And when your high-and-mighty mom self tells me that, it makes me IRATE.
Would you like to know why I don't have children? Because kids are work. There are plenty of other reasons such as "preparedness" and the fact I can barely get myself up and out of the door each morning, let alone another human being. Then there's the whole permanent nature of children and, oh yeah, they are people. People with needs and feelings which leads me back to that whole notion of work. I'd rather just sit here and watch this terrible movie that I have seen 900 times and drink this wine. Enjoy dealing with another person's bodily fluids!
Somewhere along the line I wound up with a life full of friends who have children.
Many had these children prior to my entry into their lives; others had them after I came into the picture. At any rate, I've gotten used to having my conversation interrupted. I shrug because hey, kids. I don't have any but from what I understand, taping their mouths shut is not an option.
You would think that with my very, very, VERY, single status I would see people with children and run for the hills which cannot be further from the truth. Here's a fun fact about my life without kids: Just because I might not have any doesn't mean that I hate every child I will ever meet. In fact, I really enjoy children. They are - for the most part - fun, hilarious, precocious, unpredictable. I just don't have any. This fact doesn't make me more or less of a woman; it simply is.
Somehow, even without having children, I have managed to grasp the concept of life and that people will follow their own paths. I have never felt the need to begrudge another for their experiences or life choices and by the grace of God, I'm surrounded by people who live the same. Sometimes there's gossip and judgment and major side-eyeing but the general rule I follow for myself is: you do you.
Every once in awhile a post will pop up just to remind those of us without kids how unfulfilled our lives are.
Childless people cannot possibly understand the concept of love (or any human emotion). We've never really been tired. We don't know what busy really is, etc. I came across a post on Huffington Post about the inability for women with children to have friends who don't have children simply because the latter group has no understanding of the havoc wreaked upon the lives of those who choose to procreate.
Crap like that makes me so annoyed, probably more annoyed than it should since it's a post from a woman I have little to no interest in. Not only that but I often give in to the clickbait and the writer reels me into their bullshit of an argument. I always feel the need to defend my relationships with my friends ("MY friends aren't assholes; your's probably are if they are anything like you.") and to validate my life without children. All because of a sickness called: I Saw This On The Internet.
The true story of being the childless friend is that it is like any other relationship between two people.
It requires work. I do not feel as if these relationships are extra-hard. Friendship can be difficult but if it is something which is important to me then I will put in the effort to ensure its success. Why is this so difficult to grasp? That two people, in different phases of life can, in fact, learn from one another? Why must it always be all or nothing hyperbolic bullshit about how HARD everything is?
It's life. Life is difficult. Having children is difficult. We're all just going through the motions and each day, trying not to f*ck things up for ourselves or for future generations. When a person says that their time and/or life has more value than mine simply because I do not have children it makes me irate. And yes, it also makes me think of that person as an asshole. As my friend Em said so eloquently about people like this: "They were probably assholes before they had kids and now they're just an assholes with children."
And THAT is why your friends (both with and without children) don't hang out with you. It's not because we don't "get it."
This article was originally published at http://www.heatherbarmore.com. Reprinted with permission from the author.