Facebook Inspired Rants

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These rants are brought to you by STFU Parents and Facebook.

First of all, some mommy whines that the waitstaff at restaurants call her baby a “half” when talking about how many needed at a table. (i.e. Mom and Dad plus baby equals 2.5)

Funny how these mothers never have a problem paying halfprice for their kids, but suddenly half is an insult? Mommies in the thread even point out that their kids take up as much room and eat about as much and are just as loud (if not louder) than grown people. Good, glad they are admitting it. Let this be a lesson to you mommies then: you don’t want your kid called a “half” and you acknowledge they take the same space/food/noise-equivalent as anyone else? Start paying full price for them then! Glad we cleared that up!

Next, STFU Parents alerted me to this Facebook exchange under a TV Station’s fan page (the post was on January 7 if you want to go back and find it). Highly amusing! STFU Parents did not show the whole exchange, so I will post it here. (STFU Parents obscures last names for good reason, but I didn’t bother because this is on a public fan page and anyone can find the names as easily as I just did, so obscuring the names seemed pointless. These people already put their names out there in the public so it’s not like I’m “outing” them or anything.)

WTTW Channel 11 Don’t forget, “An Evening with Emma” on January 12 in anticipation of the premiere of the new adaptation of Jane Austen’s comic masterpiece! Join us to watch the first hour followed by a discussion. Admission is FREE and is first-come, first-served at 6pm at the Pritzker Auditorium of the Harold Washington Library.

Janet Woo Why couldn’t there also have been one session in the a.m. so mommy types could go while the kids are in school? Try as I may, the kids simply don’t like Austen as much as I do, and I don’t think you want a 9 and 11 yo in the audience!

Heidi McReynolds There are helpful people called babysitters to watch children in the evening while adults go out to adult events.

Teri Rotondo Tracey Amen Heidi!

Monica Bhopatkar Teredesai In this day and age, some people may not want to spend money on helpful people called baby sitters- Just another perspective…

Diane O’Neill Thanks for offering that perspective, Monica! When my now 18-year-old son was little, I could barely afford child care for when I was working, never mind for fun events. I suspect a lot of parents nowadays are in the same financial boat–and it isn’t always that easy to find a babysitter you can trust.

Heidi McReynolds I follow Miss Manner’s advice. If you can’t afford a babysitter, send your regrets to that black tie wedding. If you can’t afford to tip, don’t go out to dinner. I sympathize with stretched parents, but there is always a way to find more money. If you find you can’t afford a night out, cancel your cable or cut back on your cell phone plan. Use the public library for movies instead of netflix and to borrow instead of buying Emma whenever you want to reread it. If you are lucky enough to have family living in the area, arrange a sleepover at the Grandparent’s home if you don’t trust babysitters.

Is it possible to become a fan of this Heidi McReynolds on facebook? Someone start the page and I’ll be there! I’m a fan!!

I love Monica’s “in this day and age” people can’t afford babysitter’s defense, since everyone I know with kids, especially the ones who cry broke the loudest, has every video gaming system known to man, web surfing cell phones and bluray DVD players in every room of the house and every vehicle. Most people have more money than they want to admit, they just don’t want to give up all their “fun money” to be responsible. Hey, it’s true.

Diane complains that it’s not always easy to find a babysitter you can trust. I hate that line! It’s the worst!
First off, these women act like the children’s fathers can’t possibly watch them. I have very, very little respect for women who have children with men who are too irresponsible to be fathers! These women can’t ALL be widowed, and all the fathers can’t be incapable of watching them. Come on! I don’t care if you’re divorced and if it’s not “his” night for the kids. Maybe he’d like to have his kids more often and even if he doesn’t, he should step up and parent his kids once in a while!

You know, if a childfree person rants about bad parents out there, this is the very type of person who will complain, “You can’t judge parents! You can’t tell people they don’t have the right to be parents!” because they want to assume all (or most) parents are good parents, everyone should have kids and yet never be criticized. YET when you suggest they get a babysitter (like say another parent) they say, “I can’t trust any of those other parents!!1!” So they are judging all those other parents to be totally inept and unfit, but if we do it, they tell us we’re wrong. Which way is it? You can’t have it both ways!

I just cannot imagine that these people have no relatives or friends who can babysit for them. It’s bullshit. If they are refusing to develop a relationship with anyone else in their community, that’s THEIR fault. And if they do know a lot of people but suspect everyone they associate with are horrible people you can’t trust, then I suggest they get a better class of friends.

And in other Facebook news, I’ve found that some of the moms I’m friends with are posting these tidbits on each others’ profiles:

Sometimes you just need to hear it… You are a beautiful woman, inside & out. You are an exquisite mother, who can make a way out of no way,YOU ARE A GREAT MOM!!! You are doing a fantastic job and are very loved!!! ♥♥♥♥♥ Post this on the wall of 10 moms- Mom’s (sic) who always put their kids first and who balance it all! I just did….

Wait, aren’t these the same women that you can’t trust to babysit your kids? *snort*

Mommies post this crap on other mommies’ profiles even if the mom in question is an idiot who isn’t a great mom, isn’t doing a fantastic job, doesn’t always put her kids first and doesn’t balance it all. But of course, even though motherhood is SO worth it and SO rewarding, they still need pointless platitudes like this to get them through the day. Gee, guess motherhood isn’t its own reward, huh?

This got me to thinking about how they pass these things around to mommies only. I’ve gotten into arguments with mommies before where they would say things like, “We women should support each other! You shouldn’t be hating on women! We all need to work together to make things better for women everywhere!!” Oh sure, that’s what they say! But when it comes down to it, they want more benefits for mommies and parents and they want more discounts for families and they want everything family (ie child) friendly and then even when they pass around the pointless platitudes, it’s for mommies only. Suddenly they don’t care about women sticking together. There are not sending messages to all women saying things like:

Sometimes you just need to hear it… You are a beautiful woman, inside & out. You are an exquisite lady, who can make a way out of no way,YOU ARE A GREAT PERSON!!! You are doing a fantastic job and are very loved!!! ♥♥♥♥♥ Post this on the wall of 10 women- women who always put their loved ones first and who balance it all! I just did….

You know? Don’t get me wrong, it would still be pointless, but it’s just typical of them. As far as they are concerned, only moms count! Which is exactly why childfree women don’t feel much (if any) solidarity with women who have kids. Every chance they get they exclude us, then turn around and bitch at us for not doing more to ease theirburdens. Gee, I wonder why we don’t?

And finally, just for fun, I have to show you this post over on Lamebook that Stepher showed me and totally cracked me up. It’s the first one. Go read and enjoy.

An Infertile Raped My Ear

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Is there anyone more annoying than infertiles? Okay, screaming, misbehaving kids in every public place we go these days are certainly more annoying. But infertiles are high up on the list of annoying people. I’ve never known anyone who whined more than infertiles!

A couple of years ago someone pointed me to an infertile blogger for some reason. I subscribed to the RSS feed and occasionally read her posts. She sounded fairly intelligent (which is more than I can say about most infertile bloggers) but she is an eternal whiner. There wasn’t anything she wouldn’t whine about! Everyone on the planet hurt her little feelings.

– She’d whine about HOW DARE her relatives or in-laws get pregnant, knowing she so desperately wanted a baby and couldn’t get pregnant. Didn’t they know it would upset her?!!?! How dare they talk about their pregnancies around her!
– She’d whine about how she and her husband both had all kinds of ugly genetic diseases in their families that, if they ever did manage to have a baby, zomg, it might not be perfectly healthy, and she wanted a perfectly healthy baby of her own DNA, damn it!!
– She’d whine about other infertiles who were “lapping” her (having their second kid in fewer years than she’d been trying).
– She’d whine that people who were pregnant would complain about pregnancy and how fucking inconsiderate were they were to not appreciate that they COULD have a baby.
– And of course she hated the childfree because how dare we take our fertility for granted! She felt that we should be the ones cursed with infertility. (Although it wouldn’t be a curse then, would it?)

Of course, I never told her that I believe if you can’t have biological kids naturally, that’s nature’s way of saying your crappy genes should not be reproduced. But I really, really wanted to! (And hey, go ahead and tell me that maybe childfree folks not wanting to reproduce is nature’s way of saying our genes should not be reproduced either. I don’t care. Even if my genes were the fittest they aren’t being reproduced, so it doesn’t matter either way. But if I really wanted to argue with you, I’d point out that making a conscious decision is not the same thing as nature handing you a physical condition trying to keep you out of the gene pool!)

One day last week I was in a waiting area and had the misfortune of being seated next to some dumb cow (I know that’s harsh, but you’ll agree with me in a minute) who wanted to spend her half-hour wait whining about her infertility problems. To strangers. She struck up a conversation with the woman next to her who she clearly had never met before and who was not a fellow infertile. While the victim tried to appear sympathetic, I got the impression she really didn’t care. During the infertile monologue, I couldn’t help but think of comedian Ron White who once said, “This guy told me his entire life story against my will. This guy raped my ear. This guy forcefully shoved unwanted information into my earhole.” That’s how this infertile made me feel!

I have no problems getting pregnant – I can do that any day of the week! I just can’t stay pregnant! You just don’t know how difficult it is, having miscarriage after miscarriage after miscarriage! I’ve had like twelve already. The doctors say (something about being unable to fix her crappy uterus) but I’ll just keep trying and see if maybe one will stick!

She wouldn’t shut up! Then she started going into the gory details, so I whipped out my headphones to drown out her mooing! All I could think was that she must thrive on martyrdom and sympathy or why else would she put herself through this? And why would she have to tell random strangers about it?! From what I heard before I drowned it out, she won’t be able to carry a baby, but she insists on repeatedly “trying” to see if maybe this time the doctors are wrong, and who would really do that to themselves? Really? That’s like stabbing yourself every day to see if maybe this time it won’t bleed. What a fool this woman is! Even IF I could understand the desperate need to have a kid (I’m trying) if the doctors have told you that your uterus won’t do it, TRY SOMETHING ELSE!

Hell, where is the pro-life movement now? This woman is intentionally creating people that she knows WILL BE ABORTED and they don’t have a problem with it? Or do they just think it’s GOD’S WILL that she continue to do this so she’ll have a sob story to tell everyone and an excuse to not go out and get a job like other grown-ups?! “Oh, I can’t work. I might miscarry!” Bitch, you’re gonna miscarry anyway! The doctor’s told you so!

Then yesterday I was reading an amusing (but somewhat horrifying) article online about how miserable pregnancy is, and some infertile had to throw in her sarcastic whine in the comments section. Something along the lines of, “Well, don’t ever be infertile and then whine when you’re pregnant or how the baby keeps you up at night, as everyone will throw in your face that ‘you wanted this!!’

!!!!!!!

Even when they get pregnant and have a baby, they are STILL whining!!! And they are whining about other people getting fed up with their incessant whining!!

Listen, if you so desperately want a baby that you go to any length to have one, you don’t really have an excuse to later complain if it’s not all worth it! You just don’t! If it sucks that bad, WHY did you go through all that? Why didn’t you just adopt to avoid pregnancy and that first year when the kid won’t sleep through the night? It’s bad enough when non-infertiles whine about their pregnancies and their kids, but when infertiles do it, it just seems that much more ridiculous. Don’t go through all that if you won’t enjoy it!

Honestly, is there anything they won’t whine about?

The moral of this story is, clearly, avoid infertile blogs but more importantly, carry headphones with you wherever you go so you can not be ear raped by infertiles. Just a tip.

Let me tell you something about respect

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I got a little ramble-y on this one, but bear with me.

I’ve been hearing a fair amount of parenting whine lately that goes like this:

You childfree people refuse to respect our choice to have babies. You people say you want respect for your choices, but you won’t automatically respect me as a parent! *foot stomp* Grow up, childfree losers!

Okay, so some of them don’t say “losers” but even when they don’t, the “losers” is implied by their tone.

Here’s the thing about respect: Just because you do something, doesn’t mean you deserve respect for doing it. If you do a shitty job, no one is going to respect that.

If someone chooses to become a brain surgeon and they become a great brain surgeon, that’s worthy of respect. If someone decides they wouldn’t be a good brain surgeon, for whatever reason, that’s something we should respect as well. Opting out of something that you know you couldn’t do well, that’s a good thing. Would you insult and belittle someone into becoming a half-assed brain surgeon? I think not.

Now if someone decides to become a brain surgeon, and does a piss-poor job of it because they don’t really want to work all that hard at it, that’s NOT worthy of respect. That’s shameful.

Of course parenting isn’t brain surgery, but it’s still a huge job that requires quite a bit of maturity, responsibility, sacrifice and planning ahead. But all too often, we see many, many parents who think they can half-ass the job of parenting, and yet demand full respect and benefits for their half-ass job. I’m not going to respect that.

Here’s what’s really upsetting. Luckily for those of us grown, if we need a brain surgeon, we get to shop around. If the first brain surgeon we meet is a complete flake and probably someone who graduated last in his class in medical school, we can high-tail it out of there and find another brain surgeon. Kids don’t have that opportunity. Kids are stuck with whatever half-assed parent they get, and that horrifies me. Absolutely horrifies me!

Okay, one can argue that CPS (Child Protective Services) can come and take the kids away if the parents are too bad, but the problem is that CPS is overwhelmed with all the shit-parents they have to investigate every day, which leaves them with too few resources to do anything except in the worst cases. And let’s just dwell on that for a second: CPS is overwhelmed. This means there are a LOT of people fucking up the job of parenting. And you know there are a lot more people who haven’t even fallen on CPS’s radar yet. Obviously, there are a lot of awful parents out there.

So don’t tell me to respect you for having kids. ANYONE can have kids. If you want respect, you need to prove you’re not half-assing the job.

Now let’s just forget about all the severe abuse and neglect cases for a while, because I don’t need to tell you how awful and irresponsible that is. Let’s just talk about the everyday lazy parents who don’t want to be bothered to do the real work involved in parenting. Crappy parenting has become the norm in this society so much so that most people just overlook all the day-to-day crappy parenting. The stuff that won’t kill the kids, but certainly isn’t good for them or helping them to become productive citizens.

Let’s at least start with some basic qualities of good parents. Good parenting requires:

 

  • Maturity
  • Responsibility
  • Sacrifice
  • Planning ahead
  • Patience
  • Financial Responsibility

 

And of course, we’re often told we’re “selfish” for not being required to change our lifestyles to adapt to a child, so let’s add one more:

 

  • Change your lifestyle

 

Which really would fall under “sacrifice” but I want to highlight this as its own issue, since it comes up so damn often.

By that measuring stick, an awful lot is expected of parents. But are most parents up to it? When you are out and about, whether you are childfree, fencesitter or parent, take these points with you and take assessment of the parents you see in life, whether they are friends, coworkers, relatives or strangers you see while out shopping. Honestly, try to be objective, but what do you see?

I’m going to tell you what I see. I see people taking their children to R rated movies at 10pm. Who can justify this? Yea, so this won’t kill the kid. It might traumatize the kid if it’s got any frightening scenes. It might likely bore the kid. It’s likely to annoy other audience goers. And why? Someone please tell me why?

I rarely go to the movie theater anymore because I think they charge way too much for way too little so that Hollywood fat-cats can live in multi-million dollar mansions. But the last time I went to the theater I went at 10pm to an R rated movie and couldn’t believe how many kids I saw. I went at 10pm convinced it was the time to go to AVOID kids. And of course, the kids were crying and fussing loudly during the movie because they were bored and tired and didn’t want to be there.

Now tell me, why should I respect those parents? What is so mature and responsible about this choice? Nothing. Where is the sacrifice, planning ahead or changing of their lifestyle? There isn’t. Where is that patience (you know, waiting for it to come out on video)? Not there! And of course, they are not being financially responsible – if you can’t afford a sitter, you certainly can’t afford the cost of the movies!

This behavior is the behavior of half-assed parents, and there is nothing worthy of respect if you’re going to half-ass the job of parenting. What they are saying, essentially, is:

“I don’t care if I have kids. I’m not changing my life. I’m doing what I want to do anyway, and so what if my kid has to be dragged along, and he’s tired, cranky, noisy and/or gets frightened by the images on the screen? So what if other people don’t like it. TOUGH BALLS. I’m gonna live my life any way I damn well please. It’s all about me! You childfree fuckers can just kill yourselves if you don’t like it.”

And we let people like this raise children? Lovely.

What’s with the people who are so busy chatting on the phone while out in public that they aren’t even watching their kids? Forget about “hang up and drive” how about “hang up and parent your kids”?! So often I see them shuffling along in the store, phone glued to their ear while they talk about nonsense gossip, and they just assume their kids are following behind them like little ducks. They are so engrossed in their conversation, they don’t even notice when the kids get in trouble!

Last week while out in public, a gal was so busy yakking on the phone she wasn’t watching as her kid was messing with the automatic doors and his hand got caught. Of course, mommies like this always think it’s the store’s fault for not making the doors safer, but why the hell aren’t these women watching their kids?

Now tell me, why should I respect parents like her? Their cell phones are more important to them than their kids! They certainly pay more attention to the phone than the kids. (I never understand these people who are always on the phone when out and about. Maybe I’m just less rude than most people, but if I’m going to talk to you on the phone, I’m going to wait until I’m home and can give you my full attention. I’m not going to expect you to entertain me while I’m doing my grocery shopping or picking up my photos at Walgreens. But that’s just me.)

What is so mature and responsible about these cell-phone addicted parents? Unless they are calling for emergency services, nothing! It’s not mature or responsible to ignore your kids! If you’re out and about, let people leave you a message, get your errands done, keep an eye on your kids, and then go home and talk on the phone all you like. Where is the sacrifice, planning ahead or changing of their lifestyle? Oh no, they couldn’t possibly miss that call – it’s IMPORTANT. It might be some good gossip!

What about all the people out in public with screaming kids? My husband has this theory that you can’t go anywhere in public without at least one screaming kid, and I laughed when he first said it, but since then, I’ve found he’s right more often than not. Sometimes we’ll move a few aisles away to avoid the screaming kid, only to run into another screaming kid. And all too often, the parents aren’t doing anything about the screaming kid. While a screaming kid is but an annoyance (and a good reason to carry your headphones and music player with you everywhere you go), it still shows a huge lack of judgment on the part of people with children. If your kid is that miserable, do something to help them! If the kid is just a brat, stop taking him out in public. If he’s tired, why are you dragging him out when you know he’s tired? Why not get a sitter? Or have the other parent or a relative watch the kid while you run your errands! There is no excuse to intentionally make your kid and other shoppers miserable just because of your bad attitude! I’ve been saying it for years, but I’ll say it again: if you think making your kid and everyone else miserable is “your right” you make a shitty parent and a shitty human being. I’m not going to respect that kind of parenting, and no one should.

Then there are the mommies who run around saying that the childfree movement in general says that “kids should never be allowed in public” and you know that’s just a lie. That’s not what we’re saying! We’re saying: Don’t take your kids to inappropriate movies late at night. Don’t take your kids to bars. Don’t take your kids out when you know they’ll be miserable and cranky. Don’t ignore your kids while you talk on the phone, and don’t ignore your kids while they scream. If you are absolutely incapable of being considerate of others in public, you’re not capable of teaching consideration to your kids, and that makes you a bad parent. I’m not going to respect bad parents!

And before you whine, “You childfree people can be jerks, too!” Fine, sometimes we can be, and you know what? It doesn’t matter. We’re not responsible for teaching the next generation how to behave. YOU ARE. So you need to behave better than us or you need to opt out of parenting. If you want to be a parent, you don’t have the right to be a jerk. That’s the choice you made.

Don’t try to claim “The Hardest Job in the World” or “Most Important Job in the World” status if you’re not willing to actually work hard and treat the job like it’s important. Maybe if you were making more responsible choices and raising well-behaved and happy kids, we’d respect you. In the meantime, don’t hold your breath.

And for those of you dipshit mommies who are going to cry, “FINE! Don’t respect my choice but I won’t respect yours, either!” First of all, that’s childish and secondly, go back and read the sixth paragraph and try and figure it out, if you can. Maybe get your mommy to explain it to you if you still don’t get it.