Category Archives: Parenting Fails
So this list was originally written as a response to a rather persistent troll on another website, who tried to insist that the childfree (namely, me) are envious of her life as a grandmother (by her own admission, breeding is about all she ever did with her life,) and secretly regret being childfree. I won’t go into details on the attention-seeking troll who is clearly projecting, because it really doesn’t matter. My list of “regrets” was well-received among a few CF communities I’m part of, so I’ll post it here. (Warning: Snark.)
I regret that I know what I want out of life, and what I don’t. I regret that I have the ingenuity, intelligence, and courage to set my own course in life. I regret that I make solid plans and responsible decisions. I regret that I have and the motivation and will to do the right thing. I regret that I don’t just mindlessly follow the herd like any lazy, unimaginative cow.
I regret that I have done amazing, worthwhile things with my life. I regret that I’ve served my country proudly, gotten a pilot’s license, competed in and won art competitions, traveled the world, and generally do all the things most people only dream of, and all by the age of 24. Similarly, I deeply regret that my future remains bright and open, such that I can continue to do even more with my life. I regret that my life is one of freedom, accomplishment, and potential rather than conformity, monotony, and resignation.
I regret that I can say more about my life and how I lived it than “I bred.” I regret that I don’t have to desperately try to convince myself that breeding, which any rat can do, somehow counts as an accomplishment, that I haven’t just wasted my only life.
I regret having a healthy, fit, thin body, complete with perky (though admittedly small) breasts, an unmarred abdomen, and a tight vagina that has never been ripped apart. I regret that I maintain a youthful appearance, rather than appearing a full decade older due to the ravages of childbirth and tedium of parenting. I regret that I can dress fashionably, rather than in spit-up encrusted sweats, and that I can sport attractive hairstyles rather than “mom-cuts.”
I regret that I have the intelligence to figure out how birth control works, and therefore never had to go through pregnancy. I regret that I have never looked nor felt like a bloated whale. I regret not puking my guts out or pissing myself. I regret not being a burden on my employer or co-workers. I regret not having my insides ripped apart. I regret not shitting myself in a room full of on-lookers. And I regret not having nasty vaginal discharges before and after the delivery, just like I regret not pissing myself every time I sneeze or cough. I regret not looking or feeling like a deflated balloon.
I regret not being covered in the bodily fluids or wastes of useless sacks of human flesh. I also regret enjoying peaceful slumber every night, not interrupted by screeching shit-factories. I regret that I never have to listen to stomping feet, annoying babbling, stupid questions, constant demands, inane commentary, screaming, crying, or slamming doors. I regret living peacefully and unburdened.
I really regret having an actual healthy and happy relationship with my boyfriend, which I don’t have to blatantly lie about for the sake of appearances I regret that all of our sexual escapades are real, rather than fabricated for boasts that no one actually believes anyway. Yes, indeed, I regret that our relationship is not strained or destroyed by children, just as I regret the fact that we’re together because we want to be, rather than resentfully being stuck together “for the children.”
I regret having a well-paying, agreeable job, the earnings from which I actually get to keep rather than waste on children and their needs. I regret too that I actually get to work where I want, when I want, rather than having to structure (derail) my schedule and career path around children. I regret that I don’t have to take crappy jobs I don’t want due to the restrictions having children would inflict upon me, or their financial burden.
I regret that I live in a nice, large home, in a nice part of town, rather than having to settle for a smaller, less-appealing one due to budget constraints brought on by children. Yes, I regret being a home-owner at 23, and that I do not have to share my home with anyone, child or adult, other than my partner (no room-mates, like you have.) I also regret that my home is clean, and quiet, and that I can own nice things without worrying about them being broken.
I regret that I now type from my custom-built, high-performance gaming PC, which is neither covered in childen’s boogers, nor needs to be shared. I regret too that I keep my PC in my own home office, which has not been converted into a nursery. I regret that while all computers and capable consoles in our home connect to our wireless network, I only have my boyfriend to compete with.
I regret that I have a hot tub in my yard instead of some garish, plastic kinder-crap. I regret that my typical free-time resembles what other people consider a rare vacation treat. I also regret that I drive around in a classic sportscar, which enthusiasts often try to buy off me, rather than some ugly, mess-UV. I regret that I can just get in my car and go whenever I want, without having to deal with the hassle of kids and their accessories, or deal with their whining.
I regret that I never get calls from school about bullying or being bullied, about grades, or about attendance. I regret that I never have to pretend to care about lame school functions. I regret that my day doesn’t have to revolve around a school I don’t attend.
I regret that there is no one around to smash all breakable objects in the house, attempt to feed inappropriate items into disk drives, draw all over the walls, hit baseballs through my windows, flush toys down the toilet, or scratch up my car. I regret that there is no one around to steal my things or my money. I regret there is no one around to cause my car insurance to skyrocket in cost or to actually crash my car while borrowing it or “borrowing” it. I regret that I do not have to hide or lock up adult items in my home. I regret that I have no one for the police to return to my front door at 3am.
Yes, I regret that I’m not forcing new people into an ultimately doomed existence, perpetuating the cycle of misery, suffering, and death, to people I would, supposedly, love. I regret that I’m not forcing new people to live, knowing full well that they will die. I also regret that I’m not placing further burden on the world, hastening its destruction, for the sake my petty whims.
I regret that I actually have a life. I am productive and happy. I regret that I have friends and family, and that we get to talk about things that are actually interesting instead of tedious child news. I regret being successful. And I regret that I don’t have to troll pages where I clearly don’t belong just for attention.
Yes, moms who think I’m jealous of you, I regret being childfree and envy your existence. You go right ahead and believe that if it makes you feel better. I’ll just be here, laughing.
To the childfree, tell me, what do you “regret” about being childfree?
There was a time once when you couldn’t criticize anything George W. Bush, or is criminal comrades did, for fear of being accused of being “unpatriotic.” See, the Republicans have been terrifyingly successful at branding themselves as “patriotic” even as they lied to the American public, started pointless wars, and stomped all over the Constitution. What they were doing was not at all patriotic, but they declared it so.
As a feminist, it bothers me quite a deal when people mischaracterize feminism. Anti-feminist do this quite a deal, blaming everything they can on feminism no matter how absurd. But what is worse, I think, is when people who call themselves feminist attempt to misappropriate feminism for their own agenda. Feminism means gender equality. It does NOT mean that women (or mothers, specifically) deserve special privilege. Some people who advocate for such a thing do so under the guise of feminism, apparently not knowing or caring about what that term actually means.
I could list off countless examples of this, but what is really getting to me lately is the way self-proclaimed feminists have reacted to Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s support of work policies that do NOT treat mothers as special beings. Mayer herself does not call herself a feminist, even though she very likely actually is by definition. It’s just as well, since people who do call themselves feminists but actually are natalism-worshippers out for special treatment now accuse her of being un-feminist.
Here’s the thing, moms don’t deserve paid leave, flexible hours, or work-from-home privileges any more than anyone else. They just don’t. They may WANT those things and find it advantageous to have those things, but that doesn’t mean that they are owed such special treatment. I might find it advantageous to be given 1 million dollars for nothing, but that doesn’t mean that I actually deserve it or that anyone is un-feminist to anyone who does give it to me. Bring your kids to work? Unless it’s a daycare, NO! Be responsible and get a sitter!
Maternity leave? Save your vacation time and save your money, just like anyone else who takes time off. Nine months is plenty of time to prepare and plan. If you can’t do that, you probably shouldn’t be reproducing anyway.
Flexible hours? Work from home? Yeah, everyone (except the employers who would likely suffer from the decline in productivity,) would like that, but it’s not always practical and no one deserves it more than anyone else, not by virtue of being a woman or a mother.
“But it’s haaard to be a mom and work!” No kidding. It would also be hard to hold a regular job while also running a farm or doing anything else that consumes a lot of time. PLAN ACCORDINGLY AND BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CONSEQUENCES OF YOUR CHOICES, LIKE REAL ADULTS!
Contrary to popular belief, employers are not babysitters for grown-ups. You have to be responsible for your own “work-life balance.” The business is paying you to WORK, not to have a personal life. Set your own goals and priorities and be aware that they are not always fully compatible and CHOOSE RESPONSIBLY!
Special treatment for moms just for being moms is NOT feminist. In fact, fear of lost money and productivity by catering to every absurd fake-feminist, natalism-worshipping demand HURTS WOMEN. Employers sometimes find themselves reluctant to hire women of reproductive age for fear they’ll turn entitle-mommy and completely screw them over. I seem to recall this very risk being one of the arguments against the feminist push to normalize women being allowed in the workplace. I really wish interviewers were allowed to ask about a female applicant’s reproductive plans, but they don’t seem to have that legal ability.
So thanks, fake-feminist natalism-worshippers. Your attempts to garner special treatment for certain women for their lifestyle choices is creating a huge step backwards for gender-equality, real feminism.
A while back, I found a fantastic website for dog-lovers. I’m still exploring the contents of the website, but what I really like is the recipes section. I’m not an avid chef at all, but when I do cook, my favorite meals are those that I can share with the whole family, including my dear Molly. I was therefore thrilled to find a number of dog-healthy recipes, some of which would be delicious for human consumption with little or no alteration (I loved the real fruit Popsicles.). So go check out the website, dog lovers.
Gushing over a doggie site isn’t why I’m writing here today. No, the reason that I’m writing is because of a short article that I found on etiquette for dog-owners that really caught my attention. The following is the text of that article in its entirety.
When you think of your dog, you probably view him or her as another member of the family, just a bit furrier. Many dog lovers become so attached to their canine friend that they mistakenly start to believe that everyone is fan of dogs. Sadly, not everyone is as head over heels about your dog as you are, so it is important that you understand the importance of exhibiting proper dog owner etiquette.
Any time that your dog is away from home, or interacting with other people, you need to understand how to practice good social behaviors with the dog. Using good dog owner etiquette simply means that you are giving others’ respect by taking their feelings into considerations in regards to how they feel about your dog.
The following are a few simple tips to keep in mind if you want to maintain a positive relationship between your community and your dog:
- Always keep your dog on a leash when you leave your house or yard. Some dog owners think that they do not need a leash because their dog is always extremely well behaved and would never stray away. Well, the leash is not just for you and your dog; it’s for other people. Some people, especially if they are walking their own dogs, become very uncomfortable around an unfamiliar dog that is not leashed.
- Pick up after your dog. One of the most important ways to show respect to your neighbors is by picking up your dog’s droppings. Always keep plastic bags with you on your walks so that you can keep your neighborhood clean. You can quickly find yourself with an enemy if your neighbor finds your dog’s waste on the bottom of their shoe.
- Try to keep your dog quiet. Of course, dogs will bark, but try to be conscious of those around you. If your dog is outside barking excessively, you might be able to ignore it, but others probably cannot. Try your best to calm the dog and prevent too much barking.
- Don’t take your dog with you everywhere that you go. Your friends or relatives may have invited your over, but that does not necessarily mean they want your dog staying over too. Some people are allergic, or simply do not enjoy your dog as much as you do.
- Try to make sure your dog is being polite during introductions with other dogs, or with people. You might think the dog is cute when it excitedly jumps up to greet someone, or plays with another dog, but that behavior can make other people very uneasy. If your dog is playing too rough with another dog, there could be an injury and a lot of animosity between you and the other dog owner.
If you are unsure about any dog behavior situation, always stop and consider the other person’s feelings. Most importantly, if you feel that you have broken a dog owner etiquette rule, apologize. Apologize sincerely, and take steps to prevent the indiscretion from happening again.”
Can everyone agree that this all seems very reasonable? As someone with a dog, I sure can. It’s all common-sense, responsible behavior, right? This was written by a dog-lover on a site for dog-lovers, and it doesn’t seem the slightest bit surprising, out of place, or controversial.
However, can you imagine reading a similar article written about human children on a typical mommy/parenting blog?
“Your child is your family. It’s natural to be very attached to him or her. However, some parents becomes so attached to their children that they mistakenly believe that everyone else will adore them as well. While your world may revolve around your child, the real world does not. It is therefore important to understand the importance of having proper social etiquette when it comes to your children, at home and in public.
The following are a few tips to help you achieve this:
- Always keep your children under control. This is as much for your child’s sake as it is for the sake of other people. Some people think that they don’t have to maintain control their kids because their kids are “well-behaved” when they really aren’t/can’t be all the time, or the parents have a skewed idea of what proper behavior is and think that other people should see the child’s misbehavior as “cute.” The truth is, members of the public will be bothered by an out-of-control child.
Sometimes parents even fail to pay close attention to their kids and will claim to have “only looked away for a second” if the child is hurt or snatched up. So keeping control of your child is also about that child’s own safety.
- Always pick up after your child. Ensure that your child does not leave toys in neighboring yards or on public property (in parks, on roads, in apartment hallways, etc) and that he/she does not leave excessive messes when dining out in public or when visiting other people’s homes. If your child can not or will not pick up after itself, that responsibility falls on you.
- Keep your child quiet. Of course children make some noise, and most people will understand this, but please try to be considerate of those around you. Screaming, crying, noisy toys, and excessively loud talking can be very irritating and disruptive to other people. Controlling your child’s noise level, or removing them from a given situation if you can not do so, will help keep the peace. This applies to public places as well as your own property if you have close neighbors.
- Don’t take your child with you everywhere you go. You may have been invited for a visit or gathering, but that does not always mean that your child is welcome as well, so please ask first. If you must, politely decline the invitation.
Additionally, there are some places in public such as movie theatres, bars, and certain restaurants, and some dog parks where bringing very young kids along is simply not appropriate. Use good judgment and respect the rules.
- Try to make sure that your child is being polite in interactions with other people as well as with animals. You may think it’s cute when your child screams and runs around in play, or stares at or reaches at strangers, but this might bother other people and, in the wrong environment, may result in an injury (your child may trip someone or be tripped by someone if left to run around in stores, for example.)
If you are unsure about your child’s behavior in a situation, stop and consider the feelings and needs of others around you. If you feel that you have broken a parenting etiquette rule, apologize sincerely and endeavor to prevent repeat incidents. “
If such an article on What Every Parent Needs to Know in Terms of Social Child Behaviors ever was published (on a site the received a sufficient amount of traffic from parents,) I would expect a few cheers from some moms as well as childfree people (whenever we got wind of it,) for sure.
However, there would no doubt also be a strong, vocal backlash. The article would be flooded with comments from defensive mothers decrying ageism and insisting that children are people too (which no one denies but is irrelevant anyway.) Additionally, there will always be some moms who will respond by insisting that people without kids (because no matter who wrote the article, people without kids will be the ones blamed) just “don’t understand,” and should stay home if we don’t want to deal with unruly children (perfect angels, as they will no doubt tell it.)
Within a week there would be at least one angry article written in response, wailing about an imaginary anti-family society out to get moms. Fathers, I would imagine, would be a minority in any discussion on the matter at all as tends to be the case with such things.
Ok, Natalist World? Sit down. We need to talk. Seriously. I’m worried about you. I know that we haven’t always been on the best of terms, but hear me out. You’re kind of gross and really need to get your shit together.
It seems that whenever I run across an article or online conversation about parenting (it’s harder to avoid than you might think) I always notice that there will, without fail, be mommies (but curiously, rarely daddies) complaining about how much they miss going to the bathroom in private.
I will leave that sentence in a paragraph all by itself so we can all just chew on that for a second. Basically, parents find that, ever since they had kids, they cannot go to the bathroom without an audience. Ok, well it’s disgusting enough to even allow that, for one thing. (Seriously, I’ve heard of moms going pee while holding children in their laps, even when those children are old enough to comment on how gross that is.)
But from the way most of these admissions are framed as a complaint, that implies that the parents are somewhat bothered by their lack of bathroom privacy. Now, hold up, Natalist World. Are you telling me that grown adults, who are responsible for the lives of dependant human beings and for the future of the next generation, don’t understand how to use doors? (Come on, even the raptors in Jurassic Park could figure those out.)
Yeah, moms? Most bathrooms have doors, which are on hinges and can be (sit down, because this will blow your minds) closed. Yes, it sounds amazing, but it’s true! Most doors having this handy feature that allows you to actually shut them. Heck, most bathroom doors can even be locked! Welcome to 2012 and our incredible, space-age technology.
“But then who will watch the kid?” Um, is there a second parent around? Or another family member, maybe? If not and the child is so young as to need constant supervision, how do you sleep? Surely sleeping takes a bit longer than a bathroom break. Presumably, you have a crib or a playpen (or a kennel?) Why not use it?
“But the kid will throw a fit!” Surely that’s the problem of the other person watching the kid (or the kennel?) And why would you want to teach your kid that it can get its way by throwing fits anyway? What is it with this generation of parents and their complete inability and unwillingness to stand up to their kids? Is the world, “no,” really that difficult to pronounce firmly?
“The kid will just open the door!” If the kid is old enough to open a door and especially if it’s old enough to pick a lock (because we lock bathroom doors, remember?), it’s plenty old enough to be taught rules and boundaries. Here’s a thought: how about you teach your kid to behave, you know, like a parent might do? (I hear spanking helps.)
No, really, you’re not doing your kids any favors letting them share the bathroom with you. They won’t learn rules or boundaries about bathrooms that way, and that will not only be a problem for you, but can possibly make your kid a nuisance to everyone else too . They’ll be that person that bothers other people in bathroom by doing obnoxious things like pounding on doors, trying to talk to people who are trying to go, or peeking under stalls (in which case I think a swift kick is perfectly justified.)
Additionally, the kid can create an unpleasant sight other people unwittingly walk in on. The kid will mimic your behavior, leaving the door wide open. And when your kid does get old enough to understand the value of bathroom privacy, he/she will be humiliated looking back at how often he/she left the door open, exposed to the view of the world. No, seriously, you may as well teach the kid to walk around naked all the time.
But there’s more to it than that, you might actually be putting your kid in danger. When I was little, my parents always left the bathroom door open. I don’t think it was because the kids really wanted in as much as it was my parents not really caring enough to close the door. So as a kid, I thought that was normal behavior and never closed the door either, no matter where I was.
One day, I was doing my business in the upstairs bathroom of my babysitter when a man who I had never met suddenly walked in. He didn’t mean to walk in on me but had simply rounded the corner in the hallway and walked in the open door without looking. When he saw me, he told me in a disgusted tone that I should close the door, and then he left. I was of course humiliated that this is the way that I had to learn that doors were supposed to be shut, and upset that my parents had never taught me this lesson (I’ve been wrong this whole time!) I felt sort of like Adam and Eve did (or would have were they not fictional characters) when they suddenly realized that they’d been naked all that time (only strangers didn’t yell at them for it.)
But that situation could have been dangerous. An unknown man alone in a room with a little girl with her pants down, the only adult in the house a babysitter who had obviously not been paying attention. I’m just saying that could have gone very badly. Yeah, is that a situation you want your kids to be in? Think on that.
TL;DR – Close the damned door, you slob.
So, I do believe that everyone has heard about the tragic shooting in a Colorado movie theater at a midnight showing of the new Batman movie. The question on everyone’s lips is, “what the fuck were those parents thinking bringing their infant to the show?” (Nothing at all, would be my guess.) It’s not that anyone blames the parents for the child being injured in the shooting. We’re just amazed that the baby was there to be injured in the first place as it clearly didn’t belong there. It’s like hearing of an infant being injured in a fire at a strip club.
I’ve had my share of movies ruined by inconsiderate “parents” who drag their infants and young children into movie theaters, those young ones which then proceed to shriek through the whole show. Amazingly, such inept parents even drag kids out to R-rated movies and late shows (not that I appreciated my afternoon showing of Pixar’s Brave being ruined either.)Even if the baby is quiet (and a parent is kidding themselves if they think it will be) it isn’t going to be watching the move so there’s really no reason to bring it. And yet the babies are at shows anyway. The explanation seems simple, lazy, entitlement-minded, selfish, inconsiderate parents.
Of course, parents in such a category are quick to come up with excuses for their unacceptable behavior, even going so far as to seriously suggest that a baby will sleep peacefully through a loud action movie, as if anyone who reads such a ridiculous thing is so unfamiliar with babies that they’d actually buy that bullshit. Then those parents will wail that it’s so haaard to get a babysitter, as if that should be everyone else’s problem. (By the way, I’m amazed that these same parents who seriously insist that their infant will sleep quietly through a loud movie are the same people who will complain about their babies keeping them up at night to gain sympathy.)
Well, as a childfree person, I feel I can give good advice on parenting (I know enough about parenting to know better than to breed.) So, to all the oblivious “parents” out there who really think their little pweshus simply MUST see the new SAW movie, I’ve created a handy list here to clear up some confusion.
When is it OK to drag an infant to a movie theater?
When you’ve stuffed the baby’s gob so full of Ambien that it will be practically in a coma for the day
When you’ve rented out the theater for that showing and are the only people there
When you’ve bound and gagged the baby so it can’t bother anyone
When it’s an infant who was born without hands or vocal cords
When it’s not a baby, but one of those creepy Reborn dolls
When the theater management completely loses their minds, and sets aside special showings specifically for the purpose of being ruined by babies
When there’s a severe zombie outbreak and the theater happens to be the most convenient hide-out
When it’s just a home theater in your living room
When you’ve encased the baby in a sound-proof and smell-proof bubble
When you’re prepared to personally refund every last person in the audience their full ticket price, should your baby make a peep
And don’t forget to pay a full-price ticket for the baby, spray the stench-sack down with Fabreze, and either carry it in your lap or shove it under the chair so it doesn’t take up seats.