Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Giving kid advice.. when you don't have kids...

I am in no way attacking the person that posted this on their Facebook.  I'm trying to open up a respectful, honest dialogue about a subject which is of interest to me.  Hateful, rude, or otherwise nasty comments will be deleted.

The other day, I went into work (it may or have may not been a holiday in America for a European "discovering" the "continent") and saw this:

Immediately, I got defensive.  My first thoughts were:
1.  Well, I don't have kids, does that make my opinion invalid?
2.  Was the lady making a point that offended my FB friend?
3.  Is my FB friend an over-poster of her new son/her BF's daughter?
4.  WTF is up with the alternating caps?  I thought that was out as of 1997.

I collected my thoughts, because I didn't want to sound like a bitch, because I was legitimately trying to understand her reasoning.. and I also wasn't trying to start an argument.

I also know that I am easily misunderstood when it comes to my comments and FB.  I didn't comment on Teh Stepsister's FB page for over a year because she thought that everything I said was me being mean to her, which she and I discussed via a potentially very embarrassing argument on Facebook like adults do that she deleted after we finished with our comments nastiness at each other.  This misinterpretation also happens to me in person, frequently.  It's really an awful thing.

So anyways, back to the full thread:

When I got home, I went on Today's website and found the clip my FB friend was referencing.


Essentially, this lady has created a blog for all the outrageous stuff she finds parents posting on FB.  She argues that pictures of your kid pooping or vomiting, etc is over-sharing and that parents should censor themselves by asking themselves if ALL their friends would really want to see whatever they were about to share before they posted it.  She also finds comments that parents leave on their friend's posts that make everything about being pregnant/a parent.  Today did a poll and 88% of people found it funny..  I'm part of that 88%.  Some of the stuff on the site is outrageous!  Why do people parents think that it's ok to post some of these things?  Social media is the devil!

But back to MY FB friend's post.

Why did my friend mute the TV because the woman didn't have kids?  Was her opinion invalid because she is childless?  What if she was actually pregnant once and had a miscarriage or stillbirth that she doesn't like to talk about?  She still doesn't "have kids" in a definitive sense, but she's got the "experience" of growing a human, you just don't know about it.  Is she now entitled to her opinion?

How does this apply to parents that adopt (which I asked)?  My FB friend's explanation is that adoption takes a long time so the parents have "wanted" their adopted child for a long time.  But, what if they didn't have any other children and their adoptee hadn't arrived yet?  Are their opinions valid or do they get muted as well?

What about people who abuse their children or hurt their children in some way.  Are their opinions valid still, since they meet the criteria of having children?  What about parents who are deadbeats?  What about parents who had a child that died at a young age?

Yes, I'm being extremely picky/pointed in my questions because I feel like they are valid.  Especially when I'm being told that my opinion doesn't matter because I've not had a bun in the oven been pregnant or have a child.  There are too many variables that correlate with having a child that aren't always known upfront.

Also, I disagree with the fact that most people adopt because they are physically unable to have children.  I have a friend who gave birth to her child, but her and her husband agreed that their next child will come from Uganda, that God is calling them to adopt.  I think that adoption is awesome, no matter your reasons.. sometimes, no matter what you're adopting.... even if it's a pet.  Giving someone/thing else a home is a big deal in my book...  Maybe I'm biased?

We then moved on to people posting too many photos of their pets.  I admitted to being guilty to this and the FB friend who posted the original status liked it right away.  I'm not sure if that means that she appreciated my honesty or she believes that she is subjected to too many Phil photos.  Either way, I can see how this is a parallel situation, as many people treat their animals like their children.  I knew right away that I thought Phil was the greatest thing since sliced bread and I wasn't going to subject all of my FB friends to photo upon photo of him all the time, so I created a blog for him.  I don't always share the links when I post new blogs because I'm that adamant about not spamming my friends with Phil, Phil, Phil.  I will spam Teh Bear, but not all my FB friends (you guys and gals are welcome, btw!).

After I found the segment from the Today show, I became irritated with my FB friend's status because the woman never said, "Stop posting photos of your grimy children on social media!"  She actually admitted to wanting children of her own soon and that she agreed that milestone photos and sharing photos so your family would recognize you were acceptable.  She continued with stating that she wasn't opposed to people posting photos of their children on social media, she was opposed to people posting inappropriate photos of their children on social media, like their poopy diapers or licking the parmesan shaker at the pizza place.  She was also opposed to people not censoring themselves when it came to what they said on social media sites, like they lose all filters and just let go with diatribes about parenting when it isn't called for (the example I remember was the status was something about going to the theater and the new-mom posted that she hadn't seen the inside of a theater since she was 6 months pregnant and something else that I tried to quickly forget).

I was disappointed in my FB friend's reaction to the lady not having kids instead of listening to the message that I think she might have actually agreed with as she is very conservative about the photos she posts of her son/her BF's daughter (which I did mention in the comments).  I was also disappointed by her use of random capital letters in the last sentence, as if it was adding emphasis to the things she was saying.  Pretty sure 1998 called, they want their aLtErNaTiNg CaPiTaL lEtTeRs back.  It physically pained me to do that, FYI.

Random fact:  Did you know that Microsoft Word now has a menu for casing?  You can select sentence casing, lowercase, uppercase, and 2 others.  I actually just checked it for the alternating capitals and it's not there, thankfully.  I didn't want to have to start boycotting a perfectly good Microsoft product!

So what are your opinions?  Are the opinions of the childless valid on subjects pertaining to children?  Would you ignore someone's opinion if they were childless and trying to give you advice about posting pics of your kids on social media sites?  What if they were a childless-Nanny and trying to give you advice in general about children?  What if they are trying  to have a child and give you advice before they have conceived?  What if they were trying to adopt, but didn't have children of their own and tried to give you advice?

We've came all this way and I'm not sure if my opinion has seeped out of all this text or not.  But to be clear, I feel like just because someone is childless doesn't make their opinion less valid about children.  Maybe their views don't align with those who are parents.  Maybe their views will change if they do ever have children.  There are people with children who don't have valid opinions, from my perspective.

There is never a way to know the story of a person with or without children, so to ignore their opinions based on the fact that they don't have children is judging them.  Rightly or wrongly, it is judging someone else based on their circumstances.  Based on the circumstances that you probably don't know all the details about.

I mean, would I take the advice of someone that is childless about holding my baby upside down for 3 hours a day as being sound?  Probably not.  Just like I don't always hold the opinions of other Greyhound owners (who may or may not treat their dogs like their children) as sound.  You have to be rational.  You have to take other's opinions with a grain of salt.  But I don't feel like shutting someone else out/down based on a particular criteria is fair in any way.

I am extremely interested to hear the opinions of my Gentle Readers.  Please RESPECTFULLY share your thoughts in the comments below!

Still not sure on this one though.  (image)


  1. 1) You were way nicer to your friend than I would have been.

    2) THANK YOU! I am so damn sick of hearing "Oh well just wait till YOU have kids." Seriously, the fact that I take birth control in order to ensure that I wasn't a teenager with no resources who happened to create a baby (because let's face it...for some people it's really NOT that hard, you just have sex) doesn't make me an idiot. I hate that women (because I rarely hear men having this conversation) cut each other down over this issue. Yeah, you want to share stuff with your family & friends. But guess what? A status saying "I'm pregnant!" works great while not grossing me out and showing me a stick that's been pee'd on (really- did you wash your hands after handling that? Not a good health lesson for the kiddos...).

    There are some people that I just don't talk to anymore, because it's not worth hearing about their child EVERY SINGLE CONVERSATION. When it's relevant, sure. But there's no need to tell me "Oh well you can't sleep in all day once you have kids!" Um, no shit, that would be why I TAKE BIRTH CONTROL TO PREVENT HAVING THEM at this point in my life.

    Sorry. Sore subject for me and I tend to rant. For the record, I do definitely want children, and fairly soon. But I don't think it takes having children to understand that 1) not everyone wants them or gives a shit about YOURS, and 2)they completely & drastically change everything. I think women, especially those who get knocked up unintentionally, cling to the "Oh this is the greatest thing ever and you can't be in our club because it's special" attitude because it allows them to transfer a situation some might view as not ideal (like being a teen mom with 2 baby daddies and no job) into a positive, but really it goes too far. And I HAVE had mother's back me up on this- usually they are women who had kids later in life and still remember being that person who wasn't focused solely on creating tiny humans. So it's not automatic that every mother feels that way. It's just become a socially acceptable excuse to say "F U" to those whose disagree.

    1. I say I'm sorry & then write another paragraph. Really, I'm obviously crazy on this subject. Apologies again.

    2. I woke up this morning thinking about this and I had so much more to add.. Stuff that I didn't really go into... but in response to your comment(s):

      I've paid more money to not be a baby momma in my (almost) 27 years that I just have this foreboding feeling that in an ironic twist of fate, I probably won't even be able to have kids... which starts to go into my thoughts this morning about everything.

      I also completely agree with the turning a negative into a positive. I know SEVERAL people who have gotten pregnant (married and unmarried) and it's "just not the right time".. at which some would say, "It's never the right time." Pfffth. Birth control make for more right times than wrong times (if that made any sense). No, bitches, you got knocked up and you weren't planning on having kids for another 3-7 years. Don't even talk to me about the blessing... Lets talk about the "blessing" on your bank account, how much you love being woken up several times a night, how much you LOOOOVE poop-splosions..


      Also, no worries on writing long paragraphs.. I feel like every time I comment on any one else's blog is about 19 million lines long.

    3. Oh I have that same fear, that after being so "careful" it'll come out that I'm not even capable of having kids anyway. Oddly nice to know I'm not totally crazy (or at least that I have company if I am :-p).

      I could go on about this topic for days too. Fun fact: After reading this I got on FB and a friend who has 5 kids was complaining about having to go to court (traffic violation) because "Us moms have so much to do, more important things than stupid court which is just taking money from poor people so the rich people can get richer!" (only much less grammatically correct with bad spelling). Apparently having kids should also exempt you from following basic laws.

    4. I logistically can't understand how someone(s) can support 5 kids. Seriously. I'm way to selfish for that.. for permanent.

      I love that she is "so busy".. she should have stopped "getting busy" while naked.. I bet she'd have a little more time then. Yes, I'm a douche.

  2. I agree, just because you don't have kids, it doesn't mean your opinions on children and child-rearing don't count. I think a lot of times people without kids are better able to see the bigger picture when it comes to children, especially because they aren't emotionally attached like the parents are. As far as posting pictures of your kids online goes, I would try to go by this general rule of thumb: if you wouldn't like to see your parents posting pictures of you like that (whatever kind of photo it may be) online, don't post photos like that of your kid. Just a little common decency and respect for your child's privacy is all that's really needed. The rest should fall into place.

    1. Agreed!

      Objectivity, I haz it!

      Can you imagine in 5-10 years when these kids are in school and they've seen each other's poopy diapers because their parents got pissed off at each other and showed their kids in their state of vengefulness what the other parent's craptastic kid did? Bullying to a whole new level.

  3. Hahaha The whole crazy thing makes me chuckle.
    Sorry if I over share to my adult friends on facebook. On a normal day the only adult I physically talk to is the husband. The rest of my day is with the toddler & preschooler which means my poor fbfriends are my adult outlet to share life with. I try to keep the fbfriend list to <100 which means you are considered an actual friend, someone I would hang out with on a regular basis but we live too far apart. In my head what I post is probably something that would come out in a face to face conversation.

    That said I feel like I share a lot of pictures of children since I have 3. As for the advice from people with out kids I listen to them just like people with grown kids, soon to be parents, and even actual kids. Some of what you hear makes sense, some doesn't, and sometimes you get a different perspective and realize how annoying you have been when you had no clue that your behavior was bothering any one. I also find that if you listen to someone they are more likely to return the favor of listening. You know what? You don't have to change to hear someone out, you do give yourself the option of changing.

    I also don't consider the Today Show woman as giving advice, I would file it under opinion of hey I don't like this, can you stop. Parenting advice to me is usually Teh Megan suggesting Benadryl and the guys I know suggesting whiskey/bourbon/rum.
    Advice: Take it or Leave but say thank you and get on with your day.
    Teh Rucrazie

    1. I agree with the Today Show Lady giving her opinion instead of advice, but I feel like the same type of reaction happens when people give "advice" to those with kids.

      Also, you don't overpost. I can back this up with the fact that you have an album for each kid and each album has under 200 photos (the max number of photos of a FB album) in it. I'm still trying to get over how similiar your kids look. It's crazy really.

      PS. I love that you embraced your Teh Nickname!!! :D


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