I want to talk about one of my big bugbears. Imagine this: You’re having a conversation with someone who has children and you query something pertaining to said brats. Let’s use an extreme example and say you ask “Why aren’t you telling your child to stop kicking that other child repeatedly in the head?” (not so far-fetched judging by some of the shit I’ve seen parents let their kids do.) The parent responds with some variation of the following sentence:
“You’ll understand when you have children of your own.”
“Fuck off!” is the only real response for this bullshit in my honest opinion, you may as well be saying “I can’t be arsed to explain to you why I’m a shit parent right now.”
Apart from being patronising, condescending and insulting, it’s complete rubbish.
My lack of offspring isn’t indicative of some lower form of intelligence, if anything it is quite the opposite, showing I have a functional understanding of how contraception works.
There is also no mystical understanding that you glean merely through having children of your own, no hidden truth.
Parents love their children, and most will do anything for them, but children can be extremely hard work. I already understand these concepts, it’s not something I’m going to suddenly realise in a moment of epiphany when and if I have my own first born placed in my arms.
If you didn’t understand these concepts before you had kids then I’d probably say you weren’t mature enough to be having them in the first place; and I’ll thank you not to tar me with that brush!
It’s clichéd, non-sentiment, bullshit responses like this that inhibit proper communication and lively debate.
So, until such a time as I decide whether or not to have children of my own, my stock retort for anyone utilising this response or any variation on it will be the following.
“I’m sorry? I couldn’t hear you over the sound of all my disposable income.”