One of the Worst Bingos

ELSE ****

I’ve got a bingo!

“So why don’t you have kids? Afraid of being a bad parent?”

First of all, in my experience, it’s the people who were sure they’d make great parents, had no doubts, and went into parenting without even considering they might not be up to it who make the worst parents. People who have doubts are far more likely to make good parents. Thus, even if I was afraid of being a bad parent, that would be a good sign, not a bad one.

What does it say about people who use this bingo, though? Do they really assume that if you don’t do something, you’re not doing it out of fear? Does that mean that stay-at-home-mommies are afraid of going to work? Fear they won’t be any good at it, would get fired or have to answer to someone? Does this mean that if someone had kids instead of say, finishing their undergraduate degree, are “afraid” they will fail their classes? If someone doesn’t go to law school, does that mean they are afraid they’d make a terrible lawyer? If someone doesn’t master Guitar Hero, does that mean they are afraid they won’t win?

I’m not a mother. I’m also not a lawyer or a Guitar Hero player. That doesn’t mean I’m afraid I’ll suck at any of those things. I’m just not interested in any of them. It’s not fear of failure, it is plain old disinterest.

Besides, there are plenty of things I am not very good at, but that doesn’t stop me from trying. I’m really not very good at crochet, but I like to do it. I have a lot of lopsided afghans around my house. Yes, laugh and point at me – crocheting isn’t much more than counting stitches but I even fail at that somehow! But it doesn’t stop me from trying. I’m a mediocre cook at best, but I love to cook and bake, and most of what I make is good, but not great. I love to write novels, but nothing I write is great fiction, and that’s okay. I don’t avoid something just because I might not be good at it. If I’m interested, I’ll try, and if I like it, I’ll keep at it, even if I’m no good at it.

I suppose the big difference is that if you have a kid only to find out you’re no good at parenting, it’s pretty difficult to back out of it. So perhaps if one is afraid they could be a bad parent, it is not a good idea to try and goad them into having kids anyway! Perhaps that makes this one of the worst bingos. People don’t say, “So why don’t you have kids? Afraid of being a bad parent?” in a nice way. There is no nice way to say that! It’s basically a put down, either as an immature insult, “You’d be a sucky parent, anyway!” or as a dare, as if to say, “Nyah nyah! Prove me wrong!” Oh, sure, THAT’S a great reason to have kids — just to prove something to an idiot!

Anyone who actually gives a damn about kids would NOT use this bingo. So keep in mind, you wouldn’t hear this bingo from someone who is actually a good parent themselves.