07 October 2010

I Understand the Haters

There are websites devoted to people who hate parents (found via Sex and the Single Dad).Well, there's everything on the Internet. It's like that parallel universe theory. If the universe is infinite, then there's bound to be another planet just like this one, only a little bit different. Like, rainbows smell bad different. I'm trying to say that everything is on the Internet--including a site devoted to people who call parents breeders. It doesn't mean the Internet is full of haters, just that it's infinite and that infinite things contain all the beauty of the world and all its ugliness.

Thing is, it could have been me. I could have been the one complaining I had to work on Halloween because my co-workers' two-year-old kids wanted them around for trick-or-treat. I could have been the one saying fertility drugs should be banned. Maybe I would have been the one calling an online discussion between mothers a Moofest.

It's all there. And it could have been me.

I understand people who choose not to become parents. There are many good reasons not to be parents. Maybe you had bad parents and you're afraid of making the same mistakes. Maybe you heard "a child changes everything," and you want no change. I understand.

And I know it could have been me.

You go to a restaurant with a couple with babies. In the car, all they talk about is the kids. At the restaurant, the kids do all the talking, because it's exciting to be in a restaurant. And then the parents go to get a soda refill, and you give their kids a chip. When they come back, they say, "You gave him a chip??? Now he won't eat anything else!!!"

So I understand. You get older, and everyone you know is making babies. And you can see them losing their identities to their new glorified Parent identities, and just when you think they're about to regain some of what it was they had lost in the delivery room, they go and make another baby!!!

So I understand. Because it could have been me. I didn't want to become my parents, and I didn't want my life to change, so why make babies?

And yet, of course I was going to have babies. They're fun. And they allow you to relive your own childhood. And they cuddle. And they learn and they teach.

I understand the haters. I wish they didn't hate, but I understand them. I wish they didn't care about what I choose to do with my life, but that means I shouldn't care what they choose to do on the Internet. The Internet is infinite, which means I can avoid the ugly parts.

Oh, and there's a punchline. Earlier tonight, a friend (with no kids) and I went with my kids to Chipotle. We sat down with the food, and I went to get drinks. By the time I came back, my friend had already given Liam a chip, which meant Liam would eat nothing but chips. And as soon as I told my friend that Liam now wouldn't eat anything else, I realized I should have kept it to myself. Parents are annoying, I know. But look, he's reading my favorite book!


Florida Girl In Sydney said...

First of all-- we have that book, Hebrew and all-- my in laws sent it to us! Can't read it of course, but whatever.

So here's the thing about people without kids who are haters, we (parents) need to feel bad for them because not only are they wasting time complaining about people who do have kids, but they are also unaware of how much happiness having children brings to your life.

And there are many people who choose not to have kids but are happy, and don't hate kids. Well they are probably happy because they are focusing on their happy lives and not how much their lives suck because of kids and they're high maintenance parents-- cause I feel your pain, as I would have said the same thing to an innocent friend who fed my kid a tortilla chip.. and like you, then instantly would have wanted to retract it.

Sorry for this long mess of a comment, I'm strung out on flu medication. Hopefully some of that made sense.

Jill/Twipply Skwood said...

Well...I'm not really sure about the rest of it, but moofest is actually kind of funny. :-) Sorry about the ruined dinner. There's always asking the waitress or waiter to take away the chips though. Sometimes I do that even when my kids aren't around, because then I don't eat as many. :-)

J.R. Reed said...

Thanks for this. I'm glad my post inspired something rad out of you, considering my post was just a way to vent and let off steam after some a-hole said a lot of nasty stuff about myself and two blogger friends...

Fickle Cattle said...

I don't understand why a person would hate parents. I understand why someone would not want to be a parent (I'm mixed about it myself) but I don't get why you would bother to hate people who choose to have kids. That's just weird.

Maybe I'm a hater of people who hate parents.

I am Fickle Cattle.

PeopleInTheSun said...

Florida Girl, really? In Hebrew? Cool! I was very disappointed when I found out it wasn't originally written in Hebrew. A couple of years ago. And you're right. I never feel bad when I meet someone who doesn't have kids (unless they want kids and can't have them). I assume they're having a good time. I would be smoking a cigarette RIGHT NOW if I didn't have a baby.

Jill, I'll give you the moofest. But if my boy sees something he likes from the corner of his eye, then that's what he will eat. If we get to the point of asking a waiter to take it off the table, he will move into the kitchen.

J.R., at first, I wanted to link to the website and to you, but then I thought that if I only linked to you, it will show these were not just people who hated amongst themselves. These people spread the hate.

Fickle, hey, I got nothing against hating the haters.

Shakespeare said...

My husband and I went to a couples meet-up at a restaurant a few months ago, and after everybody had talked for a while, they went around the room and said a bit about themselves. The only two couples I liked were the ones who had raised or were planning to raise kids. It seems I instinctive gravitate towards "parent" types.

One couple, who had been saying pretty awful things all evening, even called children "parasites." "That's what they are," these people said, "so that's what we'll call them. They just suck you dry."

We haven't gone to another meet-up since. My kids are better dinner companions than that couple. Perhaps the parent-haters resist children because they don't want to have to behave at the dinner table, and kids would force them to try and set a good example.

Then again, who would want to be a child of parents like that?

Bee said...

I don't have kids but I would never make fun of or look down upon people who do because someone I love very much had kids and if not for her, I wouldn't be here.

It's funny because I'm on the flip side. When people find out I don't have kids, they look at me with what I interpret as a look of pity and then ask "oh? Why not?" this happens all the time even with random strangers so I find myself having to defend our decision.

I know I don't have to but human nature makes me want people to understand.

You're right, people shouldn't care what we choose to do with our lives. Especially because we came from people who chose to have kids.

Also, I love love love my nieces and nephew. I'm sure these hatres must have some shorties they care about too but are too self involved to admit it.

JK said...

While I appreciate the childless's ability to hump anytime, anywhere, I'm so not caring what those future people who anthropomorphize their 100 cats think. Selfish narcissists can only deny their nature to nurture so long, then at 30-35 they either start baddybumping everything that moves, or they buy matching sweaters for their Bichon. While the worst thing someone who doesn't want children can do is have them (I have close history with these people) and then reluctantly half ass parent them, married couples who swear off children as "parasites" are definitely doomed to doggie custody court.

SJ said...

Hmmm your side of the argument is actually the majority to say bad things about children or motherhood is social suicide in most of the world. SO yeah good to see that there is a small minority who OPENLY say they don't want kids. I'll go check their site next :)

When you reach 30 here people whom you just met start asking why you aren't married etc etc.

I do like kids just don't want any of my own (at the moment) and not sure I would do a good job. Anyway it's not like I've got a lot of chances to breed even if I wanted to.

PeopleInTheSun said...

Shakespeare, see, even if people think like that, for them to say it around parents is just offensive for the sake of being offensive. It shows more about them than about anything to do with parenting.

Bee, sad to think that these people have nieces and nephews. And I'm sure it's not easy to face questions about your choices, especially when you feel that the people who ask the questions mean well. It's much easier to dismiss haters.

JK, "doggie custody court." You're killing me. But the thing is that, like I said, I understand people who choose not to have kids. And I understand their need to find like-minded people online. The problem is with doubt about life-choices becoming hatred. And I don't know if I'm less selfish by having kids. It's not like my kids asked me to be born, you know. We did it all for selfish selves.

SJ, I don't have a problem with people saying out loud they don't want kids. Finding like-minded people is the Internet at its best. And if they kept their opinions and name-calling in their forums, I would have been fine with that too. But when they feel the need to share their hatred to parents with parents, they cross the line. And good luck in finding a breeder if you want one!

SJ said...

Even within their own forums there should be no name calling. If they have to hate someone else to maintain their ideology then it's not much of an ideology.

Ellie said...

I don't have kids. I won't have kids unless I have huge pangs in my 50s or 60s. I was adopted and feel its a big important task that shouldn't be taken lightly ... the task of having kids. Too many people in this world rush in without thinking "do i really want to procreate?" plus the cafes are full of babies and their mommies who don't do the best job of cleaning up after them or keeping them quiet ... which in some cafes, yes, would be appreciated. I love kids though. And dogs.

PeopleInTheSun said...

Ellie, hey, if I understand the haters, I definitely understand your point of view.

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