Friday, March 13, 2015

More Annoying Parental Self-Congratulation


We've all seen these types of proclamations posted on Facebook, usually by wrung-out moms who need to constantly announce themselves as martyrs for the greater good of humanity so they can feel better about the parental prison sentence they are serving.

I couldn't resist when an old friend of mine posted this on Facebook.  My reply was, "I don't have kids and I put others before myself", to which she replied, "That is rare in this day and age!", which is true, but let's take a closer look at why it is true.  I would argue that being oriented around others is so rare today in large part because today's PARENTS - by virtue of adopting the notion that once a person has kids they become the center of the universe - have created a bunch of coddled, narcissistic entitled monsters who expect the corner office on their first day of work and who spend their days angling their IPhone for the perfect selfie and then staring down it all day long to see how many "likes" they get.

Of course, it stands to reason that only parents can put others before themselves.  How could someone like me - a wife, a friend, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a colleague, a volunteer and a companion to 3 cats, even imagine putting someone before myself?  We all know that only parents know how to do this,whereas people like me are completely self-centered and spend not a single moment thinking of another person (insert sarcasm here).

The proclamation posted above does capture one thing correctly.  Parents must spend the rest of their lives putting that child before themselves, whereas a non-parent like me can simultaneously attend to the needs of others as well as to her own needs, without feeling resentment and without giving up her identity in the process.  Yes, I am a devoted wife, friend, daughter, etc., but not one of those roles defines me or imprisons me.  I don't have to neglect my own needs or put them on a shelf for 20 years because another being is sucking the life out of me.  I can have my cake and eat it too.

Imagine if a childfree woman posted self-congratulatory posts on Facebook about being childfree.  How do you think it would go over?  Can you imagine the response I would get if I posted something like:
The moment you decided not to have children, was the moment you chose to truly live life and contribute to the world in meaningful ways.
How many "likes" do you think I would get?

14 comments:

John Allison said...

Great post and so true. My wife and I put consistently put our friends and family before us and we do all this without losing our identity or sense of self.

Alexander Troup said...

I'm so glad I found this site. I ended a relationship with a woman I deeply cared for last month over the idea that she wants kids and I don't. Ever since then I've felt guilty at not wanting kids, and even thought of trying to convince myself to against my better judgement. Reading your blog has been instrumental in convincing me that there is another way!

CFVixen said...

Glad to see your new post! All great points! I especially liked your point about parents CREATING the selfish society that we now live in.

I see posts like this on FB all the time and get headaches from all of the eye rolling.

I would also argue that most children aren't born because a person consciously decided to put others before themselves. Either they wanted a child for their own selfish reasons (if you as why, it's always "I wanted..."), OR they caved into societal pressure, OR they simply were careless and didn't take precautions. I think most of the world's population came from the last scenario. There's nothing altruistic about that.

Karin said...

Like!

blamma said...

we should NOT feel guilty. yes ending a relationship is a bummer and disappointing, but think of getting married to someone and not being honest. Or having kids you don't really want just so you don't lose someone.

Misty said...

This might be the best article I've read all year. http://time.com/3744467/being-a-stay-at-home-mother-is-not-a-job/

Nisha said...

You will get comments like - You are so selfish!

*sarcasm alert*

Cameron Grey Rose said...

Wonderful (Childfree)Comedine Janeane Garfalo once said in her act "I was chatting with a friend who recently had a baby daughter and he said "You know when you have a baby you realize its all about you I said You're 42 and you JUST NOW realized that? I've know since I was 5 that there are other people on this planet and I need to consider them But okay you now realize its not all about you. So it all about this person MADE of you?

Cameron Grey Rose said...

I have a friend who lives in Berlin, early 50s recently she was at a gathering where she was chatting with other women. One of them said "well you know how hard it to be a mother!"ou ch

D replied "um no I never had kids"

Other Women: So you choose to live a life where you had no responsibilities.

EXCUSE ME?

LadyVanTassel said...

Haha, I would so totally write 'The moment you choose to create another human, was the moment you chose to spend the rest of your life putting someone else before yourself. Don't you regret it? :)

Thanks for this wonderful blog. An oasis of intelligence in a babycentric desert.

blamma said...

You did the right thing. No one should have kids they don't want.

blamma said...

I would love to post something like that. HAHA!
I also love love love this blog. I wish there were more posts more often....these are great!!

Temujin said...

Posters like this suggest that having a kid is a cure for narcissism. I think we can all agree that having a baby is NOT a cure for narcissism. Not even close. It just spills the damage into another generation.

chocolaterocks said...

This post reminds me of a conversation I had recently in which I expressed I was on the fence about kids. The other person said to me "but you're a clearly a person who has time for other people so why not ?" I didn't say anything. If someone chooses not to have children it doesn't mean that they don't have time for other people. This is such a common misconception.