Occasionally I come across a blog post saying something like this “So all my friends are having babies and I just really don’t understand why they’ve all lost themselves. I mean does having a baby mean the end of life? Of adulthood? Why do they put their kids first all the time? Why can’t they hang out with friends like they used to, drink some cocktails, GET A LIFE?”
I read a blog recently by some childless bag – wait, I didn’t mean that – I meant “blogger” who was simply appalled, aghast, offended, by the way her friends had just morphed into these pathetic adult imposters, consumed by their children, simply lifeless. I would link to it but I’m afraid you all would slaughter her with your wit and intelligence. That was not a sarcastic statement.
I’ll be honest, the first thing I wanted to do was rant like a psycho, but I’m not going to. Because I’m above that. Right?
Oh of course I’m not. I think I’ve proven that enough times.
However, in an entirely uncustomary gesture, I’m going to give people like her the benefit of the doubt and assume they aren’t simply pricks, but instead really just don’t get it.
Yeah, I know. Mother Theresa and whatnot.
So, as a sort of public service announcement to people who write things like the aforementioned, I’m going to provide some info on the topic, hoping to help them understand how their new-parent friends morphed into such despicably boring, haggard versions of their former selves.
First of all, childless people who can’t understand the degradation of your friends (NOT ALL CHILDLESS PEOPLE, OBVIOUSLY), I need to clear something up, right out of the gate: Most of the time you’re hanging out with us, WE’RE FUCKING FAKING IT. We only LOOK normal. We’re not normal. We’re losing our shit. But we don’t want you to see that because you haven’t ruined your life yet (didn’t mean that either) and probably won’t understand. You’re still living in a place where things like “dinner dates” are enjoyable, or at least have the potential to be enjoyable.
Allow me to illustrate:
You want us to “hang out with friends” more often, presumably without kids, right? Did I get that right? Okay, check this out.
We’re meeting you and your significant other for dinner. Dinner on a Friday evening at a restaurant 45-minutes away, at 7pm. That sounds, easy, RIGHT? Well yes it is.
Here’s, perhaps, your experience: Come home from work, screw around on the internet, have a glass of wine, a snack, hop in the shower, bathe yourself, get out, towel off, peruse the closet, get dressed. Have your partner get ready. Pour another class of wine, maybe chat with a friend on speakerphone while you put on make-up, do your hair, put on shoes, get in the car at 6pm so you don’t have to rush…order a cocktail when you get there. Have dinner with friends, go out for a drink after, dance a little to work off dinner. Come home around 1am, have sex, sleep til 9am or 10am. Wake up to some coffee, chat about how sad it is that your friends have all “lost themselves” after they have kids.
That, above, is pretty much the way every evening of mine looked before I had kids (and was going out with friends).
Do you know what this little soiree looks like for us?
Here you go.
Dinner date with another couple at 7pm on a Friday at a restaurant 45 minutes away for a couple with a toddler and a baby…
Begin worrying about it approximately 5 minutes after the date is made because:
Who the fuck is going to watch the kids?
- Grandparents? Best option, but they live 30 minutes away, which will make getting to the restaurant in time impossible because there’s Friday traffic. You could leave work early but not really because you already did it twice this month for baby doctor appointments. Plus, after dinner you’ll have to drive super far and Childless Friends are probably going to want drinks after…
- Hire a babysitter? Well, at $20.00/hour, from 6pm until at least 11pm, that’s $100, which will make this evening (not including gas) at least $200. Holy SHIT!
- One of us goes and the other stays home? No, then our Childless Friends will think we’ve lost ourselves and can’t “date” anymore, and all those stupid online forums say you simply MUST “date” your husband if you want the marriage to last. DAMNITALLTOHELL.
Guess we’ll go with babysitter. Hire the babysitter.
Spend the next two weeks going about your life, completely forgetting about the dinner date because life is insane and chaotic and never stops, until that afternoon when the reminder pops up on your iPhone and you almost wet your pants in fear (shoulda done those kegels!).
Race from work to daycare, call husband fifty times to remind him of the damn dinner date because you KNOW he’s forgotten. Plus, he was up all night with the baby who’s teething so he’ll definitely not be into this. Holy shit he’s teething! OMG I’m leaving my baby when he’s teething!
I can’t do it.
Call husband to announce teething and discuss how the hell you’re going to leave an insane infant with a non-family-member. Realize your husband has no opinion on the subject. DEMAND A DIVORCE IMMEDIATELY (in your head).
Figure out on your own what to do (as always, I mean seriously): baby Tylenol. Remember you used the last of it. Remember husband was supposed to buy some yesterday.
Ask husband. Hear “I forgot.”
KICK HIM IN THE BALLS. (in your head). Tell him to get Tylenol on the way home and you can’t live under these conditions anymore. Answer approximately 750 questions from your toddler girl as you drive home trying to figure out the maelstrom ahead of you. Pull in the driveway. Leave all the kids’ daycare stuff (bags bottles, nap mat sheet, 12 pounds of paperwork, art work, etc.) in the car because you can’t handle it.
Walk in the door, realize you left one of the dogs in the house so there’s piss on the kitchen floor. The toddler just walked in it. It’s 5:35. Freak out because it’s 5:35.
Try to plug toddler into television. Nurse pissed off infant. Make sure there’s pumped milk in the freezer. O thank god, two bags. Hear the husband come home. Want to punch him in the face.
Give baby to husband and get in the shower. Remember you haven’t shaved in three weeks and the only dress you have that fits your post-partum body is knee-length, which requires shaving but THERE’S NO TIME. Consider other clothes. None. Tights? Yeah right.
Shave. Wonder how to do your hair. Wonder how long it’s been. Wonder if you even have a blow-dryer.
Hear your baby screaming. Try to block it out.
Babysitter arrives. Get out of the shower while yelling instructions to the babysitter through the door. Wonder why the hell your husband isn’t getting ready. Yell at him too. Wonder if you have any clean underwear.
Put on Spanx, nursing pads and the dress. Look for shoes. Realize there’s only one shoe. Remember toddler playing in the closet this morning so you could take care of the baby. Holy fuck the toddler has REMOVED THE SHOE.
The only dress shoes I have!
Mayday! Mayday! I’m missing a shoe. It’s been deposited somewhere by a TODDLER, which means it’s in the ONLY PLACE IN THE WORLD you’d NEVER think it will be, possibly in the toilet.
Run around the house like a madwoman looking for the godforsaken shoe, find it in the dog crate, chewed by the other bastard canine.
Put on shoes that don’t go with the dress at all, realize Childless Friends will think you’ve lost all fashion sense. Realize you have.
See that it’s 6:10. Squeal.
Freak out at your husband. Notice he’s dressed, but wearing a shirt that needs about 20-minutes of ironing. Also observe he hasn’t showered even though he’s an ironworker. (Wait. Maybe that’s just me.)
Bolt out the door anyway, leaving behind a forlorn toddler and a baby who’s teething and OMG the dog piss on the floor and shit I forgot to tell the babysitter about the Tylenol and potty-training and not to put the breast milk in the microwave – wait, I told her that, right? – I mean she’s done it before. Look down and see baby vomit.
On the only dress you have that fits.
Wipe it off. Tell yourself breast milk puke doesn’t smell that bad.
Get in the car, start driving, spend the whole trip on the phone with the baby sitter, giving her details you forgot and trying to apply make-up.
Arrive at the restaurant at 7:10, smiling calmly with your hand in your husband’s, ready to “enjoy a relaxing, adult evening.” Act pulled-together, happy to be there, adult, social.
“How are you guys? How are the kids?”
“We’re great! It’s so great to see you! It’s just so great to be OUT, having a LIFE!”
Want to vomit as you realize your baby is at home, teething, without you.
Go through dinner…enjoying yourself, sort of, but also kind of faking it, because honesty will scare these people away and possibly result in the discontinuation of humanity. I mean who’s going to have kids when they realize The Truth?
Wait, was that my outside voice? Totally didn’t mean that.
So there, people sans kids wondering why we’re such losers, does this clear anything up?
Maybe you see two adults who’ve added this baby to their lives, like an accessory, like a pet, like this new cute thing you carry around when you want it and drop when you don’t.
That’s what you see.
We, however, are living something different.
We are having fundamentally different experiences of reality.
At every moment. In every interaction. We may look normal, we may look right there with ya, but you have NO IDEA HOW MUCH WORK it took to get ourselves to where we sit right now, in this restaurant, dressed, without kids…
So please, don’t hate, when after a bottle or two of wine you and your Childless Cohort suggest a cocktail at this great place down the road and we look at you with a smile, trying to muster the energy, remembering the babysitter money rolling down the bowl of the toilet, and the toddler snoozing in her big-girl bed, and the baby…who could be crying…wait, do I have a text from the babysitter? – and the exhaustion, of the new life, the priorities that have shifted.
Don’t hate, just see, that you aren’t the most important thing in our lives anymore, and frankly, neither is that damn cocktail.
Also, we’re really fucking tired. Like really, really really tired. Like a tired that rests on our bones, all the time.
And there’s no sleeping in for those “adult imposters.”
You know, those people with “no life,” raising life, providing life, trying to adjust to a new life, remembering their old life, with people like you in it, kind of wishing we could go back there, when things were simpler and easier and more glamorous, and there was leisure and after-dinner cocktails, and…
then again, maybe not.
AshlieTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 5:17
Absolutely love this. Especially the faking it, and the pressure to enjoy yourself when you’re away from the kids. My two are both under 2, and I keep waiting for the time when it will click and I’ll be able to disengage when they aren’t with one parent or another. Please never, ever stop writing.
renegademamaTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 10:12
Thank you, Ashlie. People like you and comments like this keep me writing. Honestly sometimes I get pretty tired, and I always feel a little fear to publish things like this, because I KNOW it will be misunderstood and sometimes people are super mean, but I remember I’m writing for and to people like you (and me!). so thank you, seriously. also I’m super encouraged by reasonable feedback on this post! even disagreement said tastefully…freaking refreshing!
Also, my friend, the day will come. It will. the fact is I leave my kids at this point (youngest is almost 3) and I don’t think about them for another second. Ok that’s a lie, but it’s WAY LESS than it used to be. But 2 kids under two? HOLY SHIT BATMAN.
JulieKWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 8:35
HOW could anybody misunderstand this post! It’s so very very clear. Oh wait, probably b/c I have lived it. Except that I fear paying the baby sitter so much I always cancel everything. LOL this was great. keep writing it. Ppl who misunderstand need to go have a kid so we can all laugh at them and then welcome them into the fold 🙂
Erica / Northwest Edible LifeFriday, 14 June, 2013 at 8:30
How? Because the internet is simply full of pricks attempting to go out of their way to be butthurt by something they only half read and made no attempt all all to understand. These same people also like to spend ten minutes scrolling through 200+ comments and jump through captcha hoops just to tell bloggers how much of a waste of time a post was to read.
Man I really hate those douchebags.
This was a great post. Loved it.
StephTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 12:42
Ashlie, I’m in a similar boat (2 under 2). ((hugs))
I love this post and needed it. Thanks Janelle for another beautiful post!
LaurenTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 19:49
I am also in the same boat (2 under 2). I laughed out loud while reading this. It is so true. I especially love the last part. I sometimes long for the “easy” days of hanging out all day doing nothing, nursing a hangover and enjoying my husbands company. But I can’t imagine life without my two kids, and I look back on the time before them with a litte (wistful) boredom. Ah conflicting emotions 🙂
LisaThursday, 13 June, 2013 at 6:26
Thank You so much for this post!!! you had me laughing till the point of tears…I remember a day when this was MY life! I had 4 kids in 5 1/2 years….can we say chaos??? to all those moms out there living this NOW….it does get better! eventually you will be able to smell your perfume and not just the stench of spit up on your shoulder….your hair will come out of that ponytail/clip phase (because who has time to wash it much less style it?)…those dark circles under your eyes will fade…you wont have to fake orgasms just to “get it over with” so you can get that extra half hour of sleep…you will like your kids, husband and life in general again! and as for those friends who are childless now who don’t get it…..all you can do is wish triplets on them when their time as parents come!!
GretaTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 13:11
You’re clearly jealous but have made your choice. You can’t blame the single people for your choices. That being said, I am single and hope to have kids some day. Grass is sometimes always greener….
TatjanaTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 14:39
clearly jealous? I didn’t get that at all, clearly only a few readers did, what i got was yes sometimes it can be very chaotic and they may wish they had the time to enjoy alone time, but NEVER at the expense of not having made the decision to have their kids… so jealous… um no, I also saw no blaming of single people, not sure what you read but it doesn’t seem like it was her post, unless you don’t understand how to take sarcasm, or didn’t pick it up at all
KLMWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 0:47
‘blaming the single people’? Where the hell do you get that? You evidently are one of those single people that wonder how come you have been abandoned by their friends who now have children.
renegademamaWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 8:57
Of course I’m fucking jealous of my friends without kids. DUH.
But then again I’m not.
I thought I wrote that in the post, but whatever.
melFriday, 14 June, 2013 at 11:54
Reread the post and your comment after you have had kids.
Then don’t be too hard on yourself. You didn’t know.
pterabiteSunday, 16 June, 2013 at 21:40
see, I really hate comments like this. It’s so condescending. I hated them before kids and I hate them now.
About the post in general, I know exaggeration is what you do but, well, I find this to be overkill. I know child care can be hard to arrange sometimes but I’ve never had much trouble getting grandparents to pick kids up from school or daycare, or finding a babysitter for less than $20/hour (seriously where are you finding babysitters that charge that much?).
Like I’ve just seriously never had that much trouble getting out for a night, and I’m as disorganized as they come.
CecFriday, 21 June, 2013 at 0:30
If you live in one of the bigger cities in the US, you easily pay $20 an hour for a baby sitter and almost as much for a nanny. And we are many who live far away from all our family, so we are completely dependent on friends and/or paying for sitters/nannies.
SerenaFriday, 14 June, 2013 at 18:31
This comment is hilarious because people like you generally end up in tears when you’re parents because your friends don’t understand your new priorities.
Well, that, or you end up as one of those awful people who shouldn’t procreate because you’re selfishly hell-bent on not changing one iota for the little people you brought into the world.
RightTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 15:46
I’d say the general problem with newly endowed parents is the immense focus on their children in conversation. Understandably not a common ground between them and their friends. It can be very defeating for those of their acquaintances who are already concerned with the emotional distance they will suffer from their friends having children. It moves to bring a realization of their fears when their now parenting friends unconsciously lead conversation onto the topics to which the childless friends cannot relate.
I would suggest that a lot of the friend’s concerns may be a distance that they create themselves, thinking that they are being respectful of their friends in allowing them to speak about their children, and not voicing their true concerns, that they are losing their friends as they emerge into this new stage of life.
CecFriday, 21 June, 2013 at 0:33
I had my child way later than a lot of my friends and have not had that worry with any of my friens who became parents before me; just as I’m not worried about losing friends without children as friends just because they don’t have any. I still enjoy conversation about other things than children!
BrendaTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 19:28
I’m sorry, but most of your post is your own self-induced stress. Yes, having children is stressful, but you’re just going over the top to try to make a laborious point.
Childless people also forget appointments & dates and need calendar reminders. Childless people also forget to iron clothing or have dogs who chew up shoes. Childless people also have to deal with mystery stains on clothing and have errands to run across town, etc.
renegademamaWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 8:50
You’re kidding! I thought childless people lived in an alternate universe where all organization took care of itself and nobody ever forgot anything!
Well I’ll be.
Brenda this post was a joke. Ha. ha. ha. Funny. Clearly you don’t find it funny. And that’s cool!
Have a great day!
narnarWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 13:31
Funny (but not really?), it didn’t sounds like a joke, it sounded like a rant. An angry rant that paints childless and childed people with a very broad and slanted brush. I’m going to have to agree with Brenda. My first thought upon reading this blog post was “this sounds like a very unhappy person.” We all make our own lives complicated in many ways, these can be in good ways, bad ways, or both. We all have to learn to deal with them without pointing fingers at each other. No one knows how other people’s lives are, childless or not, without living themselves, there is no need to be nasty.
HarmonieWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 13:57
Yes everyone forgets things once in a while, but I think you may have missed the part about the toddler playing 150 questions, which when you have kids you have to try and separate your mind into two one in which you are answering why the truck beside you is so big, and why your not driving faster, or what your going to feed them for dinner, plus trying to get the house and KIDS ready before you leave. Tell you what, why don’t you open a twenty four hour daycare for…..lets say 2 months, and in this time try to plan some of your regularly planned dinner dates right in the middle, then maybe you might get the idea of what it is to have more than just yourself and your boy toy at the time ready!! Someday you may realize (if you ever have kids) what it is to put others before you, simply because you love them and cherish them more than yourself, its also the day you may realize that staying in with your family is WAY more important to that late night cocktail.
AmyThursday, 13 June, 2013 at 8:06
This post is silly. Does this lady expect child-free people to pin a medal on her for having a hectic, baby-filled life? Having kids was her CHOICE. Just like not having kids is a choice. She needs to stop giving as much of a crap about what other people think of her and move on with her life. As a person without kids, I don’t care about my friends not having a life (because I don’t really have much of one either due to my own choices of how I spend my time), but I am pretty sick of parents acting like martyrs because of their choices. Luckily, I don’t have friends who behave like this woman – otherwise I might rethink my friendships with them.
Furthermore, she assumes that child-free people live like 21 year olds their entire lives and I find that assumption to be incredibly offensive. Everyone has their priorities, and just because the priorities of a child-free person aren’t the same as a parent’s, doesn’t make them less valid.
And in conclusion, to the author: If you want people to stop presuming you’ve “lost yourself” perhaps you should stop explaining, in detail, all the ways in which you have.
LalaThursday, 13 June, 2013 at 18:33
Well said, bravo!!!
It was definitely her choice to have kids, so please don’t take it out on other people. I hope this entitlement issue will not get passed to her kids in the future.
LalaThursday, 13 June, 2013 at 18:44
I meant, well said AMY!
pterabiteSunday, 16 June, 2013 at 21:55
I too found the “for you” section really ridiculous. Maybe 20 year old bar stars with no jobs spend hours getting ready but most people don’t. This makes it sound like people spend 15 minutes attempting to perfectly line each eye and give themselves a full spa treatment before going to dinner. Childless people have responsibilities, and schedules, and have to rush to dinner from work with a wedgie because they wore the one pair of underwear they own that does that AGAIN without realizing it, and show up 10 minutes late because they couldn’t find parking.
And to the author: If you’re going to claim this was a joke and not a rant, then perhaps you shouldn’t specifically mention how sincerely you want to explain the issue.
LATuesday, 18 June, 2013 at 10:47
Amy, perhaps you missed the whole disclaimer at the start of the post…
“First of all, childless people who can’t understand the degradation of your friends (NOT ALL CHILDLESS PEOPLE, OBVIOUSLY).” While not in such an (intentional I’m sure) exagerated fashion, most parents have experienced this. My friends alienated me after the second time I told them that I couldn’t go to the bar, or to a dinner date, or party, etc. I think she just wanted to convey that it isn’t personal, we would love to hang out if it wasn’t such a production. Getting out of the house in any sense of a timely fashion (and any acceptable level of cleanliness) isn’t easy, and if we hesitate to make plans, it probably isn’t personal, so just give new parents a little time to figure it out.
CecFriday, 21 June, 2013 at 0:40
@Brenda, I must say that I fit the pre-children dinner date description perfectly, and I had NO IDEA how chaotic it was gonna be to have a night out like this blog post describes – until I tried it myself. (Minus the 2 dogs and the husband parentheses. Fortunately we only have 1 cat, who has an astonishing talent for puking hair balls while I’m trying to breastfeed a child for his naps)I used to be one of the Child Free friends described here.
Audrey FontaineTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 20:28
But geez lady, now I definitely don’t want any more. I sort of forgot what babies were like since mine is now 19. Kinda happy to have a life and he does too.
Also the only thing worse than a teething child is a teething kitten. At least a baby you can put down, a kitten, well they’ll just come up to you and start chewing on your fingers.
AnnetteTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 20:29
We had 3 under 3 (like you, but ohcrapnotagain!) and I can assure you that it does indeed get easier! Mine are now 3, 4 and 5 and I’m finally starting to feel human again. Keep the faith, mama.
JasonWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 8:15
Wow… (response to main article)
Ok, first off: let me just say that it sounds like you all either have severe ADD or terrible time management skills if that is seriously what a “dinner date” does to you.
Secondly: calm the hell down before you have a stroke!
Don’t be ‘that’ guy/girl who takes out their own frustrations on the friends that still try to include them in their life.
Here is a dose of truth for the non-“childless” bags on here:
We could really care less if you come to dinner! Yea, it would be nice if you did, especially if you havent been around for a while, but when all you do is bitch and stress around us WE DONT WANT TO HEAR IT!!
Everyone, has issues/problems/frustrations resulting from the choices we’ve made, but dont get so pissy when we call you out for not being able to handle the kids you popped out AND a social life at the same time.
Also, a general rule for being a confident, happy person is to not let other people define you. If you cant swing the dinner date, or if it’s too much trouble to plan… JUST FREAKING SAY SO!
Then thank us for the invite and try to reschedule 🙂
Childless Bag Out!
PS- Please stop spamming my facebook wall with pics of your kids… they all look the same (unless they are ugly… ackk..)
renegademamaWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 8:56
Thanks for your comment. You’re funny. I get it about not wanting to hear the nonstop bitching. I feel the same way about people in my life whether or not they have kids.
I don’t live like this all the time. I have certainly had evenings like this (when all the things go wrong), and every single one of these things has happened to me (though not necessarily in the SAME evening, but then again maybe they have). Anyway my point is this post was meant to be exaggerated and over-the-top, to capture the mania that can sometimes accompany an act as simple as dinner out with friends.
And dude, be reasonable. You can’t expect us to actually SEE our kids as ugly. I mean if that were the case, don’t you think from an evolutionary perspective we’d all be fucked? Half the reason my kids have made it thus far is because I think they’re damn cute.
Annoying, but cute.
paigeWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 14:19
isn’t the point of facebook to post whatever the fuck you want? if someone doesn’t like it, fuck off, jagweed. right? jeese.
PeteThursday, 13 June, 2013 at 16:49
Yes, you can post whatever you like on Facebook, just like you can say or shout whatever you want as you walk down the street. Remember, when you post on FB you’re broadcasting to everybody on your friends list, everybody you’ve accepted as a friend or who has accepted you, from lifelong friends to colleagues to casual aquaintances.
If you walk down the street shouting about how stressful your (self imposed) situation is or about how your kid managed to take a dump in his/her potty, some, if not most people will probably either ignore you or think you’re deranged. Facebook is the same.
Sure, some ‘jagweeds’ will fuck off, as you so eloquently put it, or they’ll simply hide you from their newsfeeds but even those who don’t will probably not care. Here’s an idea, save the pictures to your PC and email them to the people you think might care, grandparents, uncles, aunties, close friends in the same situation as yourself… Or if you want to be really ‘retro’, print the pictures out and stick them in an album that you can show to whomever you like, after all, it worked for our parents.
I hate to break it to you but nobody is even remotely as interested in your children, their habits or their bodily functions as you are. When they get old enough they can have their own FB accounts and post whichever pictures they like of themselves on the internet.
LilyWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 10:25
I agree with 92.4% (gotta be fully accurate) of what Jason wrote – except for the PS – I like the baby pictures on Facebook. I just don’t want to hear about every bowel movement and the consistency of the day’s diarrhea. But maybe that’s just me. 😉
Jill CWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 12:22
THIS is why people with kids find friends with kids and don’t remain as close to their friends who don’t have kids.
But hang in their people with kids – especially to your most obnoxious childless friend. The one who is constantly going on about how s/he won’t do x, y or z (right after you’ve done it, though nonchalantly, as though they weren’t trying to make a point). What you are waiting for is their pregnancy announcement, should it ever come. Why? Because it is so much fun to watch the transformation.
It may help to keep a diary, if you really want to bring up each point as they pass through that phase. But the best part is when they finally realize you didn’t lose yourself. You just became another part of yourself, and for the time being, while they are young, that part of yourself takes up a lot of time and energy.
skjThursday, 13 June, 2013 at 7:23
If you don’t want to see pics, adjust your settings so that the person’s posts don’t show up on your feed. Or delete the friend. Newsflash – None of us are actually posting the pics to your page. We’re posting them to our own, and we have family and friends that actually do want to see them. The fact that you don’t – we really don’t give a shit. Be a little more tech savvy if it’s bothers you so much.
BeenyweeniesFriday, 21 June, 2013 at 15:45
Kid pics are the only things on Facebook that aren’t completely narcissistic, fake, recycled, hipster bullshit that was posted in some pathetic attempt to appear clever and interesting.
At least kids are REAL, and are a super important part of your friend’s life. You know, the shit actually worth sharing.
Maybe the problem is that you don’t have any actual relationships with the people in your Facebook network. If you did, you would be THRILLED to see pictures of their kids because you would CARE.
Eddie - The Usual MayhemTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 5:31
One of my favourite moments (I didn’t say one of my proudest, you’ll note) was when one of my childless friends, who had always told me that I “just need to get more organized” in order to go out with her more often, had her first child.
She phoned me in tears after a month and sobbed out “I can’t even handle this ONE without sleep and I can’t find my socks and I haven’t slept in a month….how do you handle 3 kids and twenty years of this?!!!” I admit to a nasty little glow of “GET IT NOW?!!!” which I of course kept to myself.
renegademamaTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 10:13
HAHAHHA! Yeah but the fact that you’re still friends says A LOT.
My fear is my childless friends will see how insane we are and never have kids, and I WANT TO BE THE COOL FUCKING AUNT FOR ONCE.
no but really, I do.
AmandaWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 10:39
You just nailed why I’ll always be an aunt and grandmother, but never a mother. I get to spoil the sh*t out of my nieces, nephew and grandsons and then go home.
Technically my husband and I can’t have our own and adoption is crazy expensive, but more than that, I realize with extreme clarity, how much work, sacrifice and more importantly attention that children require and I honestly don’t think I could do a good job at it.
I love hanging around my friends and their kids as well as my family members. But I love the “cool fucking aunt” title a LOT. I mean, I get to be the one that travels to Italy with my niece next year. And why? Because I have the time and money that my sister can’t afford.
BTW – I love your blog. When I have my young grandson in the summers, I come here and can read and relate, even if it’s just for a short time.
New to thisMonday, 17 June, 2013 at 14:53
Sorry, I may be wrong and misunderstood something, but how do you become a Grandmother without being a mother?
melissaThursday, 20 June, 2013 at 11:17
AmyThursday, 13 June, 2013 at 8:13
Hate to break it to you, but of you have kids of your own you’ll never be the “cool aunt”. Because the cool aunt always puts her nieces and nephews first and if you have your own kids they will always come first. You can’t have it both ways.
LisaTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 5:46
Love this! I’m roughly 6 weeks away from having my first baby and this really helps paint a better picture of just how life will change. Everyone always says it will chnge and you know it will, but HOW has always been my question.
renegademamaTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 10:14
Congratulations! It won’t just be chaos and wanting to kill husbands. It’s gorgeous, too.
I mean that.
HarmonieWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 14:02
Yes your life will be hectic….at times…but a guarantee, no matter what happens or how hectic it may be its something im sure you will never regret!!
DanieTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 5:59
This captures it perfectly! A night out, a vacation, a date…..sometimes even just going to work is now a roller coaster of endless events instead of a leisurely stroll through the park. Also, I can’t imagine this mom made a dinner date on the phone. Teething baby and a toddler…..who has time to use the phone…..or the ability to hear. Everyone with a small child knows it could be strangely quiet and then you make a phone call and suddenly your child is pretending to be a firetruck (sirens and all.)…..or he’s spontaneously burst into flames and is rolling about the floor like a mad little fire starter. Either way, you can’t hear and even if you could manage to hear, you still wouldn’t know what was going on. Your to busy chasing chaos, just hoping that he didn’t stick the puppy in the toilet again….just another day to a mom, this should really be an Olympic sport.
DonnaTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 6:03
A thousand words.
The perfect punctuation to your post.
Kateri Von StealTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 6:08
Oh my goodness… exactly.
StephanieTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 6:13
I stopped reading after the first few sentences because I remembered having read something similar and just having to log out completely and shut the computer down. I’m not sure it was the same post or person, but my head was really to the point of exploding, so I had to step away. There. Now, back to reading.
renegademamaWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 11:18
Seriously Stephanie it makes my blood boil, but then again I clearly make people’s blood boil too — so there’s that.
StephanieTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 6:20
Okay, I’m back. My conclusion is they probably wouldn’t read this all the way through, and they would just have to wait to appreciate all this beautry until they “lose themselves”, uh, themselves.
VivienneTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 6:35
That’s awesome! And so true. I love the photo at the end, it eloquently illustrates why we do all that damn work. But what really irritates me is the pity the childless folks have for us. I don’t want pity. I have chosen this path and am committed. I am doing the heavy lifting so they don’t. Yah. You’re welcome.
PeteThursday, 13 June, 2013 at 17:10
“I’m doing the heavy lifting so they don’t” (I suspect you meant to put “have to.” at the end of that sentence otherwise it’s a total non-sequitur).
I’m sorry to break this to you but nobody has to have children, there is no imperitive forcing anybody to do it, it’s a choice and that choice is one of the great luxuries of the modern world. Furthermore, with 7 billion people on the planet and the state of the world’s economy and ecology, it’s a choice that carries more responsibility than ever. Are you happy with the world your (as yet) innocent children will inherit? Would you like to be born into the world as it now is? Are you having children in the hope that they’ll solve the world’s problems? If so, I wouldn’t hold your breath, seriously. There’s a 99.9999999999% certainty that they won’t.
I chose not to become a parent when I realised that my life would be far simpler and better (for me) if I didn’t, the picture of the grinning family at the end of the article doesn’t water down my sentiment either because I suspect it represents 0.05% of the time spent being a parent, something the article above only further confirms.
You’re “Yah. You’re welcome” comment implies that you would like to be thanked by your childless/childfree friends for taking their share of adding to the human population of the planet.
Seriously, you think you deserve thanks for CHOOSING to have children? Perhaps it is you who should be thanking your CF/CL friends, after all, their choosing not to have children makes the world a little lass crowded for your offspring… “Yah, you’re welcome” indeed….
CecFriday, 21 June, 2013 at 9:13
@Vivienne, the world doesn’t really NEED more people, so I’m not a mother for the sake of the society. It was a purely selfish decision for me, and yes, although I have to forgo the cool cafes that you can only enter by walking up a flight of stairs (unless I use the Ergobaby carrier), and I go to fewer concerts than I used to, I am still in wonder of and is thankful for this little person that’s developing in front of my eyes every day 😀
Rebecca HayhurstTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 6:55
Love this. Spot on. There’s also usually 5 minutes of frantic cleaning for the babysitter, and a 10 minute trip out of the way to get gas (each parent blaming the other for forgetting), resulting in a 7:30 arrival at the restaurant, and childless friends exchanging a significant look, indicating, “they’re late again” while I have already lactated through one of my breast pads. But so relaxing and fun, right?
renegademamaTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 10:06
Yes, Rebecca! almost wrote about the empty gas tank. EVERY FREAKING TIME.
ShanTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 7:04
Sitting here with tears in my eyes. And not just because my girls and I are starting off summer with the plague. *sigh* I love you. As usual.
MirandaTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 7:04
I absolutely love this. I mean you took my words right out of my mouth!
A Childless PersonTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 7:04
In an honest attempt to start a dialogue, I’m interested to know how this isn’t any less condescending?
I’m sure there are people out on the internet who do not have children who are insensitive to their friends lives now. But there are also people on the internet who think a lot of other really sick stuff, and they don’t define “people” at large. So how does this one blog post represent all childless people at large?
Sure, I don’t have kids. Sure, I still like socializing, and still want to maintain a friendship with my friends who have kids and their lives are a little more chaotic. Sure, sometimes I invite them to go out to dinner because they have said things to me like, “I wish I got out of the house more.” Maybe I don’t know they are faking it, and so I invite them to do those things because that’s what they’ve expressed to me that they want to do. I also often ask them if they’d like me to come over and spend time with them and their kids, in the hopes that them leaving the house may make life easier.
I think it’s unfair to assume everyone feels this way. My friends and family who have children are in a different place in their lives than me. As are my friends who still love getting drunk and having one-night stands. I’m not in that place anymore either. It doesn’t mean that I think someone has been lost, but they are just in a different place.
Why does my lifestyle choice (if you even KNOW it’s a choice…maybe I’m struggling all the same to get pregnant and I come home and weep and weep and weep about how badly I want the chaotic evening you described. Or maybe it is a choice and I’ll never have children and I come home and say, they seem happy, but it’s not for me) have to immediately become a judgment on YOUR lifestyle choice?
I think that’s an unfair judgment on your part and equally has condescending. Now, I obviously didn’t read the other post, and I obviously didn’t write it, so I am in no way defending that position. But I hope you understand MY position.
Best of luck with the teething! I hear it’s a pain in the neck 🙂
renegademamaTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 7:38
Thanks for the comment. “how does this one blog post represent all childless people at large?” Oh my goodness, I’m not that dumb! I don’t think the post I read represents all childless people. I tried to make it really clear that I wasn’t talking about or to all childless people, assuming they ALL think we’re one way or the other, but I knew I was going to get this from somebody (I imagine many more will say the same). Three of my closest friends IN THE WORLD are without children and they neither judge me nor condescend nor ridicule me, and I LOVE hanging out with them more than anything in the damn world and I’m NEVER, EVER faking it (their names are Cinamon, Cara Lyn, and Katie, so you know I’m not lying.). And the mere “lifestyle choice” to be childless obviously does not “immediately become a judgment” of my choice. I’m not sure how you derived that from this post, since (from the title on) I tried to make clear to whom I was writing.
And yes, this is absolutely as condescending and obnoxious as their own judgments of us. Perhaps you haven’t read much of this blog. It’s sarcastic and over-the-top. That’s how I roll.
My kids aren’t actually teething. My youngest is almost 3, but thank you.
A Childless PersonTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 7:57
Maybe I read the post a little defensively and started making assumptions about the assumptions YOU were making. Which probably isn’t fair either. Too bad no one is perfect, huh? 🙂
But thanks for responding. I haven’t read much of the blog. In fact, this is the first post I read (a friend linked it on twitter or facebook) and I clicked through. Maybe I’ll explore a little more before I dive into commenting and defending myself against a bit of sarcasm and over-the-topness that I clearly missed.
So at three…they have their teeth?! (just kidding, just kidding!)
R. Conrad BaneTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 11:08
I too haven’t read any of this blog, and came here via someone who shared this post. I don’t think anyone needs clarification of who their good friends are and who are merely self-centered pricks. So naturally, I had the same reaction that this was directed to all childless people in general. Because, I too have often wondered what I can do to help my friends with children know they are still loved and missed, and potentially provide some stress relief; and sometimes, I’d just like to see my niece and nephews.
I think too often in this world we confuse growth and development (a bear cub becoming a bear), progress (the bear learning to hunt for its own food), and maturing (the bear starting its own family) with change (a caterpillar becoming a butterfly). The problem arises that people see life events as a cause for change, rather than an opportunity to grow and mature. And frankly, butterflies don’t hang out with caterpillars.
As a aside, I would love the life of the author’s childless friends that includes all this wining, dining, and sleeping-in. More often than not I am working long before my co-workers with children arrive, and long after they have gone home or while they are off on the weekends/holidays having some meaningful family experience they will come to work the next day complaining about. Life kind of sucks, actually, when you realize that after busting your hump for years to build the foundation for a good family life, that your friends with kids will probably be as close to a family of your own as you’re going to come.
JessicaWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 7:53
Thank you, this is what I took away too. I get some people are insensitive, but for the most part, a lof of us out there aren’t schmoozing it up in some Vegas-weekend scenario — we’re working our asses off too, and that’s the reason we don’t have kids.
And in those rare, random instances when we do go out and have the opportunity, we invite our friends with kids because we goddamn miss them, and are trying to stay connected in whatever way we can. Even though it’s definitely hurtful when we see five of our friends share this post on FB in one morning. The author can say she doesn’t mean all childless people — but I definitely felt called out.
Bottom line — If it’s too much trouble, or it’s something you’re going to resent us for, then just fucking say NO. We’ll understand and I myself would rather stay home after a 12 hour workday than be passively aggressively called out or resented for trying to remain friends.
TinaWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 2:13
Have you actually read the title of this blog entry? It is clear from the title that she doesn’t mean to generalize, that she speaks of those childless people who do think badly of their “parent-friends” when they’re just not as much fun as they used to be. Also several times in the text it is clearly mentioned that she’s aware of the fact that not every childless person necessarily thinks like that. It is easy to misunderstand on the internet, sometimes I read an article and get angry or offended, but then often on second read it turns out that I missed the point.
AshleyTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 7:38
I so look forward to reading your blogs. I don’t know how you manage to make me cry and laugh, like a psychopath, every time while reading! Amazing, raw, and real!
Michael AnnTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 7:42
And you know the ridiculously funny thing? When your kids are teenagers and you CAN go out without hiring a babysitter and without all the drama…. you realize it ain’t the same anymore… It feels weird. You’d much rather have the old days of when your kids were little.
Katie VyktoriahTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 8:16
Yep. This is so very very very accurate. Especially since baby number 2 arrived 4 months ago. One of the biggest problems I have is the desire to go out but actually being unable to do so for more than an hour because of breastfeeding. I breastfed my first, and after three months, we added in a bottle to make it easier and so daddy could feed him. Still breast milk, obviously, because maternal guilt is all encompassing, and I justified taking away the boob by at least keeping the juice the same. But now baby number two is four months and still refuses to take a bottle at all, breast milk OR formula OR anything else. He won’t do it. He just won’t. And I want to have a drink. Or go out with the girls. Or have a date night with my guy.
But no… the mama and baby group I joined has ladies night out once a month, and my first and only foray saw the hubby walking around Epcot Center with our kids by himself, hiding from the other women around me but close enough that I could sneak away and nurse. When I got caught out, they suggested I leave, as I was breaking the rules by bringing my kids.
I could have cried. The old me would have told them to eff off and said to hell with them, but I am so desperate for moments of childless peace that I smiled and nodded and left quietly. Argh.
And don’t get me started on the amount of time I’ve booked a babysitter only to have to cancel at the last minute because our efforts with the bottle keep failing. Or worse, I hire her, she comes over, and I stay home, just chatting with her and STILL have to pay her $50 despite not getting even a little break from the kids.
Sorry. Rant over. Just wanted to say YES. Godamighty yes! I wish everyone understood the realities.
AnneWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 12:30
Wow, those people were jerks.
RTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 8:39
I’m childless and empathize very much for how hard it is for parents to hold it together – I don’t always realize how many factors have to fall into place for something as simple as a dinner together. But just as you feel childless people are ignorant to these obstacles, please note that we childless ones don’t always live fabulous lives where we kick our shoes off, drink tons of wine, and stay out until 1 am. My life is pretty darn hard in its own way too. Maybe not in the same way yours is, but it’s still a bit self-aggrandizing to think you have the market cornered on lifestyles that are stressful, tiring, and scattered. Thank you for sharing your story though, as it does help to understand how my friends feel.
renegademamaTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 10:03
I certainly don’t think I have the market cornered on problems and chaos. This post was an oversimplification, written for for fun to speak about a very particular situation for a very particular group of people (childless individuals who look down on, condescend and ridicule parents). I see you’re a new commenter, so perhaps my sarcastic nature hasn’t been firmly established. I wish there was a sarcasm font! Thanks for commenting.
GraceTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 13:22
This is just a generally poorly written and constructed blog post in general, sorry. First, you don’t give sufficient explanation of the background story for writing this: yes, you explain how a blog post somewhere written by an apparently pissed off childfree/childless person (there are differences, Google it), but you then refuse to even provide a link to the offending article under the guise that “I’m afraid you all would slaughter her with your wit and intelligence.”
How thoughtful of you to consider her feelings, I guess. If you’re going to write a blog inspired by another blog somewhere, it is basic courtesy to provide the content for your readers. Otherwise, I am supposed to take this rather over-the-top snarkiness of yours at face value and trust that your position is even reasonable. You’re not even going to at least throw in a few quotes from her post to illustrate how self-centered you claim she is?
renegademamaTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 13:36
The fact that you require “sufficient explanation of the background story” alerts me to the fact that you have not experienced this phenomenon and are therefore not my intended audience. I have at no point asked that anybody to consider me “reasonable,” in fact I have gone out of my way to strike most people (like you) as completely unreasonable. Reasonable is about the most boring fucking thing in the world. I would think you would be alerted to the my unreasonable nature by my suggestion that a husband should be “kicked in the balls” for forgetting Tylenol at the grocery store.
I did not provide a link because my interest is not to attack a single blogger for conveying a sentiment I have witnessed NUMEROUS TIMES (which I mentioned).
Princess DieTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 18:28
Okay, now I have to say something. You don’t want to attack a single blogger, so you refuse to link to the post you’re RESPONDING to. So, instead of giving readers a chance to read what SHE wrote and then compare it to what you wrote (wherein we may find reason for the overtly hostile to childless people attitude you’re giving off in your writing), instead of this, you decide to just let yourself come across as overly hostile, ignorant to the problems of others and incredibly judgmental about childless people in general.
Brava. You certainly reached your “target audience.” Just a tip: You might want to tell us who the real intended audience is in the intro to your post, so that in the future I know to skip things that evidently apply to everybody and nobody – whichever is your easiest cover.
renegademamaTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 23:01
I really don’t care how I come across to all the people in the entire world, particularly ones who can’t read what’s written on a page (IN ALL CAPS and BOLD no less): “(NOT ALL CHILDLESS PEOPLE, OBVIOUSLY).” That is a direct quote. Further, I was paraphrasing MANY bloggers I’ve read (which is also written in the first paragraph), which is why I didn’t feel it necessary to target ONE. Therefore, if you aren’t going to read what’s on the page, I really have no control over how “I’m coming across.” I mean if people are just going to make shit up rather than read the actual words I’ve written, I really don’t see how I’m responsible for that. I write it. People read it however they want. Like you, for example. You’re clearly super, SUPER bitter. That’s not my problem.
Furthermore, You wrote at least 8 comments of absolute drivel in response to people on this blog, indicating to me that your goal is simply to start fights. Out of the goodness of my heart I published two (but the others were simply troll comments, adding nothing to the conversation). I published the only ones that had even a shred of substance.
Oh, and in response to your “tip” (which honestly made almost no sense, but I’ll give it a shot): You are absolutely right. From this point forward, to reach my “target audience,” I shall preface every post with: “This post is intended for people with a sense of humor who can read actual words rather than just make shit
up randomly while blaming the writer for not meeting their expectations.”
HarmonieWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 14:18
ok let me put in something here on behalf of renegademomma: Since you yourself must not have children, because if you did you may have understood the post a little better…..She is not attacking just one blogger…not really, because anyone who actually has kids has heard this bit of information from their own friends, about how they don’t like not getting to hang out as often as they used too, or how your “childless friends” will complain about have to find a babysitter ( like you can leave a young child home alone like “a pet”) I my self have three children and have heard very rude comments from my ex-friends about my children and my lifestyle choices in having children, but you know even with all the chaos I love it and wouldn’t trade for the single life I had (which was awesome) for anything in the world!!
renegademamaWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 18:02
Yep, nailed it. thank you.
TinaWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 2:20
Take a chill pill. It’s just a blog post, and if you don’t understand sarcasm and have a different sense of humour, so why don’t you hop along to soulemama.
GraceTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 13:29
One last thing: “I see you’re a new commenter, so perhaps my sarcastic nature hasn’t been firmly established. I wish there was a sarcasm font!”
Maybe you need to understand that it isn’t the responsibility of the reader to have to read all your other prior blog posts in order to understand your nature. Sarcasm is a very difficult tone to convey effectively for Internet writing and obviously you have not mastered it. Blaming the reader for not comprehending your sarcasm is a failing on your part as a writer, not theirs (and none of this, “Oh, but you’re a new reader” – again, not their responsibility to read your old stuff in order to “get you” the first time). In short, cut the sarcasm and snark until you become a better writer or get a trusted editor. You’re obviously not willing to hold yourself accountable and think too highly of yourself as a writer and very little of your (new) readers.
renegademamaTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 14:04
Actually, Grace, the blog genre is conversational by nature, a sort of back-and-forth, informal conversation that develops between writer and reader. A newcomer to the conversation is often, well, a newcomer to the conversation. If I were writing an article in an independent publication, or a short story or some other genre, I would have established more carefully the tone. As it stands, my audience is in large majority people who have in fact sifted through multiple posts, and if they’ve stuck around, they generally understand my tone and it resonates with them. Therefore posts require very little foregrounding. In fact, if I were to do so I would bore the hell out of my readers. It’s only when a post “gets big” (or “sorta big” (as this one has done)) that people come at it with no perspective, as you have done.
DonnaTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 15:23
Okay… This post is brilliant. Your writing is awesome.
I remember jumping through hoops to get a babysitter and working VERY hard to get to the restaurant on time, only to have my child-less friends show up 30 minutes late. grrr.
CathTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 18:42
Parents need this. We need to know that we are not alone in being ostrasized by the outside world. Yes, I know that not every single person thinks this way and there are many supportive childless people in my life, but all it takes is that one or 2 totally jackarse comments by someone once thought to be on my side to make me feel like the world really doesn’t give a shit about the reality of parenthood anymore.
This blog is called ‘Renegade Mama.’ It is written by a mum who says what magazines and baby books are afraid to say. Is it not clear?
I’ve had some pretty nasty stuff said to me related to this blog post, I for one am really relieved to read other parents who feel the same.
melissaTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 18:56
That sucks. My childless friends mostly just look at us with trepidation. The ones who want kids are clearly intimidated and the ones who don’t are like, “Better you than me.” But they all get it.
TinaWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 2:26
Now you’re just being rude. You don’t like her writing, fair enough. I and many others here do get her sarcasm (not really hard to miss, if you have an IQ above 80) and really fucking enjoy her writing. No need to attack her like that, just because YOU fail to understand the (very clear) meaning.
HarmonieWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 14:20
I am a “new reader” and found the post very enlightening and refreshing.
renegademamaWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 18:02
Welcome, and thank you. So glad to have you. There’s some seriously badass men and women on this blog. Normally things aren’t this crazy! Usually this is just a misfit, irreverent corner of the interwebs where we all laugh about our deficiencies and help each other feel less insane in this (obviously) insane world.
Stanislava LegdeurTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 8:48
Hell yeah!!! You have a beautiful family! 🙂
renegademamaTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 9:58
stacy shainTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 14:45
I love everything about you and how you write!
Mike JulianelleTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 9:07
There is a large amount of truth to this. But it’s not the whole truth, not for everyone.
I started my blog as a kind of corrective to the belief that you can’t have a life when you have kids. Because you can. And you can remain friends with your childless friends. And you can have a good time when you’re out, even if my latest blog post puts the lie to that one.
Before I had my son I saw a lot of old friends disappear when they had kids, and my wife and I vowed we wouldn’t be like that. Now, when you have kids, they do consume your life, mostly in good ways, and you do find your social time is limited and babysitters are expensive and getting out is harder. But it’s still possible. You just have to make sure you want it and you have to make it a priority.
I love hanging out with my single friends. If I didn’t have single friends all I would ever do is talk about being a parent and all the BS that goes with it, and not only does that get old for everyone else, it gets old for me and it’s not who I want to be. Yeah, sacrifices have to be made, both financial and emotional, to go out without the kids and have fun, but it IS possible.
Great post. I just think there is a happy medium between having a life and no kids and having kids and no life.
renegademamaTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 9:56
Totally agree! My husband and I have always done things anyway, despite the work. It MUST be done. We go to concerts (with the family and without), camping trips, and we try to make every event our friends put on (childless or not). Admittedly we sometimes don’t do the restaurant thing with three freaking kids, and most of the reason we get to do these things is because my mom lives 20 minutes away, but like you, we’ve learned that it is worth the effort to get the hell out of the house. We will go insane without it. However, if my childless friends weren’t FUCKING AWESOME (which they are), and expected me on a regular basis to go everywhere without my kids, looking all put together and stylish, staying out til all hours without a problem, well then, we’d have a problem.
I think I “disappeared” from some friends, but only because it was a sort of natural growing apart…know what I mean?
Thanks for commenting. I look forward to reading your blog.
Kristen Mae at Abandoning PretenseTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 9:08
This is pure, unadulterated GENIUS. I must share.
renegademamaTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 9:53
Thanks, Kristen Mae! Haven’t “seen” you around here lately! glad you’re still around!
Rabbit GeeTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 9:13
Thank you for this. I’ve been following your blog for a few months now. I’m going to be a new mom around September 4 and find your posts so refreshing. I never planned to be a mom and now that it’s happening I have so much to learn in so little time. It’s great to know that not everyone fits into the perfect molds of parenting and it’s even more great to get to talk about it!
renegademamaTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 9:52
Congratulations, and thank you! It’s chaos, but it’s infinitely wonderful. Also, it’s not ALWAYS that bad, as you’ll see. My son was born September 9 (in 2005). A wonderful time to have a baby!
paigeTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 14:17
not sure if I’ve realized this yet or not but Rocket and I are birthday buddies! SWEET!
Jennifer @ Also Known As...the WifeTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 10:04
I’m going to start the slow clap.
We’re going out on our first date post-baby #2 this weekend. It’s taken a week and a half to plan and I know I’ll still be rushing around like a lunatic on date night.
BreezyTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 10:06
Well, I really hope that the person you were talking about was not me. I wrote a blog post a couple months ago about how everyone is in this fake phase in life and it seems like they’re playing house. But since I wasn’t talking about parents in particular, just people around me, I’m assuming it wasn’t me.
However, if it was me, I apologize and ensure you that that is not how I had intended my little rant. It was much more about people being fake than parents.
By the way, I love your writing. I am childless and still read every post.
renegademamaTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 11:32
Are you kidding? No way! There’s no way the person I was reading could ever read and enjoy this blog. She would hate me after 2 minutes, and possibly call the authorities.
AnonymousTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 10:31
Funny thing is childless couples STILL wont get this. They also wont get why we get so much joy out of it too.
Princess DieTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 18:37
Are you serious, Anon? Why you get so much JOY out of being a parent? Please tell me. As someone who found out they would never have children at the age of NINETEEN, I SO want to be reminded about how HAPPY you are. Having children is CHAOS, says the author, but it is infinitely wonderful. Good for you.
renegademamaWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 11:23
FYI, I’m 99.9% sure “Anonymous” was not speaking to you, specifically. Given the number of humans in the world and the fact that this is a random blog, the probability of her speaking directly to you is a little, um, slim.
Princess DieWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 12:26
Yes, I was pointing out yet another person who talked about how having a children is all that matters, and those of us without children could never understand. I think you’re being deliberately obtuse.
Princess DieWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 12:40
*a child. I apologize for the bad editing on my part.
JBeargWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 20:09
Parenting Blogs are known to be locations where people discuss what it’s like to have kids.
VanessaTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 10:32
Janelle, you are so funny. Almost equally funny are the commenters that took you super seriously. They clearly have not read your blog. Or they just don’t get it.
renegademamaTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 13:06
Let me tell you, Vanessa, I DON’T GET IT EITHER. I try to be SO explicit, but short of writing a disclaimer after every blog post (which I’m not going to do because it’s fucking stupid), I don’t know how to get people read humor/sarcasm. Oh well. Honestly most people do get it, and that just makes them ALL THE MORE WONDERFUL!
Harry CaineTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 10:33
I hope this constructive criticism is well-received, as the intent is coming from the right place.
I’m a parent, married eight years and like you have had this conversation with many a child-less friend. I’m male, so most of the conversations take place with male counterparts and they’re more than logical, completely understanding how the dynamic has changed and keen on working around it.
Honestly, what you’re dealing with isn’t so much “childless people” as much as “childless women” as I see this behavior non-stop with my wife’s friends, cousins, etc., which is where the issue lies.
Some of these women aren’t yet married, biological clocks ticking and so badly wanting children of their own (yet with no clue what it takes to parent as you don’t know until you know), or it’s self-absorbed female friends too into their own way of life, careers, being social, etc. and either don’t want children, or are lashing out as they know they’re too selfish and self-absorbed to make the sacrifice – so instead of respecting the parenting dynamic, they choose to s**t on it and act like “it can’t be THAT hard”.
Here’s where the constructive criticism comes in – one writer to another. I thought you absolutely NAILED the first portion of the piece, right up through where you described the get-ready process for the non-parent. Well done and loved the all-caps “WE’RE FUCKING FAKING IT” double middle fingers you held up to the outsiders, taking off the mom / wife cap and keeping it real. Kudos.
Unfortunately, from their your piece turned into a rant that I could barely read as it was no longer authentic and became some over the top, cartoonish, stereotypical comedy of errors and worst-case scenarios.
Yes, the going out process for parents is a colossal pain in the ass. Grandparents who make you jump through hoops because they’re doing you the favor, or the babysitter who is overcharging to hang out eight hours while your kids sleep seven of them.
You turned the latter half of this article into a courtroom case with too much supposed evidence in order to PROVE to those without kids just how hard it is to do stuff when you’re a parent — which is pointless as you’re not going sell them and by going so over the top, forced that portion of your readers to believe you’re exaggerating, forcing them to skim the rest, click off the page or just roll their eyes.
There was a logical and rational way to lay out the get-ready process for parents without being SO overdramatic. Also, as a full-time dad who is highly involved as a parent, I’m not a fan of this cartoony, men-are-dummies angle you’re pushing, as if we’re the only ones who forget to pick things up at the store, aren’t on top of social plans and are just these neanderthals who burden hard-working-mothers and wives like we’ve overgrown children.
It’s 2013 and the majority of the dads in our social circle are BEYOND hands-on these days, and not just with sports and meatheady guy shit. Most of us have daughters and are knee-deep in the process of raising strong little girls, giving them all our attention and focus, while trying to be solid examples of the men they should eventually grow up and aspire to date.
At day’s end, we parents CHOSE to be parents and we all know that life experiences are relative. When you’re in high school, you think it’s the most difficult thing EVER. Then there’s college and all the freedom, but those final exams are a bitch and you can’t want to get to the real world so you can make some money.
When you’re dating seriously, that’s heavy. Then you get married and laugh at anyone who is merely dating and hasn’t taken the plunge yet, with an arrogance that they have “no idea” what it’s like to be hitched.
Then we become parents and look down on those who ARE married, but haven’t had kids, because again, THEY HAVE NO IDEA … and for those with only one child, the two-or-more crowd is all over their asses that THEY REALLY HAVE NO IDEA.
In the end, you can’t expect a non-parent to sympathize or relate, so the dramatization and over-emotion really had no place here. Honestly, you sound somewhat jaded of the get-ready process for non-parents, when that was probably your life years ago — so admit that you miss those days, but wouldn’t trade them for Saturday morning post go-out night when your kids crawl into bed with you and say some truly amazing shit, or give you a hug that feels better than anything else in life.
Stick with logic in your posts and you’ll continue writing well. Again, LOVED the first half of this piece. You nailed it. Unfortunately the latter portion was a sales pitch for your yenta girlfriends who you probably need a few transparent conversations with, opposed to an open letter that is just going to leave them thinking you’re elitist or better than them.
(P.S. – Yes, should’ve / could’ve cleaned this up and edited, but felt it got the point across, albeit a bit wordy and repetitive. I save my heavy editing for pieces where a paycheck is attached, not blog commenting.)
HeatherTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 11:15
WOW Harry Caine, Thanks so much for “teaching” Renegade Momma about the proper way to write HER words. Who are you to tell someone the way they should write there feelings? This is HER blog, and HER perception. I didn’t realize you were the blog police and had the authority too go around telling others how they need to write! Just for your information though..I couldn’t barely get through YOUR rant because in the middle there you kind of go off on talking a bit too much about yourself and it just got boring. (Just for future reference). If you are going to rant on someone else’s “rant”…make sure what you say has some sort of interesting point.
GraceTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 13:36
I thought Harry’s post was interesting, well-written and offered lots of valid and constructive criticism. He never once said that she NEEDS TO or MUST write any sort of way. You are obviously personal friends with the writer or taking his comments way too personally. I’ve read nothing but excuses when someone here has left a comment that doesn’t mention how “hilarious” the writer is (really, most of the humor is derivative dreck, IMO). You’re not doing your friend any favors by shielding her from well-intended public feedback, only hindering her much needed progress and development as a writer.
renegademamaTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 13:59
If you knew anything about writing you’d know that ALL writers appeal to some people and not others. ALL OF THEM. No matter what I write, no matter what ANYBODY writes, there will be people hating it, destroying it, etc. This is a personal blog. I write things in the way I want to write. You might want to ask yourself why you are so personally offended/affected by this writing. You’ve left multiple comments on a stranger’s blog and are excessively passionate about it! At the very least, something has gotten to you, irritated you, and sorry, but from my perspective, that’s success.
Writing is should piss people off. That means it’s saying something.
HeatherTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 14:26
Grace, First question I have for you….Are you an idiot? …wait..don’t answer that, I already know the answer! I actually have never met Janelle personally at all I just think people that like to bash someone else’s writing is full of shit, and probably jealous. This is HER voice. Thats’s it! We all have one right? You took the time to spew your voice here didn’t you. I don’t see how you are so certain that YOU know what good writing is. Are you an editor? Do you own a publishing company? Renegade Momma not only has been writing for a long time, but also writes other articles on other websites. If you knew anything at all about her, you would know that she has many people that adore her writing and come back over and over to read it. YOU are not the person that gets to decided what is good writing and what isn’t. That is up to the reader!! and as far as what Harry Caine said..you say you found what he wrote interesting. Am I to assume you are personal friends with him and feeding his ego with bullshit because you like what he wrote? I guess I will figure that is the case.
Getting it straightMonday, 17 June, 2013 at 0:55
Ok, I have to say something about some of the crap slinging going on here. It is so easy for people to call some one an idiot because you are not face to face, but it is absolutely not constructive and voids any point you wish to make. What Grace said about differing views being a catalyst to improved writing is very true. Constructive critique is a very effective tool & probably the hardest for any writer to except. Some of what has been said has been useful feed back, such as being careful of generalizations. (They triggered me to remind my friend who posted your blog how it would be received by those who are childless. She apologized & removed the post.) Also, childless & child free are different, & that is a fact. Even career journalists make infractions and that is why they will professionally retract their statements. They generally do not belittle their readers regardless of their opinion.
renegademamaTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 11:31
From one writer to another, it seems like you would have observed that this post was intended to be an “over the top, cartoonish, stereotypical comedy of errors and worst-case scenarios.” It was a joke, meant to make a very particular group of women laugh. As you can see, it has resonated with my intended audience. I see it has not resonated with you.
However, the chaos of the aforementioned scenario (though not the exact details, of course) has ACTUALLY OCCURRED in my life, probably more than once, so I’m baffled by your claim that it lacks authenticity.
Also, my husband is fucking awesome. Best man I know. But in our life, I tend to be the one to remember things like dinner dates and Tylenol. Just my experience, not bagging on the whole male population, nor am I assuming every marriage functions in that manner. Indeed this is a personal blog and as such, I write my personal story, for whoever wants it or doesn’t. Some of my other posts are more logical, and not so over-the-top, and reflect a more carefully crafted argument. You might appreciate those more.
P.S. Honestly, I’m pretty flattered that you wrote this much on my blog. And oddly, your comment is almost refreshing to me, having just come from a Facebook thread where I was called so many names and insulted so many ways it would make your head spin! It did actually make my head spin. As I write this I’m like the chick from the Exorcist.
It’s rather frightening. My kids are totally not into it.
ZooeyTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 14:25
Then we become parents and look down on those who ARE married, but haven’t had kids…
Funny. I don’t have kids, but Janelle never ever makes me feel ‘looked down on’. There’s this crazy thing where she shares life experiences I don’t have and makes me laugh and feel super-impressed at what my parent friends are juggling, and yes, as a non parent I ‘sympathise and relate and also makes me stop and appreciate some of the freedoms which I enjoy.
You, though. You’re all about the looking down. Actually, I’d say you’re EXACTLY the kind of person that makes childless people write posts about how bloody irritating people with kids are.
I like how you also took the opportunity to make a few sweeping generalisations about how women are the problem. Because clearly condescending men who can’t envisage someone else’s life experience are never the problem.
renegademamaTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 17:23
Yes! Exactly! Thank you, Zooey. I also noticed the misogyny and was unimpressed to say the least. I also enjoyed the last part about “professional writing,” you know, to establish his own credibility, to defend his condescension. It must suck to pull that shit on a blog where the people can spot these rhetorical gestures and laugh our asses off at them.
SkylerTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 16:14
I’m slightly saddened to hear the common “Neanderthals are dummies” troupe, seems like you need to brush up on that biological anthropology. That being said I find it interesting that you started out your comment with some herternormative gibberish about “gender roles” and the iconic barren female. Kinda made me cringe. So I’ll go ahead and paste a quote by Judith Butler; “Because there is neither an ‘essence’ that gender expresses or externalizes nor an objective ideal to which gender aspires; because gender is not a fact, the various acts of gender creates the idea of gender, and without those acts, there would be no gender at all.”
And lets take a moment to thank the gods that we don’t all act the same.
Here is where I’m baffled; “I’m not a fan of this cartoony, men-are-dummies angle you’re pushing”. Um, excuse me, come again? This seems to fall right in line with your heteronormative stereotyped metholodologies. So… not sure why you aren’t a fan?
“There was a logical and rational way to lay out the get-ready process for parents without being SO overdramatic.” And this is precisely why I have always said that Vulcans would make incredible writers!! .. unless they are in Pon farr of course. (But lets be real they aren’t thinking about writing) Lets ask our buddy Albert Einstein what he has to say about that: “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” Meh… his name is only synonymous with genius.
“Missing those days” is a simplistic chronological understanding of temporality. Lets go ahead and get cliché here and say we all know that “change is the only constant”. In my opinion nostalgia wasn’t the point being made. I read this as simply and literally as talking about change and social dynamic shifts. Negative emotions, genderless of course, are increasingly becoming taboo. YAY for the culture of happiness! Because not only are we supposed to( as individuals) pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps, we are supposed to raise the calf, butcher the cow, process the hide and make our own damn boots before we can even pull ourselves up by those golden straps. Yes, life experiences are relative, that’s why we talk about them. Stating that someone sounds jaded dismisses valid emotions because it renders the person in the circumstance “at fault” but we are not boots with straps, we are humans inseparable from our environment, interactions, and emotions.
Ps. Should I have used fewer quotes?
renegademamaTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 17:21
Skylar, I know we’ve never met, but I’d like to get married. Can we get married? I just fell deeply, madly in love with you.
no really, this is the hottest shit I’ve ever read (to match your eloquence and insight with trivialities and swear words). but honestly, I’m just so tired, and I wanted to respond to his misogyny, but I just didn’t have the energy. And then, you swoop in, and say it for me.
be still, heart.
KateWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 5:19
My husband is hands-on – he changes our baby girl’s nappies, carries her in a wrap, build railways for our little boy and gets up in the morning with his to give him his fruit loops.
Does that mean he has any idea of what we’re meant to be doing next week? No! Laughing at your husband’s inability to remember dates isn’t criticizing his parenting and saying he’s not “hands-on”. It’s just that sometimes husbands aren’t as organized as their wives. Sometimes.
kenai chickenTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 10:35
My husband and I had kids in (my) late twenties and (his) mid thirties. None of our friends had any kids and we felt every bit of the above post from them. Still, we LOVED them, very much as you still love your childless friends. I’m sure they also love us, but they simply didn’t understand. Now, many of them are having their own and we’re not alone anymore, with the madness of toddlerhood. One of the greatest outcomes is that we BBQ more, so we can all hang out, the kids can get filthy and tired in the yard and we still get to hang out with friends and have a drink. However, we still don’t see many of our childless friends. Maybe once they have kids they’ll come around more.
JustinTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 10:39
Or maybe my child died and I need to hang out with my friends who have kids as apart of my healing. This “othering” mentality always gets society… nowhere.
renegademamaTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 11:40
TinaWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 2:45
I don’t get it either. What does “othering” mean?
Princess DieWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 13:46
Othering is a process or a rhetorical device in which one group is seen as “us” and another group as “them”.
Or you could do your own googling.
renegademamaWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 17:22
Or you could read Edward Said’s Orientalism and really learn what the term means, or you could read some wiki page.
That’s cool too.
PinkjumpsuitTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 10:43
I just feel like it’s a lot of pressure on you. Yes I understand people forget things but how much easier would it have been if your husband had remembered a few little things to help make your life a little easier. Delegating does work sometimes but only if the other person feels it’s important enough to complete. If he had sorted the babysitter and remembered the aspirin or washed the infant. I find its very important to set reminders for myself because anything to make my partner less stressed is great.
As a trade for a night out your friends should offer to babysit sometime because that is expensive. I know that being a free babysitter for my friends when they want a night to themselves or even so they can get errands done or come over for a few minutes so they can get a shower in is a great help to them and part of being a friend.
TinaWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 2:52
Somehow it sounds as if you are implying that her husband doesn’t give a shit. I don’t get that at all. I just get that he forgets stuff easily, and maybe she does too. (At least that’s what happens at my house. We are just not organized people.) Not everybody is an organizing genius. Also, this situation with the dinner date is clearly not something that actually happened in exactly that way (although probably not far off it ;-)), it was meant to show how chaotic and difficult it CAN or could be, like a worst-case-scenario. At least that’s how I understood it.
SherryTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 10:49
Omg this post was hilarious! You are exactly right! No life at all, but it’s so worth it!
HeatherTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 11:06
Even more of all the reasons I love you! and BTW….thanks for making me piss myself. I mean….technically it’s not your fault…it’s the 4 people that decided to get here by clawing there way through my sex hole…but yeah. You always make me laugh and feel better about life. I can’t tell you how many times I have kicked my husband in the balls ( in my head)…I have actually removed his balls and thrown them at his head..( in my head). I find the people that get so upset over this post RIDICULOUS! Now there pissed at me too!! Oh well…this is the truth. And because someone writes about an experience DOES NOT mean they are generalizing every fucking childless person on the friggin planet. Come on folks…
Antonia MurphyTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 11:25
Nice one. Loud and bitchy but ultimately loving. I’m glad I found your blog! Love the design too, by the way. Bad ass mothers should never apologize!
renegademamaTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 13:44
True story. and thank you!
SarahTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 11:37
2 things. 1st—you forgot about the “I’m breastfeeding so I need to calculate how much alcohol I can drink and still be ok to nurse in the morning” anxiety. AND the awful “I’m breastfeeding so my tolenernce has dropped, so even with 1 drink i’m still in hangover hell when baby wakes up in the AM!!” that certainly puts a damper on any everning out…
And 2… that comment about keigels…. cracking up still! You’re hilarious!!
renegademamaTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 13:43
thanks, and that’s the funny thing…people say this is melodramatic and I was like “Dude there’s SO MUCH I left off!”
EmilyTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 11:52
This has just become my new favorite blogsite. Laughed out loud so many times 🙂
renegademamaTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 13:38
thank you! glad it made you laugh! I sure laughed writing it…
HeatherTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 12:08
You know when I said that it isn’t YOUR fault I pissed my pants from laughing but that it was my kids fault. Well…I take it back…I’ll just blame you because why not!! It seems like everyone else thinks they can blame you for weird shit that doesn’t even make sense, so I guess I will too! and yes…that was sarcasm..( for the ones that aren’t sure)…
renegademamaTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 13:38
I’m surprised this post is triggering so many people! I love it!
SunshineTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 12:42
Since most of these posts are by “withchild humans (?)” I would like to share why we “childless people” feel this way.
Because you decided to have children – our friendship changed. Do people want to lose friends, see less of friends, or sit at home alone on a Friday night when they are so used to having you around? No. People do it because they care and because they miss you. I am not sure quite why it is taken so personally whenever parents are the first to admit that they don’t have time for these things anymore… as is the purpose of this entire entry. We are merely stating fact. You. don’t. have. time. I will not speak to the “loser” aspect because that isn’t factual. It is human nature to reproduce but it turns out we both agree. Your life is hard as a parent. We get it. Seriously.
The day you decided to hop into the sac changed our friendships and pulled them right out from under us. I’m not sure that I take the “you are losers” approach as some people might. I think that it is wonderful for you to bring life into this world and if you are ready for it… I applaud you for wanting to… and also for your hard work and the effort that you have decided put into this little human.
I am childless… but I understand… as I would assume that most do. We are not angry because our “clocks are ticking” (well, maybe some), or because we have some issues with jealousy. We just want our friends and the times where we had no responsibilities back. Don’t you ever wish to be a kid again? To have a sense of no stress/worry again? This is not any different. When our friends start raising families – the fun times end for us too – except we never got to be a part of that decision and yet we have to accept it without being a little bit angry or annoyed that you just disappeared off of the face of the earth.
I think your childless friends just miss you and instead of saying this… they hurt your feelings and call you a loser. I would get new friends… even us “childless beings” with evidently some kind of non-purpose in life or lack of understanding of how difficult it is to be a parent. Maybe you should seek people who get it and can just say how they really feel… then you won’t have to make everyone without children out to be monsters.
renegademamaTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 13:03
Um, my childless friends don’t feel this way (to my knowledge) and have never (to my knowledge) called us “losers.” I don’t actually have friends like this, nor have I ever really had this experience. As I wrote in the post, I was responding to an ATTITUDE I have observed numerous times on blogs.
My childless friends are fucking rad. Period. And they probably parent my kids better than I do, but that’s another story.
“Make everyone without children out to be monsters…?” UGH. not again.
melissaTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 18:26
Yes, you never got to be any part of that decision. Jesus Christ! Boundaries…? Should your friends consult you before they move, take a new job, marry or divorce? Stop drinking, change their diet, or take up a sport you don’t have any interest in? People grow up, friendships change. That’s life. That’s *healthy*. You have no right to expect people to stay the same for you.
Does it suck sometimes? Yes, of course. But you only get to feel sorry for yourself for like, five seconds, until you realize you’re being a selfish child. That’s one thing your parent friends have had to learn — grown-ups suck it up.
SunshineWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 11:19
And people with children should suck it up that their lives are more difficult. You asked for it. Don’t post a blog about the MISERY that being a parent holds over you… and how it messes up your evening when all you want to do is go out for a drink. You all want your lives to be more simple and are simply jealous that you can’t get a measly dinner with your friends without some type or worry or concern for someone else in the back of your mind. That is motherhood and I GET IT… that is the right thing to do when you are a parent. But don’t hate on the “childless” for complaining about how YOU have changed.
I think the people that need to do the sucking up are the people who constantly complain about parenting. You chose that life… maybe… hopefully.
You took that in the complete WRONG direction. When I said that it was a decision made by others I am NOT saying that we should be “consulted” but that you shouldnt forget that it DOES affect your friends and other relationships and expect a reaction… positive or negative. Go off and be a parent… but expect your friends to have something to say about it when you disappear or can’t find time for them anymore. It is like dating a guy that they don’t like. They chat, the discuss, and then they never call you again when you don’t have time.
I love that I posted something that actually makes logical sense as to why these childless friends feel the way that they do. That they simply MISS you and aren’t trying to belittle the want/need to be a parent but just simply MISS how it used to be… and BOTH of you chose to pick out of the entire post the two things that insulted you.
Grown ups for sure. How did you even find the time to write this blog… let alone read everyone’s comments? You committed quite a bit of time to this blog. Maybe you should be going out for drinks. You’d both probably relax more.
ewoman88Wednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 12:42
so i asked for a shitty condom to break… i asked for my friends, boyfriend and family to pressure me into keeping a child i knew i wasnt ready for… i was manipulated into keeping my little boy because i was given a chance to escape an abusive, miserable living situation as long as i agreed to be a mother and raise my child… yes i asked for all this to happen to me and i should suck it up buttercup and just deal already because obviously we all want to be parents. i don’t have the right words for this, im too upset to think right now. this was a funny, excellent post and very relatable for anyone with kids. i can say with perfect frankness that i have seen one of my pre-kid-arrival friends ONCE and you know what? we didn’t have all that much to say to each other. we just didn’t relate anymore. my apologies for the terrible grammer and sentance structure, im typing on my phone and it complicates things 🙂
melissaWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 16:35
First off, I never drank and I have all the same friends. I don’t see them as often, but mostly because half of them now have kids of their own and coordinating nap schedules is a bitch.
And my childless friends…? They come visit me. They go to the zoo with me. They play video games with my kids and teach them how to give fist bumps. They adapted to my new life. They don’t demand me to be someone I’m not anymore. They don’t pout about how I changed and how *my* life decisions made *their* life no fun and it’s not fair because they didn’t even have any choice. Do you understand? They grew up with me.
As for the rest… pot, kettle. Except it’s really easy to trawl the internet when your sole responsibility for this hour is to make sure the kids don’t eat cat poop in the yard. That’s a thing about parenting — a lot of the time you’re busy doing nothing. Just watching, like a lifeguard. So, yeah. I checked back because I’m bored. Or should I take a page from your book…? Complain that all my childless friends are too busy working to hang out with me…? That’s not self-absorbed and childish at all, right? I just miss them!
SunshineThursday, 13 June, 2013 at 7:32
I know this might come as a shock to you but… I agree with you completely. My purpose was trying to bring just a touch of understanding to parents out there that just because we don’t have kids doesn’t mean that we are all selfish and self-absorbed and just unwilling to remain friends with people with kids. You know as well as I do that we often times even embrace it… as your friends do and as I do for my friends. I wanted to say that I have had moments where I think “wow, this sucks that it is so difficult to be around my friends anymore because it is a challenge when it used to be so easy”… I guarantee you have had the same experience. That was my sole purpose in responding. I think that the post is spot on but I think that there was an element missing that childless people aren’t heartless and that we feel this way because we care… and also because we know how hard it is. Your life changed and now our friendship has to adapt when we weren’t ready for it. I don’t think that is selfish at all, I think it just takes accepting. Which I have had to do with my friends and family.
I miss that I can’t just call my sister anymore and go to the mall or to dinner. I have to go to her house or wait until my niece wakes up from a nap. Point blank – I miss my relationship with her. I wouldn’t give them up for the world and neither would she… and I sit and I wait out their naps and I go to mcdonald’s for dinner instead of a bar because my niece requests “chicky nuggets” and it makes her smile. She smiles, we smile. Totally get it.
I am just saying that these things effect us too… not as severe or as obvious but its not because we are cruel or not understanding the situation. I think parents choose to believe that “we just don’t understand” and just choose to leave our “parent friends” behind. In a sense maybe… because it is difficult to plan. I don’t call my sister NEARLY as much because we are basically in a different timezone. I wake up and decide to go to the mall. I can do that. If I want my sister to go… I have to wake up, call, wait, wait, wait… screw it, I’ll go alone because I only really needed one thing. Next thing I know, I never call my sister to go to the mall. Half of the time I can’t even hold a conversation with her now because she cuts me off to talk about the latest mothering gadget or anything else that I really don’t understand. When she talks about this… I find it hard to talk about the new shirt that I bought. So then we sit on the phone in awkward silence and I watch our relationship being forced only because she is my sister who doesn’t have time to listen to my boyfriend problems because she’s been married for 8 years and has child problems that in her mind why discuss because I couldn’t possibly understand. Maybe I don’t but I can listen and I think mothers talking to people who aren’t mothers feel the same way about this. I have even noticed at work I only eat lunch with “childless people” and I loathe it. I really enjoy the stories that the parents in my office tell about their kids – they are usually more hilarious than any story that I can tell. They just don’t want to talk about the weekend that I had at the bar when all they did was sit at home and play lifeguard. It’s no longer interesting to them and what they did isn’t interesting to us. It’s not a choice… it is just people understanding social conversations and avoiding awkwardness or unrelated conversation.
The point is… I don’t think it is a conscience decision that we make. I think it becomes habit. It is unfortunate… but I am on your side. I hate that people are arguing with me when I’m just saying that not all “childless people” are self-absorbed in their own lives. We just function differently now.
melissaFriday, 14 June, 2013 at 18:15
Now we’re on the same page. There is a divide; you described it perfectly. As a stay-at-home mom, I am in a different time zone than… honestly, all of my friends. I don’t care about the things that I used to. I’m rarely frantically busy, but I’m never free. My hope-the-kids-don’t-wake-up time is so precious, the bar has raised high on what interests me. I am totally jaded now. Is it excellent? Is it sex or cheesecake to myself or Sherlock? No? Then why are you wasting my time with it? It gets awkward when my friends are telling me about the new hotness and it falls short. Wow, sorry guys, five years ago or five years from now, I might have been able to give a shit about this, but right now, no. There are no shits.
And that’s not their fault. No one expected it. And yeah, it’s sad sometimes, for everyone. And I think indulging in nostalgia and acknowledging, hey I miss what was… that’s okay. You know, as long as you’re sucking it up and accepting what is, at the same time. This did not seem like what you were describing — I was getting all petulance and self-pity and boundary issues. I also think it’s a shitty person who takes that feeling and turns it into “My friend has totally let herself go and is a total mombie now. Gag. She used to be cool” — which is what the author was talking about (I think). Not what you’re describing at all.
I also also think it might be harder and more confusing when you find yourself on the other side of that divide with your sister, someone who has always been on your side. I’m an only child, so I’m just guessing, but even in the most self-absorbed interpretation of what you wrote above, when I replace “friend” with “sister” it’s a lot more understandable. You’ve just got more interpersonal relationship shit with a sibling than with a friend. It’s a whole different beast.
I want to thank you for having the tenacity to come back and get your side heard. And I’m sorry I’ve been harsh. No joke, I started my first draft of my first reply “You seem like a kind and thoughtful person, and I promise I’m trying to be gentle…” but no gentle words came (in the moments I had between breaking up fights — my oldest just will NOT leave my youngest alone this week), so I chose bluntness and brevity over tact. It’s shitty, I know. I’m usually a better person than this. I’m not expecting you to think I’m not a bitch; I just wanted you to know that I was attacking one particular idea you seemed to be expressing — omgwtfboundaries?! — not you. Because honestly, you seem like a kind and thoughtful person.
Sorry if the writing on this is subpar. I’m on a phone and the software is really tweaking out and my eldest has been running around chanting about bananas like, this entire time…
melissaFriday, 14 June, 2013 at 18:19
P.S. One of those likes is from me. You really did describe it perfectly.
JillTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 13:31
I have a vivid memory of standing in my office nine years ago, 7 or so months pregnant, talking to my husband on the phone. I heard a boy in the waiting room (I worked at an out patient surgical center) having a huge tantrum. I remember telling my husband I would never ever let our kids act like that. 9 years and 4 kids latter I have had my ass handed too me many times. The smug get your shit together pre-baby mindset bit me in the butt. I know better now. They are wonderful little angels, but come on what kid is perfect every single second. Also it is hard to have it all together yourself. I just had a baby, and I feel I have lost my mind. I can run my house hold, take care of my family, above and beyond that I feel some what worthless. You make your priorities though 🙂 All my friends have kids so at least I don’t have to try to swing a kid-less date!
Do that childless blogger a solid and at least post a link to this post!
Leigh AnnTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 13:37
I read a post a long long time ago from a childless woman (maybe in her 20s I guessed) who, not a regular child care worker, took care of 2 kids for a day, and wrote about it. She basically dispelled all of the things that (to generalize) childless people say and gave parents a huge I GET IT NOW. It was rather validating, and I wish I could find it!
My youngest is 3 as well, so it’s getting easier to get out with friends, but with no family in town and not having a regular babysitter we usually opt for outings one at a time or family outings with friends and their kids. It works for now, but what i wouldn’t give for a date with my hubby.
paigeTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 14:05
I don’t know why you even bother writing if you’re not going to tailor it to everyone else. I mean, come on, you should know what EVERY reader wants to read, so write that! Forget about your personal experiences. Stop the “dramatization” and let go of the “over-emotion” because this isn’t your blog. This is the PEOPLE’S BLOG!
Felicia KempTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 14:18
OMG you just MADE. MY. DAY. Thank you so incredibly for this. I laughed so hard I cried. Honest truth – God, it’s refreshing!
ElviraTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 14:29
You forgot the part about how having kids is often a lot more fun than going out to dinner with friends. Babies and kids are awesome, entertaining, interesting companions. And the part about childless peoples’ dependence on alcohol and late nights to feel like they’ve had a great time. Why not go on a hike or a picnic with your parent friends and their kids?
HillareyTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 14:47
Right after my first was born, I would look at her in wonder and ask “How did I live before this?” Being a mom is a life changer and yes there were tons of sleepless nights but it’s so worth it. I love being a mom!
Babe_ChillaTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 15:27
This is why 95% of my outings occur with other parents…and by outings I mean dinner at my house in comfy pants with the kids all screaming like banshee’s in the background.
More times than not, when I’m going out with the childless, it’s me going out with girlfriends or the hubs going out with man friends. The alternate is SO much work. And we only have 1 and she’s 3, so it has become easier lately, but it certainly was more like what you’re describing for the most part.
I’m lucky in that most friends now have kids, so they get it. And the ones who don’t, well they come to our BBQ’s that start at 3pm and end at 9pm and they are the ones faking it I think.
I love going out with the hubs and we are hugely blessed with grandparents who don’t live too far (or live far but will take her overnight) and generally don’t make us do any sort of hoop jumping to get a night out….you know, if we have 6 weeks notice. However, all that doesn’t change that we are ready to call it quits by 10:15pm and slugging back that last cocktail with a bit of “wheeeee!!’ but mostly with “tomorrow me hates tonight me”.
I love this post, it was hilarious.
Jessika MTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 16:16
Amazing post! The bits where you bash your husband in your head made me laugh so much I almost peed (probably due to 3rd trimester bladder control issues, but still). I totally do that in my head! lol
AmandaTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 17:11
I read your blog regularly and realize that you tend to usually write in a sarcastic manner (which is what I love about your blog). The thing is though there are people out there who do have that “I’m superior to you because I pushed a living creature out of my vagina” attitude. I don’t have kids by choice. I have some great friends who have kids, that are just as funny, interesting and awesome as when I first met them and I love spending time with them and their kids. They’re still the same person just with a little kiddo clinging to them.
Then I have friends that just lose themselves after having a kid. EVERY conversation we have is mommyjacked to talk about Little Taylor or Joshua. It’s like they can’t talk about anything else. Like its impossible to deviate to another subject. Where before they would talk about current events, their job, their favorite coffee, hell even a TV show…now it’s kids-kids-kids. Sure I want to hear how your day is going and how the family is, but I don’t want that to be the ONLY thing we ever talk about, all the time and I honestly I don’t care if your kid made a “cute potty today shaped like a flower.” Really. I could give a sh-t less. And please don’t spend every minute that we hang out bitching about how difficult your life is, how tired you are and how oh so WONDERFUL it is to be a mom/dad but how many sacrifices you have to make everyday. YOU made the choice to have a kid. And childless people aren’t living in a fairytale either, where all we do is go out to dinner, party, travel and relax. Some of us have jobs, families, etc that we’re dealing with and it can be quite exhausting too. So quit acting like being a parent corners you the market on being tired, grumpy , etc.
renegademamaTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 17:16
I agree. Honestly, I can’t hang out with parents either who won’t talk about anything other than their kids. I am well aware of the fact that the only people who find my kids infinitely interesting are me, my husband, and my mom. List ends there.
Thank you for reading.
melissaTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 18:42
People ask me how the kids are doing sometimes, and I’m like, god, can we talk about anything else? The kids are boring. I’m boring. I mean, adorable, precious, maddening, inspiring, fascinating, exhausting, and so terrifyingly beautiful I sometimes cry at night out of equal parts gratitude and inadequacy, JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE’S KIDS. Thank you for your interest. Now, please, let’s talk about something I’m not saturated in every day.
OwenTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 17:58
I’m out the other end (kids off at college) and male so hopefully can provide an alternative perspective. Oh, wait, I can’t. This is spot on. I still remember those days. (Yes, including detecting the desired violence against me for things like forgetting the tylenol – I saw those invisible comments too – and I deserved them).
Glad to read that you are coming out of it – post 3 yers old is one jump. Next is when you can leave them without other supervision (ie when the oldest can be trusted to babysit the youngest). Then you start to get it all flipped on you as you wait at home worrying about where the hell THEY are. And then you get the ‘freedom’ back and realize it was a chimera all along. The best bit really actually is the photo of the four of you. It’s better than going out. It’s better than hanging with your buds. So enjoy it – you are entering the BEST years. It’s still good later and I don’t think it’ll ever go away (both kids back home this Summer for example) but the absolute best time is when you are all having a blast together.
The one thing you’ll eventually get back that is the most important is sleeping in – at some point they will hit that spot where they get up and go do stuff around the house WITHOUT WAKING YOU. Maybe that’s the best milestone.
Anyway – loved this – took me right back
LaurenTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 18:05
YOU WIN THE INTERNET TODAY. Seriously. I just love this. I want to post it all over and email it to people and generally just shout all of it out loud.
nikkianaTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 18:39
I wandered here due to someone posting this on Facebook, and I found myself waffling between side splitting laughter and cringing and thinking, “Ouch!”
Honestly, I think it all comes down to the fact that sometimes there’s a huge communication issue between a new mama and her childless friends as to what they need to do to keep their friendship alive and kicking.
Childless friends might be totally guilty of feeling frustrated that their mama friend can’t just take off and go for cocktails any given Friday, but sometimes mamas just as guilty of a social slight… I don’t know how many times I found myself feeling absolutely heartbroken after finding out that a couple of mama friends of mine packed up their kids and went to the zoo and it never crossed anybody’s mind that I might like an invitation.
It kinda felt like having a kid let you into this super secret club and that if you didn’t have one, no one wanted to be your friend anymore.
I’m sure I said equally callous things as the post which provoked this one, some of it was probably out of ignorance but I’m sure the vast majority of it was out of hurt because I was utterly convinced I was losing my friends.
AlisonTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 18:47
YES! Thank you for this.
This must be why we rarely go out with friends. We can just about muster the energy to do a quick early dinner by leaving the kids with their grandparents for a couple of hours, but we usually don’t make it to the end of the meal before we get the phone call to please pick them up already 🙂
Jennifer SassamanTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 19:00
and then there are the single moms.
lisaeggsTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 19:24
I’m surprised that this particular post seemed to rub some folks the wrong way. I don’t really understand how some people seem to have a hard time getting that a lot of what is written here is tongue and cheek, and not a personal attack on anyone, just honest writing, plain and simple. I have three kids, ages 8, 6, and 7 months, and lately my overworked husband has been coming home at 7:30. He pretty much says hi, eats, and falls asleep. Getting anything other than cereal on the table for my kids is a major accomplishment these days. My friends (who I adore, I swear, I adore them) are ALL single, skinny and gorgeous, and getting full nights of sleep. They think I’ve let myself go and need to take time for me. Okay, I would LOVE that, but are you dears going to come by and baby-sit? No. And I really don’t expect it. But coming over here to this blog and seeing that there’s a gal on the other side of the country who seems to get what my life is made of… it makes me want to cry from relief. And the comments from other women who share a bit of their lives (meaning that there are OTHER WOMEN who get it all too! WHAT! WOW!!!)… it is so good. Janelle, I hope you never stop writing xoxo
HarijakeTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 20:36
Wow. Not all childless/childfree live the ‘glamourous’ life of wine after work, money to burn, countless holidays, etc, etc. My wife is constantly picking up the slack for the breeders at work who think the(a nurse) y have the right to leave early, and arrive late, because of one child-related thing or another. I used to work weekends (pilot) because of the childed expecting to have the time off “because they have kids”. Some even say that we “don’t have responsibilities or commitments” because we’re childfree.
My wife also volunteers for the Red Cross, has worked with aid agencies in Nepal, India, Turkey, Cambodia, Vietnam, Bangladesh on a voluntary basis and will head overseas to do that once or twice a year. She teaches painting and piano to disadvanged adults on a volunatary basis and yet – those with kids call her selfish because she volunteers with adults and not kids.
Neither of us ever wanted kids – that does not make us lazy, selfish, childish or party-animals who won’t grow up. I look after my elderly parents at home instead of sending them to a aged care facility. My wife will tell you exactly how “children will look after you when you’re old” – NOT.
I think many (not all) parents are bitter about their decisions. They feel trapped, and along with the entitlement, take it out on those of us who are forever being labelled as selfish because we put some thought into whether to have kids or not.
Your choice. Bed. Made. Lie.
TinaWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 3:09
But she never wrote anything like that! Go and read it again, in a sarcastic tone, and think about what she actually said. All she said, was that SOME childless people just don’t get it how much effort it actually takes to do stuff without the kids! She didn’t call anybody selfish, she didn’t say parents should have more right to have free weekends (WTF, where did that come from? Nothing to do with the blog entry!). You are reading things into this post that aren’t there!
Seriously, I admire you and your wife for your voluntary work and looking after your parents. That is amazing and I wish more people were like that. But seriously, that has nothing whatsoever to do with this post. I am confused as to how on earth you could think this an adequate reply.
SoniaWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 7:46
‘I look after my elderly parents at home instead of sending them to a aged care facility. My wife will tell you exactly how “children will look after you when you’re old” – NOT.’
You just TOTALLY contradicted yourself. So which is it?
‘They feel trapped, and along with the entitlement’
Again, which is it? Are parents trapped or entitled? Just as Tina said, you need to go back and reread the article in the spirit in which it was written and to the audience for which it was intended. If you’re not part of that group, chill out. However, if the shoe fits, why don’t you lace that bitch up and wear it?
RanataTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 21:53
You make parenting sound like hell. Can’t see any reason to give up my carefree life for that. We are going surfing for a month in Costa Rica, you can have the teething kid.
renegademamaTuesday, 11 June, 2013 at 22:07
YES!! Thank you for being an example of the kind of childless person we are talking about! I was waiting for you!
TinaWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 3:11
Right, so I have been busy here. I felt compelled to reply to some of the weirdos, because they clearly can not read. You are doing a great job, as always, Janelle. In writing the truth and in making people laugh. And I love that picture.
renegademamaWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 11:28
Thank you, Tina. I appreciate it more than you know. It’s always a bit of a an out-of-body experience. I know I’m asking for it writing a blog, but I’m not such a seasoned writer or blogger that I’m all professional at fielding attacks at my person. I’ve never been called so many names in my life! I don’t publish the blatant name-calling because it’s just stupid, but my lord. so thanks, for real.
Princess DieWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 12:32
Yes, it’s so hard to be attacked for writing something insulting. It’s not like you respond to people that their comments are “drivel that add nothing to the conversation,” or calling someone bitter and angry and jealous and etc. etc. etc. We should expect to be ridiculed, though, right? We’re childless people reading to and reacting a blog! How dare we?
renegademamaWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 17:35
I attempted to respond to you rationally and all I got was “Assume all you want, sweetie.” Not much of a convo.
renegademamaThursday, 13 June, 2013 at 15:42
It’s not hard to be attacked for writing something insulting. I write insulting shit ON THE DAILY. the title of this blog is “Renegade Mothering.” “renegade” can be defined as “an individual who rejects lawful or conventional behavior.” Hmmmmmm.
What’s hard is being faced so rapidly with a mob of humans who can’t read sarcasm. As you can imagine, for a person like me, this can be rather disheartening.
Also, I’ll admit, it’s a little baffling to be repeatedly told I “won’t respond” or engage with you on your comment(S), because as the WHOLE WORLD CAN SEE, I attempted that very thing, asking you point-blank (in response to your “echo chamber” comment what you would like to talk about, what you would like to discuss, and you said nothing. So your interest is not actually in discussing, but rather ranting and raving, which I can appreciate as much as the next guy, but it’s boring.
KelolaWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 0:07
I found this by someone posting it on Facebook. I loved it! LOL I just had twins a month ago, and even with the hubby and I not yet having to work the times of doctor’s appointments and trying to see family is a huge undertaking.. I know going to work will be a challenge for sure!
Lala MusingsWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 1:26
I feel like it should be astounding the number of cyber-drones who are incapable of abstract thought or of recognizing sarcasm, hyperbole, satire, irony and other stylistic devices of writing; however, this incapability is so common on the internet it is anything but “astounding”.
That said, as per usual, another fabulous, relatable post…well, if you’re one of those “breeder” types who appreciates a sharp wit, that is. Incidentally, if it wasn’t for “breeders” the human race would go extinct and there would be no societal foundation to support the remaining aging, non-breeding population. We, and especially you, should be thanked for the trouble of making and nurturing new people to replenish the supply.
LoriWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 1:58
For years I was the childless friend, but thankfully my bestie used to let me come over and take care of her son so she and her hubby could go out. I had my first at 39, and then *surprise* my second at 40. As one commenter stated, you don’t know until you know.
Parenting the very young is hard because many of the things that are natural by-products of this stage also happen to be used as ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ by authorities looking for confessions from suspects. The hardest thing for me was the foggy brain from chronic sleep deprivation, and the bone-deep exhaustion. The isolation is difficult, too. New parents tend to hunker down in place and hold the fort, because seemingly random things do seem to fly ay you (she’s crying…why the hell is she crying…oh my gawd, did she really just poop half of her weight? What color IS that? Does she have gas, or is it bubonic plague? And since my lady bits are pretty much shredded, do I have gas or bubonic plague?? Arghhh, call the CDC!) and each first is terrifying. Of course we got better at it, but just as soon as we mastered one stage, she would evolve, and we had to figure new crap out again. And then #2 was completely different, so it is not like we could say we had it figured out!
For the record, one had to work to avoid the sarcasm in this blog. Cues aren’t just sticks you hit people with in a pool hall… And I do likes me some biting sarcasm! The fact that some people can’t understand that the violence you mentally viisit on your hubby isn’t so much a commentary on him not being the perfect dad, so much as it is on your tenuous hold on your sanity…well, it is a tad…sad that people can see it as an attack – peoples’ issues really show through, huh?!
As I see it – There are two ends to the spectrum of the childless – the ones who see you as their property, and resent the change in your priorities, because dammit, you owe them your time and attention. Preferably after changing that shirt, because looking at that stain is just wigging them out. The others love you, even though you can’t string together a coherent sentence yet, and do little things to make life better, like bringing you treats, tidying up your kitchen while visiting with you, or taking your infant and shooing you into bed to take a much-needed nap. These people rock. And the rest of the Without-Child persuation is somewhere between these 2 archtypes on the spectrum.
Part of what makes this so funny is that it captures the manic elements of trying to have/pretend to have a life, while remembering and celebrating the reasons for the mania in the first place. I wouldn’t trade my babies for anything, but it doesn’t make me a bad person to give into the occassional urge to vent about how nice things could be if only life were easier. With wrinkle free shirts. And laundry fairies. And the ability to not fall asleep at dinner. Parents too can want to have it all… If we can only stay awake lomg enough to…zzzzzz…
Thank you for the laugh.
AudraWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 2:53
I have no children, but several of my good friend do. I have no desire to put them through everything you’ve described, but I still want to spend time with them! What are some alternatives to “date night” that would be easier to manage?
Princess DieWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 13:55
Having them come over, or you go to their place if it’s later and the kid is on a schedule. You don’t worry about what they wear or how either of your houses look. You sit around, watch TV, talk, whatever. I always offer to babysit for friends so that they can go out and not worry about it so much (most of my friends with kids have been friends of 15+ years.
Offering up trips to the zoo with the kids, help them clean their kitchens. Help them with laundry. Talk like you’re a normal human being. Be a good aunt/uncle and be glad you don’t have to clean up after them. But offer.
Going out and drinking and all of that… I know people who do this. They are predominately in their early 20s. With a few exceptions. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having a picnic or hanging out in sweats on the floor of my apartment. And if those activities are still too difficult, I accept any and all reasons and excuses for why they can’t make it on time. Hell, I’m disabled. Half the time I can’t get there at 10 on the nose, either.
Just tell them you want to keep your friendship going… but the child is going to end up being a part of your life if your friend agrees.
TinaThursday, 13 June, 2013 at 4:55
So, let me get this straight: You are actually not one of the childless people Janelle was writing about, you seem to be quite cool with the problems parents are facing. Then why the hell do you get so pissed off about the article? Obviously she doesn’t mean people like you!
KateWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 3:51
LOVE IT! It’s all so true!
AleWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 4:44
Super funny!!!!! and an adorable picture!
But sorry, and please don’t murder me with your wit and intelligence, I have a 2 yr old with another one on the way and this is NOT AT ALL my experience… To be very honest, I don’t feel my life has changed dramatically and I still go out to dinners, cocktails, etc. My husband as well, he also plays on a football, and we even play tennis TOGETHER once a week (not now that i’m 3rd trimester). We entertain at home a lot as well and feel that the adult cocktail hour is only enhanced by the cherubic darlings cooing and playing together. Maybe because I live in Europe it’s more relaxed here… and $20 for a sitter???? do they have a PHD in child development???
renegademamaWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 8:42
Hi, and welcome! We actually have super busy lives too, going places and doing things with our friends without kids (and with). And honestly, you’re probably just a more organized person than I am. And now that I have three kids, things are (strangely) more relaxed. Probably because I just don’t care anymore. Also the oldest is almost 3, so no more breastmilk in the fridge!
PegWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 5:52
Just discovered your blog, and wanted to tell you I loved this post. Hysterical. These days were a while ago for me, but you brought it all back. Believe it or not, you will look back at them as the best time of your life.
(Ignore the criticisms. I sense they go beyond just not “getting it” – there is an element of intentional obtuseness. Childless people reading a blog called “Renegade Mothering?” I think they are surfing the web looking for opportunities to be offended. Ignore them and keep writing!)
Princess DieWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 7:09
This echo chamber where everyone who disagrees with the author is bitter or jealous or stupid is more of a popularity contest than a place to actually dispute with the author of the piece.
She isn’t going to listen to the childless folk she damned in her post. She refused to post my own comments and admits as much above. She isn’t going to listen to anything but the goddess worship (don’t believe me, look up and see how she treats “new readers” with different opinions vs. people who talk about how hilarious she is). S
Look, Renegade. You wrote this and it went viral, and it upset people. The fact that you, would rather delete comments and dismiss us as trolls than foster the honest discussion that you claim to want, since you did just INSTRUCT us on how not to behave, to help us “understand.”
Then when we say we don’t understand this aspect of it, we’re bitter bitches. You must be so fun in real life.
To whit: Don’t even bother. She’s deleting your comments. She won’t engage with you no matter how rational you attempt to be. Don’t engage the troll(author).
renegademamaWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 8:39
You come on this blog and write blatantly antagonistic comments and then announce you want to “foster honest discussion?” You have to pick one. I am happy to engage with you on this topic but it’s unclear to me what you’re saying other than I’m attacking all childless people, which I’m not, or at least that wasn’t my intention, and it’s written in the post numerous times. I don’t know how many more ways I can say it. My childless friends are my closest friends in the world. In fact we’ve been texting through this whole thing and they’re laughing their asses off, at me, mind you. And I’m not “instructing” anybody. This post was written in jest. Tongue-in-cheek. A joke. So how can I foster an “honest discussion” about something that you’re taking so seriously when I meant it to be humorous? I would never “instruct” anybody, childless or not. I’ve barely got my own life under control. How the fuck do I know what other people should be doing? Now I’m sure you’re going to come at me with how I’m telling childless people to think and live and breathe with this very post and therefore I’m a hypocrite, but again, this whole thing is written sarcastically.
I deleted your other comments because they were blatantly antagonistic. You weren’t “fostering honest discussion” at all but rather insulting and attacking numerous people. If you want to have a discussion, write something that has something conversational in it, or at least isn’t just an attack. I’ve responded to numerous comments with dissenting opinions, but most of them are taking super seriously a post that was supposed to be humorous. Not everybody thinks I’m funny. I get that. Sort of part of the deal of writing.
But if you want an honest conversation, what do you want to talk about? Do you want me to say that I’m wrong and I’ll take the post down? What perspective of childless people are you interested in me seeing? All I’ve gotten from you is angry ranting and I don’t know how to respond to that.
Princess DieWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 12:43
Assume all you want, sweetie.
renegademamaWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 17:30
So I ask you specifically what you want to have “honest discussion” about and this is what you say? But you go around ranting on at least 6 other spots in this comment thread? I’m confused, and totally done attempting to engage with you. Do you have any idea how odd it is to invest this much time in some stranger’s blog? I mean you’ve written SO MANY COMMENTS. I mean seriously. You might want to look into this a little. It ain’t normal. I’m just some woman in California writing a personal blog, and you’re SO BENT OUTTA SHAPE ABOUT IT. I’m laughing as I write this.
HeatherWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 11:03
Princess Die – You completely just generalized ALL childless folks with your comment here. I realize you may not understand “humor”…”hyperbole”….or just a good old laugh…but that’s what this is. If you actually read ALL the comments, you would see that many childless people commented here, and weren’t assholes about it but saw the humor in it. You seem very angry, almost as if you think she wrote this post about you. To say that she “damned” childless people with this post would be definitely be an over exaggeration. Maybe a bit dramatic!! and yet you take every word written here as if she has now created a new law written against childless people. What exactly are you standing up for? It still doesn’t make sense to me what you are fighting against. A funny post about a dinner date…
Maggie K.Wednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 7:11
I really loved your post – I’ll admit I am a childless couple but I totally agree with your statement. My husband and I have a pretty good social life and often host BBQs and dinners at home. Though most of our friends are also couples and at least 80 % of them have kids we often find ourselves hanging out and partying without them. Not because we don’t invite them, but because they are almost always unable to attend our gatherings. It is upsetting I admit, but I also make sure my gatherings and get together are child friendly.
They all work and have busy lives, some have the chance to work from home but even then their lives is hectic and chaotic. I understand them when they do not attend our parties or when they flat out ignore us, they have kids we don’t. I admit I get frustrated, but I value their friendship enough to past my frustration. We are lucky to hold them as friends and have become part of their families. I love their kids and I am happy to say we have a great group of friends. Again great post and I’ll be happy to show this to some of my childless friends, some of them need it 🙂
renegademamaWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 8:23
Welcome, Maggie, and thanks! Our family’s best friends are couples without kids. They are aunts and uncles to our kids. Plus, I was the one in the group who got pregnant young (had my first at 22), so for many years we were the only ones to have a baby with my old friends. Among all my childless friends, I’ve never seen this attitude — only read about it on the internet multiple times, so I thought I’d address it. My friends without kids are INCREDIBLE with my kids and, quite frankly, I enjoy living a little vicariously through them :). It’s never awkward or weird, and they tell my kids what’s up just like I do and we have a damn great time. I’m sure you are that person in your friends’ lives as well, and that they’re are equally as grateful to have you as I am mine.
I also think close friends without kids are in a unique position in friends’ kids’ lives. I know my friends have insights into my kids that I don’t have, and I value in immensely. My friends with kids are like me, too worried about their own to “parent” mine, and rightfully so!
Matt ArnoldWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 7:24
Dear former friends who are parents: Go in peace and be happy. Your conscious, planned decision to have a child was a decision to not have time for the rest of us. I assumed you knew yourself, and knew what you were getting into, so I am supportive.
However, your hostility toward me as a result of your own decision makes no sense. You sob on my shoulder about how lonely your life is now. So I sympathize about how terrible it must be. Of course I understand how hard it is. That’s why I have a vasectomy. Then you get defensive about it, as if I attacked you by repeating your own words back to you. Do you want me to support your choice to kick me out of your life, or not? Which one is it?
renegademamaWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 8:17
Hi Matt, and welcome! Ok, this makes sense to me. This is pretty uncool. And you cracked me up with the vasectomy thing. I instantly had a dialogue in my head: “parent friends: “I hate having kids. I’m lonely and my life is consumed and this sucks.”
later that day:
parents friends: “Are you having kids?”
Matt: “No, I like my life without kids.”
Them: “OMG what kind of person are you? Not wanting kids? I can’t imagine not wanting kids. Kids are the best thing to ever happen to me.”
And then Matt wants to kill them. Understandably I’m going to watch myself to make sure I’m not pulling this shit with my friends who don’t have kids. Because sometimes I do pressure them, like “why aren’t you going to join THIS club?” and that’s fucking obnoxious. Of course at other moments I’m looking at them during certain “special” family moments like when my two oldest are squealing about who gets to sit in the lawn chair and I’m like ‘No, really, don’t ever have kids. Enjoy your life, forever.’
And the truth is, I mean both things. Thank you for commenting.
lisaeggsWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 7:48
I’m not getting why there is so much anger. Some of us enjoy reading this blog and take something positive away from it. Sometimes we’re moved to leave a comment or share something of our own. This is not a popularity contest. That’s a little insulting, honestly. It’s just women talking. It’s a personal blog where the author shares her own feelings and puts it out there. Some of us like the conversation, and some apparently don’t. But that’s what this is. Some of these comments are pretty mean. Janelle, I hope you can just focus on the positive ones. xo
Princess DieWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 8:05
Lisaeggs – What about the comments are you having trouble with. I’ve seen a lot of people put out rational reasons for being upset about the writing. I just haven’t seen the author give a shit about any of them.
lisaeggsWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 8:32
I don’t have any trouble with disagreement. I can understand disagreement with the author, but I guess what I don’t understand is why anyone would get “upset” over it. In big bold letters, she wrote: not all childless people, obviously. So this is just one aspect of parenting that she has experienced and something that is frustrating. I personally didn’t read this post as being hostile towards childless people, just a post about one particular frustrating aspect of parenting.
Princess DieWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 12:52
In big bold letters she addressed it to those “who can’t understand the degradation of your friends.” Which, when I originally read the article, applied to me. A close friend posted this to her facebook wall and I figured I’d come read it to see what made her life so hard (I grew up with my mother running a daycare, my parents are teachers, I nannied, and am a friend to MANY people with children). I am also disabled and unable to have children of my own. Most of the comments AND the post make it clear that the majority of this blog’s followers WOULD RATHER STAY AT HOME ANYWAY. They’re faking it. Because we wouldn’t understand. I find that to just be blatantly arrogant and obnoxious as hell. When I hang out with my friends I try to make it as easy for those who are parents. As easy as I can. And when I read this, and saw that the OP was saying that they had OH so much to do and we couldn’t understand it without kids? Try going out for a night when you’re disabled. Or when you have agoraphobia. Her writing IN THE POST gave all of us “childless” a reason to be concerned (even if some aren’t) that our problems, issues and inabilities are nothing compared to what a parent has to do. And then she talks about what I have to do just to get up in the morning. It’s insulting.
lisaeggsThursday, 13 June, 2013 at 16:45
I’m still not seeing it, Die. Janelle has explained herself quite a few times in an attempt to clarify what she was saying (even though I find it a little nuts that it needed that much explaining…) and you’re still hell-bent on being pissed off. So there’s really not much left to say. Nobody hates people who don’t have children. If you insist on reading it that way, what can anyone say?
MorganWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 8:01
I have an awesome mix of friends who are parents and who are childless. It’s never crossed my mind that some childless people can, perhaps, act this way. I absolutely love hanging out with my crazy mom/dad friends along with their kids. Hell, sometimes I have a play date with the kids and no mommy or daddy allowed.
Granted, I know being a parent is on a whole different level than what I do, but I think this post is too much of a kick in my proverbial lady balls. Or maybe I just knew my friends were crazy even before they started having their precious minions.
P.S. I wish I was paid $20 an hour to babysit when I was in my teens!
Princess DieWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 8:02
Excuse me for the double comment. My browser said the server was down, so I refreshed the page. Posted twice. I’d love to delete one of them if I could.
Princess DieWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 12:57
Aww, so sweet of you to delete BOTH of them. But don’t let your readers think for themselves or anything.
renegademamaWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 17:26
Ok, I didn’t delete both of them. There were two comments by you both beginning with something about “echo chamber” and then saying basically the same thing. You then apologized for the “duplicate” comments and said you wanted to delete one, so I deleted one on your behalf. As you can see, the other “echo chamber” comment is still here. If you want two comments that say basically the same exact thing on this blog, I am happy to move it from the trash to the “live” comments area.
JohanWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 8:28
I found this article entertaining but as a father of 2 (a 5 y.o. boy and a 2 y.o. girl) I can honestly say 2 things:
1) it’s not always THAT chaotic and
2) the main reason I don’t go out with my childless friends as often is simply because they are NOT as fun to hang out with as my 2 kids are… period!… maybe they would be interesting if they did something amazing with their lives, you know?, like having kids… and stop talking about the Kardashians, Justin Beiber and the latest iCrap out there
OrlandoWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 8:47
KristenWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 9:02
What a great, funny, but TRUTHFUL story! I don’t have kids yet, but I will follow that by saying I try to praise my sister in law as much as I can for her ability to juggle her 3 under 5 years. Upon visiting I carried her 3 month old daughter as much as possible to “let” her workout and do housework easier. I HATE housework, I couldn’t imagine that being what you look forward to when someone is helping with your little ones but she never (..ok rarely) complains and when she does it’s something with a smile “cleaning with kids is like brushing your teeth while eating oreo’s” KUDOS MOMS! You guys make it look easy, and should smack your friends who aren’t proud of you, secretly they are wishing their boyfriends would stop dragging their feet and propose already so they can join the club 😉
JenWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 10:55
Woe is you.
First of all, let’s assume for a moment that your childless “friend” (I use that term loosely because you don’t sound like much of a friend) leaves work at 5:00. Which is the earliest most office workers tend to leave. It’s usually more like 5:30 or 6:00. But for the sake of argument let’s say it’s 5:00. How is it that childless friend is managing to leave work, fight the same Friday traffic you’re fighting to get home, screw around on the internet, have a glass of wine, a snack, hop in the shower, bathe herself leisurely, get out, towel off, peruse the closet, get dressed, pour another class of wine, maybe chat with a friend on speakerphone while putting on her make-up, do her hair, put on shoes, and get in the car all in the span of the hour? Are you mad? Wait, we already know the answer to that.
Secondly, you “left” one of the dogs in the house? Does that mean you leave your dogs outside all day? Wow.
renegademamaWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 18:08
Oh my. You just deconstructed a post that was satire. I just don’t know where to begin.
TinaThursday, 13 June, 2013 at 5:09
What the hell is wrong with leaving a dog outside? Don’t you think a dog would be happier outside? I’m sure mine would….
JenThursday, 13 June, 2013 at 6:53
It is unsafe to leave a dog unattended outside all day. Particularly in various weather conditions (but even on a nice day). Satire aside, I REALLY hope you’re not doing this. I’m an animal rescue volunteer and this is animal neglect.
HeatherThursday, 13 June, 2013 at 11:13
Are you for real?? I mean….are you really being actually serious with this? You do realize that horses and cows, oh and all the fucking animals that live in the forests and live in the desert and then you have the animals that live in Antarctica, and then those pesky animals that live in what is called NATURE!!! Friggin animals have fur and live outside for a reason. I’m not saying put a chihuahua out in a blizzard..but come the fuck on!!! What a ridiculous thing to say that animals aren’t safe outside. They are safer outside than you are because they have that thing called instinct.
JenThursday, 13 June, 2013 at 11:47
Do you really, REALLY not understand the difference between domesticated animals, livestock, and wild animals? Are you serious with this?
Never mind the fact that no amount of instinct in the world is going to prevent someone from stealing a dog out of your yard. Yes, this happens.
Lady, you have no idea what you are talking about.
HeatherThursday, 13 June, 2013 at 12:02
hahahaha! Okay…you no absolutely NOTHING about me, but you assume I have no idea what I am talking about. alright! Yeah…I am sure animals have been stolen out of yards before, but I really don’t think this is happening across the country as much as you think. And what the fuck are you talking about the difference between domesticated animals and livestock. They eat dogs in other parts of this world!! I have neighbors that have cats that live outside on a regular basis and they seem to do just fine. You are aware right that in Hinduism they believe cows are scared….the same thing you consider livestock! I am not going to go off on some animal rant here, but you should really open up your knowledge of ALL animals before you start saying people are animal abusers.
HeatherThursday, 13 June, 2013 at 12:04
JenThursday, 13 June, 2013 at 16:20
Lady, I am an animal rescue volunteer and my career is with a wildlife non-profit. I can’t make heads or tails of what you’re yammering about, but I assure you that I am well-informed on this topic.
I am talking about domesticated dogs being left outside all day long. What are you babbling about?
renegademamaThursday, 13 June, 2013 at 13:39
I’m sorry, but this is the funniest shit I’ve read all day. Heather, seriously, I commend you for even bothering.
My friend and I are just laughing our asses off.
Our favorite, in addition to the leaving the dog outside thing is the “For the sake of argument….”
WHO THE FUCK IS SHE ARGUING WITH?
HeatherThursday, 13 June, 2013 at 14:40
Obviously with herself! 😉 Yeah…this is some pretty funny shit!
lisaeggsThursday, 13 June, 2013 at 16:58
Oh man, Janelle and Heather, this is the funniest thread of the whole post. I’m laughing as I’m writing this. It’s like they said, come on, there’s GOT to be something else in here we can complain about, OH! How about the dog! Ya, Janelle, animals shouldn’t be outside for a few hours in the beautiful California weather, you should know better.
Lisa MWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 11:20
Geez. You make motherhood and friendship sound like a chore and two entirely exclusive aspects of modern life. Boo.
SarahWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 12:15
As soon as I read your big, bold, VERY CLEARLY stated disclaimer, I just KNEW there would still be people losing their shit over this, making it all about them and missing the goddamn point of it all. These are the same types that, in real conversations, instead of listening are just impatiently waiting for their turn to speak.
Love the post. Wish there was a more subtle way I could pass it along to some select people in my life…
renegademamaWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 17:48
Thank you. I also don’t know how to respond to people when they think I’m serious. I mean I compared myself to MOTHER THERESA. How do people not see this is humor (or an attempt to be)? clearly they don’t think it’s funny, but to spend so much time ranting about and deconstructing a JOKE as if it were an attempt to convey profound truths is a ridiculous waste of time!
KimWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 12:26
I am one of the “childless”. Not by choice. I have read this word hundreds of times in the comments and it makes me cringe. I’m only offended because we want to be parents so bad but it’s just not in the cards for us. I envy your experiences, I crave the chaos everyone is talking about. I had a few chuckles reading the blog, but I ended it in tears. I see where it is humorous and geared towards the attitude of some people. My only gripe would be that nails on a chalkboard term, childless. As one response states, people are childless for different reasons. But it’s your blog, I will gripe quietly. I’m sure my opinion would be different if I were at peace with not being a parent.
AaronWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 17:19
As a “person” I take offense to the term “childless person” as well. I was born a “person” and did not have a child. I also did not purchase a helicopter, and I do not prefer the term “helicopterless person” either. OP is a “person with children” . If I lost an arm I would be okay with “armless person”.
renegademamaWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 17:47
I had no idea it was such a hot word for some people. I just used it because I thought it conveyed what I was trying to say (“people without kids”). you know writing is a very tricky thing that way, particularly when a person is writing the way I do: balls out irreverence. I’m always offending somebody. But when I read things like this I am sorry. I can’t imagine wanting children and not being able to have them, and I admire your self reflection in recognizing that the response to this post lies in your own experience. Your ability to do that is profound and unique, as evidenced by many of the comments on this blog by people who think it is MY job to “not offend THEM,” as if I knew how to do that.
At the risk of scaring you away (if you even read this), I can tell you I have the same awareness in myself, though please don’t think I’m comparing my “problem” to yours. They are not the same. But I am a recovering alcoholic and drug addict. Recovering total loser, to be exact. Almost every day I read something about alcoholism that reflects a fundamental misunderstanding, or it paints alcoholics in a light that makes my stomach turn. It “offends” me to the core. I want to get on that website and tell them “we’re not all trash!” or “How dare you speak on what you know nothing about!” or whatever, but I realize that the problem lies not in what they’re saying – they are just speaking their truth – the problem lies in ME, because I have some life experience that makes that “truth” offensive, or gives it some different meaning. The best thing I can do is just say what I know to be true.
So my point is that I don’t know you but I’m impressed with you and have an incredible amount of respect for you, and I thank you for your honesty and authenticity.
KimThursday, 13 June, 2013 at 20:07
Thank you for the sincere apology. I truly do appreciate it. Infertility is something that’s fairly new to us, just past the 2 year mark, so I’m still pretty sensitive. Pregnancy announcements, commercials, and being asked if I have children on a daily basis still carry quite a sting. I’m a hairdresser and work closely with the public. Some people dig and ask why I don’t have any kids. Can you have kids? Do you just not want any? I’m 31 so it’s prime time I suppose. I just haven’t gotten to the point where I’m truly at peace with it, obviously. Our issue is male factor infertility. The “problem” lies with my husband. Imagine that, you yourself are able to have children but your partner can’t. Financially, assisted reproductive therapy is about $15,000 out of our reach. Down the road, adoption may be something that we choose to look into. My intentions weren’t to give you my whole life story, I apologize. I just wanted to give you a background on why the term “childless” knocks the wind out of me so much. But I truly do appreciate your apology. I may even take back the names I called you 😉 And congratulations on your sobriety! Thank you for sharing that part of your life, you seem to have pulled strength from that. I hope to get there one day, stronger from this experience. Right now, just vulnerable and sensitive. Bah.
renegademamaThursday, 13 June, 2013 at 20:19
You know I really didn’t know there existed such animosity between people with kids and people without. Your comment of course indicated no animosity, but as you can see, people on both sides have gotten pretty fired up. I just read some bitchy blog posts by people really looking down on parents, making fun of them in a pretty mean way, so I thought I’d have a little fun with it by writing an exaggerated satire. But I am VERY irreverent and HIGHLY sarcastic, and I know a lot of people have taken me seriously, which would definitely make this post a startling read. I thought when I compared myself to Mother Theresa I was indicating my lack of seriousness, but alas, this appears not to be the case. On the other hand, there are 11,000 “likes” and probably a total of 20 irate commenters, so I’d say those odds are pretty good. 🙂
All my best. I wish I had something helpful to say in the area of infertility. I can tell by your tone you are a very kind person, and I imagine the world will deliver to you, in one form or another, at one time or another, exactly what you need. Well at least I hope it does.
KimThursday, 13 June, 2013 at 20:31
Thank you 😉
cherrimaeWednesday, 19 June, 2013 at 11:13
Don’t give up. It took me 13 years but I’m finally as exhausted as this writer. There’s room in this club. If you want a child badly enough to consider every option you’re going to find one. Even I did. It wasn’t easy but it’s worth it. Also – to the author – lovely man photo with the kids.
cherrimaeWednesday, 19 June, 2013 at 11:14
My remarks were intended as a reply to the would-be mama who said she was childless not by choice.
KimWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 12:45
…and “childless bag” is thrown in at the beginning..really? Is that not offensive? You feel ostracized, but damn, try being on the receiving end of that one.
renegademamaWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 17:31
It was sarcastic. Joke. I thought that might have been clear when I compared myself to Mother Theresa, but whatever.
Some people have a very irreverent, OFFENSIVE sense of humor. I am one of those people and I FUCKING LOVE IT. Also, so do a lot of other people. I think it’s safe to say this is not your cup of tea.
KimThursday, 13 June, 2013 at 20:27
I actually do have quite the sense of humor. I cuss like a sailor, love a dirty joke, and can be downright crude. You just struck my one nerve, I purged. Again, I’m just envious of those who are mothers. I want to be a regular commenting mother who puts in her witty two cents about her own personal madhouse that she wouldn’t trade for the world. I’m jaded, overly sensitive. I want to laugh! Deep down I know it’s funny, but the sad surface takes over.
renegademamaThursday, 13 June, 2013 at 20:34
Yes! I could tell you do because you weren’t taking it at face value. There are a couple people on here who are trying to disprove the validity of the fictional scenario I INVENTED to make people laugh. It’s actually pretty ridiculous.
You know my throat choked a little in emotion when I read that about wanting to be a “regular commenting mother.” And the truth is I have tears in my eyes as I think about that pain. I hope if your situation ever changes you’ll come back and let me know, maybe, just because it would make my day. I realize that’s an insane request, but what the hell, this is an insane world.
KimThursday, 13 June, 2013 at 21:40
You have my word. Maybe someday I can tell you a story about an insane, poop covered, catastrophe of a day. Truly! Is that weird?? Anyways, thank you for your kind words. It’s nice that someone who doesn’t know me can try to feel how I feel. Its comforting. Sadly, I have friends who aren’t able, or willing I suppose, to do that. It’s uncomfortable. And uncomfortable is icky, people don’t want to go there. Aaaaand, oddly, even after my original whine fest, I can say that I respect you. You took the time to reach out, that’s huge in my book. And believe me after yesterday, that says something because I called you names in like 5 different languages 🙂 I hope I didn’t cramp your style by bringing out your mushy side. You’re feisty. I like it. And I’m feisty. I like that too. I just had a weiner of a day yesterday. I guess that happens sometimes.
renegademamaThursday, 13 June, 2013 at 22:21
Are you kidding? I’m half SUPER MUSHY. Half feisty. I refuse to believe that I can’t write mushy AND feisty — I guess it breaks some “blogging” rules, but I’ll let you guess how much I care about rules. Plus, isn’t that life? Anyway, no worries about the name calling! I’d be an idiot to write the way I write then expect people not to call me names. ALTHOUGH, I must say, some of the comments on this particular post were a little shocking. I didn’t publish the really bad ones because I felt like it was insulting the intelligence of my regular readers, and people like you who, though critiquing, did so with some backing to it. Just attacking who I am as a person (as if they know me!) seems a little weird, and then people were attacking my husband, and kids, and blah blah blah. Plus at some point it become unclear if they’re serious or just being antagonistic for the hell of it (trolls).
Anyway the truth is our interaction has probably been the best fallout of this whole thing, for me.
I will be waiting for word from you about that catastrophic, poop-covered day.
SarahWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 12:48
I laughed out loud and then cried a little, because this is so true and it felt *so* good to know that other mommas get it. Your sense of humor — and of this beautiful, overwhelming and life-changing reality — is spot on. Thank you. *Thank you.*
SarahWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 15:24
[After reading some of the other comments, I feel the need to clarify that obviously not *only* other mommas get it, but you’re a momma … and you get it … so there’s that. 🙂 ]
renegademamaWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 17:32
Thank you, and welcome! hope you stick around. there’s a crazy awesome group of people on this blog. sometimes we piss people off, as you can see, but that’s part of our charm.
TiffanyWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 13:45
OMFG! Anyone who is seriously commenting on this blog needs to seriously pull the stick out of their ass. Loved, loved, loved it!! When my son was about 3 months old, a friend called me and said “why don’t you pop over for a drink?” I replied “there will be no more popping…. It takes me two hours to get out of the house and that is in my sweats, no shower and lucky if teeth are brushed!” This is hilarious
StephanieWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 14:00
As a childless bag, you couldn’t possibly expect me to understand this. Now where’s that wine?
renegademamaWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 18:03
I’m so confused by this. You don’t read the sarcasm in my blog but then you EMPLOY SARCASM? You’ve gotta just be fucking with me. Honestly, I kinda like it.
Melissa CWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 14:24
OMG I laughed so hard reading this because its all so true!!! You Rock!!!
Slap Dash MomWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 14:27
While a bit long.. and very overdramatic (especially for a mother of one??), I found this post funny. Carry on.
LIsa WelchWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 14:38
OMG! The panic of trying to get out the door with just minutes to spare! I know that feeling all too well as the clock is ticking down…and I despise being late for shit. uh, I mean “stuff”. Yeah, I understand that. As I get older and my kids are having kids of their own, I sympathize with them. I cut them a break…once in awhile. After all, don’t they have to learn the hard way too? LOL
lisaeggsWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 14:41
Wow, Janelle, you really stirred up the internet with this one! Who knew!
And I was just wondering… You know that original blog post that prompted you to write this? Did you go ahead and write lots of insulting comments to her and her readers? No? Huh. Ya, I was just wondering about that…
renegademamaWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 17:55
No, and THANK GOD I didn’t link to her! Holy shit that would have been evil. There she is, going about her day, opens her browser…and “HOLY FUCK why are 20,000 irate people posting on my blog?!?!?!?”
oh, thanks, Renegade Mothering.
But that post was really just the trigger. I’ve read this attitude so many times. And then people have said I would have “helped her” with the traffic, but I don’t think this is the kind of traffic she wants. Plus, I’ve already forgotten where I read it…it’s been like 3 days. can’t remember that far back, duh.
Anyway…LOVE YOU LISA!
LIsa WelchWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 14:51
Directed towards those who feel negatively against this subject matter: CLICK OFF THE PAGE! Why oh why would you continue to waste the precious minutes of your life not only reading that which obviously stirs you up, but also taking the time to post a response, or two, or three…etc…
Seriously, this is the author’s opinion, which happens to coincide with some other parent’s experiences. So what, we get a chuckle out of this kind of shit. If you can’t laugh, then all you’ll do is cry.
There are plenty of other web pages for you to peruse. Again, why waste your time “arguing” with yourself here?
renegademamaWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 17:59
I’ve wondered the same thing, Lisa. And welcome!
I mean people keep getting all irate that this post is ridiculous and over-the-top and irreverent and offensive and I’m like, “BUT THAT’S WHO I AM,” why do you care? You can leave my presence for all eternity in just one quick click!
“So what, we get a chuckle out of this kind of shit.” I don’t know why, but I loved this.
GinaWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 15:43
Awesome post. I have twins that are 10 months old and I can’t stop thinking about them for a minute. I work full time and my husband is home with them all day and then he works when I get home. Going out is just impossible at times because its tough to ask anyone to watch two infants while we go drink and then we come home and have to get up throughout the night or early in the morning and we regret ever having those drinks the night before. Life is definitely different but I wouldn’t change it for the world
YosheWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 15:49
I don’t know if I would paint that bleak of a picture of parent hood but yeah, it is more complicated to plan an evening out than someone who is childless. Sometimes after getting our son ready (and we only have one) and having the grandparents come over and thinking about how tired we are and how late we may get back, we think why bother? Why are we doing this?
KianWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 16:51
I have friends on both sides of this. Married couples with 5 kids to couples that are dead set against procreating. I even have friends who have children with disabilities that can turn a perfect (no day is actually perfect, but MUCH easier!) day with dinner plans into hell in a handbasket.
That being said, I laughed through this entire thing. I applaud you for taking a nasty point of view some people acquire towards their friends after having children and making them see it for what it really is – silly. Sometimes, you have to “fake” it to make it to the good times. It’s sort of like the light at the end of the tunnel for parents, I guess 🙂
I myself am married and “childless”. I can not have children without investing thousands of dollars into every fertility treatment known to man that may or may not work and yet I still did not get offended by this.
I mean seriously, what’s the point in that? This a blog. This is her story and her words. If you are offended by something as small as a stranger’s words that are addressing an *attitude* and not a certain type of individual, I’d hate to know you in real life. Don’t stop writing. I’ve now added you to my must check daily list!
renegademamaWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 18:15
Okay so check it out: I say we cut this charade and just get married.
I realize we haven’t met, and I’m not sure what sex you are, but these are details that can be overcome. You see, you have just said EVERY SINGLE THING I’ve been trying to say but with an eloquence, brevity and politeness that’s eluded me.
And therefore, we should probably become domestic life partners. Or just BFFs? Alright, FINE. I’ll settle for best friend forever.
No really, from this point forward I’m going to refer to your comment in response to every person who 1.) Can’t read sarcasm; 2.) Thinks I’m talking about all childless people in the world, or, better yet, THEM SPECIFICALLY; or 3.) Thinks I’m serious, which sort of falls into number 1 but not completely.
Welcome, Kian. FUCKING YES.
Stay, or kill an irreverent blogger in northern California (from a broken heart, obviously).
JessicaWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 17:14
The “childless bag” comment went too far. I’m a mom to be. As funny as this could be, the author immediately loses my allegiance by publicly showing so little respect for others. Low blow.
renegademamaWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 17:51
Since we’re here again, I’ll just post this comment again…
It was sarcastic. Joke. I thought that might have been clear when I compared myself to Mother Theresa, but whatever.
Some people have a very irreverent, OFFENSIVE sense of humor. I am one of those people, as are many other people, as you can see.
I think it’s safe to say this is not your cup of tea.
Fern LehmannWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 17:25
The so-called friend who had the NERVE to say you have lost yourself, has NO idea how important it is when you are raising the next generation nor does she understand that when you look into the eyes of your first baby, your DO loose yourself. Suddenly your life is changed FOREVER! You suddenly realize that you WANT to loose yourself in your child’s life and do everything possible to do right by your precious child. You no longer want to party and spend every waking moment with your friends. You want to spend every moment with your child, because you do not want to miss any of their firsts. Does this mean you never want a date with your mate or your friends? No, but it may mean that partying all night is no longer an option or a desire for you. Get a grip and grow up. It’s not about you or a rejection because your friend wants to devote time to her child. It means that her child is important and a priority. I hope you wouldn’t want it any other way or that you wouldn’t want to be the same when and if you become a parent one day. Instead of acting like it’s a rejection of you and being upset, why not find other ways of spending time with your friend. Maybe suggest a time when it’s more convenient for her or, get this, spend some time with your friend and her baby. Get to know her child. You might realize you like it.
Stephanie @ Mommy, for real.Wednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 17:28
I love the hell out of this. This has been on my mind SO much lately, as I have listened to one of my best (childless) friends criticize her SIL for the “chaos” she experienced while traveling with them. It hurt my feelings, and I thought, “What the hell do you think when you are around ME and my kids?” You voiced this so perfectly- I will reread it over and over.
KayliWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 17:54
Where is the LOVE button for this!
TyanneWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 18:58
This post is hilarious. Before I had a child, I had no idea how stressful getting a babysitter, timing it well, and paying that babysitter could be. “Faking it” is totally what I do sometimes. It is also hilarious to read all of these comments that seem to be taking this WAY too seriously and completely missing the point. I applaud you for your ability to make me laugh in the post as well as your responses to some of these ridiculous comments!
Doula LouiseWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 19:08
This is one of the reasons why we (my dh & I) are cooler than those other friends. We love hanging out with our friends & their kids. Don’t bother with the baby sitter we’ll either come over or meet the whole family somewhere. We don’t have kids of our own yet. But, we both come from large families. We’ll totally understand when you cancel at the last minute, or completely change the plans. We know our lives are easier to rearrange & we care enough to do it. Also, we hope that when we find the courage to become parents & your kids are old enough to babysit that they’ll give us a break because you will want to hang out with us. 🙂
JBeargWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 19:48
Come on now people, you are reading a PARENTING BLOG. If you want the single/childless perspective go read another blog. If you can appreciate biting wit and an irreverent perspective then stick around.
Also, the reason this is hilarious is because us parents have seen this evening from BOTH sides. We were not always parents, we once apon a time ate hot meals and wore clean clothes and were not awoken at 5 am by screaming toddlers. See its funny to us because we used to be those assholes.
Actually, that’s not true, it’s just straight funny. Go watch Mary Poppins if you can’t handle life in the trenches.
Also if you can post pictures of how many miles you ran and every fricking thing you eat then I can damn well post pictures of my kid.
Long live Renegade Mama!
HannahWednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 23:08
This is wonderful. I am 23 and baby #2 is 2 months old, and recently I had a friend come back into town for a visit. She hasn’t lived here since before my oldest was born, and she mentioned something about grabbing lunch one day while she was in town, and I responded to her facebook comment with “sounds good!” while really I wanted to say “How much do you really want to grab lunch with me, my fussy and nursing 2 month old and my potty-training toddler?” Just come sit in my air conditioned house with me so I don’t have to drag my kids into the hot car and go somewhere where we’ll never be able to have a conversation while Im trying to feed my girls. Another girl from Highschool suggested going to lunch to catch up and my thoughts were the same. I would much rather hang out with someone with kids where we can just let them terrorize a house for a couple hours and chat between shouting orders at them than try and go to lunch with someone who has no idea.
moza12Thursday, 13 June, 2013 at 0:44
I don’t find getting a babysitter stressful at all. I have at least two that are wonderful and only charge about 12/hr. Aside from the cost, going out really isn’t any different than my friends. The sitter shows up at 555 if I have to leave at 6, and while I am out I enjoy myself. When I get back the kids are asleep and I get to do all the same things the “childless” (CHILDFREE) people get to do. The only difference is that I have to send a text on Tuesday if I want to go out on Friday, and I spend an extra 50-100 dollars. But my partner and I are both composers and have to go to concerts and premiers together all the time. And out for drinks afterwards. No big deal. The kids have always loved the sitters.
NaomiThursday, 13 June, 2013 at 1:16
This.is.amazing!! In so many ways! Thank you!!
EmilyThursday, 13 June, 2013 at 5:19
Excellent. I have 5 kids (8, 6, 5, 3, 1) and this. yes. right. on.
AngelaThursday, 13 June, 2013 at 6:44
This is so exactly my life right now. I had no idea what my friends went through until I had my daughter. I completely get it now.
LadyBugThursday, 13 June, 2013 at 8:05
I’m sure that this wasn’t intentional, but you manage to paint your husband in an extremely negative light! You portray him as a moron who is incapable of doing anything unless you repeatedly tell him to do so! After reading this, I got the impression that he was a lazy, incompetent slob who was too stupid to complete simple tasks, such as ironing a shirt, picking up medicine, or cleaning up dog urine from the kitchen floor. Perhaps you should have re-read this piece or showed it to your husband before putting it up online. I know that if my spouse posted such a negative portrait of me on the internet for all to see, I’d be furious.
Also, as a former babysitter, I would never sit for a family if the parents left dog urine on the floor and just expected me to clean it up. That is disgusting and a biohazard. But then again, it must be extremely hard to grab a baby wipe and just clean it up.
renegademamaThursday, 13 June, 2013 at 13:29
Luckily my husband is married to me and therefore knows that I’m full of shit, and that this post is a JOKE. But thank you for your concern. Also, whenever my dog pisses on the floor, I clean it up immediately. Just want you to rest assured my children are not living in a bio-hazardous environment.
LadyBugFriday, 14 June, 2013 at 6:51
I sure hope you’re also joking about wanting to scream at him and kick him in the balls repeatedly. Spousal abuse is hilarious!
HollyThursday, 13 June, 2013 at 8:21
This is hysterical. Made me laugh out loud! Thanks. Holly
ChoppersMomThursday, 13 June, 2013 at 9:08
Dude, I couldn’t resist, I had to go to your blog & read the comments on the “controversial post”. Princess Die needs some professional help. She was clearly off her meds that day. I think one chick actually called you out on leaving your dogs outside all day. Your dogs. Yep. That’s dogs. Apparently I am also going to a special kind of hell for leaving my animals outside for lengthy periods of time. I don’t have time to comment on all of the 5150’s that you happened to attract with this piece. I find it hilarious that a couple of them were actually willing to “give you helpful writing hints” and break your post down like they are your freaking professor. I mean, how ANY person can’t figure out that that post was written in ALL CAPS SARCASTIC FONT, blows me away. Literally. I’m freaking twisting in the wind right now. I know you don’t need me to tell you that “I get you” or that I enjoyed the post FOR it’s over the topness and how you “get me” for wanting to punch my husband in the balls on the regular. But he frowns on that. I also remember the days of drinking cocktails while I leisurely applied my makeup, listening to music with inappropriate lyrics, working in a quickie with the husband, etc while we prepared to hit the town. Yes, I worked hard. Yes, I was all bitter about people with kids who called out of work because one of their beasts was sick, etc. And like another reader, yo, I have had my ASS handed to me many times since becoming a parent. But none of us would trade it for the world. EVER. Yes it’s tough. But it’s the most important job I will ever have. And we LOVE it more than having perfect makeup when we leave the house, since now it’s quite possible that I forgot to put mascara on one eye. The way you described the childless people (obviously not all of them!) is our perception of how their day, afternoon, evening went. And it is comical. And it doesn’t mean you think everyone without kids is a dick. What it does mean is of course we want to maintain our friendships, obviously we were friends w/these people in the first place & I am not going to stress myself out over people I don’t want to see. Of course there are other options, having friends over for a BBQ where we all wear big sweatpants & have greasy hair and not care. But getting out, going on a date, etc is important & fun. It’s just tougher now. And for those who said that we “made our beds so lie in them”…thank you, I will, with my husband & my daughter snuggled up, reading stories and loving my crazy ass life.
lisaeggsThursday, 13 June, 2013 at 13:41
Choppersmom, that is the mother of all comments. You said it all. Chopper, you have a pretty awesome mom there.
JenThursday, 13 June, 2013 at 9:12
I have two kids and I found this post sanctimonious. Perhaps if you have to keep explaining that you were being sarcastic and funny, you should consider how well your writing conveys that intent. A joke explained (over and over) ceases to be a funny joke.
HeatherThursday, 13 June, 2013 at 14:46
Or you should maybe go on a scavenger hunt for your sense of humor…because you misplaced it somewhere. I don’t mean to be sanctimonious at all by saying that…I just think you would be much happier if you found your funny bone! It makes this whole life thing easier to take! 🙂
Locked up SpiritThursday, 13 June, 2013 at 9:25
Disclaimer: I’m not childless. I’m what you call “an empty nester”. You see, I had my kid early–so early I was 20. Almost the dark ages by today’s standards. (Holy Crap! 1994! Kurt Cobain was still alive for a brief period of time!)
There was something vaguely resembling the internet back then, but nothing like you’re seeing now. No blogs, nothing but a few chat rooms on AOL. that went sloooowww.
I think the internet made motherhood, a thing that is already horrendously, immensely, horrifyingly amazingly hard to do even more tough. You know why? because you have people commenting on everything you do as a parent. Post a pic of your kid on facetwit and the next thing you know, seven people are commenting on everything from how cute the kid is to decrying the fact that you’re using a bottle with some kind of chemical in it…and WHY ARE YOU NOT STILL BREASTFEEDING?!?!?!!? *ZMOG*
You have your “childless friends” saying “how cute” and the next thing you’re wondering is “Are they saying that sarcastically because it’s been 8 months since they last saw me, and when they did, I smelt of rotten breast milk and something called desitin??????
yeah, stress no parent needs. So, Naturally, you gravitate towards the folks who also have children, or are preggers. The discussions go from “OMG I was soooo drunk last night and sorry I puked on you!” to “Omg I was puked on last night by my two year old….” and people sympathize. Childless friends aren’t quick to do so because they can’t really know what it’s like. When my much younger friends started to get pregnant,(because I’m *ALWAYS* the one they tell first) I said first: “Are you happy? It’s met with a resounding “YES!” and I say afterwards: “Awesome! Woooo! Now prepare to be miserable with short, fleeting bouts of happiness and fun splattered in between for the first few years. Why? because you will have moments where you mourn your old life and wish for a hot second for a hot bath and a glass of wine without begging for a sitter, packing a bag and hearing the baby monitor erupt in crying as soon as you step into that bath tub” Some of them say “Oh Nooooo, I completely understand, my life is over, change is coming, yadda yadda”
oh no, you don’t. You have no idea until that little bundle of pooping, crying flesh is in your arms and HOLY SHIT SOMEONE GAVE ME ANOTHER LIFE TO BE IN CHARGE OF? I CAN BARELY BE IN CHARGE OF MY OWN…..FUCK!*
I still sympathize with my child having friends. My tenure is up, now. I’m what you call “Advice mom” I can give my daughter advice and sure hope she follows it. Other than that, I’m just hoping that my job was well done. *cringe* But, I know it’s not easy. Childless friends will either know soon enough or never know. That doesn’t mean they don’t miss you and wish your kids weren’t all consuming. They don’t know that deep inside your brain you really wish that a sunday morning waking up late, having sex, going out to brunch and drinking several mimosas throughout the day would happen…just once…without a text from a sitter. hang in there, Parents..because those days do actually return. I promise. because your children eventually sprout their wings and fly. If your childless friends are worth keeping, they’ll stick around for those days. Mine did.
*yes, that was my very first thought when they handed my newborn to me.
Divorced KatThursday, 13 June, 2013 at 10:01
Just to share another perspective, I recently wrote about my mixed feelings about being childfree: http://1styrdivorce.blogspot.com/2013/05/im-not-mom-do-i-cry-or-cheer-12-reasons.html
ClareThursday, 13 June, 2013 at 10:21
The big difference between you and your so-called “childless bags” is that you took the road more often traveled by humanity. Having children is a socially accepted thing, and some parenting bloggers act just like Christians pleading “oppression”. Give me a break. Childless people (by choice or biology) take shit from self righteous individuals such as yourself every day. If you are that offended by the idea that some of your friends might think you have “lost yourself”, imagine what it is like to be judged and maligned EVERY SINGLE DAY for the simple fact that you are going against the grain and choosing not to parent. Just think about that next time you go off on basically an entire subset of people over going out for a fucking cocktail. Christ.
For the record, I’m not childfree. I am ambivalent. Posts like this make me less so.
SarahThursday, 13 June, 2013 at 14:51
I just feel the need to note that it depends on your particular slice of society. I’m the only one in my group of friends with a child, and most of my peers think (and have thought for a while) that I’m nuts for wanting kids so badly. Being a parent isn’t always the easy norm.
I also want to reiterate the broken-record reminder that she didn’t target a whole subset. Much like I’m sure you didn’t mean to, either. 😉
ObserverThursday, 13 June, 2013 at 10:54
So I came away from this post with this reaction: there seems to be an idea that there should be a separation between “adult fun” and “kid fun” in this conversation, in US culture, and during certain times of our lives. However, I remember as a kid that *everyone*: grandparents, cousins, kids, aunties & uncles (both adopted and natural) & friends (with or without kids) came together to have a good time. The adults had adult fun in the same place the kids were having kid fun, and no one person or couple was excluded or responsible for everything. So the adults had wine and played tag with the kids. Everyone made newspaper hats, or flew kites, or passed the baby around. Mom got to have a glass of wine & the kids wrestled with uncles on the grass.
It doesn’t matter why someone doesn’t have children. It doesn’t matter why they do. But what does matter is this idea of exclusion vs inclusion, and I think that the author is touching on this larger concept. Why not include people in your authentic life? Why bother to “fake it” at all, especially if it makes you so uncomfortable? What’s wrong with feeling too far from your young children and honoring that, even up to the point of cutting the dinner date short to go home and check on them? It is human to sympathize with that urge, parent or no.
I’m not saying that the author should have written something different, or made different choices about the dinner date. I’m wondering when this separation between “my authentic life, baby vomit, dog piss and all” and maintaining an uncomfortable facade became so important. It seems to be something familiar as there are many comments that respond to this post.
I understand that this was a sarcastic blog entry & the cinematic quality of the rush to get ready for the dinner date was funny and poignant. But I really do think that it touches on something bigger: a compartmentalization of our lives that is creating great anxiety. And so I responded seriously.
pegThursday, 13 June, 2013 at 11:44
i think perhaps your misunderstanding of your friends lament is due to a simple gramatical error.
“So all my friends are having babies and I just really don’t understand why they’ve all lost themselves.”
maybe what they are saying is:
“So all my friends are having babies and I just really don’t understand why. They’ve all lost themselves.
Do you notice the difference? It’s not why you’ve lost yourselves, which is completely understandable when you are forced to deal with children. All of us childless people undertand the incredible strain a child puts on your life and pocket book but it begs the question of WHY have them in the first place.
i think kids are freaking adorable but I have never understood the rationale to interject that incredible hassle into my life. We live in a world where you can choose to have children and I’m constantly amazed by the amount of folks that still do!
No judgement here, it’s your life to live as you please of course but that is a question i’d like to see answered; Why did you want to have kids?
By the way, LOVE the photo at the bottom on your blog. Such a sweet shot. Yall do look happy!
AmandaThursday, 13 June, 2013 at 11:55
Somehow you managed to nail exactly how I feel anytime I have to get dressed up and go anywhere, with or without the children. I love how people think you are unhappy because you are trying to convey what it is like when you have children. Sometimes I think that other people feel like if you made a choice to have children then you cannot complain about your children. Ever. Because you made that choice. I love my children and I can’t imagine my life without them. But they also make certain aspects of life challenging. And to all those who think parents are consumed by their children and have no life? We are happy, and that’s all that matters. 🙂
KareyThursday, 13 June, 2013 at 14:27
I love this. My friends have mostly been pretty great but every so often when one of the guys doesn’t understand why my husband can’t just go to the bar at 10pm with no advanced notice, I get a little cranky. 🙂 I felt the divide after one kid but it was still semi manageable. Now that we have two kids, even our one kid friends feel a little distant. It’s a whole new world. There’s no blame and only a little wistful (not really) jealousy of their lives, but I wouldn’t trade it. I think often what a jerk I was before I had kids. So much eating crow for all the things I’d never say/do. And I definitely think a little maliciously “just wait till they’re here!”… Of course by then my kids will be older and I might have a life again! Here’s hoping!
ChaniThursday, 13 June, 2013 at 17:36
I absolutely love this! Especially the part about realizing you asked your husband a question and he has has no opinion. Happens constantly.
CarylThursday, 13 June, 2013 at 20:23
LOL I pay daycare! Hell no I’m not paying for a weekend babysitter! LOL
And my childless friends, few and far between, know better than to say anything LOL
Not Blessed MamaThursday, 13 June, 2013 at 21:16
Hey! I don’t know you and I don’t like what you write. I’m going to come shit all over your blog because it makes me feel superior to you. Yippee! This is fun!
KatieThursday, 13 June, 2013 at 22:53
While I’m not a fan of the language (goodie-two-shoes Catholic girl at your service), I do enjoy a good laugh, and sarcasm is my second language. Thankfully my childless friends “get me” just as much as I “get them.” It took two years of pain and (pleasurable, hee, hee) suffering to finally conceive so I know what it’s like on the other side of the fence. I love my kids to pieces. No seriously sometimes I think I’m going to squish them so tightly that a limb will just pop off, but then my son might actually think that’s cool. It would be an interesting mother-son bonding experience. I’ll put that on my parenting to-do list. So yes I love my kids, but I’ve also drop kicked them (in my head) so many times I might just qualify for some kind of Nintendo Wii Olympics. I’ve also tied them to a chair, strung them up from the basketball goal, and put them in a straight jacket in a nice padded room (in my head). Seriously though if I could patent my idea for a kid-friendly padded room I could retire and hire that expensive babysitter you speak of. What am I trying to say? Nice non-rant! Do you want to marry me as well? If so I’m sorry to say I don’t roll that way. We’ll always have this blog. 😉
SheoletThursday, 13 June, 2013 at 23:53
This saddens me greatly for many reasons. One that all parents should remember is that some of us do not have a choice on rather to have children or not, but that shouldn’t mean our friends should leave us in some of our darkest years while we struggle silently. It’s hard for us that can not to watch joyfully while our old friends slip away into “happily ever after”. When another friend tells me she’s pregnant, my heart bleeds with inadequacy. For every stressful, bad day parents have , there are 10 great unforgettable moments, that childless women will never have.
Yes, I have traveled the word, lived in other countries, maxed out my credit cards on nonsensical things. We just want our friends to call us, or invite us over. We can hang with the kiddos. Just treat us no different than you out parent friends—
I am married and have step kids, but a desperately wish we had them more.
Just please remember choices are the luxury some of us do not have.
lisaeggsFriday, 14 June, 2013 at 11:34
Sheolet, I just want to give you a hug. You are definitely NOT who the author was addressing. If you can take anything else from this post, I guess I hope it would be that parenting isn’t all roses. I love this blog because it DOESN’T romanticize parenting. I know there are lots of parents who paint a Facebook perfect image of parenting and that just sucks for people like you who struggle. There are lots of great moments, but they come between bone-tiredness and financial struggle, etc. And then Sheolet, there are the teenage years, which may make you look at your friends with children in a whole new way, probably something like a mix of pity (for them) and relief (for you). But I’m not making light of your struggle at all. I really hope that I can recognize these things in my single friends and go forward with compassion. Thanks for sharing your perspective. xoxoxo p.s. My baby (who has pink eye) finally fell asleep and I just put him in his crib, and I’m watching right now as my neighbor is about to fire up his enormous lawn mower right outside his window and I think I may just cry b/c I’m so, so tired and I haven’t showered yet today and there is not a single clean glass in this house at the moment, I kid you not. At least at my house, it is not all roses, I promise. xoxo
JamesFriday, 14 June, 2013 at 1:09
Loved your post.
I’m so glad that I’m married happy. I love my wife and so very happy that we don’t have kids.
Funny how you emphasize your anger towards your husband. Did that happen when you had kids?
alice whitneyFriday, 14 June, 2013 at 1:54
as a childless person, not out of choice, I would like to point out that being patronised by people who are blessed enough to have kids, is very probably the route of the problem here. We ALL have challenges and problems, just because you are a parent, that doesnt make your problems any more valid and/or excusable than anyone elses! We ALL ought to show compassion for each other.
KatieFriday, 14 June, 2013 at 6:29
Love love love! Just came across your blog this morning and was laughing so hard at my desk at work. I have 2 girls, ages 6 & 3. I love your sarcastic humor as that is my kind of humor 🙂
Erica / Northwest Edible LifeFriday, 14 June, 2013 at 8:45
Wow, where did this propagate? The radical zero-population growth sites? Geez…
Well, I get it and I like it. Your post is a screen capture of parenthood, and one most parents can relate to, but it’s not the whole show. I think that’s obvious.
JoshFriday, 14 June, 2013 at 10:33
Thanks for the fun post.
The offended childless people should keep in mind the reason the author wrote this piece. It was because SOME of her childless friends were complaining through blog posts that their new parent friends needed to “get a life”. So her blog post was a response to those that were bitching, not a rant in the general direction of all childless people.
And like she said, it was meant to be over-the-top and exaggerated. No, it’s not always that crazy just to get a dinner date going, but one experience even close to that can traumatize a young parent enough to make dinner dates with childless friends a rarity indeed. Sometimes it works out great: grandparents volunteer to come to your house so you can have a date night (for free) and the kids are healthy and not teething.
So…do you go out with your childless friends who really could give 2 fucks about your child-addled life? Or do you take the opportunity to get some real one-on-one time with the person you married because you liked him/her a LOT when he/she was single and childless?
And yes, we talk about our kids a lot. Just like childless people talk about what’s going on in their own lives. A little courtesy please…and maybe even some INTEREST in our kids? Just like if I got a new job, I’d hope you’d want to know about how that is affecting me on a daily basis. If all I talk about is my kids, slap me and remind me that other things exist in this world and that we don’t have that in common. I’d be HAPPY to talk about other things! I forget sometimes, that’s all.
And I have YET to meet a formerly childless person who finally chooses to have a child that doesn’t become just like the rest of us: consumed with parenthood and our new lives. Pics, Facebook posts, conversation…it always becomes about the kids for a few years.
ErinFriday, 14 June, 2013 at 11:59
This is probably one of the best posts I have ever read!! I was starting to wonder if you have been peeking in my windows… Thank you for a refreshing dose of honesty!
Getting it straightFriday, 14 June, 2013 at 14:49
This is the worst blog on selfishness and miscommunication I have ever read. I understand they made a backhanded disclaimer that not all couples are so callous, but their entire banter catered to not caring what their friends thought anyhow.
My husband and I are in our mid thirties and that obviously means that almost all of our friends have children. We have been introduced as “Our only friends with out kids” or shunned as being baby haters because that must be the reason we did not procreate. What we actually are: The people cheering on your kids at sporting events, or bringing flowers when your daughter had a part in a play. We have offered to feed and hold babies happily and have willing fallen in love with these little amazing pieces of our best friends.We have not complained when cleaning up baby puke and other bodily fluids from our close. We happily make concessions with our schedules, often offering before asked, because we WANT it to be an enjoyable time for all. We have happily participated in family game nights so no sitter is necessary, and have even spent time putting the kids to sleep and helping with nightly routines.
Recently we hosted our 7 month old Godson, and I was happy to dress to wear baby puke out in public. I never look at my friends at my friends and what they are wearing and judge their status.
We also offer to watch the kids while the parents get some alone time. We have been named god parents to 3 amazing kids, and we are often asked why would ever want that responsibility being we must have the perfect unfettered life because we do not have children. The truth is I would not be more honored then to raise a child in the image of my friends, which I love like family.
We are revered as not wanting anything to do with children and having no concept of raising children. It is not for lack of caring or yearning for that knowledge. Parents often do not want to “burden” us with that information. If communicated, most people would not care about helping you, changing there schedules, and would find it fun to delight in your childrens accomplishments. Again, people do forget that friendship is a two way street and life is not any easier just because you lack children. All my parent friends think I have some magic well of time and energy from which I have endless supply. I’m 36, guess what, I am Damn tired too. However, no one wants to hear about my problems. Your Childless scenario was pure fairy tale. Just ask my husband about how much our sex & social life has changed since our 20’s. All I am saying is, give a little, get a little. The couple in this article obviously doesn’t get it or they are lacking the truest of friendships.
Merry Welker-TollaFriday, 14 June, 2013 at 15:10
WAIT!…. you have friends without kids?
AbbeyFriday, 14 June, 2013 at 15:20
Absolutely loved this!! and Needed this! 🙂 *sighs*
AmandaFriday, 14 June, 2013 at 21:48
This blog post is amazing!! Hands down the most hilarious thing I have read in a LONG time. Seriously, I was laughing so hard I almost cried. Anyone who views this as an “attack on childless people” needs to get over themselves! Keep up the great work.
Signed, a thirty something childless person who appreciates a bit of humour!
hapusSaturday, 15 June, 2013 at 6:24
I know exactly the changes required to life and how different it becomes when you have children, one of the many, many reasons why I am child free.
KeleSaturday, 15 June, 2013 at 6:25
In this post: Every reason why your childfree friends think you lost your mind after having a kid. Also, idyllic stereotypes about how people without children have no stress and are irresponsible, glorified party kids.
I completely recognize that you were exaggerating for the sake of a funny post, but seriously. Having a full-time job, a side job, and being a full-time student means that trying to have a social life isn’t all wine and leisure for those of us without kids, either. Just like people with kids get sick of their non-parent friends whining and complaining, we get tired of hearing about all the sacrificing you guys are doing for your kids. That’s how you chose to arrange your life, and that’s great… unless you spend all your time looking for us to commiserate. Because all I can think of to say is ‘Cool story, bro. That sounds horrific, and I’m glad I made better choices for myself?’ What I am supposed say? Would you like me to spend the entire dinner complaining about my job and my freelance clients and my nightmare department chair at university? Either say you’re too swamped to make it, or chin up and don’t expect a medal for your efforts.
DeanSaturday, 15 June, 2013 at 8:00
So glad you two made in out in that scenario!! I was exhausted from when you got home….. last time I left the house I managed to spray a bronzing mist on my face as I was all good to go (in the only dress that fits me and with shoes that matched for once because I’d hidden them on top of the wardrobe)…and I completely forgot to give the bottle a shake. I opened my eyes expecting the beautiful made up version of me and found 4 million freckles on my face…and another 4 million on my dress. Luckily it was a wedding so I made it to the afters in a washed dress.
RenéeSaturday, 15 June, 2013 at 13:13
Am I the only one struck by the irony of the childless haters leaving comments on this post? That’s what we’re talking about, folks!
First-time reader, and I’m definitely coming back…
As a mother to a 7, 5, and one-and-a-half year old, I can certainly relate. Am I jealous of my single friends? No. Do I look back with a certain nostalgia to those days where the only needs I had to tend to were mine? Oh yeah! But when I think back to my old life, I can’t help thinking how empty and superficial it seems now. I certainly do not love every single little thing about motherhood, and my kids drive me crazy most days, but darnit I love those little buggers! The deep, fundamental joy I get from them compensates for everything… most of the time.
truly scrumptiousMonday, 17 June, 2013 at 5:05
umm, no Renee….the title of the blog starts “to all the childless people” addressing them specifically and presumably wanting a reply or otherwise what is the point of a discussion blog?
renegademamaMonday, 17 June, 2013 at 12:05
You might want to look at that title again. Also, the words “wondering why we’re such losers” is a modifying phrase connected to “the childless people” I’m referring to. So, if you are a “childless person wondering why [parents] are such losers,” then this post is [conceivably] written for you (in jest, but still). If I wanted to write to “all childless people,” I would have titled this “TO ALL CHILDLESS PEOPLE” or even “To childless people” (see? no modifiers, meaning I am not indicating a subset of childless people, but rather ALL of them!).
So, in conclusion, I am referring to a specific group of “childless people,” as indicated by the modifying clause “wondering why we’re such losers.”
English grammar lesson done. yay!
Bill LiktorSaturday, 15 June, 2013 at 14:22
Thank you for helping me remember why I don’t have children in the first place. I always am understanding of my friends who have children not being able to go out that much, but this really hits home the insanity that is being a parent.
Bronwyn MerrittSaturday, 15 June, 2013 at 15:24
All the haters missed something. As one who is in the parent camp, understand this, childless hipsters: we know you are not interested in our kids. We don’t care. We like them waaay more than we ever liked you. If I go out to dinner with you it is 75% because I like the restaurant. The rest is nostalgia or the lingering sense that I should want to hang out with adults. We are also only mildly interested in other peoples’ kids, for that matter, but listening to them talk about things that are important to them is common courtesy. The kidless talk of cars, boyfriends, vacations- it’s all the banter that makes up social interactions. And while I can get a sitter sometimes, that part is way the hell harder than you think even if you’ll pay top dollar. Amazingly, most college girls would rather go out on the exact lame social outing than get paid $20 to watch netflix on my couch while my kids sleep. Go figure.
KayeSaturday, 22 June, 2013 at 16:24
Jeez. You sound like a nice person. Ugh.
truly scrumptiousSaturday, 15 June, 2013 at 19:07
I agree with a number of posts already written- mainly ones indicating this blog is little biased.
The thing to remember is this is just a short phase in your life – your kids will grow up and in a the blink of an eye your time as the centre of your child/childrens universe is over.
Once again you will be back in the position of having time to yourself and making choices based solely on what you want/need/dream about. You will connect with your child free friends again if you don’t damage the relationship at this stage. You will have to work at it and not the other way around though.
It is a known fact of life that once someone has children they are naturally drawn into that world shared with other parents revolving around child’s needs and this continues at least through primary school. You may not believe it know but people who have been your best friends and supports through this phase are people you may have nothing in common with once it is over. Friendships made based on this phase will end.
Friendships made prior to this phase may also end if you don’t end them with your sense of Entitlement.
Everything changes and nothing stays the same is my lesson learnt(sometimes the hard way )in life.
I would say to Renegade that the portrayal of the night out contains a lot of unnecessary angst.
What about a bit of communicating with the so called friends. (If they are true friends this should not be a problem) Why not ask them to relocate to a convenient place not 45 minutes drive away, for instance. Why not book a table five minutes from the grandparents who will babysit ? Why not be a bit prepared prior to the night and have clothes pressed and ready?
Why ruin a good story with the truth I suppose…
Also the fantasy of the single or child free friends made me laugh. Don’t they also have full time jobs? How would they have time to get home from work and have so much leisure time before getting ready to be out at 7pm?? I imagine in reality they would be rushing to meet you by 7.
A few posts have touched on things that do annoy child free people(including ones that are child free because their children have grown up) are mainly centred around ENTITLEMENT.grrrrr
Entitled to play the I’m pregnant I’m special card non stop, Entitlement to take time off work for every little thing, from pregnancy to children leaving high school, entitled to be too tired for everything, entitled to live in a pigsty because I have kids, entitled to block people with huge prams and an attitude, entitled to let their children misbehave or annoy people and entitled to scream abuse if anyone dares say anything, entitled to be late, entitled to allow children to run free with food crayons or just without supervision in the childfree friends home causing damage will nilly and without so much as I’ll clean it up or I’m sorry.
Does it occur to you that your child free friends have probably forked out hundreds of dollars in presents for you and you children while you are ‘too busy’ to remember their birthdays for instance and usually by the time they have children you will have moved on or not be able to afford the same in return. A bit of equal nurturing goes a long way.
Jason talked about not having children as a moral decision and believing it may even be selfish to do do. In answer to that I say it works both ways and may be selfish not to. We need children to grow up in this country to become tax payers and workers who will continue support to the aged and disabled and keep our living standards high.
ps anyone who says they can’t have a shower or get dressed because of becoming a parent is a disorganise or an attention seeker.
ErinTuesday, 18 June, 2013 at 11:49
I am a long-time reader of yours. I think that you’re super. I found this particular post somewhat fun, pretty true to my experience, but not my favorite. I was really surprised, however, at the responses you received. You would think that individuals who don’t like what they are reading would simply chose to read something else, rather than complain on the walls of a very specialized blog.
I choose to follow your blog because you have your own perspective and you share it in a pointed, really fun way. I like the sound of your written voice! And you have some great insights. But, most importantly to me, your perspective on parenting is highly underrepresented.
Moms have so much pressure to behave a certain way; and it’s no surprise that we internalize this pressure. This is in addition to certain biological imperatives that affect us at the core. It does CHANGE a person; and I think it is so helpful to explore this change with others and without judgment.
Your writing reveals a very raw and real experience of motherhood. With all of the pretending that goes on as a mother, it’s such a relief to set down the mask for a little while and explore what’s underneath. You help me do that, and you make me feel less alone.
Best wishes to you, always.
AndreaTuesday, 18 June, 2013 at 11:53
The post may have come off as a little harsh, but it definitely sheds light on how hard it is for parents with young children to make a dinner date with friends (and get there on time…which is always at least 5 minutes late). Not all childless people feel that way about their friends w/kids but until you have been there day in and day out, you can’t fully understand what parents do go through in order to enjoy a night out.
StephanieWednesday, 19 June, 2013 at 4:58
I am offended by this. I have one older son, but secondary infertility left me unable to have more, and my husband childless.
I have time, even as a parent I could always make time for my friends. Unfortunately they would no longer make time for me.
“oh, well of course you have money to do stuff, you only have one”
“what would you know about mess? You only have one!”
“Must be great to be you, babysitters are easy to find when you ONLY HAVE ONE”
Get the drift? I want more DESPERATELY but can’t and I am STILL isolated from people.
Fertile people choose to eliminate childless from their lives. It’s unfortunate.
And lonely for us who cannot reproduce.
and by the way. With only one…
I still have all the same problems parents do. My son just has more individual time with his mom.
Does that make me less of a parent… or possibly MORE of one.
LaurenWednesday, 19 June, 2013 at 18:38
I just need to say…I love your blog. I am not yet a mommy but my husband and I are on the path toward it…I’m so excited…but I’m so SCARED as well! I love your honesty and the fact that you don’t make excuses for feeling the way you do. There is nothing wrong with a Momma being tired, especially with a teething baby and a toddler! Kudos to you for being so brave and awesome!
P.S. I have these friends now but they feel like marriage is the end of “fun”…babies are a death sentence. 🙂
TaraWednesday, 19 June, 2013 at 20:14
Even before I was a parent I wasn’t as naive and inconsiderate as that blogger, grr! I do try and make time for my friends without kids though, but it’s very difficult.
StephenFriday, 21 June, 2013 at 7:52
As a dad with a 3.5 yr old and a 18 month old, my wife and I can certainly relate to this post. The sentiment of the article I certainly agree with because our friends and partying are not our priorities.
That said, I think there is a blissful ignorance in the writing, a willful suspension of YOUR involvement in being overwhelmed. It is not an absolute that we must be furious with our husband who made a mistake, that we run screaming “FUCK” with our hair on fire about every single thing that is wrong or hard.
Being a parent is hard. Working while parenting is harder. Making time for meeting our friends requires stepping outside of the box and working even harder. But we own our anxiety. Remember this also, your friends aren’t just wanting you for themselves, they want to be with you because human connections are by very definition between more than one person. You owe it to YOURSELF and to your kids, and to your husband to make time to have some fun.
VanessaFriday, 21 June, 2013 at 10:42
Wow. I have been neglecting my parenting and household duties all morning because I have been glued to this comment thread like it was a novel. This has been said before but it bears repeating because nobody seems to get it. My sister is a doctor, and her job is hard. She tells me about her horrible days, and they are horrible. You know, patients dying and whatnot. But there is a lot of other bull shit in her job that she complains about. Never once have I said to her, “Well it was YOUR choice to be a doctor. Don’t be jealous of me because I’m not a doctor. Stop complaining, you should be enjoying every minute!” The fact is, some of the most rewarding things in life are fucking difficult. Getting a college degree, climbing Mount Everest, writing a book, whatever your thing is. No one is going to lay on their death bed thinking, “Thank God I spent a month surfing in Costa Rica.” As hard as my life is as a mother of three, I look at my kids and almost everyday feel amazed and grateful and awe-inspired. That is all.
KayeSaturday, 22 June, 2013 at 16:22
Bah. I just let my friends drift away. If they leave, they leave. I don’t chase after anybody. I might be sad, but I’ll get over it.
So if my friends have kids (I will not) and we drift apart…oh, well. I certainly won’t look down on them, though.