• Wed, Apr 11 2012

STFU Parents: What Not To Say To Your Child-Free Friend

One of the unique things about STFU, Parents is that the readership is comprised of both parents and people who identify with being child free. In essence, it’s a blog that appeals to anyone who isn’t a fan of overshare, but some parents use it as a guide for what not to post about, too. Typically, those things would include the basics like poop pictures, discussions of placenta consumption, or “hilarious” anecdotes about your child’s snot. But aside from those things, there’s mommyjacking. And as we’ve already seen in this column before, mommyjacking can be just as bad, if not worse, than status updates about a toddler’s erections. If there’s one thing that annoys people – especially child-free people – it’s mommyjackers who just don’t know when to avoid hitting “enter.” Sure, as a mom you might want to let the world (or your 462 Facebook friends) know when your child is having his five-week “birthday” or that being a mother is the best thing EVER, but as a friend there’s always that split-second you should take to ask yourself, “Is this comment necessary, or am I just hijacking this person’s status?”

A particularly irritating breed of mommyjacker is the type who assumes that all of her (or his!) friends will have kids or want to have kids if they don’t already. It’s the type of assumption that inspires child-free people to go on forum boards and say, “I can’t stand my friend for always telling me to have a baby,” or, “My mother-in-law has been asking when we’re going to have kids since the day we got married….and that was 11 years ago.” Speaking as a person who actually does want children in the future, I think the “Have A Kid!” mommyjackings are obnoxious, too. So today I’ve rounded up several examples of what NOT to say to your child-free friend, whether she or he plans to have kids or not. You can type out the comment on Facebook if you want to, but don’t hit “enter” when you’re done or you’ll look like one of these people.

1. You Don’t Know Tired

The competition for who “knows tired” best continues! Do you know tired? If you don’t have a kid then you probably don’t! But hey, have one so you do! Comments like this are baffling because, A) It’s kind of shitty to always get told that parenting is the hardest job in the world and you will get NO SLEEP EVER AGAIN, and then B) Simultaneously get told that having a child is the most fulfilling and rewarding thing a person can possibly do. We all have different experiences, and we’re all tired for different reasons. Also, if you’re going to inform someone that she doesn’t “know tired” until she has a baby, don’t attach a smiley face to the end of your comment unless you’re in the market for a nickname that’s not exactly child-friendly.

2. Expiration Dates

Nothing beats expressing joy over newfound freedom like being reminded that that freedom has an expiration date, amirite? It might sound ’50s, but hey, that’s life, ladies! Enjoy not being tethered to a man and a baby while you can, ’cause that clock doesn’t stop ticking!

3. Comfort Zones

First of all, I can attest to the Canal Street station permanently smelling like a combination of feces, earwax, and moldy basement. And second of all, “feeling comfortable” with human waste in the subway is not something that’s possible in New York City whether you have a baby or not. The human waste found on subway platforms is a far cry from the excrement found in a baby’s diaper. Did your baby take a bath in the last two months? Well, the person whose shit is on a subway platform probably hasn’t.

4. Baby Diet

This is a sneaky way to make a “joke” that’s really more of a parenting gripe. The disparity may appear disguised to people like Genna, but it’s as clear as the blue lines on a pregnancy test to everyone else. I totally understand wanting to complain about not being able to eat chocolate or anything yummy, but Lucy is looking for legitimate ideas here, not mom jokes.

5. Mom Prep

Look, not everything is preparation for being a parent. Being tired is not “prep for being a mom!” Getting sick on a plane is not “prep for being a mom!” Multi-tasking is not “prep for being a mom!” Being a full-time nanny is probably pretty good preparation, but even then, not everyone wants to BE a mom. Some people just don’t want kids, or haven’t decided if they want kids, or haven’t even given it any thought yet, and that’s okay. Let your friends come to their own conclusions on their own time. And until then, let them have Vegas.

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  • Map

    This annoys me to no end. I’m a mom. I’m busy, but not because I’m a parent, but because I’m a functioning adult with a job, family (extended and otherwise) friends, projects, charity, etc…..you know, like EVERYONE ELSE.

    Everyone’s busy. That doesn’t get trumped up because you had a kid.

    I was far busier working fulltime and going to law school than I am now. These people who think having kids makes you busier than everyone else must have lead very boring and stress free pre-kid lives.

    • karen

      I think everyone complaining about “mommyjacking” is BS that is just driving a wedge between people and stereotyping women with kids and women WITHOUT kids even more. Rude people are rude people and they will make rude comments whether or not they are parents or “child-free”. “By Map” right above me did the exact same thing as mommyjacking by making a stupid comment about people’s “boring and stress free lives”…. Putting down others and trying to reframe the conversation about herself. If you don’t like what your “friends” on Facebook are writing about, or what they say to you, DON’T BE FRIENDS WITH THEM or take it up with them instead of taking a screenshot and bitching about them to others. Grow up.

    • Nick

      Karen,

      Well, I’m certainly not going to be friends with you, ray of sunshine that you are.

    • Map

      Karen (or “By Karen” if you so believe the standard ‘by’ is an actual part of everyone’s moniker), it’s not a put down…I’m actually assuming that if someone feels that bearing and raising children is the end-all-be-all gauge of stress, time, and resources, then they probably haven’t lived a stressful life. That, or they have horrible time management skills. That does not equate to all parents were lazy in a previous life. But if someone feels the need to make a completely random, unrelated “one upper,” then they’re probably looking for validation, as in “oh, you’re up late working on defending your thesis? You don’t know what sleep deprivation is till you have kids!” Please. it’s a way to say “look at me! I’m busy too!”

    • Xyzzy

      The only folks that drive a wedge are the obnoxious parentjackers, and even then, it’s between them and the people that saw their post, not everyone else. Most people that have seen a parentjacking realize that not all parents engage in that behavior, and more importantly, a lot of the people that are offended feel better upon seeing it acknowledged publicly as bad behavior, especially by parents. It’s much harder to view everyone in a category as worthy of wariness or hostility when a bunch of them publicly agree with your sentiments.

      Yes, some people are just rude, but the sad reality is that some really cool people change drastically for the worse after having their kids. I haven’t seen it firsthand, but from the posts I’ve read, it’s like an extreme possibly-lifelong version of the way some people become obsessed by their new BF/GF to the point that all conversational threads point back to them or are an excuse to pressure a single person to start a relationship.

    • MissRed

      @Xyzzy, I definitely HAVE seen it first-hand, unfortunately….this is I think how STFUP was started – “You used to be fun. Now you have a baby.”

      True, on these submissions we can’t tell if the person was ‘always’ obnoxious, or just became so after having a kid.

      But unfortunately I can tell you that there ARE those who used to be normal, interesting, friends, but now devolve into mommyjacking, one-up-mom-ship, talking about poop…..sighhh.

  • CW

    I used to work as a full-time nanny, and thought I was prepared but being a mom is a zillion times harder than being a nanny. At the end of the day, it’s just a job, and one that you can quit any time you like. A nanny also doesn’t have remotely the same level of responsibility for the child as a parent. When I was a nanny, I worried about the day-to-day minutia (why is the baby crying? Is she hungry? Wet? Tired?) and not the “big picture” things (how do I raise my child to be a good Christian?)

  • NotThumper

    As a mother to a 9.5 month old I must be doing something terribly wrong…I’m not tired! I’m no more tired now than I was before she was born.

    These people piss me off.

    • Claire

      I don’t plan on having kids for quite some time (I’m 21), but considering how little sleep I have always gotten because of insomnia or whatever reasons, I highly doubt a child is going to change my level of tiredness.
      In fact, maybe it will make me sleep better when I do sleep, or give me an excuse to be up at all hours of the morning/night.

  • Cat

    Having heard these kinds of comments, along with “You’ll change your mind” all throughout my 20s and 30s, I am now thoroughly enjoying my married life in my 40s without being pestered, since they probably think I “can’t” have children…

    • Soop

      Oh yes, the ‘you’ll change your mind’ crowd. Well, guess what? I didn’t. Although, when the subject came up at a family gathering years ago, my aunt took me aside and said that she was happy that I felt that I could make the decision and not feel pressured into giving in. She didn’t want kids, but in her generation it just wasn’t done that way (she prefaced her comments with, I love my daughters, but…).

      Married in my 40′s too. And enjoying life

  • Rozz

    Wow, karen. I’ll bet you’re a hoot at parties.

  • Tara

    Karen, the point of STFUParents is that you USED to be fun, and now you have a kid. Ergo, something about these people USED to be awesome and they USED to have things to say other than something about being a parent and trying to “trump” their kid-less friends. THEN they had kids and they became rude and self-centered. You’re right, there are rude people everywhere (kinda like you just were to By Map)- but some people become less self aware when they have kids and transform into someone you don’t know anymore. It has nothing to do with growing up or womankind (there have been QUITE a few daddyjackings as well).

  • Kate

    In reference to Kristen’s comment under “Comfort Zones” (#3) – I completely agree. I have 2 kids, and I have been covered (more times than I like to admit) in human waste. When I get off of the subway & step in a complete strangers poo, I just shake it off and say, “That would’ve been really fucking gross to me before kids. But nope! Not anymore. Poop – no matter who’s ass it comes from – doesn’t phase me anymore. And THANK GOD I am the one that stepped in this. I wouldn’t want one of those weak-hearted ‘non-moms’ blowing a gasket over having stepped in the explosive diarrhea of someone they’ve never met. *laughs* Rookies…”

    Stepping in human feces – regardless if its from your own child or some random in the subway – is filthy. And no, you don’t become “more comfortable” with it. Ever. EVER.

    Unless you’re Kristen, apparently.

    • AgentBrittany

      Seriously, best comment ever. It made me laugh out loud for real (not just type “LOL”)

    • NotCinderell

      The difference: You know you’re not going to catch hepatitis from your own kids’ poo. Some homeless guy? Yeah, not so much.

  • Jacquie

    I’m expecting my first kid in about 5 months, and I hear comments like these ALL THE TIME, mostly from well-meaning people. I am not having fun being pregnant, so I’m trying to focus on the reward at the end, so it doesn’t help when people tell me (with a wink and a nudge, of course) how terrible and sleepless and lonely and boring my life will be once the baby arrives.

    Shut the eff up, y’all!

    • NotThumper

      People who complain that their lives are terrible, boring, and lonely are miserable beings and just want to drag you down too. Ya know, misery loves company and all that jazz.
      Your life will certainly change but change does not have to equal suck.

      Oh and btw, congrats. :)

    • JJ

      Yes, what’s with that? Pre-child it’s all “you should have a baby, it’s the bestest ever and your life is empty and void without one!” Then you start and OH GOOD HEAVENS it’s like war vets talking about their own Normandy Beaches. Whether it’s the birthing stories (shudder) or the “enjoy X now because once you have that kid…” stuff it’s beyond frustrating.

      Congrats, btw, and (while you know this, I’m sure, hopefully it helps to hear it again) fwiw, life + baby is different, but no less lonely or boring than life before. Actually in some ways less since baby is a good conversation piece and, hey, with the crazy stuff they say and do, who needs youtube? And if you find their current stage of life tedious then at least you know it’s temporary. Can’t say that about a lot of jobs.

    • Megan

      Oh, Jacquie, I hear you. My pregnancy sucked. In all caps, SUCKED. Not fun. I heard the same things, too, which really made me wonder why people had kids at all.

      You know what?

      My kid is two now. I (and my husband) have an active social life. I play volleyball a few times a week. We have date nights. My house is relatively clean. I sleep (and my kid does, too, and almost always did). We don’t have kids’ TV on all the time, and I definitely don’t spend all my time playing with blocks. (Some, sure, okay–Legos are cool.) Sure, there are some sucky parts. And some good parts. And yeah, I struggle sometimes in feeling like my life has changed.

      But then I go do something that, guess what, I can still do with a kid! Or I get a sitter. You’ll still be you after this kid comes. It can be tough, but all change is, to an extent. You’ll be fine. :)

    • Emily

      I’m also pregnant and I’m sick of people teasing about how I’m really in for it now, and how much my life is going to change/suck, and how they know all about it and “…oh, just you wait!” I’m terrified enough as it is, even though this is something I’ve been wanting a long time.

      I wish people realized that these comments are unhelpful and unkind, whether they’re directed at someone who is expecting, childless by choice, or (worst!) unable to conceive or have suffered a miscarriage. STFU is a darned good policy!

      Best wishes, Jacquie, for a beautiful future, and I hope you start feeling better soon.

    • LiteBrite

      Yeah, I remember that from own pregnancy too. Prior to pregnancy it was “When are you going to have kids?” Then I got pregnant and you would’ve thought I had just announced that I was moving to a war zone.

      Yes, my life changed but I still get a good 8+ hours sleep in, I’m not lonely, and I’m most definitely NOT bored. Some days of parenting are harder than others, but on the whole it’s okay. Parenting is not the major chore some people make it out to be, and though your lifestyle will change, the core of who you are doesn’t have to.

      Congratulations! And just wait. After you have this baby, everyone will be bugging you about when you’re going to have your next one. :)

    • K.

      I agree with you–I’m also 5 months to go on my first child and the barrage of comments on how much life sucks after being a parent have made me terrified.

      But I’ve got some cool mommy friends who seem to enjoy their new lives–sleep-deprivation, poop, barf, carpooling and all–and haven’t changed that much since having their babies. So if they’re all cool and happy, why not me?

      (cue someone to pipe up, “Oh sure. Those “cool mommies” only LOOK okay. Privately, they’re crazy messes! Just you wait!!”)

    • theonenonlyrach

      I’ve had this MUCH more expecting my second than I ever did with my first. (Thank God! I was terrified!) Now, it’s along the lines of, “Congratulations, you will never have a life again!”

      Um, what? Yes, things will change (yet again) but it’s not like I don’t have a wonderful extended family who would love to hang out with the kids for one evening every now and then so that my man and I can have a date night. Or that my man wouldn’t hang out with the boys so I can have a “normal” day when I need to have some adult time!

      Life does not end when having a kid as much as everyone wants you to believe. Does it get more complicated? Sure! But nothing that some darn good planning can’t fix.

  • Map

    Additionally, Karen, while none of my friends post status updates that are STFUParents worthy (sad trombone), it’s hard to defriend female family members, other PTA moms, etc in real life. Because if it’s not kids v. no kids, it’s 1 kid v. 2, or 2 v. twins, baby v. toddler, etc.

  • Weeona

    Woman complaining about not being able to eat “anything yummy” on a dairy free diet pisses me off twice.

    First for the Mommyjack and second for being a goddamn dumbass. I’m vegan and have been for 8 years. BS, you can’t eat chocolate or anything tasty. They make dairy free chocolate! And ice cream! And cake! FFS, GOOGLE it. Or go to a grocery store and look around. Jesus.

    So she’s griping about a non-existent problem, on top of everything else.
    I like animals, I’m not super human and able to live on dirt and rocks. If there were no vegan friendly desserts/chocolate I’d be the most unpleasant person on this freaking earth (and also about 20 lbs thinner).

    Pass the damn Coconut Bliss, I want a sundae.

    • Torako

      I’m lactose intolerant and eat chocolate all the time! I mean, I still eat some dairy (lactaid ftw!) but if I’m gonna get chocolate I might as well get dark chocolate, it’s tastier anyway!

    • G Bird

      Weeona – “Goddamn dumbass is pretty harsh. There are a lot of assumptions there. Maybe show a little compassion?

      How do you know she hasn’t just begun her quest to be dairy free?

      How do you know she doesn’t live on the other side of the world, in a remote place with no grocery store or internet delivery?

      How do you know she didn’t make that comment to a close friend, perhaps a family member, knowing she was ‘griping’ but also knowing the friend wouldn’t take offence?

      How do you know she didn’t follow that comment with genuine diet and exercise tips for her friend?

      Perhaps if you consider these possibilities you might be less pissed off. Maybe not. But generalisations are negative and unhelpful.Imagine if other people made assumptions about your character based on this (rather nasty) comment?

      Just a thought.

    • Another Steph

      I don’t really understand the whole dairy free thing, and I may be completely missing the point, so please educate me if I am.

      Does having a baby who can’t tolerate dairy really mean you can’t have any dairy in the house? Especially when they’re a baby and can’t sneak into the fridge? Can a dairy allergy be anaphylaxis, and the smell of it or whatever enough to cause a reaction? And why can’t the mum eat chocolate outside of the house? She’s obviously not concerned about breast feeding, cause a dairy free child wouldn’t be breastfeeding, right?

      I ask these questions only to gauge if she has a legitimate problem, or if she’s being a mummy matyr who has unecessarily sacrificed her treats and now expects kudos for doing so.

  • Stephen Hawking’s Football Boots

    It seems an important group (and one to which I belong) has been left out: those who desperately want children and for one reason or another are unable to have them.

    I’ve learned to hold my tongue through a clenched smile when parents complain about the perils of raising a child — and then in the same sentence crow about how the fulfillment and happiness they feel from their kids couldn’t possibly be felt by the childless.

    After the financial, mental and emotional strain of failed fertility treatments followed by the bureaucratic hell of adoption (we’re adopting from China – so far we’ve been waiting 4 years and it looks like it will be at least 2 more) forgive us if we don’t sympathize that ‘Colton’ wakes you up at 5am.

    • KJB

      I just wanted to wish you the best on your journey to becoming a parent, I hope you get there as soon as possible. And tell those people I said to shut their pie holes.

    • That Jen Chick

      Just wanted to give you a cyber high-five on your comments. It sucks bigtime! Also, we just got home with our little girl from China about 6 weeks ago, so I can attest that the miles of red tape do eventually end, but the wait is so completely horrible. Here’s hoping you get your match soon!

    • STFU Parents

      I hear you. I didn’t represent all groups equally with this column, but please know that it wasn’t intentional. Like KJB said, I wish you the best of luck with becoming a parent, and I will try to be more diligent with representing all parties in future columns!

    • Dee

      I’m so terribly sorry for your struggle. Hopefully it doesn’t sound condescending when I say I’ll keep you in my thoughts, and pray the red tape miraculously disappears and you find yourself the parent(s) you are obviously meant to be.

    • Xyzzy

      I hadn’t thought of that aspect — but it’s basically why I figure it’s better for society to not use “childless” as a catch-all referring to non-parents. It seems beyond callous to put the same label on people like you that are hurting *and* ones that are happier this way like I am. (My ovaries self-destructed when I was 13, but I thankfully never wanted to have kids. It’s a shame nature can’t line up the bad reproductive systems with lack of interest like that all the time.)

      I hope that your adoption goes through much faster than you’re expecting, and that your kid is everything you’ve been hoping for when you do meet him/her.

    • JLM

      Thank you for representing those of us that desperately want(ed) but cannot/could not have kids. I’ve been through the failed treatments & have been pretty open with my friends about struggles, particularly when I was being invited to baby showers monthly & just couldn’t face it every time. I ca’t believe how many of these friends, the ones in the know, still start sentences with, “When you finally have your baby…”

      Best of luck to you!

    • Another Steph

      Re Xyzzy’s comment, I’ve always thought ‘childfree’ meant no children by choice and ‘childless’ meant want children but don’t have them yet for whatever reason.

      Anyway, to Stephen Hawking’s Football Boots (great name!) I’ll echo the others and wish you the best of luck with your journey.

    • ChildFREE in Arkansas

      By Another Steph
      11 days agoRe Xyzzy’s comment, I’ve always thought ‘childfree’ meant no children by choice and ‘childless’

      YES! YES! YES. I am not childLESS by choice. I am childFREE by choice. Childless means I want kids but I don’t have them yet or I can’t have them. ChildFREE means I hate kids and dont want any. HUGE difference.

    • Emmali

      Those are the worst! But don’t worry! You sound like you will be a good parent once the time comes.

      One of my teacher’s just adopted her child number 2, I don’t even know how many years it took her (More than two though) but she said that it was 100% worth it.

      Why don’t you adopt from America though? just drive around high schools and look for the pregnant ones, I had a couple friends get pregnant in high school and had their child adopted by wonderful families.

      But anyways, best of luck to you!

    • Mary

      I know someone who would be an awesome mother and who would have loved to be but for whatever reason can not have any of her own. I’m sure she feels this way often but is to nice of a person to express it.

  • Lin

    This made me smile a bit. I plan on having kids, but I’m 22 and in college and have more things to worry about and have had girls younger than me with three or four kids ask me when I’m going to start having kids and that I really shouldn’t wait. While my facebook doesn’t get mommyjacked often personal conversations with my other female friends do, like while we are at the mall or even the book store. Once I got told that I shouldn’t bother buying any novels when I have kids since I won’t have time to read them anyway.

    • notsosilente

      Oh Em GEE! THIS! I’m 24, going on 25. I have SO MANY friends right now that are starting to have babies ON PURPOSE. They act as if I’m the strange one that wants to get a second degree and have a career before bringing children into this world when they have no life goals outside of being a “mommy”. Dude, first of all, I don’t even have a boyfriend, let alone a man I’d consider tethering myself to for the rest of my life. Half of these girls are barely married (not that that is a requirement, different strokes and all, but I am a bit old fashioned in thinking that if I’m gonna have a kid, I should have, you know, a stable partner and job…). Secondly? I’m pretty dang proud I have the smarts to make it through college, not once, but twice. And yet they feel the need to take me down because I don’t have children and don’t plan to have them for at least another 5 years.

      And don’t get me started on the whole “you don’t know [xyz] until you have a kid”. Really? I don’t know tired? I don’t know stress? I don’t know whatever? I’m sorry, last I checked, being mentally exhausted from an all-nighter to study animal A&P or to write a huge paper isn’t me being tired? I can take it when my crush tells me I don’t know tired because he’s a doctor doing his residency. I can’t take it when a friend who is now a mommy tells me that.

    • Commonsensehasleftthebuilding

      How does a “crush” telling you, “you don’t know tired” because of his residency differ form a mom telling you that because of kids? It’s the same smart-ass comment it’s just coming from two different perspectives. Just because you don’t want kids but do want your crush to like you doesn’t make his comment any less derogatory or smart-ass than a mothers. This just shows that like any other person it’s not the comment that bothers most people it’s their own bias against mothers, children, or just that person in general. Personally I don’t make that comment because it’s ignorant to compare “who’s more tired”. I work, go to school, raise four children on my own, and have insomnia, pcos, insulin dependency, and a thyroid disorder. I’m quite sure that what I consider being the most tired is going to differ from everyone else’s idea of being the most tired ever.

    • Childless Thirty-Something

      In a few more years the comments might finally slow down, once they start to consider you a lost cause (getting too old, in their opinion).

  • kls

    Once somone becomes a mommy or daddy they change…they are no longer the same…no longer the friends you have know for years and years….and us the childfree are very aware of the change so much more then others….

    • L

      So true. My friends swore they would still be the same but i cannot have a conversation about ANYTHING… food, the weather, a movie, etc.. without it somehow involving their child, who i am supposed to proclaim the cutest of them all when in reality they all look like cabbage patch dolls to me.

    • Kat

      I’ve been fortunate to have some friends that remained the same, cool people they were before and, as a result, have some great kids who know the world doesn’t revolve around them. I also know some self-centered twats that became self-centered parent twats. Those children are not turning out so well. So, in my experience, most people remain the same, for good or ill.

      Most. Then there are those who use parenthood as an excuse to take a flying leap of the diving board of sense and reason. Those are the worst, in part because you remember who they were and know how far they’ve fallen.

    • Zoe

      Hear hear! I’m in my early 30s and most of my friends have had babies already. My social life has nose-dived. I’m not TTC just yet – maybe another year or two – but seeing my friends lose themselves in their child and change into these baby-slaves where EVERYTHING has to be about baby is so unnerving, it’s almost making me rethink my future.

    • Applejack

      Generalizations aren’t kind either way in this argument. Some people become idiots after giving birth. Many others stay cool. Not all change is bad. Also, just because you have a kid doesn’t mean you don’t notice when other people are assholes. Perception doesn’t just disappear when you have a kid.

    • Another Steph

      What applejack said. I never talk about my child when I’m with my CF friends, mainly because I’m with him all day and I don’t want to talk about him on my ‘off’ time, but also because my CF friends jobs, dogs, love lives, etc are just as important as my child and way more interesting!

    • LiteBrite

      @Applejack, thanks for saying that.

      Yes, my life changed when I had a child. Sorry; it had to. No longer can I drop everything to have a conversation, go to dinner, or whatever. My child-free friends get that. They also get that parenting is a big part of my life, and it’s only natural I’m going to talk about it.

      However, I get that even though they respect my choice and even like my kid, they don’t want to talk about him 24/7. I get that though they don’t mind if he tags along for lunch once in awhile, many times they’d like to hang out with ME not “me and my kid.” I get that they’d like to talk about other things, and that’s okay with me. I WANT to hear about the things going on in their lives and talk about things other than parenting that are going on in mine. I don’t make stupid assumptions about their lives (such as “You don’t know tired until you’ve had a kid” or “You don’t know love until you’ve had a kid.”) and they don’t make stupid assumptions about MY life.

      I’m not arguing that some people became a-holes when they have kids. I know a couple of people who have, but on the whole I’ve been fortunate that even though most of my friends are parents for the most part we’ve all stayed relatively the same. Sure we can’t do exactly what we want to do when we want to do it all the time anymore, but who we really are hasn’t changed all that much. I guess what I’m saying is that not parent changes to a point where they are unrecognizable. It’s too bad when it happens because it doesn’t have to be that way.

  • Kat

    So true! I’m CF but a dedicated aunt (I got the aunt gene rather than the mommy one and my nieces and nephews seem to appreciate it – as do their parents!) and my best friend is TTC without success. Neither of us handle mommy-jacking well, though at least for me it’s just an annoyance. For her it’s a knife. Not nice.

    If I can add some other things to avoid saying to someone without kids (CL or CF, doesn’t matter):
    - “I used to think like you …” Seriously condescending and implies other is just not mature enough to understand the Truth and is awaiting Enlightenment. Also implies that your way is Right for all. It’s not. We’re all different.

    - “You don’t know real love until…” No, I don’t know that specific type of love. I know romantic love, I know how I love my parents, I know how I love my nieces and nephews, my friends, my dog, my car … it’s just one more type of love. A special one, sure. But my religious affection for my deity is special too and yet you’d probably not appreciate me turning around and saying to you that you don’t know real love until you’ve converted to my religion. Right?

    - “You don’t know what [tired/multitasking/time management] is until you’ve had a baby.” I get it, you work hard at being a parent. Or at least feel like you do – without an objective measure, it’s hard to tell. But while, yes, you can’t leave the kid at the office and go home, you do have the opportunity to go to work in your PJs, run errands during work hours (even if it is harder than when it was just you), and presumably do something you love for someone you love.

    - “Your purpose in life is to have a baby.” Not usually said quite so clearly but very much implied in many ways. Work as a doctor, social worker, teacher, or astronaut? Good, but where’s that baby that gives TRUE purpose! This demeans all the good the other is doing and indicates that even a poor parent is more important than them, no matter how badly that parent messes up their child. We have 7 billion people on this earth, a serious jump when you realize we hit 1 billion in 1810. So in 200 years we’ve added an extra 6 billion to the planet … perhaps you should beg the CL person to abstain and so leave more resources for your own child. Plus, there’s a serious logical error. If a human’s life only has purpose if they’ve reproduced, what does that say about your own child? Is she or he less important because they’ve yet to duplicate?

    • MissRed

      Amen, @Kat! I might steal some of these responses just in case of any future mommyjackings….

  • DoggyDork

    I’m childfree by choice, and by fate. I had Endometriosis so badly they had to remove my uterus, and in spite of that I still get a “period” each month from the endometrial tissue that had attached to other organs.

    People see me with my dogs and tell me I’d make a great mom. Why? Because I clean up after my dogs? Because they are clean, up to date on shots and healthy, well groomed and obviously well trained?

    How does that qualify me for being a mother?

    It doesn’t, and it never will. Multiple disabilities and bad genes run in my family. I refuse to pass them on. Just like you wouldn’t breed a dog with hip dysplasia, I wouldn’t breed myself. It was wrong, in my eyes, to give a kid a shot at a shitty life, filled with illnesses and misery. The odds were against Baby DoggyDork before s/he was even a thought in my head.

    Time, illness, accidents and Endo stopped my fertility. But regardless, I never felt the urge to have kid of my own. But people like me are great support system for moms. I ca go get a sick kid from school while mom and dad work, take said kid home and bundle them up in PJs and with the TV on until Mom or Dad comes home.

    I can offer a shoulder to cry on, or an ear to bend, or keep secrets or give advice. I can be an aunt, friend, champion and cheerleader. I can be the best thing that ever happened to your kid.

    Don’t count me out just because I don’t have my own. I am well aware you think I’m missing something big and important, but to me it was never a blip on my radar. Even as a kid, I’d decided never to have any of my own. Unlike most girls I knew, I didn’t flip out over new babies, didn’t beg to hold or hug or cuddle.

    I held a newborn recently, and was told I would have “been a beautiful mother.”

    Why? Because I didn’t drop the kid? Because I wiped teething drool away?

    I’m good at a lot of things, but I don’t want to do them full time. Parenting is a commitment I could not make financially, emotionally, or physically. A child deserves so much more than what I could offer as a mother.

    I’m far, far superior as an Aunt or courtesy Aunt, or Miss DoggyDork, or Mrs. F.

    It’s not about a career, or vanity or selfishness. Every child conceived and brought to term should be wanted and loved. And any child of mine would lack on or both. It doesn’t make me a bad person. It just makes me who I am.

    • Xyzzy

      As long as folks don’t assume that someone that is childless or childfree *is* automatically interested in taking care of their lil’ screamers. I’ve known some fellow childfree folks that are thrilled at being an adoring usually-auntie, but there are still more than a few of us that prefer to care about or help children from a substantial distance.

    • Impressed

      You rock – The most unselfish reason for not having a child is the genetic one. HUGE props to you and thanks for sharing!

    • C.S.

      You are so clearly awesome.

    • MissRed

      Hear hear!! THIS. (@DoggyDork). Exactly. Particularly “I’m good at a lot of things, but I don’t want to do them full-time….”. Thank you for this comment.

    • Amy

      A thousand times agree!

      I just became a first time aunt and adore holding my niece…. which translates into my family constantly making remarks like “it looks good on you” or “when are you going to have your own?”

      The reason I’m such a devoted aunt is because I don’t have to commit to the responsibility of raising her. I get all the good parts of being a parent, without all the shitty (literally) parts.

      Aunties and uncles for the win!

    • CW

      What is with the sudden hijacking by all these rude comments from childless individuals? Hello, this is a PARENTING blog. Why don’t you all take your bitterness and spite someplace else??????????

    • Ellymoemoe

      CW – where are the insulting comments? The bitterness and spite? I’m about to have my first child and I didn’t get offended by anything that was said. STFU Parents has both parents and child-free fans.

    • Amy

      @ CW

      You do realize the purpose behind STFU Parents right? There’s nothing bitter or spiteful about anyone’s comment…. this is a place for venting about obnoxious parents that we all know and have to deal with.

      Why are you so eager to be offended all the time? Your comment above about AmyJane’s DNA not being passed on is probably one of the most negative and bitter comments said so far. Check yourself before you wreck yourself.

    • JP

      No, CW, you’re being rude. This poster has a painful physical condition that would’ve made having children difficult to begin with, but impossible now that her uterus has been removed. She went on to explain that because she can’t have children or doesn’t wish for the commitment of raising a child given her circumstances, it doesn’t mean that she hates children, that she’s selfish or that she’s less of a person.

      Likewise, other commenters on this post aren’t telling you to shut up because you’re a mother. We’re telling you to shut up because you’re acting like a jerk.

    • Tara

      You sound like an awesome person DoggyDork :-)

  • AmyJane

    It’s weird…

    On one hand it’s all “Your life has no meaning if you don’t have kids!”

    Annnnd then it’s all: “I don’t have a life now that I have kids!”

    Confusing much? FYI…if you ARE really trying to convince the childfree to procreate, endless stores about feces, vomit, lack of sex, post baby body despair, being broke,what an a-hole your husband turned out to be and teenage drama are not going to help your argument. Also…”but it’s all so worth it!” does not negate the aforementioned statements when added at the end of your post. (with the obligatory smiley-face.)

    • CW

      Wow, you sound like a real charming person. What a shame that your DNA won’t get passed on…

    • STFUAlready

      You sound like you’ve been featured on STFUParents, CW. Totally charming, indeed.

    • BBK

      I agree with AmyJane, CW you are just being rude.

    • jeneria

      Many lesser people’s DNA gets passed on, CW. Just because someone doesn’t worship at the alter of teh babby doesn’t mean they aren’t a valued human being in other ways. Even my friends who are parents find the prattle of some mombies and dambies irritating, insulting, and patronizing.

  • Patricia

    Oh god, these condescending parents make me want to rip my arm off just so I have something to throw at them. I have a child but I did not get brainwashed when I gave birth. Parents who babyjack every single topic of conversation are infuriating.

    • Lisap

      So sad the “Yay, got my PhD today” posted that got a “Now wait until you know the joy of having a baby” response didn’t make it on here. I really don’t think the idea of doing that to someone who has achieved something so amazing can be publicly shamed enough.

    • jeneria

      @Lisap,
      Congratulations!
      I earned my PhD in 2007, after five years of grueling classwork, teaching, researching and writing. Had someone babyjacked my status that day, I probably would have gone off on them before unfriending them. I don’t know what it’s like to be a parent and I doubt they know what it’s like to earn a doctorate.

      I hate how people with children just assume that that’s what the rest of us want, too, and that any and all of our accomplishments automatically pale in the face of breeding. It’s unfair.

      So, again, congratulations! Sleep in that damn PhD hood if that’s what you want to do!

    • mommyca

      @jeneria “…and I doubt they know what it’s like to earn a doctorate.”
      Ugh, you’re being just as condescending. Although I know people are not getting doctorates left and right, where I come from it’s normal to have children later in life (IF people want children), after accomplishing other life goals. Hi-jacking statuses: yes, hideous. Arrogant academics: just as hideous.

  • Meg

    STFU Parents has been a gift from God. It helped me laugh when I wished I was a mom but couldn’t be. Now that I am finally going to have a baby, thank God, I have a perfect example of what NOT to do. And I still laugh!

    • Naideen

      Congrats!

    • STFU Parents

      Thanks so much, Meg! And congratulations! Great news. :)

  • Katie

    I get the “you don’t KNOW tired” comment a lot.

    I tend to respond with “Oh, you have MS too?” That usually shuts them up.

    Shockingly, there are a lot of things that can make you tired aside from parenting. Some of them aren’t even voluntary (unlike choosing to breed). You chose to be a parent, and you knew what it meant. Now quit whining. If you regret your decision to have kids, it’s not my problem.

    • Derpy

      Agreed, oh so much. I get occasional insomnia attacks and one thing I really hate is mombies tiredjacking me.

      “Teehee, you won’t know what tired is until you have a baby!”

      Actually, I know what tired is, thanks very much. STFU, cuz my insomnia won’t grow out of keeping me awake all night.

    • CW

      Does MS cause b*tchiness as well as fatigue? If you choose to remain childless, that’s your prerogative. Not everyone is cut out for the challenges of motherhood. But kindly refrain from coming on to a parenting blog to insult those of us who view babies as blessings rather than burdens.

    • http://www.facebook.com/famke.stewart Famke Stewart

      Fuck you, lady, seriousy. You have missed the point of, well, everything.

    • STFUAlready

      Seriously, CW. You are classy as hell.

    • Ellymoemoe

      CW – where was the bitchiness? I didn’t see any

    • Kel

      @CW–you realize that posting a difference in opinion and reading others’ opinions regarding parenting on a parenting blog is the point of said blog?

      It’s probably an even more valid way of consuming parenting blog content than sitting around trolling its message boards.

    • meteor_echo

      @CW
      Lady, where are your manners?
      If you’re so pissed off about somebody daring to be childfree and having their own opinion and also being more tired than an average mommy because of a condition that’s hard to live with, please click the little red cross on your browser tab.

    • Mommyca

      @meteor-echo
      hear, hear! *thumbs-up*

  • haley

    Here’s one…

    After tropical vacation in Fiji, I posted some beach photos on facebook to share with friends. I have been working very hard on my health and nutrition to balance out the toll of food allergies and reversing my hypothyroidism. Obviously a healthier diet will often help out where a two-piece bathing suit is concerned. I received a lot of lovely comments on my page about the scenery, the beach, my cute swimsuit, and a few kind words about my toned-up figure. Then there was this:

    “Wow! You look great! But – haha – just wait till you get pregnant! You’ll never be able to wear that bikini again!”

    Bitch.

    • Another Steph

      And unnecessarily bitchy. I was back in my bikini six months after having my son.

    • Ellymoemoe

      I get comments like that about my sleep-ins, body etc. “Just wait till you have kids!” I’m pregnant now and I am so sick of hearing it all. I went through fertility treatments only to hear how crap my life will be? Gee thanks

    • http://www.facebook.com/famke.stewart Famke Stewart

      I think a lot of mommies are really, really resentful of other women. The “haha” may be her way of making it sound like a light-hearted joke, but the underlying dig does not go unnoticed. I hope you told her off.

  • Katie

    The “you dont know tired” one never ends.

    I have a child, she’s 8 years old. At a 9pm parent teacher interview I was waiting in line to see the teacher for, after a day of awful hayfever, after my back injury was playing up like mad, after taking my mother to the doctor after work, I stupidly made the comment to one of Sage’s classmate’s mother, “Wow im tired” and got shut down because “honey, you only have one, I have three, you dont know tired, you wouldnt even be able to recognise tired if it was waving at you”

    Thanks for that lady. Mental note made not to talk to you anymore.

  • Mommyca

    Wow. After reading a couple of posts, I’m suspecting that “STFU” stands for something hateful – as in a parent-bashing site. By the way, I don’t hi-jack other people’s statuses. But I disagree with the implication that complaining parents are more moronic than complaining non-parents.

    • K.

      I’m a longtime STFU, Parents reader and I find the site hilarious. You may not, and that’s okay, but I do think that B. (the author) does a good job at demonstrating when parents cross the line between appropriate vs. not appropriate. For the most part, STFU publishes stuff along the uproariously extreme, and to that end, I don’t think that the site is about hating on parents…Just hating on extreme parent behavior.

      For example, complaining that your local Denny’s doesn’t have a changing table will not get you on the site. Wailing that it’s a crime against humanity that your local Denny’s doesn’t have a changing table, followed by a description of how that justifies your changing your baby directly on the table, will. Pics of your kid’s first steps? Bring it on! Pics of your kid’s first steps in diarrhea? Oh hell no.

      I didn’t think that the above posts were about general moronic-ness (because everyone posts dumb things on FB) so much as they were overreaching and presumptuous by implying in one way or another that parents have more valid life experiences than non-parents. I mean, I’m a PhD student and if I substituted PhD-culture in these examples, most of my friends would be offended (well, if these weren’t so far on the pretension-scale as to be absurd): “You think you’re tired? Try writing a dissertation!”; “Congrats on your baby! Now you have time to get that PhD and your life will REALLY be complete!”

      …Wow, I should try that sometime :)

    • Angelika

      Maybe parents should stop saying stupid things all the time.

  • Danny
  • Mary Leonard

    Some of you people are a bunch of uncivilized monsters. It’s disgusting to think that some of you are raising children. Use your brain not your hormones. Breeding is not a free pass to be a insensitive fool. I wonder if some of you cowards would actually speak this way in public.

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  • Buddy

    Even without comments, most FB status updates are people whining/bragging about things in their lives that nobody else could care about anyway. To bitch about people doing the same thing in the comments seems like splitting hairs to me.

  • jbdemesa

    I love this site and have been reading some of these articles about annoying facebook parents. Ugh I have plenty of friends who do this. I mean I’m a mom too but I don’t disclose much about my kids.

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  • Jordan

    I feel like having children can be swapped with “Going to Engineering School”

    “I haven’t gotten enough sleep” —> “just wait until engineering school”

    “I’ve gained weight” —> “just wait until engineering school”

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  • Carmenalex

    People are different, these attitudes come from thinking we are all the same…that a woman was put on this earth for a reason and thats to procreate (Im lookin at you religion!!!). This comes from a complete lack of basic biology. Some people have normal to high natural levels of the chemical oxycontin (moms, thanks to this chemical we form bonds with our children, have the desire and love for them and helps us trust, men, this is what helps make you monogamous and form a bond with your kids and partner).. Not everyone has the same levels of this chemical…so not everyone has the desire to want, or need, or form a bond to their kids, not everyone is meant to be monogamous…men with low levels of oxycontin dont settle down, tend to cheat etc…women dont form as close a bond to their kids or just dont want kids. AND THATS FINE..so much heartache and abuse can be avoided if we understood how we work better….and that rules that apply to everyone the same are B.S. , that we cant compare ourselves to others and do what others do because we’re different. And thats fine.