Letters To A Natalist World: “The Highest-Paid Job In The World” Is NOT A Job, Nor Does It Pay
Seriously, Natalist World, you make my head hurt. If being a parent is so great, then you shouldn’t have to lie about what it is to brag about it. These cutesy-wootsey, natalism-worshipping FaceBook share-fodder pictures with ridiculous captions have got to stop.
Ok, I can think of, like, a dozen examples off the top of my head, but I try to keep these rants short, so I’ll pick just this one example that I happened to find recently.
“Motherhood is the highest-paid job in the world, since the he payment is pure love.”
1. Motherhood is not a job. (Which is why it has no actual payment, but I’ll get to that later.)
Parenthood is simply a lifestyle. If it were really so great and valuable, parents wouldn’t have to pretend that it was any more than just that. I don’t pretend that my lifestyle is a job (I have a real job – that’s my job.)
2. Just because someone has kids doesn’t mean that she loves her children or that her children love her. Seriously, watch the news people. It’s always full of parents and offspring doing horrible things to each other.
3. Arguably, children don’t really love their parents. They depend on their parents, and have no real choice in being around them. That’s not the same thing.
A toddler might manage to say “I love you,” in between babbling, but they’re just saying that because their parents teach them to do it. They have no idea what they’re even saying at that age. By the time an offspring is old enough to form a solid view of what they think love is, and are able to freely make judgments about their parents, they’re a bit old to really be called children anymore.
4. “Love” is not currency. You cannot pay a single one of your bills in love. I have never received a single bill that asked me for 100 loves. You cannot even keep your children alive on love. I may not have children myself, but I’m pretty sure that children generally tend to have basic requirements, such as eating and living indoors.
But don’t just take my word for it, try this experiment: Ask your landlord if he will accept “love” in place of actual money as payment for rent. Try it with your utilities company. Now your local grocery store. And when you get called to court for failure to pay your debts, try to bribe the judge with love.
If you still think that love is a valid form of payment, then put your money love where your mouth is. Talk to your boss at your job (your real job,) or, if you don’t work but your partner does, your partner’s boss, or, if your on the dole, your local welfare office, and demand that, instead of paying you/your partner in the currency of your nation, they should pay you/your partner exclusively in love.
5. Here’s the irony, despite motherhood not being the highest-paying job (being neither a job nor anything that one receives payment for at all,) it’s actually incredibly costly. It turns out, the average cost of raising a child in America to the age of 18 (and not including college tuition) is something on the order of $200,000 (it various by region and a few other factors.) A mother’s “payment” is -$200,000. That’s not a credit, that’s a debt.
But just for giggles, let’s just ignore those points entirely. Yep. I’ll pretend that love is a valid form of equity. Well, I imagine that would make me pretty wealthy as my dog loves me (more than an infant can be said to love a parent, anyway.) And as long as we’re calling lifestyle’s “jobs” …
- Having a dog is the highest paid job in the world. The payment is love.
- Being a girlfriend/boyfriend is the highest-paid job in the world. The payment is love.
- Being a dog is the highest-paid job in the world. The payment is love.
U mad, moms?
Come on, parents. Your love isn’t any lovier than anyone else’s love. (It turns out, you don’t have a monopoly on love.) None of us non-parents pretend that it’s payment for a job. That’s just silly.
Yes, it’s OK to be happy as a mom (you know, if you’re into that kind of thing,) but when you post ridiculous, self-aggrandizing stuff like this, your non-childed friends as well as parents who have identities outside their reproductive status (especially those with real job) are rolling their eyes at you.