I’m not a heartless bitch. I get why people have babies. I realize that having a baby is incredible. You grow it inside you and turn your life upside down for 9 months incubating it and then it pops out and it’s nothing short of a miracle. I also get that, for people who want them, babies are blessings. Babies are the future.
I have friends (well, one friend) that have babies and I love them. I have friends that want babies, and I love them.
I get it. Having babies is cool. For some people.
I’ve read a couple of things written by mothers lately, however, that frankly piss me off. It seems that some people think that having reproduced automatically gives you rank over all the other women who either can’t or choose not to procreate.
They think that we need to be educated about how to treat mothers, because we’re rude bitches who suck at life.
I find that interesting, because there are several things about how mothers treat non-mothers that seem pretty rude and bitchy as well.
Just as there are ways mothers would like (and feel that they deserve) to be treated, there are also ways that those of us who can’t or choose not to reproduce deserve to be treated as well.
Allow me to elaborate…
1. Do not tell women who don’t have kids that your life was empty before you reproduced and that now it’s so much better/fuller/more rewarding than it was before.
First of all, might I remind you that some women do want to have kids and can’t? Can you think of a more fucked up thing to say to someone who may be trying to have a kid and can’t? Way to rub the salt into the wound.
And for those of us who don’t want kids, you’re basically telling us that we’re empty and live empty lives of sadness. Um, thanks. That’s not rude of you at all!
I’ll go ahead and tell you that there hasn’t been a day in my life where I’ve sat around and thought there was something missing. I’ve carefully chosen, as a capable adult, what I do and do not want in my life. I’m happy with those choices. This is the life I choose. Do not shit on it because it isn’t what you want (or because you’re secretly jealous).
2. Do not tell us that “we’d be really good mothers”.
This is honestly just pointless. You know what? I think you’d make a really great lion tamer! Does that mean you should do it? No.
If you want kids, you have them. If you don’t, you don’t just do it because you might be good at it. That’s just bad reasoning.
3. Don’t tell us that we’re selfish for not having kids.
You know what’s selfish? Having kids that you don’t want and screwing them up just because society tells you to have them. It’s selfish to overlook the future well being of a child just because you feel peer pressure. It’s selfish to have them to fix a marriage or to get someone to love you.
There is nothing selfish about not overpopulating our planet with another unwanted child. It’s not selfish to reserve the right to adopt if you do someday change your mind about having kids, thus giving one of those unwanted children that someone was once “unselfish” enough to have a home.
4. Don’t expect us to feel sorry for you when your child is acting like a jerk.
If you have a kid, you absolutely have the right to take it to a restaurant or on a plane. But I also have a right to be annoyed by your child. I don’t care how tired you are or how impossible it is for you to keep your child quiet, I can be annoyed. That is my right.
I am also well within my rights to give you some stink eye if you ruin my dinner or wake me up from my nap because your child is screaming bloody murder.
Oh, and if you leave stinky shit in your child’s diaper for an entire 90 minute flight, I will talk audibly about it and my complete disdain for you as a person. Because that is disgusting.
We all have rights. The same amount of rights. We are not better than you, and you are not better than us.
5. Don’t expect us to think your child is cute.
Sure, everyone is beautiful in their own way. Every child is beautiful in its own way. We all have a purpose and we are all wonderful.
But, just like there are some guys you wouldn’t want to sleep with – there are some children you don’t particularly think are all that fun to look at. (I know, that is a horrible thing to say, but only the nuns and angels in the world haven’t thought it. Usually it’s just a proportion thing, and the kid grows out of it. But still, I’m just sayin’.)
I’m not (that much of) an asshole, and I’m not going to tell you if I don’t think your kid is cute. But could you please not beg me to tell you that it is? And more than that, could you please not beg me to tell you that it is every five minutes?!?!
I don’t need to see every. single. picture that has ever been taken of your kid. There are only so many times I can pretend to be interested and/or act like I think it’s cute. I’ll give an award winning performance the first fifteen or so times, but after that I’m seriously just over it.
Reminder: there are other things going on in the world besides your kid making its first poopie in the potty. Keep it to yourself. Or share it with another parent who will get it.
Also, no kid is cute when it’s screaming on a plane in a diaper that smells like feet. Not even yours. Sorry.
Now, if we could all just keep these things in mind, we could all live together in perfect harmony.
In the meantime, I promise to listen to you when you talk to me about breast pumps and cloth diapers – for a reasonable amount of time – and smile and act interested. Because that’s what polite people do. They respect what other people choose to do or do not do with their uterus.
Kumbaya, and thank you for reading.