STFU Parents: 6 Things You Can’t Do Once You’re A Parent

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One of the most challenging things about becoming a parent is changing the way you go about your daily life. Suddenly, you can’t just get brunch any old time you want, or book tickets to a concert, or do basic things like shop at the grocery store without thinking about what the hell you’re going to do with your child. After all, that tiny person needs full-time care and attention, and if you’re not the one giving it to him, who is? Babysitters are expensive, daycare isn’t always an option, and some people don’t have any relatives nearby to help. It can be a real hassle. And that’s something I understand, even not having any children yet myself. I often ask myself what I would do in certain situations if I had a baby, because I am one of those people who lives far away from family and would struggle to meet the demands of both a child and my career and social life. But that being said, the list of things that people are and aren’t “able” or “allowed” to do after becoming parents is a funny one.

For instance, some places simply don’t cater to the needs of a baby, and that’s to be expected. Some events are inevitably going to take a back seat to the obligations of parenthood, and that’s just something parents have to deal with. There’s no use in complaining, because it’s out of parents’ control. On the flip side, there are also plenty of things that parents are told they can’t do by society, friends, and family simply because they’re parents now. It’s the voice of “reason” (reason being an uptight know-it-all), whispering into parents’ ears (or on their Facebook walls), all kinds of critical judgments. Do you really want to go skydiving now that you have a little one at home? Did you really need that third glass of wine, knowing your child could need you at any time? Or how about that vacation you’re planning — six whole days away from the kids? Is that really a good idea?

How parents negotiate these things is what interests me. I think you have to keep your cool, no matter how hard that can be, to fend off those voices of “reason.” But I also think you have to keep your cool so that you yourself don’t become an uptight asshole who asks everyone to bend to your child’s needs. There has to be a happy medium somewhere. In the meantime, here are some submissions I’ve received that showcase several things that parents can no longer do now that they’re responsible for a child, according to Facebook.

1. Celebrate Your Birthday

If anyone ever told me to “kiss my birthday goodbye” because “I’m a new mommy,” I’d probably smash a cake in his or her face. Celebrating a birthday can mean many things, but ultimately it’s a personal decision how one chooses to celebrate. That’s why it’s called “that person’s day.” For all Lupe knows, Thea just wants to get a pedicure and take in a movie. I can’t imagine having the audacity to call out a friend on her Facebook page and tell her to stay inside and breastfeed on her birthday, but perhaps that’s just because I’m not a mom.

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