Dear Parents, Please Don't Tell Me I Have No Idea

I've seen a video shared on Facebook a few times over the past few days that isn't sitting right with me. I find most things funny- if you like to tell jokes, I'm your girl. No joke is too simple, complex, filthy, or completely harmless. I love a good chuckle. Even a guffaw.

But I didn't laugh when I saw this clip from comic Michael McIntyre. Between admittedly amusing stories of his family life he keeps going back to some variation of "People who don't have kids have no idea."  It's a sentiment I've heard in many other places and situations, and I'm tired of it.

I apparently am one of those people who "doesn't have a clue" when it comes to having children. I may not have any kids of my own, but let me tell you what I do know:

I am familiar with the concept of children. First, I was a kid once, so there's that. I've worked with children for a majority of my career, and I've seen the good, bad, and ugly when it comes to the kiddos. I've been blessed to have my friends' children in my life as well. I realize it's totally different when it's your own genetic material, but kids are not aliens to me nor many other non-parents. I get that they are a lot to handle, 24 hours a day 7 days a week, which brings me to my next point...

I know you're frazzled. I don't need a comic prancing around stage making obnoxious little kid voices to see that. I see how it takes forever for you to return my phone call, if it happens at all, or that it's the fourth time you've canceled our plans last minute. Annoying yes, but I get it and it's okay. You've got a lot of your plate, which brings me to my next point...

I have the ability to empathize. I am a human being with human emotions. One of them being empathy. I get that having children is a huge responsibility and should be a major aspect of your life. So, when you're a total flake in other aspects of your life, whether it's work, friends, or other obligations, because kid-stuff has come up, it's okay. Being stressed is also part of the common human experience, which brings me to my next point...

I know what it's like to be busy. Just because I don't have kids, doesn't mean I'm not busy and trying to juggle a lot of things. I am pretty dedicated to my career and spend a lot of time on professional development. I am active in alumni organizations and I fund-raise for causes important to me. I'm pursuing a graduate degree, travelling often, trying hard to lead a healthier lifestyle, and striving to be a domestic goddess when I am home. Many of us non-parent folk are not sitting around navel-gazing. While it's not the same as raising little humans, but that brings me to my last point...

You have no idea what it's like to be me, just like I have no idea what it's like to be you. Regardless of anyone's martial status or parenting status or any other demographic statistic, none of us can even begin to know another's experience unless we hear their story. I hate this "parents vs. non-parents" crap, like we're in two different worlds all of the sudden because you brought a baby into the world and I have not. Having or not having children is an aspect of you, but it doesn't define you. So before you judge me and my non-parent status, listen to my story. I definitely want to hear yours.

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Filed under: Random

Tags: WhyYouWannaActWrong

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