This afternoon I was in the chat room and I voiced my frustration--a bit too freely--about my friends and their children. All of my friends have kids, and whenever we get together, everything (when, where, and even whether we go out; what we can say or do) revolves around the little ... darlings.

I strongly feel that many parents spoil their kids terribly and that in many cases they sacrifice their lives for their children, but outside of discussion forums like this one, even raising the subject seems taboo. How do you deal with these problems aside from going into the chat room and ventilating your feelings in ways that make people with kids feel uncomfortable? Do you ever confront your friends on their single-minded devotion to their immediate families?

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Replies to This Discussion

Hi there,
Yah, I know it's frustrating.
I'm 53 y.o. and childless. My "childed" friends are FINALLY getting to the age where their kids are grown and out on their own, so we can spend more time together. But then guess what happens? Grandkids! Granted, not as much time is spent on grandkids as kids, but it's still a pain.
Personally, I love kids. And I love being around them. For a little while. I've just never been keen on one having the same address as me!
After an hour or two, I'm ready to move on and do adult stuff.
Your avatar looks like you are a fairly young man. My advice is to cultivate two sets of friends. The ones with kids you can join on vacation and picnic with. The ones without you can really have your fun with.
Grin and bear it! You gotta support your friends love of their children. If they didn't love them so much, what would be the point of their having them? :o)
Thanks for your reply! Cultivating different sets of friends is a great idea. (By the way, you look young as well!)
Ha! Photoshop is a wonderful thing! :o)
My wife and I just had a really good dinner last with a colleague of mine, her husband, and their 3 1/2-year-old daughter. My colleague and her husband are great parents, and the girl was very well behaved. Hooray!
Getting to the age where a good portion of my friends have kids, I realized that both adults and kids get in the way of each other's fun. Adults tell kids to stop doing this and that, but meanwhile kids keep them from having the wild parties that they would like to!
So true Renee! I wish there was some kind of a test or trial period that people had to go through to have a child. Maybe something similar to the adoption process. I can say with a certainty that quite a few folks would decide that childless is the way to go!

I just happened to consider the choice in my early twenties. For no reason the thought just came to me that I didn't want to raise a family. Thank goodness, because I hadn't put much thought into it before that. I could easily have had a child by then if things were a little different. The more I looked into it, the more I knew that childless was right for me. Thankfully, when I met my husband, we were in complete agreement. And we have never for one minute regretted our choice.

I honestly can't imagine a life with children day in and day out. I agree with your accessment of the, "But I love them so much...." spiel. I think a lot of people feel cornered and I feel kinda badly for them.
Renee and Susie--I entirely agree with you both. Many people have children because they have never seriously considered not doing so. They are biologically and culturally programmed to have kids.

I understand that voicing these views to those who already have children is not very productive--what can they do about it now, after all?--but it is frustrating to feel compelled to keep silent about these matters.
"what can they do about it now, after all?"

Heh, maybe part of them agrees with you, and the last thing they want is to have it brought to their attention that not having children was an option!
I agree! Their cognitive dissonance must feel awful, however.
Parents are mostly way too defensive about this. Maybe it's hormonal. Or maybe it's kind of like when someone's head-over-heels in love and you don't want to tell them their partner is an asshole. One friend claimed that she was supportive of me not having kids, but eventually accused me of hating her children b/c I was asking her about the health effects of pregnancy, etc. Come to think of it, she's the only parent I've known who was both permissive-neglective and permissive-indulgent at the same time.

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