When I was a kid, I wanted to take my doll outside. My mother told me I couldn’t because it would be ruined if I left it there overnight. Nonetheless, one day I snuck her outside and within minutes forgot about her and left her in the grass. She remained there for days until I found her stained and wet, her hair matted and ruined. I begged my mother for a new doll but she refused. “You need to understand that your actions have consequences. You made a choice and now you have to deal with the result.”
So at 5-years-old, I learned that if you make a choice, you have to live with the consequences. It seems like an easy concept, right? Yet when it comes to moms, it seems that principle is lost on them. That, or they don’t apply it to themselves. Yes, I’m talking about their choice to become a mom. So many women affirmatively make the choice to bear children and then immediately complain about the choice they’ve made. To those of you, I say shut the eff up. (And while you’re at it, stop asking us if we want kids of our own.It’s offensive.)
I’ve had enough of the gripes about how hard it is to be a parent.
Do you know what’s even harder? Listening to parents constantly complain about a job they chose to have. It’s completely maddening. Did you not know that babies cry? Or that diapers get dirty? Were you unaware that toddlers are ornery and potty training isn’t easy? Did someone hide this information from you? Surely they didn’t because I don’t have kids and I hear about these things every damn day IRL (in real life) and on social media. And if for some reason you didn’t know about the difficulties of parenting, shouldn’t you have read a book or two before bringing another human into the world? Perhaps a visit to the local library would have been beneficial before creating a life. But that’s not the case is it? Nope. You get a free pass to complain about your kids and not get called out on it.
I don’t get to complain about decisions I’ve made that had clear consequences so you shouldn’t be able to either. For instance, if I bought a house I couldn’t afford it’s not acceptable for me to complain about the bank repossessing it when I couldn’t make payments. In fact, if I started to complain, someone would quickly point out that I made a choice and I needed to live with the consequences. That someone would also not be deemed “rude” or “judgmental.” Rather, that person would be viewed as someone simply pointing out the obvious. But if I pointed that same thing out to you the next time you complained about one of your precious cherubs, I’d be the bad guy. How does that work?
Don’t get me wrong: I understand that you need to vent.
Everyone does. I might complain that my husband never unloads the dishwasher but that doesn’t mean I don’t like being a wife or that I wish I wasn’t married. The same holds true with parents. I understand the need to complain and blow off steam about a job that can be very difficult at times. But there’s a fine line between venting and blowing a gasket.
I know you love your children. You don’t need to preface your complaints with that sentiment. I know that you do because you post photos of them doing the most mundane things every five minutes to your Instagram account. This behavior compounds the issue because on one hand you’re complaining about “the hardest job in the world” but on the other, you’re posting photos of you and the kids lounging by the pool enjoying snacks. You confuse us, parents.
Perhaps the complaining wouldn’t be so unbearable if it didn’t come with a side of passive-aggressive comments to those of us non-breeders. Things like “It must be nice to sleep in” or “It must be nice to have a cleaning lady” are two gems I hear regularly. You know what? It is nice. It’s really freaking nice. And you know why? Because I chose not to have kids, which means my extra time can be spent sleeping and my extra cash can be spent on cleaning. I knew that was going to be the result of the choice I made to be child-free and I don’t complain about it. Yet you do.
Complain if you must. Vent if you need to, but remember that every choice has a consequence, and if you continue to make the choice to constantly complain about your kids, I might make the choice to turn around and walk away from you.
And with that, I’ll leave you with another lesson my mother taught me, although I was a bit older than 5 when I learned this one: Quit your bitchin’.