Jul 19, 2013

5 Things Parents Need to Stop Saying to Non-Parents

A friend of mine shared this article on facebook.  I clicked on that link immediately when I read that title because I am one of those non parents.  Being 29 and not a parent is also a rare thing with our circle of friends, so we hear this constantly.

This is a must read for both parents and non-parents. Trust me.  Below I put some tidbits from the article that I feel really strong about.

Unless "so-and-so" needs professional help, I guarantee "so-and-so" knows that her dog is not a human child. She also knows that having a dog is nothing like having a kid. What she's really saying is "Oh! Yes. I also have something in my life that poops AND brings me joy."

Too often, we parents downplay non-parents' concerns by pulling ours out and tossing them on the table. 

It's not a competition. If, on a scale of 1 to Passing Out Awkwardly in the Shower and Waking Up When the Hot Water Runs Out, your friend is at a 7, and three weeks into your first newborn you were at a 9, that DOESN'T MAKE YOUR FRIEND ANY LESS TIRED.

but your pre-kid life was an important part of your story, and your non-kid-having friends are a part of that. Don't dismiss that part of your life the way most people skip the foreword to a novel they really want to read. By dismissing the "before" as just a buildup to your kids, you are not only dismissing your friends, but you're also implying that their story has not started yet.

And this last one I feel REALLY STRONGLY about.  I don't care who you are, whether an acquaintance, family member, best friend, or hairdresser.... you may not know what is going on behind closed doors on sensitive subjects such as having kids. BE MINDFUL.
Some people don't want kids and choose not to have them. Some people really want kids and are trying incredibly hard to have them. Indicating to these people that having kids is the only way they will reach some higher level of understanding is both inconsiderate and rude. 

What do you all think?


Ashley said...

Amen. I'm and always plan to be childless. Its a lifestyle choice!

In many ways I guess I kinda feel superior because a lot of people I know who have children have them because society says we must or have children they have no business having just because "they want one".

I'm not kid friendly. I can barely afford to feed myself - it would selfish to bring a child into poverty. And I just plain prefer the company of my dogs over people most days.

I live a full life - we're not all meant to be parents (and I'm refering to those who choose to be childless - not those who are struggling to be parents.)

Arina said...

I'm always so annoyed when people ask me when my fiance and I are going to start a family. We are already a family. He and I live 3,000 miles away from our parents, own a car, have a lease, and two adorable kittens together. We don't need to have children to be complete, and I don't want kids.

It frustrates me, because society seems to operate on the assumption that everyone wants kids, and those who don't have kids are too poor to have them/trying and not succeeding/terrible people. The reality is that I'm just not interested in being a parent! I'm not anti-kid or anti-parent, but being a parent doesn't instantly make you "special" or "complete." It just means that you performed a biological function. I am not somehow less than you because I have chosen not to have kids!

Kathryn said...

I totally agree, especially with the last part.