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July 19, 2013
I saw this article on the internet and it made me think. It is from Ask Your Dad blog and has been picked up by a few news outlets. It helps showcase that sometimes parents and non-parents interpret phrases differently. If you think about it is two different worlds yet seems nonexistent when together. Enjoy the 5 things parents should not say before non-parents.
1. Dogs are not kids.
It usually goes like this. “Ugh. You know what really bugs me? When so and so compares her dog to my kid. Or when so and so referrers to their dog as their kid. Dogs are not kids! She has NO IDEA!” You know what? Unless “so and so” needs professional help, I guarantee “so and so” knows that her dog is not a human child. She also knows that having a dog is nothing like having a kid. What she’s really saying is “Oh! Yes. I also have something in my life that poops AND brings me joy.”…
2. You think you’re (insert anything here)! Try having kids!
Tired, stressed, in pain, covered in urine, it doesn’t matter. They all apply. Too often, we parents downplay non-parent’s concerns by pulling ours out and tossing them on the table. “Oh man! You worked 50 hours this week? Try doing that with kids!” “Oh man, you think your feet hurt from working outside all day! I’ve been chasing my toddler blah blah blah punch me in the face please.”It’s not a competition. If, on a scale of 1 to Passing Out Awkwardly in the Shower and Waking Up When the Hot Water Runs Out, your friend is at a 7, and three weeks into your first newborn you were at a 9, that DOESN’T MAKE YOUR FRIEND ANY LESS TIRED….
3. Don’t worry, when you have kids you’ll…
Not be grossed out by boogers, know who Dora the Explorer is, be happy… UGH. We’ve got to quit assuming that everyone is going to have kids. Some people don’t want kids and choose not to have them. Some people really want kids and are trying incredibly hard to have them. Indicating to these people that having kids is the only way they will reach some higher level of understanding is both inconsiderate and rude. I don’t know what the alternatives to these statements are. Maybe just cut anything that starts with “When you have kids…” out of your repertoire all together. It makes you sound like their mom anyway.
4. Is the party kid friendly?
Unless you and your friend have some previous communication on this topic about how your little on is always welcome, assume the party is not kid friendly. Don’t ask. If it were “kid friendly” they would have invited you AND your kids, and mentioned the awesome play room that they will have set up in the basement. By asking your non-kid having friends if their party is kid friendly you are putting them in the really awkward position of either MAKING their party kid friendly on the fly, or telling you that the party is NOT kid friendly which, then, no matter how low-key the party was intended to be in the first place, pretty much requires that they now provide a steady supply of hookers and blow. Don’t make your friends set up a kids room, and definitely don’t make them buy hookers and blow.
5. My life didn’t have meaning before I had kids!
Another way to say this: My life was meaningless before I had kids. Another way: Life without kids is meaningless. Look, I know this feeling. Sometimes it feels like all the worries I had before my kids were trivial. I understand the urge to convey that feeling into words. Don’t do it. Your life may have a different purpose now, but your pre-kid life was an important part of your story, and your non-kid having friends are a part of that. Don’t dismiss that part of your life the way most people skip the forward to a novel they really want to read. By dismissing the “before” as just a build up to your kids, you are not only dismissing your friends, but you’re also implying that their story has not started yet.
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