We, the childless, have a few things we’d like for parents to stop telling us. Huff Post recently published a list of phrase that parents often direct at non-parents about the supposed joys of parenting.
First, stop telling us that “dogs/cats are not kids.” We know that our pets are not kids. While we have yet to breed ourselves, we the childless are trying our best to relate to your parenting situation. We both have mouths to feed and poop to clean up, but at least we can leave our “kids” in a cage at home without CPS paying us a visit.
Second, stop saying “You think you’re [fill in the blank]? Try having kids!” You assume that one can not attain a level of stress, fatigue, hunger, or what have you without children. Perhaps having children may bring it to a new level or a completely different scale, but it’s not like we the childless are unfamiliar with the feeling of stress, exhaustion, and not having a moment to sit down and eat.
Thirdly, stop telling us “Don’t worry, when you have kids you’ll…” What? Our gag-reflex will disappear? We’ll grow that magic eye in the back of our head? We’ll attain a nirvana-like state of enlightenment? What if we don’t end up having kids? It’s an assumption that could come back to bite parents as many childless adults are foregoing having kids or might not even be able to.
Please don’t ask “Is the party kid-friendly?” Not everything is going to be tailored to something that you can bring your little ones to. By asking this question, you’re putting your childless host friends on the spot to either make the party PG for the little ones or that you just won’t be able to make it.
Lastly, stop with the “My life didn’t have meaning before I had kids!” It’s another way of saying that life was meaningless before kids, and essentially you’ve told your childless friends that they didn’t mean anything in your pre-child life. You’re pre-child life is indeed important, as are the friends that were a part of your life then.