• Thu, Oct 11 2012

STFU Parents: Things I Can’t Do Once I Have A Kid

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

STFU Parents

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.

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  • http://profile.yahoo.com/TOQG2FCC24RO4PTKQLPK3ZZQIQ Nichole

    The only time ANY of those responses would be even remotely acceptable on ONLY 1-5 is if that person was already pregnant. However I have seen too many instances where someone just assumes that someone is going to have a baby because…well, why WOULDN’T someone have a baby?
    But on the whole…WHY do people think, “Life stops when you have a baby!”?
    NO! Life happens and that baby is along for the ride!
    Obviously there are extreme circumstances…drug/alcohol addiction, etc etc… you know, the extreme stuff.
    But, for the love of god, people, just because you had a baby does not mean you should sell you bike, stop any other activity that you love, or whatever else.
    UGH, Sanctimommies might be among the worst kind of “mombies” out there!! :-(

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/TOQG2FCC24RO4PTKQLPK3ZZQIQ Nichole

      Woops; I meant “YOUR bike” and not “YOU bike.” That just makes no sense…

  • ilovellamas

    B sounds especially perturbed in this post, and I kinda love it. The “she’s not even a mom!” comments have been pissing me off, and I even get those comments when I share something from STFU parents! Love this entry!!

    • STFUParents

      Thanks! Yes, I’m annoyed! Writing about this on the blog tomorrow, too. :)

  • http://twitter.com/randomanalysis Darby

    I just took the glucose tolerance test not two days ago, and the drink wasn’t much more sugary than most pops. I would say that it tasted better, actually.

  • http://twitter.com/marbletonemedia Melania

    I’m so proud of you that you have critics! It’s once you have people hating you that you know you’re making it big ;) Myself and the rest of the “clueless” people will just keep enjoying your posts!

    • STFUParents

      Thanks, Melania. It kind of drives me crazy when people say having critics is when you know you’ve “made it,” but I also know it’s TRUE!

    • STFUParents

      And I only mean that, it’s important to take the good with the bad, and I’m forced to do that right now!

  • TheSquirrel

    Wow, #1 is just indefensibly bitchy!

  • Lynn

    You do not have to defend yourself most of the people feel that your “wrong” have thin skin and need to feel out a butthurt report! Your opinion is enjoyable and honestly even thou people can’t handle it is the truth!! I don’t want to know that your child made a poo….. do you tell me when you poo no?! So don’t tell me about your kid! I also would love to applaud the person who made all those analogies again so true!! So in the end people if you do like it don’t read it or change the channel but I will continue to read and watch because it is hysterical!!

    • STFUParents

      Thank you, Lynn!

  • Eileen

    You know, I see the problems with “childless,” but I also dislike “childfree,” because it implies that a child is universally undesirable, which it is not, though that particular person may not want children. “Is not a parent” or especially “doesn’t have children” seem to be the least pejorative to me.

    I’ve kind of given up on being shocked at what you “can’t” do once you have a baby. They’re all so dumb. I’m just going to say that the girl with the bike looks adorably happy, from what I can tell without seeing her face, and that if she does end up having children, I hope she takes them on bike trips with her.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1037538172 Jessi Bencloski

    Those who don’t realize STFU,Parents is not about “Mom-bashing” either haven’t really read it, or are chronic oversharers themselves who truly think *every* parent behaves this way on social media. Thing is, even as one who has no children and doesn’t intend to have children, it’s helped me practice restraint in my posting on all of my non-parent-related thoughts. I ask myself, “If I replace the subject of this post with my Imaginary Child, could I expect it to show up on STFU,Parents?”. Overshare is overshare.

    I think one of the reasons it seems most absurd when it’s child-related overshare is that rather than someone consciously giving out too much information about themselves, it seems like many parents forget that there is another *person* involved, who doesn’t really have the option of informed consent, when they over-share about their children.

    • Amy

      I think you are totally right about them not actually looking at the site. The horrible commenters on those others sites just read “…childless woman mocks parents who love their children…” and went nutso without actually taking a minute to open up STFU and take a quick look.

  • MommyK

    As a mom, I can’t work, I can’t leave my knives laying about? WTF, I can’t do anything I like!!!

    • MommyK

      P.S. Marc in #3 sounds suuuper bitter. Pretty sure he’s planning to fake his own death as we speak so he can escape the monotony of fatherhood for some much-needed “me time.” :P
      B, you are doing awesome, and we all love you!

  • Belinda

    Dear Mothers with Martyr Syndrome,
    before you, your ancestors were able to go have a baby in a field and get straight back to gathering.

    Your child is special to you, we get that. I love my child more than anything but do I think she’s god’s gift to someone else? Nah. She’s loud and likes to fart in public places.

    Is it hard to work full-time and have a toddler? Sure. Honestly though, if you have enough time to bitch about how hard it is apparently you’re not using the free time you do have effectively.

    best regards,
    a mother who makes time for herself *gasp*

  • http://twitter.com/chatseh chatseh

    I’m so glad that you’re on the counter attack against all the stories making it out that because you’re “childless,” you’re jealous or just don’t get it. That’s the thing that’s bugged me the most about you finally revealing your identity. Everything you post on Mommyish and STFU, Parents is clearly not from a vicious point of view against mothers in general. You’re just pointing out “Hey, some of this shit you’re posting isn’t cool.” Also, seems like mothers can turn every activity a person on facebook talks about into one you can no longer do as a parent. If someone, for some god awful reason, posted “Having a piss,” there would be some sort of mom comment saying “Enjoy it now while you can. As soon as you pop one out, you’ll never be able to go to the bathroom by yourself again.”

  • Guest

    I just had a kid–my first–and I speak from the child-bearing “in-crowd”:
    1. You have to be a dingbat to not predict in some fashion that having children will mean that your life will change. So complaining that you can’t sleep in like you used to or that you just can’t spontaneously go play golf or jet off to Paris or that T-ball games are a sorry replacement for your preferred hour-long-sojourn at the arthouse bookstore means you are a dingbat.

    2. Parenthood is work, but honestly–it ain’t all. that. crazy. Is it particularly fun and deeply soul-satisfying to clean puke from one’s radiator? Is it a gleeful surprise to cancel movie plans because your kid has come down with an ear infection? Should one relish the dulcet tones of Waybuloos’ mumbling? Of course not. But guess what: if you chose to have kids, you signed up for it.

    What do these parents want–a cookie? For being something utterly mundane? It’s one thing to complain about the joys of parenting on one’s OWN PAGE–that’s everyone’s right in the glory of the FB age. But to use parenting as an excuse to belittle someone else’s bad day on THEIR feed means you’re one douchey procreator.

  • Anthony

    hard for my mother to quit her job to take care of us because of our deadbeat father abandoning us. she has to work and take care of us. i feel sorry for her..

  • jupiterqueen

    I finished grad school, worked full-time, and had surgery 4 times for an illness–but life has not been tiring for me because I don’t have kids. Please, try fighting for your life while trying to keep the rest of your world together.

  • Eliza

    Most of these entries could also qualify as mommyjacking. WTH is wrong with people?

    I’m totally on your side in this issue – but I wouldn’t say “childfree” is the more polite term. I always thought that made it sound like “disease-free” or “Thank God I am not saddled with those horrible little creatures that you are.” But I get what you’re saying about “childless” too.

    And not that you need my approval or anything, but I keep thinking of your Mom’s Gold Star entries. My favorite one is, “As a mom, I have no idea what I’m doing.” To me, that shows that you know a LOT about parenthood and appreciate the whole fiasco that it is, and just want people to – you know, STFU – about their kids’ poop. So do i! :)

    • Eliza

      PS I realize the “childfree” issue has already been hashed out to death in other comments.

  • grjane

    I’m a mom and totally love this blog. There’s definitely TMI going around online. There was a time many, many moons ago when I managed a sandwich shop, and I asked a mother not to let her child run around in bare feet (liability reasons). She got angry and shrieked at me, “Just wait until you become a mother!”. Yeah, I’m a mother, and no, my children have never gone running around stores and restaurants with bare feet. I also got annoyed when the parents would plop their diapered babies onto the countertop near the food.

  • MaeganB

    I will joke with my friends on occasion about this. But, I feel like it’s OBVIOUSLY a joke. Not, “I am so bitter at anyone getting to do anything and having any kind of fun while I do all this shitty PARENTING..” kind of a passive agressive thing.

    I also hate this idea that all those other parents are so fucking bitter & dissatisfied that they have to do this to their FRIENDS. If a friend tells me how tired they are, I might say, “Sounds like a problem a nap could fix…” or something like that. Not, “I’m tired, too. B/c I’m a MOM. TRY BEING THAT KIND OF TIRED, BITCH!” Damn.

    And on the glucose test: It didn’t bother me. It tasted like flat orange soda. And you’re supposed to drink it quick. When you chug it down it does burn a little like a soda might…so maybe that’s why I didn’t take issue with it. I am not a big fan of orange soda in general…but I certainly don’t have any kind of aversion to it NOW. And I’ve done it three times. Will be doing it a fourth in another month or so.

  • juniper666

    My dear friend cries when I tell her I won’t ever have children. Then, in the next breath, will become overwhelmed wondering how she’ll balance her legal career and have a child. I’m about 10 years her senior.

    Today I slept in. Then I woke up, sat in my favorite chair with some chai tea and read some stfumommy and mommyish. As a below poster, later today I will study for my law classes then perhaps unwind with a walk in the park. This evening, my man and I will be joining two other childfree couples for dinner and drinks. Tomorrow, I’ll hop in my small airplane and fly somewhere for lunch. Then, a wine tasting tomorrow night.

    I love my nieces. I love my friend’s children. I even almost love the teenagers I help teach at an alternative highschool. But, I love being childfree! There is nothing wrong with making the choice to remain free of children and continue to enjoy all of those things. The judgy-mcjudgertons simply ice the cake when they remind me that I made the right decision for myself. Many women want to have kids, and that is awesome! Many women don’t, and that is awesome!

  • KazaD

    Haven’t any of these mothers heard of Time Management and Common Sense? I guess not. Too bad, they would enjoy their lives and time with their children a whole lot more.

    PS: I was ‘quoted’ – yay me!

  • Bubberfly

    I know plenty of parents who ride their bikes. Sometimes with, sometimes without their kids. But they definitely do.

  • http://www.facebook.com/carmen.gutierrez.14 Carmen Gutiérrez

    Jesus STFU woman what kinds of friends with kids do you have? Eating placenta???? I have never in my life seen anywhere near this caliber of photos and comments from parents and I am a parent with friends who have children Too bad you don’t realize your view is skewed.

    • KazaD

      These are not “STFU woman’s” friends – the submissions on the blog are sent in by people all over the world who have these kinds of friends. Just because you don’t have friends like that, doesn’t mean others don’t. Too bad you don’t realize that your view is skewed, because that’s the only one you are seeing.

  • Ashley W.

    Wow…I read the header of #2 as PLACENTA holder, not PLANT holder. Thank God I was wrong. I also think my mind is telling me that I read too much STFUParents.

    • Ashley W.

      Rack, not holder*

  • em

    I have taken the glucose tolerance test- it tasted exactly like orange pop to me, maybe it would be the best medical test ever for an orange pop lover!

  • BigBlue

    Oh God, that glucose solution was disgusting. I could barely choke it down. But then, I’ve never liked orange pop or Hi-C and so it didn’t ruin anything for me!

  • chinookeroo

    The bike one makes me want to scream. I love my mountain bike. I love it so much that when I had a kid, I bought one of those nifty bike-trailer-kid-hauler contraptions, and now the kid rides happily behind me while I bike, and she laughs at the dog who runs beside us. As a bonus, it’s an extra workout to bike with the trailer. And then the mombies wonder why I found it so easy to lose baby weight >:)

  • Tired of it

    I really hate it when someone says “Wait till you have kids” or “Kids will do this to you” or even worse “Oh, you aren’t going to have your own children?” in a condescending tone.

    Really? Wanting to adopt a child eventually that is not a baby makes me a bad person?

    One, as woman who CAN’T HAVE KIDS I find that the insinuation that I am not worthwhile as human being because of it very insulting. I am not going to tell someone I just met that I am physically incapable of bearing a child to term and that attempting to do so would kill me.

    Two, adopting an older child. I do not understand why the rant some people get into about “Oh you just want to skip the diapers and all night listing to screaming and having to get up every five minuets.”

    Uh how about the fact that babies adopt out the easiest and there are children growing up in the orphanages because ‘everybody’ wants ‘a little bundle of joy’? What’s wrong with wanting to give a child who doesn’t have one, a home?

    I don’t have kids yet, I may never have kids, and I will never have children that are biologically my own. That does not make me useless or less than worthwhile as a woman.

    And one thing is for sure, over sharing, is over sharing. I do not need to watch videos of your child being born, nor of every facet of their life. I do not have a face book page, and (when/if I adopt) I will not subject any child of mine to that insanity before they can make the choice for themselves.

  • http://www.cafepress.com/ladycrim ladycrim

    A friend of mine is due to give birth any minute (seriously, she was due yesterday), and nothing has gotten her more annoyed over these past few months than people telling her all the things she’ll never be able to do again once she has the baby. Believe it or not, she actually plans to be a good mother while still having a life! Crazy!

  • Kathy

    Honestly, the difference I see between the people who complain and the people who don’t is that the people who are bashing this sort of site are the ones with no lives outside of their kids. The people who have kids and other hobbies and outlets understand that no, life doesn’t end with babies.

    • :)

      What about the people that have no lives other than bashing other peoples lives?

  • Givemetime

    My friends and I love STFU, Parents. It’s comforting to know we aren’t the only ones who are bombarded with poop explosions, snotty faces, and holier than thou comments about parenting whenever we go on Facebook. I’d love for someone to explain to me the logic behind taking a picture of the crap (literally) that has escaped their child’s body and landed all over the high chair/bathtub/bed instead of cleaning the mess and child up. I’ve often wondered if the kids who are the subjects of these oversharing posts are hanging out, covered in their mess while the parent is busy posting the “evidence”.

  • Marie63

    Actually for the first time I find myself seated in the midst of overpaid, enmeshed mothers. It is a sanctimomminous nightmare. But I guess I should consider myself lucky. Look all the pain I’ve been saved by never wondering if I’ve overshared, or my story was boring, or any of the other pitfalls that come from actually feeling the need to open up lest you appear rude. I’m an object of pity, not of interest.

  • Andrea

    Ok, I gotta say about #4. It IS funny, but during the first few months, it IS possible to forget that you didn’t eat your lunch. Sleep deprivation causes all kinds of brain malfunctions. The thing is, contrary to popular belief, you DO sleep again after kids. Eventually they will sleep through the night and so will you.
    And you will ride your bike. And have nice things around the house too.

  • Pingback: Attention New Parents: Your Life Is NOT Over Now that You Have Kids

  • :)

    Being proud of your accomplishments is a good thing! If you’ve just spent 2 weeks trying to get your kid to go into a potty – why not take a photo and share it?
    You don’t have to be friends with people on Facebook that post things you don’t like.
    Why create an entire blog slating people for doing something perfectly natural? Being a parent is challenging enough, without judgemental idiots dictating how they think you should do it!
    Being ‘child-free’ doesn’t make you a bad person – but it means you have no frame of reference for your ‘opinions’.
    Is every food blogger a chef? – no, but not every food blogger is good either! (the good food blogs are usually the ones written by chefs!)
    I’ll leave you with a quote from Anton Ego, in the film Ratatouille (my sons favourite, btw)
    “The bitter truth we critics must face is that, in the grand scheme
    of things, the average piece of junk is more meaningful than our
    criticism designating it so. “

  • Carly

    Good lord, #6 is so obnoxious. And so BITTER. Like, “how dare you enjoy this morning when there are people like me who are being kept awake by my baby!”

  • http://www.facebook.com/danielle.gusto Dani Gusto

    Am I the only person who loved the glucose drink? I’m not even a big fan of orange soda, but that syrupy sweet stuff was delicious. By far the least gross thing I’ve ever had to drink for a medical intervention.

  • lucygoosey74

    Sweet. It is now confirmed that I have super powers! I have a young child and have still managed to
    1. sleep
    2. have shelves
    3. ride bikes
    4. eat lunch
    5.drink orange soda
    6. enjoy cool mornings
    7. work…a lot

  • http://www.facebook.com/ladyvioletarcane Violet Arcane

    Childfree and loving this blog. Keep it up!

  • Hayley

    I just started reading this blog today, so I had no idea you weren’t a parent. I am, and MUCH of the time, I feel like I over share, but I am not anywhere near the level of craziness you write about. I seriously don’t know many parents that do. And, just as an aside, I hate when parents tell people without kids “wait until you have kids.” Even if I think it inside my head, I don’t say it out loud. It’s incredibly rude! (actually I have said it once, but he had pissed me off by giving me advice, and my intention was to be rude)

  • Adeline

    I´m not a mother yet, but I enjoy reading mommyish because it gives interesting info for when I´ll want kids. What I do hate is mothers being total b*tches and self righteous to the rest of us. You know what? I do not need some exhausted, hormonal mess tell me or somebody else that my life will totally suck after haveing children. If you are that frustrated and effed up about it, well why have them in the first place? Nobody thinks playing martyr will give you extra points…it will only make you seem obnoxious and out of control; basically the opposite of what would be considered a good parent: My God, this kinds of people piss me off!!!!!