly excited, the presence of animals, anxious behavior because of loud adults and it is important to US that those who SAY they care about us, understand that the “x factor” might just happen in their presence and to be patient as we work it out.  I don’t need your glaring and comments like, “um… wow, that’s loud”. Really captain obvious? I wasn’t aware… back it up and respect the mom space while I calm down the crazy one or don’t even bother to invite us over next time.

Some of us created people on purpose because we want to make the world a better place through love, acceptance, real change and compassion.  By showing some of that to them, you can help make our world a better place.  By helping to reinforce being loving by actually BEING LOVING, we can help our children grow with tolerance, acceptance and respect for others.

While some parents are actually really rude and will toss their kids into a situation that really isn’t appropriate, landing the smack in the middle of a position to be yelled at for doing anything a child naturally does, there are many more still who will do the right thing.  Many of us know better and we deserve the benefit of the doubt before you judge.

Sometimes we may be invited to places where they won’t be welcome or it will just be too hard for them and that means sometimes, we have to stay home instead of drag our kids along with us to places that are really not appropriate for them.  Because you know what? We have a choice.  Our babies do not.  We have a choice to provide them a life worth living where they feel loved, safe and secure in who they are to grow up strong inside a world that pushes them to be like everyone else.  I can choose not to attend the function where every single thing in reach is breakable and they’ll be miserable because they’re not allowed to touch anything, likely to result in a meltdown the size of Alaska.  If that happened, it would be MY fault, not my child’s fault.  I did that to them- not the other way around.  A child didn’t choose to be born, didn’t choose to be drug along into stores with breakables, they’re simply being who they are, doing all they know how to do – be curious and excited to see new things.  It’s a parent’s job to speak for them, to place them in positive situations, prevent them from being forced into negative situations that will end in anger and meltdowns and it’s our job to do whatever it takes to give them their best chance (yes I stole that from OUAT).  That’s my job, 24 hours of every single day.  I take it seriously because it literally is life and death, every day.  Yes, some parents don’t bother. I do. Many of us do and we deserve respect and NOT to be lumped into the circus of idiot parents who don’t care.

I understand you don’t want babies.  I respect that and I appreciate the honesty you exhibit by making this choice with a clear head. You have to remember, however – respect goes both ways and while I don’t think you should have to explain yourself or be disrespected for your choice NOT to have children, I shouldn’t have to remove my child from your presence just to keep them safe from your nasty, negative attitude toward anyone smaller than 3 feet because of generalized assumptions and bitter judgement, or wonder if my friends secretly hate me because they posted some nasty meme about how horrible children are.

I think this is a fair exchange.  Deal?

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