Of all the things that people are saying about me and STFU, Parents right now (and, surprisingly, there are several things), the jab that’s most absurd is that I’m “childless.” First, many people take issue with the word “childless” because, well, it has the word less in it. Am I “less” because I don’t currently have children? Will I become “more” (or “whole”) when I do? No. The polite term, regardless of correct grammar, is “childfree,” or perhaps, “does not have kids.” That said, there is no reason to harp on about the fact that I don’t have kids, because to say that is like saying that because I don’t have children, I can’t have an opinion on oversharing. Someone in the comments of my blog wrote, “Is every food blogger a chef? Is every film critic a maker of movies? Are auto writers also mechanics?” The list goes on and on, but you see the point. Just because I don’t have kids (yet) doesn’t discredit my blog or my opinions. And the fact that I have to add “(yet)” in that sentence to sort of “redeem” myself by acknowledging that I’d like to have kids one day nauseates me. What does it matter if I do or don’t have or want children? I write a blog, and I’m not claiming to be an expert in parenting. I’m claiming to have years of experience discussing parents who overshare on social media, and to have an opinion on that subject.
But many “news” sources aren’t letting that fact go, be it because they want to incite controversy or because they’re mom bloggers who don’t like the premise of the blog. The easiest target, after all, is me. The blog stands on its own and speaks for itself. You’d be hard-pressed to find a post like this and argue that it was a good idea to post it online, so the next logical thing to discuss is my “childlessness.” At first, I didn’t really mind. It seemed peripheral to the point of my blog, and sort of reinforced to me why I stayed anonymous for so long, but hey, I’ve never made the fact that I don’t have kids a secret. Then, I started to wonder why this was the focus of nearly every salacious story out there. Now, I’m just pissed off. Women (and a few men) have said (and continue to say) they can’t WAIT until I have kids one day, because oh boy, will I be in for it. Only then will I understand what a giant asshole I am. Only then will I have empathy for mothers who write about eating their placenta on Facebook, complete with pictorials. Only then will I be whole.
With this in mind, I started thinking about the “Woe Is Mom” column I wrote some weeks back about things you can’t do once you’re a parent. Those were some cold truths, am I right? The updates were written by people who had rude awakenings that, now that they’re parents, they can’t do things like celebrate their birthday, attend a food tasting, or listen to Top 40. But what about the clueless, childless people like me? We don’t even know what we’re going to be missing out on yet. All we know is that we think we know, but, much like the viewers of the MTV show Diary, we have no idea. Thankfully, some helpful parents online are happy to let their friends know (like how the media and mom bloggers are letting me know!). Let’s take a look at some examples.
1. Get Any Sleep
Okay, okay, this one’s a given. Everyone knows that once you become a mom you never sleep again. You also never bathe, get your hair done, wear clothes that fit, or have time to exercise. DUH. Still, people like Suzanne and Laura are always there to rub it in just in case idiots like Amanda forget. Hey Amanda, want to go babysit Laura’s twins on those four hours of sleep?! LOL. Didn’t think so, you childless fool.
2. Have a Decorative Plant Rack
This one is an example of something I see all the time. Parents think that people who don’t have kids don’t have a clue that they’ll have to change their lifestyle, decor, spending habits, and so on once they become parents. None of us childless folks have babies, you see, so we can’t possibly understand! For instance, once you have a baby, you can’t just leave a pile of knives laying on the living room floor like you used to. You can’t drink half a bottle of whiskey at noon and watch Steel Magnolias in your underwear like you always do. And god help you if you think you can have a cute ladder-turned-house plant holder. Haha, that’s rich! What’s next? Keeping a fancy decanter on the kitchen island? Unless that thing is made by Fisher Price, you can forget about it!
3. Ride a Bike
Once you become a parent, “me time” is more limited. But by “more limited” I mean, “You never have any ever again.” The thing is, some people might say in response to that, “But what if I get a babysitter? What then?” Well, then you’d be a bad parent who’s more focused on getting in an unnecessary bike ride than tending to her child’s needs. Do you want to be a bad parent? Don’t think about this; it’s a yes or no question.
4. Eat Lunch
Linette’s getting a real taste of motherhood now, isn’t she? Ha ha. Little does she know (along with the rest of the childless population) that once you become a parent you never eat lunch again. You just snack on whatever you see lying around. Berries on a random bush in a Gymboree parking lot, old gum on your (very worn) shoes, maybe an errant chicken nugget or kale chip that your child dropped in the car, IF you’re lucky! Being a mother is not only a thankless job, it’s also a hunger-filled one. Maybe Johnson & Johnson can come out with a Mom Pill or something so that moms can just get all their nutrients by popping a few over-the-counter vitamins. That would be ideal.
5. Drink Orange Soda
This example amuses me because I can finally call a mom out on a clear contradiction. You see, in a post I wrote on my blog, a mother expresses interest in drinking an Orange Julius. But here, D. says that no woman who’s ever been pregnant can enjoy orange soda ever again (after drinking the glucose solution that comes with a glucose tolerant test). Maybe it’s just a difference between orange juice and orange soda, though? I need a mom to explain this to me. I’m far too dimwitted and passionate about orange-flavored beverages to grasp this concept.
6. Enjoy Cool Mornings
If there’s one thing I will be sure to enjoy while I can, it’s breezy cool mornings. After you’re a parent, you can wave those breezy mornings goodbye. All you’re left with is a crying baby, an empty bed, and a lack of snuggles. You can’t even wear a robe anymore. Purple doesn’t mention that in her comment, but because I am starting to catch onto this stuff, I can tell you FOR SURE that mothers can’t wear robes or fuzzy slippers.
7. Work Outside The Home
Finally, we come to the age old fact that women who work and are also parents are just plain stupid. Lisa is one exhausted mom, but you know what would help with that? Quitting her job. And you know why? Because being a mother is already a full-time job, and the pay is hugs and kisses, and you just can’t beat that. Sure, it’s exhausting, but at least it’s not pointless. At least it makes sense. There’s an inherent incongruity to working and being a mom, so I’m going to relish my work load while I can before it gets replaced by 24 hours of diaper and laundry duty. I hope you guys are savoring this column, because who knows, 10 or 12 months from now I may not be able to write one ever again. If I’m ever lucky enough to have a baby, that is! Man, will that baby be screwed up for having a mom like me.