STFU Parents: How Not To Mommyjack Your Childfree Friends

It’s been a couple of weeks since TIME magazine revealed its cover story “The Childfree Life,” notably depicted with a photo that’s been criticized for presenting a “deceptive fantasy of the child-free life” with “lazy yuppies.” For anyone who regularly reads articles and blog posts about parenting, “mommy wars,” and whether having kids makes people ebullient or suicidal (because there is no in-between!), this story didn’t come as much of a surprise. In fact, all that surprises me these days is the way people continue to eat up the media’s constant regurgitation of the same stale debates. I’m so bored by lists that compare raising a toddler to being in combat, or things you should never say to your friend who has one kid, or twins, or no kids, or whaaaatever. We are all responsible for our own happiness, whether kids enter the picture or not, and there’s no use in comparing large groups of people by generalizing about their “childfree” vs. “family” lives.

That said, I receive a large number of links to the aforementioned articles, and that tells me people are still affected by these debates. Women in particular are confronted on a daily basis about their “lack” of children or asked about their future family plans, and it’s hurtful and annoying. Part of what attracts a certain demographic to STFU, Parents are the posts about mommyjacking, which often pertain to people who are childfree. What’s compelling about the reader response is that it doesn’t matter if people are planning to have kids in the future but don’t have any right now (a.k.a “childless”), OR if they don’t want to have kids at all (a.k.a. “childfree”), because both groups are equally put off by intrusive questions and comments about becoming a parent. Society has told us for years that it’s normal to ask a woman “when” she plans on having children — not “if” — but many people (men and women) are not very comfortable with that casual conversation. So even if I’m a little tired of hearing about the debate between parents and non-parents, most people aren’t. And judging by the current climate and that TIME magazine story, the discussion is only ramping up. To help provide more fodder, here are five (more) examples of mommyjacking that demonstrate what NOT to say to your childfree (or childless) friends on Facebook (or ever).

1. You’re “ready” for kids.

STFU Parents

No one wants to be told he or she is “ready” for babies, like life is merely preparing us for our one true mission: procreation. Yes, for many people, children are the future (at least, their future), but for many others, they’re not, so cut it out with all the assumptions.

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  • Karen

    Number #1, what your friend is really saying is “Don’t whine about 6am when that is *nothing* compared to being a parent.
    Dont be so sensitive. Its pathetic.

  • Karen

    Number #2, what the f is wrong with you? Greg is saying “Come back home!”.
    “Wouldn’t it be nice if you had kids and came back here and joined us”.

  • Karen

    Number #3, Paula is right. You have not seen anything until you have a sick child. Or worse. A terminally sick child. Get a grip.

  • Karen

    Number #4, your cluelessness is staggering.
    She is saying in a round about way that being a mother and running around after her kids is an equivalent. She doesn’t have energy or time for much more.

  • Karen

    #Number 5, HAHAHAHAHA
    NO parent regrets having children.
    She says that she is tired but it is worth it. Where does it say she regrets it?
    You have zero idea about sleep deprivation unless you are seriously ill (like terminal) or you have a kid.
    You know what? I think Charity is sick of her non child friends complaining about being tired when compared to Charity and other parents out there, it is NOTHING in comparison to how tired she is.
    You need counselling. Talk about your problems and the pain you have not having children. Displaying it for all to see in a blog is tragic.

    • 2Well

      No parent regrets children? Tell that to all the children being abused or murdered by their parents. Many regret their children, and those children can tell.

      Plenty of things can make you sleep deprived. Chronic insomnia, medical school, caring for aging parents, etc.

  • based_dude93

    Am I the only one that thinks this article reached a little?

  • Susan Carol Johnson

    Need to join the discussion, even though I am an over 50-yr. woman. Yes, I have two daughters. I was lucky enough that when I was very young in the early-mid-seventies my mother made it clear that there was no necessity to get married, and certainly no obligation to have children. I chose to have children. Even though it has been difficult, I am very grateful for the opportunity to raise (for better-or-worse) my daughters. What I just *can’t* understand is why there should be any problem between women who choose to have children and those who do not. Outsiders have NO RIGHT to judge other people’s choices. There is absolutely no reason that women who have, or do not have children, should have to explain to *anyone*, their own, very personal, decision.