I don’t care what people think of my parenting.
Let me clarify: I don’t care what people who aren’t in my family think of my parenting.
I appreciate everyone who reads my stuff, even the humorless prigs who think I’m the Worst Father On Earth because I make jokes online, but I am well aware that none of you see the full picture of my parenting. Your judgment, positive and negative, is both incomplete and invalid. You see what I want you to see.
That said, there’s one reaction I can’t stomach. And it’s not the one you think.
It bums me out when someone comments on my blog or responds to one of my Facebook posts with something like “this is exactly why I don’t have/want kids!” Not because I want anyone to have kids – I hate other people’s kids! – but because I’m not trying to scare anyone off.
Obviously, the humorless prigs who don’t like jokes can be annoying, but they’re easy to shrug off. In fact, I mostly find them amusing. But it’s the people who see nothing but negativity in my posts and use it to validate the idea that having kids is terrible that bother me most.
I don’t want to be a cautionary tale!
The purpose of this blog is not to promote parenting as some universal ideal – having kids isn’t for everyone (it may not even be for me) – but neither is it to scare anyone away from having kids. The purpose of this blog is to
make money off of sponsored posts entertain, make you laugh, and occasionally give voice to thoughts you might be unable to articulate or are afraid to say out loud.
As I’ve written before, whether or not you find parenting “worth it” depends on the trade-offs you make and the things you value, and everyone measures life differently.
You’d think it would go without saying that a guy who writes a sarcastic blog and shares silly memes and gives his children goofy nicknames isn’t promoting some kind of anti-natalist agenda (antinatalism is a thing and it’s CRAZY). I don’t have any agenda at all, aside from entertaining people, making you laugh, promoting vaccination, resisting Trump, removing the stigma from breastfeeding, stopping parental judgment, and eventually getting a book deal and TV series so I can afford a nanny and move to an island. I’m not trying to convince you of anything.
No, having kids is not all sunshine and lollipops. But it’s not all sturm and drang either. Everyone who has kids is well aware of that, even the liars who pretend otherwise. The liars are the people trying to convince you of something! I’m not here to scare you or reassure you, I’m just here being me, being honest, and throwing a heaping dollop of cynicism on top to stop things from getting boring.
It would be the same even if I didn’t have a blog.
I have friends who don’t have kids, including friends who don’t want kids, and I’m neither lobbying for them to join the club nor moaning to them how terrible it is so they won’t. I’m honest with them, about the good and the bad, but I’m not trying to swing them either way. What do I care? I like having child-free friends, and my child-free friends probably like having parent friends. Variety is the spice of life. (Preferring homogeneity is how you get Trump.)
Besides, as a parenting blogger, I’m basically preaching to the choir, and everyone in the choir already has kids. We’ve all made our beds (and our kids beds too, those lazy fuckers) and most people aren’t reading me to make them reconsider, they’re (presumably) reading me to find some validation and solidarity. Right?
I’m venting. I’m a venter. And a joker. And a complainer. And grumpy. And kind of an asshole. I’m not a morning person. And I often let the hassle of logistics prevent me from doing things that I would definitely enjoy. I have a hard time experiencing happiness. I’m not very empathetic. Where was I going with this?
The point is, stop taking me seriously. I don’t even take me seriously! If you don’t want kids, don’t have them. If you do want kids, have 100 (it’s your funeral!) I literally don’t care. But no matter which way you go, don’t shoot the messenger.
The last thing I need is some guy sailing over to my island in twenty years and blaming me for having an empty, meaningless life because my hilarious post about having toddlers like being in prison convinced him to get a vasectomy.