Friday, October 18, 2013

can't we all just get along?

I recently read a childless/childfree-bashing article on a mommy blog. I won't share the name of the blog because I don't really believe  it's this one blog that's the problem. Instead, I think everyone, on both sides, who take part in this sort of rhetoric are the problem. The post, which said in no uncertain terms that childfree people are frivolous and ridiculous and that parents don't really want anything to do with us, only promotes the sort of poo-flinging that happens between those with children and the childless/free.

What I'm starting to wonder is, why?

I've had my fair share of moments when I wanted nothing more than to move to some sort of childfree commune where I could live without parents. Note, I said parents, not children. I'm really starting to think I like parents less than I like their offspring and it's because of this very thing. Kids are unbiased. They've not yet formed the capacity for critical bigotry. It's not the kids who're saying people without kids are heartless, soulless, selfish, less than human-beings. It's parents.

And, to be completely fair, childfree people are often no better. We provoke them, we talk about their children in the meanest possible terms, and we expect them to shut up and take it. I get how they could be less than pleased with the prospect of quietly accepting such criticism. Those human beings, whom some childfree people so cruelly call names like "sproglodyte," are a part of them, they lived inside their mothers for almost a year. I wouldn't want people talking about my children like that, if I had children, that is. So we're at fault too. Children are a part of society, it's something we should come to terms with and accept. Even when we don't like to listen to them screaming and crying.

What I really want, though, is for everyone to shut up and mind their own business. I'm exhausted with the effort to keep up. I'm exhausted with all the whiny crap from both sides. I'm exhausted with the negative, and often wrong, perceptions on either side. I'm tired of hearing parents saying things like "you can't really know love until you have children," which is hurtful and wrong. I'm tired of hearing childfree people brag about how much they have--money, free-time, etc.--and how much they think their friends/family with children are mombie breeders with no lives. It's ridiculous.

Try to understand that LIFE IS NOT A COMPETITION.

So, please try to MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS.

Try it, really. For one day, lets try not judging someone else for their life choices. Try considering that people who chose not to have children are trying to be responsible about their life choices. Not everyone is cut out to be a parent. Try considering that people who have children have every right to build their families however they see fit as long as no one is getting hurt. Try considering that children are a reality and aren't going anywhere any time soon. Try, just for a moment, not to put your fingers on the keyboard, where we feel like we're protected enough to say things we would never, ever say in real life. Don't bash other people's life choices.

Seriously. Because, really, bashing people for having kids while whining about how they don't have a right to bash your decision not to, it's a double standard. Just like bashing people who don't have kids while complaining that they bash you, yeah, double standard.

Lets try, instead, to remember that every single person has free will, whether you believe they got that self-determination from God or not. The decision about what to do with your body, or in the case of men bodily fluid, is entirely yours. Treating someone like shit because they chose to use their womb is just as bad as being treated like shit for choosing not to use yours.

And, just for a minute, let's remember that this fits neatly into the body politic issue on both sides. No one has a right to tell another person what to do with their body, including using them to have kids they don't want. Or, using it to have lots of kids they'll love. That is absolutely no one else's business.

So, let's just try to stop being judgmental pricks to one another. Just for a little while, let's see how it goes. Okay?