Thursday, April 18, 2013

self-indulgent rant, take 27........

     I've lived for years thinking that the heartbreak of not having our own children caused me to be short of patience with some folks I encounter that have been blessed with offspring.  Whether in the grocery store ("I can take up the whole aisle because I HAVE CHILDREN!!!")   the line at the bank ("I'm so sorry to hold up a line of 14 people so that the cutest child on earth can choose between a red and a green lollipop!!  I HAVE CHILDREN AFTER ALL!!!!!")  the line at the drug store ("I know there's people waiting but can you see if any of the other pharmacists want to buy girl scout cookies from MY CHILDREN!!??")   I wish I could say I was making up those examples but they're honest to God situations I've been in where the fact that someone has children in tow convinced them of an entitlement to adoration, honor and leeway usually only afforded to the queen of England.  How many times have I had it implied to me that my life really isn't all that difficult because I don't have children?   Or that I have no real concept of "tired" or "stress" because I don't have children?  Or been confronted with the presumption that - again, because I don't have children - my schedule is wide open and my life should easily fit into the lives of others?  Am I a jerk?
     Apparently I'm not alone.  I have a new favorite blog:
"STFU Parents"
     The blog has even become a book, discussed in this article from Slate magazine:

     Check out the different categories on the left side of the page.  "Woe is Mom" and "Bathroom Behavior" are my personal favorites.  A woman is shocked that people were pissed because she was washing up her infant after exploding diarrhea IN THE SAME SINK WHERE PEOPLE WASH THEIR HANDS???   It's not just the "gross out factor" (another category) I find in social media posts about poop and other bodily functions.  It's the presumption (there's that word again) that there are souls on this planet who are convinced that hearing about them will either make our day (because your creatures are so charming that we're all dying to hear about what flies out of their various orifices!) or show us that you really are some type of super-human creature because you change diapers and wipe noses.
     Don't get me wrong, I love children.  I've been an uncle since I was 9 years old.  I've changed several diapers and wiped a lot of noses and had vomit spewed upon me on more than one occasion.  In fact, my nieces and nephews have probably suffered the most from the fact that we've had no children of our own (I was always a pushy uncle - but now the longer I go without children of my own I probably absolutely suffocate them!)  My dearly-departed  mother detested hearing women complain about the aches and pains of pregnancy  or the headaches caused by rearing children.  "Children are a blessing - it's a sin to complain about them."  Bless her ignorant heart....she had no idea how much "mama-drama" she was missing out on....

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