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Needing perspective: Friends Shenanigans

I can't find the original article now, b/c I've unfriended the poster and no amount of Google searching seems to bring it up (b/c it's noting my old searches and giving me related to that).  I actually wanted to see what you guys thought of it, b/c I think most of you seem to do a good job between recognizing my kids are important to me and probably not to other people. 

Background: Friend A's first marriage came to basically b/c he and his wife were fighting over having kids (he wanted, she didn't, minds were changed over course of marriage) and she then had an affair, so it was over.  He has now remarried and gained 2 (or 3) stepchildren and they've recently had a baby.  He is fully in new-dad glow; I'm really happy for him b/c this is exactly what he wanted and you can just see physically how happy he is which is so much better than how completely miserable he was 2 years ago.  Since he's in new dad glow, he's been doing some "my life is so much better now that I have a child" type things.  And really, whatever, I don't care.  He's happy, I'm happy he's happy.  

Then, he posted an article that was basically one of the ugly parents vs. non-parents articles.  The blogger was completely sanctimonious and completely assholish. It as more of the "you can't understand", "you're not really tired until", "you don't know love until", "I wish I could have all that free time", "must be nice to do be able to do that" and all of that other BS.  And how she had been annoyed with her friends with kids until she had a kid and understood.  You know what? If you're ditch your friends b/c of their kid, you're a \#/.

Just b/c I don't have child, doesn't mean I can't understand why your life is like, b/c you're my friend.  I have empathy.  I see what you're going through.  I don't get hepped up about not getting return calls right away.  I bend over backwards to try and meet friend's schedules with kids.  I come up with things they can bring kids to.  And guess what?  Since you're my friend?  I love your kids just as much as I love you.  And for someone, that I've done those very things for, to post an article that just slammed such hurtful and mean statements into my face and then other mutual friends who I love and respect commenting and agreeing with those hurtful things, has really rubbed me raw and the wrong way.  Just b/c my life isn't filled with a child, doesn't mean my life isn't full, busy, full of other activities that command as much of my time and energy and brain power as your child does.  And for you to find ME and my life insignificant b/c of lack of a child is incredibly hurtful and infuriating.  

I even understand that this was probably a bit of a circle jerk of support going on.  But it really just doesn't change how ugly the article was and how hurtful it really was to have people discussing "the childless" like it was some sort of Dionysian cult.  And I'm really angry and really hurt about it.

Re: Needing perspective: Friends Shenanigans

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    MNNEBrideMNNEBride member
    First Comment 5 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    edited May 2014
    You need to send this article to all those "friends":

    Actually, you might send an email saying just what you've posted here (4th paragraph).  I don't know your friends, but I'm guessing they have no idea how that post came across to you and how it made you feel.

    Signed,
    Also childless and fulfilled
    image
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    Full disclosure: I don't have kids. I want them, but I don't have any yet.

    That being said, I find that things like FB allow people to share things really easily without, perhaps, thinking about how their actions are going to affect other people.

    I also think there's a huge mentality lately of 'Accepting my choices means agreeing with them means doing things MY WAY.'

    And I think there's a lot of shaming going on -- parents shaming non-parents and non-parents shaming parents.

    I have a really good friend who doesn't want kids, hasn't ever wanted kids, doesn't like kids. And that's fine. But she is FOREVER sanctimoniously going on and on about how she doesn't want kids, so no one could possibly want kids, because see all the fun things she gets to do because she doesn't have kids and don't you want to do those fun things, too, and you can't do fun things if you have kids, so obviously no one WANTS kids, but it's necessary for some people to have kids so the human race gets carried on, but man, it sucks to be those people.

    And that really rubs me the wrong way. I think it's fine for her not to want kids, and I think it's fine for people to want kids, and I think people should respect other people's decisions about kids.

    I also think there's some jealousy from parents to non-parents. Because even though the parents CHOSE to have the kids and even though they are glad, on-balance, that they have them, it's hard not to see your childless friends' lives and be a little jealous that they can pick up and go to Tahiti on a whim (nevermind that those people also still have car payments and mortgages and bills and jobs and lives and no, they really CAN'T just up and fly to Tahiti if they want to.)

    And I agree with you that it's a circle jerk of support going on, because people really want to be reassured by other people that the decisions they've made are the right ones, and anyone who made a different decision clearly made the wrong decision. 

    I'm sorry you're angry and hurt -- I would be, too.
    Anniversary

    image
    I'm gonna go with 'not my circus, not my monkeys.'
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    6fsn6fsn member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its Name Dropper First Comment

    I agree with a lot of what HisGirl said. I don't think it's fair to say I have a kid so I deserve x,y,z.  I fail at this a lot, but do try hard not to make my life decisions impact someone else.  I don't think it's fair to say kids make me more tired.  Shoot I had a lot of nights working that left me more physically drained.  I also know there are kid free people that do 1000times more than I do. 

    If it makes you feel better even in the kid bearing group there is "you don't know tired until you WORK and have a kid."  or "You don't know stress until you have THREE kids."  "One kid at a time is nothing.  I had TWINS."

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    6fsn said:

    I agree with a lot of what HisGirl said. I don't think it's fair to say I have a kid so I deserve x,y,z.  I fail at this a lot, but do try hard not to make my life decisions impact someone else.  I don't think it's fair to say kids make me more tired.  Shoot I had a lot of nights working that left me more physically drained.  I also know there are kid free people that do 1000times more than I do. 

    If it makes you feel better even in the kid bearing group there is "you don't know tired until you WORK and have a kid."  or "You don't know stress until you have THREE kids."  "One kid at a time is nothing.  I had TWINS."

    Yes.  What is with all the life competition?  What do you win?

    It's really hard to accept that good friends can be so inconsiderate and hurtful.  We have one of those in our group.  All of our husbands have been friends since childhood, so it's more important to keep him as a friend but his wife is always trying to keep up with the joneses (really, she lives to one-up the joneses).  It's more than annoying and she doesn't realize it even when it's pointed out.  She literally laughs it off.

    I'm sorry your friends have hurt you, V.
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    I think that was kind of my thing too, re: the life competition.  Do we really need to compare and one up drama and tragedy?  Or even happy things?  B/c that's exhausting too.

    I was just really floored by it.  And, before I unfriended the person with the post, at least 10 mutual friends had basically agreed with it.  
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    6fsn6fsn member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its Name Dropper First Comment

    I'm sorry they hurt you too.  It sucks. 

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    That's incredibly awful.  I can't help but think of the people that read that facebook thing that do want kids, but physically can't have them.  
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    ^that bothered me exceptionally b/c same poster had just recently (w/in the last week) posted something about how he had been filling FB with "newbaby goodness" and then read this article about an infertile couple and how it really made him think about what he was doing.  Then this showed up.

    I'll get over it and I know I will, but damn.  I did post about this on my FB and got some really great feedback from other friends, both parents and not parents, about how they handled such things.  Which helped.  This helps too.  I'm just not quite over it yet.
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    6fsn said:

    I agree with a lot of what HisGirl said. I don't think it's fair to say I have a kid so I deserve x,y,z.  I fail at this a lot, but do try hard not to make my life decisions impact someone else.  I don't think it's fair to say kids make me more tired.  Shoot I had a lot of nights working that left me more physically drained.  I also know there are kid free people that do 1000times more than I do. 

    If it makes you feel better even in the kid bearing group there is "you don't know tired until you WORK and have a kid."  or "You don't know stress until you have THREE kids."  "One kid at a time is nothing.  I had TWINS."

    Evil Chipmunk would jump in there and say "Oh yeah? Well you don't know exhaustion/frustration/stress until you're the primary caregiver to A) a toddler, B) an 87 year old woman with 1) advanced alzheimers 2) a lack of bladder/bowel control, 3) an obsession with trying to take off her clothing, 4) a tendency to have seizures and smack her head on sharp edges the MOMENT you turn around, and  5) makes an effort to kick/pinch/hit/slap the toddler, and C) each evening and all weekends you are caregiver to a combat disabled Marine Corps veteran who expects you to take care of the "household" stuff including meals. Because Evil Chipmunk's mother did ALL of that for 4 years, 2 months, and 10 days until her MIL (B) passed, and then she had the now 6 yr old (A- chipmunk) and husband (C) to continue caring for. So suck it you pansies"
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    tawillers said:
    6fsn said:

    I agree with a lot of what HisGirl said. I don't think it's fair to say I have a kid so I deserve x,y,z.  I fail at this a lot, but do try hard not to make my life decisions impact someone else.  I don't think it's fair to say kids make me more tired.  Shoot I had a lot of nights working that left me more physically drained.  I also know there are kid free people that do 1000times more than I do. 

    If it makes you feel better even in the kid bearing group there is "you don't know tired until you WORK and have a kid."  or "You don't know stress until you have THREE kids."  "One kid at a time is nothing.  I had TWINS."

    Yes.  What is with all the life competition?  What do you win?

    It's really hard to accept that good friends can be so inconsiderate and hurtful.  We have one of those in our group.  All of our husbands have been friends since childhood, so it's more important to keep him as a friend but his wife is always trying to keep up with the joneses (really, she lives to one-up the joneses).  It's more than annoying and she doesn't realize it even when it's pointed out.  She literally laughs it off.

    I'm sorry your friends have hurt you, V.

    I just start responding with things like, "Well I'm glad I don't have that stress in my life then" and "Wow, that really sucks, you always get the short end of the stick"   If someone one-ups me then I let them "win" and act like their life is horrible, give them pity and pretend to be sincere about it.  It tends to annoy them, and then I feel like I win. 

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
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    I have a "friend" on FB who, every once in awhile, posts ANTI-anti-deppressant propaganda. I.e. he doesn't believe in them. That's great, but maybe just because he shouldn't be on them, and those of us who were diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder and have been on anti-depressants since they were 12, and probably wouldn't be here without them, and has tried going off of them only to realize that they have a legitimate chemical illness in their brain, and it would be great if there were an non psychotropic treatment out there, but we just aren't there yet, MAYBE he doesn't speak for everyone else's experience and doesn't know what the fuck he's talking about. And maybe I have to really bite my tongue because I need to choose my battles...but do I want to set this guy straight? Oh man...
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    @VarunaTT - i2i with you. your ex-friend is a total dick. I hate people who post stuff like this, and have blocked a few as well. I also have blocked people who are engaged in mommy wars and mommy martyrs - their posts annoy the hell out of me.

    I especially like the ones that are, "Oh, my life was not complete until i had my children" in one post and then spend the next post talking about how they never get to sleep.go anywhere/do anything. FFS, hire a babysitter (or leave the kid with your spouse/partner) and get out of the house for a few hours. 

    Sure, it's more difficult to do some things with kids, but if it's important, you find ways to make it happen. People need to figure out a way to develop a life for themselves outside of/beyond their kids. (They also need to stop trying to force their kids on their friends for every outing - whether childless or not - there's nothing wrong with doing a playdate or kid-friendly activity, but you also need adult time with your friends.) 


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    I'd have probably reamed him out about what a sanctimonious ass he was before unfriending, but that's just me.
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