a parent’s rebuttal
As the friend of many new parents and a soon to be parent myself I took particular offense at an article I read this morning online entitled “The six highly annoying habits of new parents” by Dom Knight.
In the article Dom outlines the following to be these “annoying” habits:
- Don’t talk too much about your kids. Apparently I only get 10 minutes in any conversation to talk about my child before my friends become so annoyed and bored with me that I may not ever be invited to another social event.
- Don’t bring kids to unambiguously adult events. All evening events are off limits. If I can’t find a babysitter, I must sit at home with my children for fear of upsetting the table dancing and drunken behaviour of my so called friends.
- Don’t let your kids take over your house. Apparently if my friends have to see but one toy on the floor they are obviously going to think my children are out of control monsters and I have no order in my house, thus making them terribly uncomfortable and unable to enjoy my company even for a moment.
- Don’t let them colonise your workplace either. How dare I even consider putting my children’s paintings up at my desk or photos of them on my filing cabinet. This would obviously upset any sane single workmate to the point where they refuse to do any project with me.
- Don’t fail to control your kids in public. Like this is always a choice.
- Don’t put your kids on Facebook. By this Dom means don’t create a profile for them and this is the only point on which I agree. It’s up there with making your home a location for people to check in at and putting your cats and dogs up as your offspring.
Now, obviously Dom is not a parent, and if you read the entire article he very obviously doesn’t have many friends or family who are or, if he does, has absolutely no empathy or understanding for them. The lack of patience and understanding in his tone is beyond offensive to me as the friend of many young, tired, frustrated parents trying to do their very best in a world that is already judgemental of them.
Here are a few tips for any of my childless friends who will no doubt come to find me morphed in to a boring, whitless, up chuck covered zombie in the next few months:
- If you don’t want to hear about my life as a new parent, tough luck. Guess what, it’s my reality. And you owe me for all the times I listened to you whine about the latest guy who isn’t interested in you or all those cups of coffee over which you complained about how fat you are while you chow down another vanilla latte with extra cream.
- Believe me, I don’t want to bring my kids to your parties, I probably don’t even want to come. Table dancing and drinking until the wee hours have long been part of my past, even before pregnancy. Your priorities may not have changed this year but mine have, try to understand. Let’s catch up over dinner or something a little more civilised.
- The kids are going to take over the house. I’m sorry if you trip over a toy or if you have to push a pile of washing to the side of the lounge to sit down. I want to stay connected and be kept up to date with what’s happening in the real world. If the mess annoys you that much, give me hand to tidy up for 5 minutes then we can sit and chat.
- You know how you show me photos of your last holiday and the pics in your bikini on the beach now that you’re so happy you lost the weight? I am just as proud of what I did over the last year of my life and for the rest of my life, creating and raising my children. It’s just being proud that makes me want to hang their pictures and drawings up at my desk. Don’t roll your eyes when I show you the latest photo, even if it’s the same as the last 20, I’m just happy and want to share the journey with you.
- I’m sorry if my kids cry during the movie or make too much noise in the restaurant. I’m probably just as annoyed as you are!
- I promise I won’t set up a Facebook profile for my 6 month old, I will leave this until they are old enough to do it themselves and even then I will beg them not to.
So next time you’re at the supermarket and there is a screaming child in the lolly isle, or when you go out for a romantic dinner and have to deal with the whiney 6 year old 2 tables over, just think that one day it will probably be you, so be patient. And if all else fails, know that you get to go home for a peaceful night’s sleep and those inconsiderate breeders are stuck taking the kids home with them!