Slate’s Ruth Graham recently wrote a piece entitled “My Life is a Walking Nightmare.” Why Do Parents Make Parenting Sound So God-Awful?
Graham does not have children but experiences the constant stream of whiny negativity from her parent friends on a daily basis.
My Facebook feed is an endless stream of blog posts and status updates depicting the messy, tedious, nightmarishly life-destroying aspects of parenting. I’ve gawked at “15 Unbelievable Messes Made by Kids,” “All the Birth Control You’ve Ever Needed in Six Pictures of Ponytails” (which appeared on a blog called Rage Against the Minivan), and this uterus-shriveling poston how “You will not get anything done when you are home with a baby.” There’s this one on how you’ll give up on your values, your body, your style, and your hygiene after you have kids. There’s that British comedian’s stand-up routine, which has been viewed more than 4,700,000 times on YouTube, about how even leaving the house is a miserable odyssey of screaming and fighting.
I’ve never understood these people. I’ve always found the incessant whining and persistent warnings about parenthood to be a sign of a person who sucks at life and wants others to feel the same.
Or perhaps the sign of a pie-in-the-sky parents who thought babies came straight out of the womb potty trained and ready for kindergarten.
Or maybe parents whose upper middle class lives have been so free of strife or turmoil that even a stuffed puppy could’ve upset the apple cart for them.
Either way, I encourage the childless like Ruth Graham and the expectant parents to ignore these whiners and complainers.
Even better, tell them to shut up. Tell them to go whine to a wall. Tell them to go home and never leave the house again. There’s no need to ruin a pregnant mother’s day with your inability to find happiness in the company of your child.
A couple years ago, I wrote a piece entitled “Raising my daughter is a piece of cake, and there’s a good reason why I say this as often as possible” in response to this negativity. Our daughter was three years-old and my wife was pregnant with our second child. Two years later, everything that I wrote is still true, despite such witticisms as “One plus one doesn’t equal two when it comes to kids!”
Last year I wrote a piece entitled My children absolutely adore each other. If you feel the need to tell me it won’t last forever, shut the hell up. It was in response to the idiots who saw photos of my children playing together and said things like “You just wait. Things will change between the two of them,” and “Just wait until he can walk and talk. Then all that love will be out the window.”
Imagine how much you must hate yourself to say something like that to a proud father.
If you’re like Ruth Graham and hearing this kind of nonsense or reading it on social media, turn away. Read my posts instead.
Believe them. Embrace them.
Parenting is not easy. It’s glorious.