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 onÂ Facebook,Â 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 aboutÂ 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.