I’m a Non-Parent. I’m someone who watches what you do and how you do it. I judge you, but not in the ways that you might think.
For example, as a non-parent, I have no idea what it’s like to be in a grocery store with a child who’s having a meltdown over the fact that you’re not buying Froot Loops. You might notice how lucky I am, as a Non-Parent, to simply walk away from the scene and go on with my “carefree,” childless life.
I know sometimes Parents have the notion that we Non-Parents think we know everything, and that we think we’d do everything differently than you.
Not so, Parents.
When I see you dealing with the Froot Loop meltdown in aisle 7, I’m sending you genuine thoughts of patience and grace.
If I were in your shoes, I’d probably have a meltdown right along side the 4-year-old.
As a Non-Parent, I sincerely admire you. I admire your selflessness, your time management, your unconditional love, your protectiveness, your discipline, your instincts.
That’s why I wanted to write a letter to you, Parents.
Parent sometimes jump to the conclusion that Non-Parents have chosen their childless status. That we’re all exactly where we want to be.
So to you, it makes total sense to tell every Non-Parents of all the things you enjoyed about life BC (before children.)
Oh, you’re freedom, how you miss it. You also miss your clean house. The ability to go shopping. The peace of being able to take a shit in complete privacy. The luxury of going out to dinner. Sex. Your “pre-baby body”…because Christ Almighty, you don’t know this level of fat-talk until you’ve given birth.
Enjoy it all now!, you say, because it’s all over once you have kids!
Parents, I don’t think you’re intentionally trying to be mean and scare the Non-Parent you’re talking to, but I’ll be honest – it’s frightening how well you sell the appeal of being a Non-Parent.
I beg you to be a little more mindful. It may very well be that the Non-Parent to whom you’re complaining about Parenthood desperately wants to be in your position.
Next time, Parents, if you’re going to discuss Parenthood in the presence of a Non-Parent, try to talk about the positive things. And if you can’t, try (as hard as it may be!) to talk about something other than your kids. It’s easier to be negative, to commiserate. I totally get it. Just be aware of the message you’re sending to others.
You never know if you’re mindlessly bashing the one thing that that Non-Parent wants more than anything.