This will get me crucified but I wish I cared enough to shut up. Here is my thought: PEOPLE WHO HAVE KIDS, STOP ACTING LIKE YOU KNOW EVERYTHING!
Oh, I know! Here is another single guy, with no kids, judging the parents. Well, yes, I am judging CERTAIN parents. I don’t believe in generalizations. I find them dangerous to a degree and perhaps they reinforce stereotypes on a given group. However, this theory of mine stems from seeing and interacting with parents who act this way. As soon as they become parents, they suddenly have a lot of answers to a lot of questions. How can that be? Perhaps they do have some answers, yet, if you listen to CERTAIN parents, they have almost all the answers.
Well, the unconventional truth is you don’t know everything. I do not argue about your knowledge on having kids. I am sure you have plenty of knowledge on raising them, how to talk to them, getting them ready for this and that, taking care of them, school, illnesses, picking them up from day care, enrolling them into a good school, tutoring, sports and other extra curricular activities and so on. By any metric, you know a lot, about having kids and if you are doing a good job, because let’s face it not all parents are good parents and I don’t have time to name the incompetent parents, I salute you with all my heart. God only knows how hard it is to raise a kid these days. I know having kids puts a strain on your body, mind, bank account, sex life, relationships, work and overall sense of being.
However, I insist that being a parent, doesn’t make you an expert in other areas. Being a parent doesn’t mean you are married. If you are married, it doesn’t mean your relationship is perfect or necessarily thriving since we know relationships, like any terrain, have ups and downs. Being a parent perhaps mean you are a single parent, etc. I could go on for a day about how having a child is a tremendous experience, but IT IS JUST THAT. It means experience in that area. It doesn’t NECESSARILY mean you understand the world better, it doesn’t mean you are better, it doesn’t mean you became more patient, more tolerant, more in touch with your feelings. Having a kid doesn’t NECESSARILY mean you know about depression, financial woes, taxes, politics, evolution of the world and so on.
I am not an expert on any of those areas either, except movies and comedy! Those are my areas. To be transparent, I am talking about this because of the numerous experiences I have enjoyed while talking to CERTAIN parents. Let’s just say that the current state of the world is never short on subjects to talk about and CERTAIN people with kids, tend to be louder than others, more emphatic about their points, which need to be heard and respected more than others, oddly enough. Perhaps they are used to boss their kids around and that authoritarian trait gets carried away when talking to others. Perhaps, I am reading too much into their behavior because I know them, but after asking people who were around for input, they seemed to have similar conclusions. Were we biased? I don’t think so.
2 examples: I have a friend, married and a mother since 2002. She told me about a year ago how to deal with my emotions during a breakup I was going through. Really, woman? You haven’t broken up with anyone in 15+ years and you know how to manage post breakup depression? I understand you have an opinion but let’s just say I will not follow your advice which was ludicrous anyway. I know she meant well, bless her heart. Another parent became an expert on sexual assaults and legal procedures since the R. Kelly documentary came out because she is a parent. That was just breathtaking to witness. One could see she had strong opinions because she imagined what the young girls were going through and as a parent of a young child, she easily identified with the victims’ parents’ anguish and anger. Her assessment of the case was lacking any rational thought, which is understandable, to a certain degree but not excusable. However, when someone points out to that she is too involved and that reason and facts didn’t seem to matter anymore, I felt I should have told her “please don’t look at people with disdain and contempt, especially if they come at you to reason with you respectfully and calmly”.
These are two examples of late, many more have been lost in my memory palace somewhere. What I am trying to say is neither you nor I have the answer to the mystery that is life. Yet, some are walking around like they cannot wait to unleash their superior knowledge upon the world. I am not a parent; therefore, I do not know the reality of parenthood. However, parents do not have all the answers either, but CERTAIN parents seem to act like they do. Well, news flash: they don’t.
Perhaps, the responsibility of caring for a child is quite a lot to bear. Perhaps being a parent 24/7 pushes people to think they have superpowers, but they don’t. So, please keep in mind, you don’t know everything. You are parent, not a supercomputer, you are still human. A little dose of humility is always needed in the bloodstream.
I know I talk and write a lot but here is piece of advice for everyone, really: shut up and listen to others. I use it more and more. It is more helpful and fulfilling than you could imagine.
Just one man’s opinion.
Now, smile and go on with your day.