If you don’t have kids yet, like us, I would be astonished to find out that you haven’t heard some variation of this wonderful line:
“Oh, you don’t understand. You don’t have kids.”
Let me start by saying I love kids. I love when they are loud and crazy and I love when they are quiet and peaceful. I adore the look of wonder and joy and the sound of the laughter of my nieces and nephews when we are together. I laugh everytime our friend’s child asks me “please sir, may I have some more.” I have very few people in my life that don’t have children. Some with two working parents, some with stay-at-home moms.
Now, I am a fully functioning human being. I understand that every single person, including the teeny tiny ones, have good days and bad days. That’s life. I am sure that there will be parents out there who will have a good laugh at my ignorance and others who might be upset with the fact that I could be calling them out on their bullshit. Deal with it.
But you know, maybe there are some things I don’t understand.
I understand that you might not want to cook. There are days I don’t want to either. I just want to go out and have someone take care of everything for me. However, I don’t do this when I’m in a horrible mood. I might take it out on the people around me. But then, maybe we are having a great day and decide to treat ourselves with a meal out on the town. Oh my gosh. Yes! How did you know that just the thing to make our $70 meal better was your screaming child. The screaming child that you aren’t trying to calm down at all. Nope, please, just continue on with your conversation and don’t pay attention to your child who has now managed to piss off every person in a 6 table radius. I don’t mind if they talk loud, or laugh or even throw crayons onto our table.
What I do mind is if you don’t try to control your little piece of s***. That’s right. Maybe your child isn’t a perfect little angel and not everyone is able to tune out the precious demon snarl that they have been making for the past 5 minutes. Help me understand why I should put up with that when it appears that you don’t even want to. Order a pizza in! Or maybe hit up the local McDonalds. If you are unable, or don’t want, to entertain your child while they are in public, maybe they aren’t ready to leave the house yet. And maybe, neither are you.
(If you actually pay attention to your kid while dining out, this is not directed at you.)
“I wish I could/had time to do that”.
Oh I do love it when a parent tells me that. It could be about anything. Going to the movies, getting your hair cut, taking a bubble bath, you get the picture. Maybe you would be able to, or have the time, if you wouldn’t have abandoned your friends when your child came along. Yes, I understand that your lives have changed, that you know have a small person who is completely dependant on you to keep them alive.
I have friends that I would absolutely watch their kids for them so they could get their hair cut in peace, or to catch a movie. All they need to do is ask. But maybe it’s guilt stopping them, or maybe they enjoy the sympathy they gain from people when they say this little phrase.
I know we don’t have kids, yet I know that they can consume you. At some point though, those children will have moved on. College, marriage, families of their own. They won’t always be there, and after they are gone, who will you have left? If you don’t have time, or don’t think you can do something, it’s your fault. I don’t want to hear you complain how you don’t have time for something, when you actually could. You have just chosen not to.
How you can be so conceited.
“You don’t understand – you don’t have kids.” That phrase has never once made me smile when I hear it. I might give a fake grin on the outside, if only to mask the rage I feel inside. Picture it from the other side. To the SAH moms out there, “You don’t understand – you don’t actually work.” That’s right. Doesn’t feel good does it? And I know SAH moms work. They work hard. Oh, but let’s not forget about the working parents. Maybe next time you want to tell a childless person they don’t understand, picture them telling you “You don’t understand – someone else raises your child”.
You may think your being funny, or asking for sympathy. I don’t know why you say it. All I know, is that it makes me want to punch you in the face.
Maybe, the next time you think about saying that to someone, maybe realize that it might be you who doesn’t understand. Who doesn’t understand that we have put decades, years, or maybe even just months into our friendship. We have celebrated birthdays, weddings, anniversaries. We might have thrown ourselves into giving you the most amazing bridal shower, bachelorette party, or baby shower. Maybe spent hundreds of dollars on dresses, dinners, and gifts. And now, we don’t understand why you don’t have time to care a miniscule amount about our lives?
Maybe it’s you who doesn’t understand that you can still have, and should have, a life outside of your children. A life where your friends, who still love and adore your beautiful children and love to spend time with them, are waiting for you. Waiting for you to realize that you are still your own person who needs your own life.
Now, sending love to all the parents out there! Stay strong. Someday the other half of the population might understand.